Home screening rooms
Sheila Kim -- Interior Design, 9/1/2003 12:00:00 AM
As lofts colonize ever larger swaths of New York real-estate, design-build firm Atlas Industries has made a thriving business from a growing necessity: stylish partitions. You name it—Atlas creates it, from a cherry-wood breakfast-nook partition in a downtown apartment to a series of fiberglass ones zoning a midtown office. For the TriBeCa loft of event planner Michael Paxson and Elizabeth Varbaek, partner Joseph Fratesi came up with a graceful way to divide the 2,000-square-foot space without obstructing light from southern and western exposures. Then, for good measure, he renovated the kitchen.
Fratesi's screens—horizontal walnut slats pierced by vertical stainless-steel poles—fall somewhere between blinds and walls. He installed one at the entry, a second at the bedroom, and a third at the kitchen, all in varying heights and widths.
The entry screen, supported by a custom walnut and stainless-steel credenza, extends to the 12-foot ceiling. Between the bedroom and living area, a screen 8 feet high and 5 wide works in conjunction with a custom sliding door of laminated translucent glass framed by powder-coated steel; the door overlaps the screen just enough to hide the bed. At 6 feet high and 4 wide, the kitchen partition is built directly into a stainless-steel countertop and the ceiling soffit.
Stainless steel reappears on other counters and cabinetry, and a wall clad in limestone adds visual weight. As Fratesi explains it, "The area is continuous with the rest of the apartment, but materials and color achieve a subtle differentiation."