Oakland Loft is a Sanctuary for Life and Work

(camera snapping) – My name is Nicolo Sertorio I’m a photographer, both
commercially and fine arts. I live in this space with my wife, Seonok. – I am research scientist,
working for a biotech company. – We moved here about three years ago We fell in love with the neighborhood, it’s more of a artist community than a traditional suburban live space. In terms of the space itself, it’s an artist live/work space. Hence, the luminosity and the openness. – The light is amazing in this space. It was something that I fell in love with. – [Nicolo] But when we first
moved in it was very raw From the floors, the walls, to everything. Part of the design was to add some additional interior walls. – Because Nicolo is an artist, he has more specific vision and ideas. And then I had a wishlist that needed to be contained within the design. – We started from a place of
mutual requirements, I think. – I wanted to have a big
kitchen or a beautiful bathtub and a closet where I
could store my clothes. Practically, I wanted to have laundry area next to my office. Where I could just incorporate
it into my daily activities. – It’s important for me to have a studio, or a space to work and create. I need more of a multi-functional space than your traditional empty camera studio. I need a space where I can
shoot and I also need a space where I could prepare for
shows and print my work. And so the draw of the
creation of the wall so behind the wall there
is the full bathroom and the storage space. The space upstairs was
one giant open space, with just the platform of the mezzanine. We have to have a separation between public space and private space. – [Seonok] Mezzanine not
only I use as my office, but also use as a guest bedroom. So we had to somehow create divide, to create intimacy and privacy. – [Nicolo] We started
playing with different ideas of where to put the walls
and how to build the walls. We created the new master bedrooms, new bathroom downstairs. We separated, a little bit, the kitchen. Oh this stirfry’s gonna be amazing. – Kitchen is very inviting. It’s all white. Enough space and plenty of storage. It’s really open, but
also very functional. The way we designed cabinet
that vertically open instead of horizontally open. We put a lot of energy into designing it. – [Nicolo] How would you like this sliced? Tiny or small?
– Tiny, yes. The bedroom is one of my favorite
place to be in the house. It is just the right size, and enough space for my clothes. High ceiling and skylight allows light to float in the morning. I believe that bedroom is
not a place to go to sleep and become unconscious, but also where we dream
and come back rejuvenated. That’s how I feel in my bedroom. Living surrounded by beauty
is very important for me. I think that brings sense
of health and healing and I think this space
brings that opportunity to create beauty and surround
ourselves in that environment. And obviously Nicolo is an artist so it’s like a blank canvas
on which we can create. – Me and my wife very
much converge and agree on modern, clean, pure lines. Basically white on white aesthetic. Throughout the space
the only color coming in is the color of the floors that brings a certain warmth. – [Seonok] Bringing
the warmth and Zen-ness into a very minimalistic,
elegant line is something that very intentional,
and something we love. – The minimalist and modern can sometimes go a little too far. Bringing in some older elements
makes the space feel warmer. – My desk used to be antique Chinese door that has been converted into table by artists in San Francisco. They were moving away from the city so Nicolo was able to obtain it. It’s such a beautiful
table that I really love, I feel privileged to use it as my desk. We choose things based on
connection to an object. it is not just something we buy
from a fancy high end store. They all have their own story, how it came about into our lives. – The dining table is
an interesting story. It’s from the old San
Francisco Public Library from there it had gone
to the Oakland Museum, at some point it became
too big for the museum, and one of my neighbors got
it from the Oakland Museum. She eventually came offered me the table, at that time, I didn’t have the space, so it ended up going to a woodworker. And he decided to store it away. At that point, I got it
and I started sanding to see what the surface
looked like underneath. And the details started to come out and beautiful red color of the wood. – [Seonok] Not only the light
in the daytime is beautiful but also the nightlight. Every light fixture we purchased
has intention around it. Ambience or mood. – From using dimmers to light
bulbs that change color, every room has at least three
different lighting set ups, the ability to change
the light in a space, change the space itself, and to me it’s a big part of the design. – I cannot imagine my life
without having art in my space. – [Nicolo] It was very inviting to start putting some of my own work up. Over the years I’ve come in contact with a lot of other artists
so we have exchanged work. Artwork that I inherited from my family. – The idea of building a
bookshelf we both loved. – We always had this dream
of having a big bookshelf, but even in this giant
space we were starting to run out of storage space. Well, we had one giant wall. Maybe we put everything
into the one space? We ended up building it ourselves. – It was such a labor of love. It took a lot of work, during which I was going
through health issues. Hello darling. I gained a lot of respect
for Nicolo not giving up. – [Nicolo] As we were piling the elements of the bookshelf up we realized
that nothing was straight. And that required a
lot of additional work. And eventually basically
digging into the drywall. – [Seonok] Watching him
being so patient, persistent, perseverant gave me a courage. And a sense of love and home. I know.
(laughing) We love to feel the warmth and uplifting element of the house. It’s not just the refurbished,
reinvented warehouse, where we just live. This is actually, we build our lives. (peaceful instrumental music)


What a fabulous house! I am totally gobsmacked. The skywindows alone makes it a winner for me. but add the library wall, the white kitchen, balcony with all the plants, especially the flowers on the terrace roof……just wow.

Love the aesthetics they choose.
-White on white with natural looking wood floors, fab light, high ceilings, modern & clean lines, clutter free sigh Gorgeous home.

I just adore lofts!  In that space you can create several small areas which bring light and energy to a home! I like when she stated that she was in bad health, thru that ordeal she became to respect his patience and will to never give up! Your house is fabulous!

I agree with her: being surrounded by beauty is a soulful yearning that I have. We were designed to live in a purposeful and beautiful space.

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