Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Meet Zen Carpentry's Chief Designer, Lizzy Zevallos

Meet Zen Carpentry's Chief Designer, Lizzy Zevallos.

Meet Zen carpentry’s chief designer, Lizzy Zevallos. An experienced architectural designer, graphic designer, and illustrator, Lizzy has an eye for re-imagining and re-shaping small spaces. She is particularly interested in clean articulated designs, and designs with a philosophy where form follows function. Lizzy has worked on a slew of interesting architectural and graphic design projects around New York City; her resume includes graphic work with the Lowline - an organization aiming to build an underground green park in the Lower East Side, and architectural designs for Capital Cooperative - a real estate development firm focused on craft condos made from locally sourced and sustainable materials.

With Zen Carpentry, Lizzy has contributed immensely to our sense of fine-customized details. She is particularly good at focusing on the lifestyle and needs of each of our clients.
Design and rendering for a simple lofted kitchen platform in Brooklyn Heights

She enjoys the ability to problem solve a particularly tricky space while giving our clients design solutions that help shape their individual lifestyles. At Zen, we are driven to satisfy our clients’ home needs while using locally sourced, sustainable, and beautiful woods. Lizzy approaches each project with openness and enjoys taking suggestions from clients as well as offering new ones.

Who are your favorite designers?:

Design for a client who wanted lots of storage and a "media room" down below
I adore Louis Kahn. He designed with a graceful simplicity and a huge attention to light. He paid close attention to the way in which people would inhabit the space, and designed buildings to create nearly spiritual experiences for those living and passing through them. By using simplicity, geometric forms, and honest materials, he made so many other-worldly transformative pieces of architecture. Check out one of his most influential projects here:

Recently, I’ve also been following Boston-based designer, Ben Uyeda. Not only does he have an architecture firm that boasts some of the best energy-performance green architecture in the United States, but he also dedicates his creativity to DIY home projects that are clever, elegant, and crafty in the most sophisticated of ways. He is true to his building materials, and always opts to use the quality of his building materials as decoration in and of themselves – whether its the grain of found wood, supportive black iron piping, or cast concrete. Check out some of his stuff here:

The Zen Cedar Container & Closet loft - designed to fit bins from the Container Store
Above: Design for a loft bed with plenty of bedroom storage - closets, drawers, and cubbies that were sized to fit a set of bins from The Container Store. Under the bed you can find an office area with a build in desk, bulletin board space and more storage cubbies. Final version below, without desk: 

This is an adaptation of an original design by Mcleod Kredell Architects in Vermont. This is a clever design for a 3 bedroom loft (two on top and one down below) with plenty of smartly placed storage units. 

Conceptual design and hand-drawn rendering of a mixed-use green building for a property in Long Island City, Queens - made for Capital Cooperative.

Lizzy Zevallos graduated summa cum laude from Middlebury College with a Bachelor in Arts focused on Architectural Design and Architectural History. There, she won the Christian A. Johnson Prize for Excellence in Architecture. Since moving to New York City, she has written and edited for Architectural Record magazine, and worked with The Lowline – an organization aiming to build an underground park in the Lower East Side. She is currently the principal designer at Zen Carpentry and Capital Cooperative.

Aside from design, Lizzy is also a visual and performance artist. Her work has been featured at Outlet Gallery and Annex Gallery in New York City. She has also performed as a professional dancer at New York venues such as Lincoln Center Jazz, Alvin Ailey City Center, Manhattan Movement Arts Center, and Dixon Place, as well as around the United States and in Europe. In commercial dance spheres, she has danced on the Today Show, in the McDonald’s B-boy Royale, and featured in dance films and music videos.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Dumbo Triple Loft with Double Staircase!

Working with smart plans from McLeod Kredell Architects, we successfully turned a large bedroom that was housing three teen/pre-teen girls into three separate bedrooms.

Included was a big double staircase, serving two separate upstairs rooms. Efficient design used every inch, offering plenty of cubby storage. The design from McLeod is quite ingenious - not a single cubic inch is wasted.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

New Double Loft with Cubby Stairs + Two Desks

We recently completed this project for two girls and their parents, on the Upper East Side. Over 14' wide double loft, with a small cubby staircase going up to a passageway in the middle. Two matching desks, too. Railing in a chestnut oak, whitewashed.

Here are the original plans:

Reclaimed Driftwood from the Banks of the Neversink Resevoir

We just acquired some handsome pieces of weathered, smoothed, fresh-water driftwood, dried on the banks of the Neversink Reservoir, upstate in the Catskills. Could be great posts, columns, rails, or balusters for your next loft bed. Could be stained, oiled, or painted.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Happy Customers, This Month

I researched for months and finally came across Zen carpentry. The tiny previously useless room my two kids share is now transformed into a magical forest like oasis. They each have their own loft beds with unique tree trunks as supports. The tree trunks even have footholds for them to climb! They have custom desks, shelves of natural wood, and curtain rods so they can enjoy some privacy. I can't begin to explain how unique, beautiful and artistic the beds and desks are. Sanders came over the day after I called and we talked over the design. He incorporated all my ideas into a workable plan. A week later the crew was at my house! Kyle, who helped with the build, was kind and extremely creative himself. He made some hangers out of extra branches for my daughters necklaces, and put the footholds on the tree trunks for my son to climb. Though you will spend more than you would for a bed in a box, for what Zen Carpentry did the price was extremely reasonable, and it's local, so much more ecological, and will transform your home!

Kira, Mother of two, Brooklyn, NY

I hired Zen Carpentry and the Sander Hicks team a week ago to build a loft bed in my son's room in Brooklyn.  Even though my son is only 8, I wanted more of a platform second floor, and less of a "kid-looking" little loft bed.  I requested it cool, open, and airy, with a simple modernist sensibility to it, but with an added railing for safety.

I couldn't be happier with what these guys put together for us!  It's a platform loft bed (similar to the one on their website that they built near the WTC), and it's truly gorgeous.  More importantly:  it's solid as a rock.  I have been in it with my son, wife, and myself, and it doesn't budge a millimeter.  I could throw a dance party up there; seriously.

Interestingly, I've lived in this apartment for almost a decade, and this is the first bit of construction i've ever done.  Why?  Because I don't like the hassles of dealing with contractors and construction persons in my small space.  Plus I didn't know how to choose one I could trust.  Well, I got really lucky here, and I want to explain why:

These are good guys.  These are the type of guys you can have comfortably in your space while you're at work.  These guys felt so trustworthy to me, and had such a pleasant, friendly vibe, I was stunned.  I plan to hire them several more times in the year to come.
Patrick, Brooklyn, NY

I recently had a loft built by Sander from Zen carpentry for my 20 year old son. After viewing photos and a visit from Sander we agreed on a design.  We were eagerly awaiting the final product. One week later we had a beautiful custom queen size loft. I told Sander that he outdid himself. The loft is amazing. It has doubled our space which is much appreciated, as city apartments can feel cramped. The room now has an open airy feel with a rustic touch, not to mention a woodsy scent that I wish would would stay for good.I would highly recommend Sander and Zen Carpentry for a custom loft. You will be thrilled with your new space, appreciate the attention to detail and enjoy a cozy new experience!

Maura, NYC