Salvage Spotlight: Warehouse Windows Become a Storage Screen
Designer Michael Stout and his roommates had a love-hate relationship using the original windows in their loft, at the East Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York. “I loved the variety and uniqueness of every pane, in addition to the feeling of history embedded into them,” Stout says. So did place scouts; along with drawing retailers such as Bloomingdale’s and Urban Outfitters to take from the loft, the old windows provided a background for magazine photo shoots for musicians, such as Cat Power and The Rapture.
However, “one morning throughout the winter in 2002 I awoke after a major snowstorm and discovered 3 inches of snow indoors all over the eastern side of our flat,” Stout says. Summer wasn’t any better. “Once during a heat wave, we called our downstairs neighbors to tell our candles were melting. I couldn’t even think their answer: Their records were actually melting!” He states. “We were really roughing it, but it was such a magical time of my life, graduating from college and moving to New York City.” When it was time for the chimney to be replaced by something more functional and energy efficient, he wished to maintain the panes he had fallen in love with, and came up with a plan to reuse them.
“That is New York City, and storage is a luxury,” he states. The loft had an inadequately screened-off place for stashing items like gear, cleaning equipment, linens and an air conditioning unit. Developing a large new screen out of the old panes and pairing it with shelves improved the storage. And where he takes it, the screen will always remind Stout of the important time in his lifetime. “This was a way to conserve some of the aesthetic history of the construction and everything that the windows represented to me during my first eight years at New York,” he states.
Project at a Glance
What: A screen Made from repurposed windows
Price: $750, such as a welding class
Time: 4 months
BEFORE: “You will find three substances present in the windows once I transferred into: glass, Plexiglas and translucent chicken wire,” Stout says. “There clearly was a randomness to how the individual panes were replaced over the years; I took it as my canvas and substituted certain panes to start up specific views and eliminate any difficulty pieces. There were numerous cracks and bullet holes in nearly all of them, but I loved all of them.”
Stout had even picked to highlight a favourite pane over the kitchen sink that captured the brilliant sunrises within a nearby park. “Among those translucent chicken wire pieces had beautiful bullet hole cracks,” he states. “I loved the way the morning sunlight would capture and highlight this exceptional moment, so decided to frame it. I can not help but think now that the framed peephole on the door utilized on the set of Friends was at the back of my mind.”
Here’s a snapshot of the replacement work in action.
BEFORE: The look of the old storage area left something be desired. After Stout and his roommates moved in, the previous occupants had left a beat-up metal shelf with a black sheet hanging in front of it, which was not ample for concealing all of the items they desired to store.
Stout made a better system that utilized a structure platform to the framework and an L-shaped screen made up of a number of their favourite panes. “It was a real struggle to decide which ones stayed and which ones went,” he states.
He started with this particular 6-foot-high multiuse scaffolding from Home Depot for $280.
He spent $250 at a welding techniques class at 3rd Ward so that he could craft the screen himself. Transporting the screen back to the loft cost $150.
Stout additionally paid in sweat. “I didn’t expect it to weigh a lot of! Despite the old panes placed back into the framework, this is a work out for us just getting it up the five steps in our loading dock to the freight lift,” he recalls.
He placed salvaged 1-by-6 boards across the rungs of the scaffolding to create storage shelves.
The final cost was $70 for assorted components and casters that allow them to roll the L-shaped screen around.
Stout rolls from the screen with ease. “We not only have more storage,” he states, “but I also didn’t expect it to become such a major conversation starter”
Here’s a peek out from within the newly defined storage area.
The newest double-paned windows may not have all of the character and history of the old windows, but now the occupants can in fact run the air conditioner or heater without even feeling like everything’s going out the chimney. “I like that they tried to honor the history by keeping similar measurements to the chimney,” Stout says. However, the location scouts have been passing , he states: “They’re trying to find the old, authentic, weathered look.”