Destination Manhattan

When opportunity knocked, Stu Marks flung the door open wide, moving to New York and into this stylish loft apartment.
Welcome to the garment district, a square mile of Manhattan that was once the hub of America’s textile manufacturing industry. Since then, however, the landscape has changed and many formerly bustling facilities have been converted into retail and residential premises. That was the case for this loft, one of 25 in a building that previously housed sewing machine manufacturers and distributors.

For most of us across the pond, this apartment exemplifies our idea of sophisticated New York living; for Sydney-born Stu Marks, it represents something far simpler: home.

Although he lives in one of the world’s fashion epicentres, it was in fact Stu’s work in the construction of infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and roads that brought him here six years ago. “It’s an industry that’s been quite successful in Australia for the past 15 or 20 years, but they’ve just started to look at this new form of delivery in the US,” he explains. “There was an opportunity to come and do some of that work over here, so I jumped at it.”

For Stu, the appeal of the loft had been instant. “It was amazing because as soon as I walked in I felt like I could be at home here,” he remembers. Natural light flooded through the large windows at the front of the loft, highlighting the beautiful dark wood floors and panelling on the built-in wardrobes. The tall ceilings offered room to breathe, while their original pressed-tin finish imbued a sense of history and character so often lacking in the ‘cookie-cutter’ developments in other parts of town. And, as a music lover, Stu appreciated the top-of-the-line sound system with speakers built into the walls. “A man cave is probably not the right term,” Stu says, laughing, “but it felt like a log cabin-type space, very warm and cosy but in the middle of Manhattan – like a little oasis in the middle of Manhattan.”

Want the full story? Find it in Home Ideas Vol 9 No 6

Story Mark Vender
Photography Viven Allender
Styling Jayne Reid