Thursday, August 5, 2010

The House That Cake Built

Our breakfast in New York

She made us a cake when we stayed in her loft. She has made thousands of cakes over the years, creating a successful business, and she always says her live/work loft is the house that cake built.

Alberto and I have stayed here when we visit New York since we got together nearly 16 years ago, and I knew her before that. She and I are colleagues, long time friends, BFFs.

This cake HERE

I knew her when she had her first baby on her hip making the rounds with her portfolio, and she knew me when my business was taking off. We helped each other alot.

Looking into the loft you see the dining area and the living room beyond it

And when I moved away from New York she always said I had a place to come back to. Her place. Her live/work loft where she makes cakes and raised her three children.

A working kitchen
The cabinets are stainless steel

So over the years we have stayed in this amazing light filled loft. Sometimes we crashed on a futon on the living room floor, with her kids crawling over us in the morning. Sometimes we crashed in the kids room when they were staying with their dad. No matter what the sleeping arrangements were, we always felt welcome and had so much fun.

A collection of cook books any foodie would love to have

When I left New York I was a sad damaged thing. And for years I didn't know how to face those I suddenly left for a life out of New York. Somehow she always made me feel my choices were okay, and when I was ready to have a reunion with all the great people I left behind, she had the dinner party to bring us together again.

Antique French table used as a desk

She finally got to come to New Orleans this past year with a new love in her life. It felt so good to return house for house.

Industrial metal rocker in the guest room

When she heard we were coming to New York for my birthday, she said your room awaits. Lately she has been renovating her loft, and she added a proper guest room.

The guest bedroom

She cooked for us, and opened her best bottles of wine (and a stunning chamomile grappa!), and made her home our home. Her kids, now grown into lovely adults, came to say hello. Her new love cooked for us too. We were over the moon, feeling the love.

Daybed outside of the guest room - floor to ceiling antique mirror adjacent

Her work and living space is not "interior designed" yet it has great style and panache, and I think it has a great deal of the old New York cool loft living style that has disappeared into the realm of the contrived.

View from the kitchen into the dining and living areas

Painted and polished concrete floors, exposed pipes, original industrial metal windows all add up to what loft living originally looked like.

The stylish and comfortable living room

Furnished with modern kid friendly furniture juxtaposed with many lovely antiques collected by her father who was a world class dealer and dreamer, the loft looks and feels so right.

Antique sideboard

There isn't clutter, though there are many treasures the eye goes too. The star of the place is the incredible light. There are windows on three sides of the loft, which takes up the entire eleventh floor.

Treasures on the sideboard: vintage portrait, bronze antiquity, ink drawing

So please enjoy the photos of this behind the scenes look at a real New York work/live loft.

Portrait of one of the daughters I knew as a baby

Bitossi vase on custom made metal coffee table
The man who made this table made all the metal doors in the loft

Custom Gothic style doors that lead to an extra bedroom
being used as an office to see clients

The desk where clients choose their cake

A selection of prop cakes made for photo shoots seen in every magazine you can think of

A serene master bedroom

Marble subway tiles in the master bath

Custom made concrete bath tub in the master bath

A home is greatly enhanced by small details and little treasures, and I share a few of them.

An iron stag head

Vintage bedside lamps from the company her father started HERE

More fabulous vintage lighting from her father's company
Designers love this source and you can see why
Everyone can shop for it

Lovely little monkey lamp

Interesting metal portrait box

A little altar
Her father made this cross and I loved it so much he made one for me too

Suspended sculpture

Alberto and I had a hard time coming home and leaving this wonderful loft. It was a block away from the studio we taught our tango lessons at, and steps away from great restaurants and shopping.

We are so fortunate that so many of our friends offer us a place to stay when we visit New York, and we have stayed in so many beautiful homes HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE!

Alberto and I thank you all so very very much! I couldn't come home again if not for your generous hospitality.

And of course as ever mi casa es su casa! We love having house guests! Do you?


Ms. Smart said...

looks great. love your added sentiments. how was the cake? :)

Lindsey said...

Fabulous loft! And all of the art and little touches give it such character! Love her cakes that you showed. She is so talented and sounds like such a great friend!! Okay, now I wish I had some cake! ha ha

Visual Vamp said...

Her cakes are always delicious, and this little cake was no exception. It was almond flavor with raspberry filling and butter cream icing.
We ate it the entire thing wickedly fast!
xo xo

pve design said...

"Let them eat cake" - how lovely is that cake and the home to go with is just the icing on the cake! As my Father would say "A rolling stone gathers no moss." You certainly roll with things which is such an admirable quality! Now I know your secret must be sugar!!!

The Consummate Hostess said...

It is refreshing to see a NYC loft that is filled with warmth and style- all reflective of the owner. I sometimes feel that when a room is perfectly styled, the personality can be lost. Not so with your friend's home! I especially love that suspended sculpture- what a great piece!

Tara Dillard said...

Other lofts only wish they could be derivative of this FABULOUS loft.

Her life makes the last Meryl Streep movie appear quite feeble.

Thank you for sharing.

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Irene said...

Oh I love people who bake cakes, and have wonderfully exciting homes. I'd love to wash her dishes. Just so I could enjoy watching her bake.

Sharon @ Real Estate Resuscitation said...

Both your friend's loft and cakes look fantastic!

Hill Country House Girl said...

Hey Valorie - thanks for your comment on hill country house. I answered back in my comment section!

I LOVE this story. Your friendship is precious and the story of your years as friends, her kids, her dad, her loft, all of it.....just a dear story and photos of a real life being lived in a great loft! Happy that you got to experience all of it and still do. Just a lovely post all around. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Jan said...

Lovely post Valorie.

Amy said...

I am just....amazed. ...and the bathroom! *sigh*

the daybed/couch....♥♥♥!

pretty pink tulips said...

What a beautiful space to enjoy your last days in the Big Apple. You and Alberto definitely know how to travel and make the most of life! I, too, love having company. Next round arrives next week. Keep me on my toes!!
Safe travels back home!

xoxo elizabeth

mimi said...

Beautiful home; even more beautiful friend.

24 Corners said...

Now that's a loft! I love how you said it wasn't "in the realm of the contrived"...that speaks volumes!

The windows, the art, the "realness"...all make for a very special place, but I think the friendship you described is the most special of all. You are very blessed to have such a friend...and one who makes mouth-watering, gorgeous cakes no less!

xo J~

susan said...

Longtime friendships like that are priceless! This looks big for NY! Is that a picture of the Beaver by the monkey lamp? :)

Beadboard UpCountry said...

Great homage to a friend and what a wonderful space. It is clear she is an artist and decorates her space with her own sense of style. nice!!!!!I have always loved the idea of the trash can under the kitchen island.... It really is soooo practical!!!Maryanne xo

my favorite and my best said...

what a place!!! thanks for sharing those.
i want a loft friend too!!!
so are you back now??

Sally@DivineDistractions said...

What a great testimony to a great friendship. It's so true that the friends we make in a lifetime are the true measure of our success. You've been very successful for sure. What a wonderful home!

Sally@DivineDistractions said...

What a great testimony to a great friendship. It's so true that the friends we make in a lifetime are the true measure of our success. You've been very successful for sure. What a wonderful home!

Sketch42 said...

WOW! This place looks amazing... I love the loft look... so open and industrial but really cool.

Hello Lover... said...

I absolutely love this loft! It looks so lived in and definitely as if all the pieces came together over time.

The cakes look delish and gorgeous!