Modern vintage vibe in downtown Atlanta loft

Sy and Nyvette Gray switched from a subdivision setting to city living with their downtown Atlanta loft. The 20-foot ceilings offered vast room for their collection of vibrant, thought-provoking paintings by Atlanta artist Chris Hobe, who uses historical imagery in a street art style.

“When we first met him, he was selling his art in Atlantic Station. We got to see him grow as an artist,” Nyvette said.

While the artwork is as dominant as the authentic exposed details, their high-low decorating mixes designer mid-century modern furniture with an Ikea kitchen and affordable reclaimed materials.


Residents: Sy and Nyvette Gray. Sy is a CPA; Nyvette is a third-grade teacher at the Westminster Schools

Location: Gasket Lofts, downtown Atlanta

Size: 2,600 square feet, two bedrooms, two baths

Year built/bought: The building dates to 1945 and was converted to lots in the early 1990s. They bought in 2011.

Architectural style: Industrial

Favorite architectural elements: Exposed brick and piping, 20-foot ceilings

Renovations: “We loved the open space, but we wanted to create a few more cozier spaces in the loft,” Nyvette said. “So we built a barn door that separated the dining room from the guest bedroom.” They knocked out two closets to close off the bedroom and a bathroom entrance. They gutted the kitchen and both bathrooms in the renovations, which took about six months. They replaced the cement floors with ceramic tile in the dining room and guest bedroom. They stained the hardwood floors for a lighter finish, added electric blinds and installed sculptural light fixtures. A masonry contractor repaired crumbling brick. “Our brick is so old. He had to go all the way to Alabama to match the brick and the mortar,” Nyvette said. “It was quite the process.”

Design consultants: Interior designer Iesia D. King with IK Design and contractor Lloyd Kross with Krosswork

Interior design style: Modern vintage

Favorite interior design elements: How King blended Sy’s industrial, mid-century modern style with Nyvette’s softer, shabby chic preferences.

Resources: Furniture from Room & Board, West Elm, RH and Thrive Home Furnishings, an online retailer. Accessories from Redefined Home Boutique and Marty Mason Collected Home. Kitchen cabinets, island and appliances from IKEA. Light from Design Within Reach and The Lighting Loft.

Decor tip: If you have dominant architectural features, like their loft’s exposed brick and piping, and bold, oversized artwork, keep the paint neutral. They painted the walls many times, including sage green, before deciding it was too distracting.

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