See How Big Windows Light Up an Industrial Rental Apartment


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Tyler Dubreuil has been renting this loft for nine months so far: My apartment is located in a once-running mill building. Thirteen-foot ceilings and nine-foot-tall windows evoke a bygone era of the industrial revolution. With soaring ceilings, a black brick façade, and steel beams, you’re greeted with this industrial aesthetic as you walk in. My name is Tyler and I’m an interior designer working in Boston, Massachusetts. I’ve always been fascinated by loft spaces, as I grew up in a converted mill building in Lowell, Massachusetts.

There’s so much potential in an open space and so many different furniture arrangements and little spaces that you can create out of one big one. I play with plants as a way to soften the space and give it a sculptural quality. I had one question on my mind before I moved into this apartment and it was, “How do I take an industrial space such as this and make it comfortable and cozy?” The use of soft furnishings and area rugs everywhere help to cozy it up, along with decorative lighting options everywhere. It’s very rare that I turn on the dreaded overheads. Throw blankets and pillows on every surface add to that coziness.

Newly 30, divorced, and single, I am in my era. I’m finding myself through my home, my love for friends, and my love for design and nature. My identity is reflected in my artwork — a mix of tasteful nude paintings of attractive men amidst some cultural pieces that have been passed on from my family. I’m a child of immigrants. My father was a refugee from Cambodia and although I’ve never been to Cambodia, I’m reminded of my roots every time I glance at my walls.

My mother’s side is French-Canadian and Native American. I was lucky enough to have some Native American art passed down from my grandfather. I’m a collector of things: vases, ceramics, beach rocks, oyster shells, pinecones, and records. I delight in creating something out of nothing — meaning I love to take what’s found in nature and use it in my space. Beach rocks fill up the potted plants, pinecones adorn my Christmas tree, and oyster shells are used as incense holders. To me, the beauty of nature is that it can be of use and displayed as artwork. It can also be an encompassing concept for an entire home. Nature brings me peace and inspires me.

If you rent, what is your rent per month? Or share how much it cost to furnish or design your space? I currently rent this space at $1,500/month. A lot of my pieces are actually secondhand and thrifted from Facebook Marketplace. I have this notion that no two pieces of furniture should be the same unless they’re dining chairs or nightstands. Each furniture piece was no more than 200 dollars — except for my sofa, which I bought at half price! I believe that good design doesn’t have to be expensive and that the best and most curated spaces take time and intentional thought.

Describe your home’s style in five words or fewer: A comfortable, calm, and industrial loft.

What is your favorite room and why? Because I live in one big room, I would have to say that my favorite space is my comfy chair right by the window. It’s where I feel most at peace. I start my mornings there with a cup of coffee and a jot in my gratitude journal, I read my books underneath the glow of the floor lamp adjacent while listening to the birds outside by the open window, and I end my evenings there with a hot cup of tea and a blanket wrapped around myself. I often fall asleep on that chair.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? My upstairs sofa and glass coffee table! Both were from Facebook Marketplace and they fit the space perfectly. I was looking for comfy seating in my office space and the two-seater navy blue leather sofa (originally from West Elm) fit the bill. It’s perfect for reading or taking an afternoon nap. The glass coffee table was a unique vintage find and I’m absolutely in love with the quiet visual that it gives.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Take your time and be intentional with what you bring in your home. All objects carry energy with them and you don’t want that energy ruining the energy you are creating in your space. And lastly, a well-curated space shows off your unique identity, culture, and personality. Don’t be afraid to show it off!


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