International Meets Industrial in a Brooklyn Attic

Artist Alina Preciado and designer has a knack for finding beauty and possibility she goes. She spends much of her time traveling to places like India, Spain, Japan and the Middle East, highlighting handmade goods for her business, Dar Gitane. “‘ Dar‘ is Arabic for ‘house,’ and ‘gitane‘ is French for ‘gypsy,’ that is basically me in a nutshell,” she states.

Preciado’s eclectic loft in an 1890s industrial building in Brooklyn, New York, subscribes to a similar worldly, accumulated style that combines new and old. “This used to be a woodshop, and it had huge machines that made divots and scrapes across the floors, so it is great to have the ability to observe the background,” Preciado states.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Alina Preciado along with her 2 cats
Location: Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York
Size: Around 2,000 square feet; 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Preciado’s loft flows together with openness. The huge windows and high ceilings keep it lit, with an airy texture. “I invest a great deal of time in the hammock,” she states. “It’s a huge hit with my friends’ children, and also the trapeze bar is great for stretching.” The leather sofa is vintage from the 1960s, along with the ladder that is leaning was picked up from a warehouse.

Rug: Cow Hides International; bookshelf: Rakks; poufs: leather, Dosa; forged metal tables: Dar Gitane

Chris A Dorsey Photography

The living room has a large wood-burning stove that keeps together with the industrial motif but supplies much-needed warmth from the winter months. “The distance is spacious, and the windows and floors can get a little chilly, but sitting by the fire really gives the area a coziness that I adore,” Preciadosays. “Since it has a double-insulated chimney, so I can have an open fire which not only looks beautiful but keeps me warm also. One of my favourite things is to put citrus peels on top and allow the smell waft through the apartment.”

Wood-burning stove: Vermont Castings; armchairs: vintage, 1940s

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Storage in any New York City apartment tends to be scarce, and Preciado’s distance is no exception. So she built this storage room with a sleeping loft at the top.

Hooks: gathered over time; hanging artwork: custom by Preciado

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Preciado shows collected pieces from all over the world, such as this hundred-year-old metal incense burner from Morocco which sits one of three metal tables purchased in the Middle East. “I think it’s my favourite piece in the apartment,” she states. “I burn sage inside, and there’s something about the way the smoke flows from it that is so beautiful.”

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Preciado created a walled-off bedroom with curtains that allow sunshine in or close for privacy.

Artwork, stainless steel mesh chair: custom by Preciado; bed: antique, circa 1890s

Chris A Dorsey Photography

One of those unique pieces adorning the loft is the human hair artwork hanging on a bedroom wall. “I really like to weave,” Preciado states. “Some time back, I purchased some human hair to weave for a job, which was left. I just thought it was beautiful, so I decided to hang it up as a piece in itself.”

Rug: hides from Mexico; crimson chair: antique, redone byPreciado; artwork: custom by Preciado; black desk: antique; Bedouin dowry trunk: purchased in Morocco

Chris A Dorsey Photography

With a little TLC, Preciado attracted these 90-year-old dining chairs back to life. “When I got them, they had been in bad shape, but among the things I’ve discovered is that even very old leather can nevertheless be preserved,” she states. “It requires time and care, but over time with the right conditioning, older leather can bounce back to its original beauty.”

Table: Big Sur, Crate & Barrel; artwork: Joseph Maruska; pendant lighting: purchased in Murano, Italy

Chris A Dorsey Photography

“One of my favourite things to do if I travel is bring back plenty of spices and gift them to my buddies,” Preciado states. “I also love bringing back things such as dyes from Iran, frankincense and myrrh in stone form, metals, one-of-a-kind trays and trinkets which are not on my website yet. One of the first items I brought back for Dar Gitane was a grouping of one-of-a-kind teapots,” that she shows on open shelves in the kitchen.

Sink: architectural salvage; black barrel: Dar Gitane; workbench: Revival

Chris A Dorsey Photography

The worktable was a holdover from the prior owner’s woodshop; it fits perfectly with Preciado’s style. “I really like these worktables,” she states. “They were really left here from the distance from the older woodshop — likely because they are so heavy. They have 1/4-inch-thick steel tops and are perfect for designing, as they are so sturdy, flat and durable. I really do wonder what will happen if I move, though. I don’t understand how I would take them out.”

Pendant mild: architectural salvage

Chris A Dorsey Photography

“Little touches can make a place feel like home,” Preciado states. Seen here’s her design philosophy of blending fresh, old, discovered and designed objects under a collection of cloches.

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Preciado’s style extends into a spacious bathroom, where she adds easy touches from her travels. “I think it’s very important to present products into your house that are soulful,” she states. “My view is that your house is alive; it lives with you and frees you, so you always want things around you who are both beautiful and useful.”

Bathtub: architectural salvage; pendant lighting: Droog

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