“I wanted to be in the center of everything,” says supermodel Elsa Hosk of her search for a New York City home. Tucked away on a quiet backstreet in SoHo sat a rare gem: a sun-filled airy loft only steps away from bustling streets replete with restaurants and shops. To the Swedish-born transplant, the location seemed too good to be true. “It was my dream apartment on my dream street,” Elsa says of her “meant-to-be” home.
The loft was equipped with sky-high ceilings, photoshoot-ready lighting, and a not-up-to-code mezzanine, where former owners looked out over lavish dinner parties on the open-plan main floor in a very Gatsby-like manner—at least, that’s how we speculate it was used. Aside from those convincing selling points, there was definitely room for improvement. “It was untouched,” Elsa says with excitement, before telling us that she renovated, well, everything. The events that followed were, as she puts it, “a nightmare.” A kitchen gutted and shifted to the complete opposite end of the space, endless negotiations culminating in a now-legal second floor, floors flown in from Denmark, all meant that this was most definitely not a project for the faint of heart.
Two years and a lifetime of patience later, the loft was ready to be lived in…well, almost. “I had a blank canvas to start from, which was really exciting because I wanted to build something that really felt like me,” says the supermodel (who recently signed with Hollywood talent agency CAA) of her rather simple desires fueled by a hectic life. Having spent the majority of her adult years in and out of hotels, the runway regular craved the type of familiarity that can only be achieved in a truly personalized space. And so began the quest to create a safe haven that felt 100% hers.
Elsa’s natural knack for design coupled with her bargaining skills set her up for success when it came to furnishing the space. “Design is the ultimate creative process—you can really reflect your feelings and your mood into your surroundings,” she remarks of the project. This was a no-decorator zone: a decision she made with the desire to curate the space with carefully selected pieces unique to her personal style.
The lack of a designer fee was also a bonus. “I think I made a lot of good deals…if I had a decorator it would’ve probably been a lot more expensive,” she proudly notes. It was no small feat to add finds such as an Ettore Sottsass mirror, a Mario Bellini sofa, and two Pierre Paulin lounge chairs to her roster of vintage scores. Not to mention the Picasso casually hanging on the living room wall that she picked up at an auction.
Elsa’s loft is a byproduct of her demanding and ever-changing lifestyle. Craving solace and comfort, she decorated each corner in soft and welcoming textures to create cozy nooks throughout the open floor plan. This layout method was no accident. “In Sweden, there are so many rooms [in homes] so you can really [create] different vibes,” she says, nodding to her background. From the candy-colored bedroom to her plush, intimate dressing room, each space in Elsa’s loft feels worlds away from the busy streets below—the best-kept secret in NYC.
From Architectural Digest