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A new home tour series, produced in partnership with Sonos and West Elm, sees architect Amee Allsop welcome us into her family’s Brooklyn loft.

With clean lines and monochromatic hues, architect Amee Allsop’s converted Brooklyn loft offers visual respite from New York’s steel-and-concrete skyline. It’s a home she shares with her husband and son, and despite the divine chaos that shadows a young child, any frenetic energy has been relegated to the streets below. Converting urban dwellings into sanctuaries has become something of a trademark for the native Australian and founder of Aa Studio, a Brooklyn-based architecture and design firm. Allsop may have called time on the coastal tree house she once considered home, but its tranquil spirit lives on in her designs.

Tell me about your practice.

I was working for a New York architect but thinking about starting my own design practice when I fell pregnant with my son. It was a good opportunity to step out and do that. At six months pregnant, I got my first commission for a house in the Hamptons, New York, and since then I’ve been doing residential work and the occasional commercial project.

Did you design your own home?

We rent a loft that we chose for its scale, tall ceilings, south-facing windows, and concrete floor. It used to be a knitting factory, so you can see the foam work from the wood panels that they used on the concrete ceiling, which knitting looms hung from. I was really drawn to its character. Because it was one open space, we put up walls to create two bedrooms. We had to deal with building regulations, so they’re technically temporary walls. I’d love to update the kitchen, but it doesn’t make sense to do that in a rental. We haven’t done much more to the space than add furniture.

How would you describe your home’s aesthetic?

I always find it hard to use terms for styles, but I guess you’d call it minimal. Because my husband, Glen, and I are originally from the beach and also love the city, we combined both worlds. We have this white linen sofa that I bought while dreaming of doing a house by the beach. He loves our black leather Chesterfield sofa, which is a classic New York loft style.

So Australia still influences your designs?

Being in Australia by the coast gives you a relaxed approach to living and to your space. There’s an indoor/outdoor focus—Glen and I actually lived in a tree house in Whale Beach for five years. I try to bring an unspoken element of calm and peace to the spaces I design.

  • Words:
    MacKenzie Lewis Kassab
  • Photography:
    Collin Hughes
  • Styling:
    Kate S. Jordan

“If a project gets stuck, I try to step back and simplify”

sonos_westelm_amee_hometour_final09

What’s your creative process?

If you’d asked me that question a couple of years ago, when I was doing ground-up houses on the beach, everything would have been about orientation to the sun and those sorts of things. It’s definitely different these days. Now I start by getting a feel for the materials that the client is drawn to and also what works for the space. If a project gets stuck, I try to step back and simplify.

In what way?

Spatially and in materiality. Simple things can still be complicated, so I try to get the space to breathe. I look for purity in direct lines and spaces.

Do you listen to music when you work?

When I’m in the zone and designing, music is on. What I listen to depends on the day, on my mood—usually Joni Mitchell, jazz, soul, or R&B.

  • Words:
    MacKenzie Lewis Kassab
  • Photography:
    Collin Hughes
  • Styling:
    Kate S. Jordan
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