Two artists transform a 19th-century carriage house into a home where they can both live and create.
Beverly O’Mara, an artist and teacher, and Mark Uriu, owner of a residential painting and finishing company, needed a place to work from home. So in 2014 the couple embarked on transforming a 2,700-square-foot loft located in an 1890 Wells Fargo horse-and-carriage facility in Jersey City, New Jersey, into a flexible art studio and residence.
To make their redesign happen, the couple approached local architect Jeff Jordan. In deference to the building’s most notable aspects—a historic facade, brick walls, steel beams, and an 18-foot-high ceiling—Jordan opted for a no-frills palette of AC plywood and painted drywall, a simple yet aesthetically pleasing approach that fell within the couple’s budget of $250,000.
The cabinetry was built on-site, another cost-saving measure. "As artists who planned to work in the space, they weren’t interested in a refined, shop-fabricated system," Jordan says. "Instead, we were able to work with a skilled carpenter who turned the space into a basic shop and built everything at a fraction of the cost."