Mimi Zeiger

Critic, editor, curator and instigator.

NATALYA KASHPER sat in her minimalist living room, a light-filled space made rich with rough brick walls, a sculptural masonry fireplace and wooden ceiling joists. She looked out of the arched windows, framed in deep wood casements, and took in the view.

“I remember coming to SoHo with my mom and thinking, ‘This is so beautiful,’ ” said Ms. Kashper, who grew up in California. “SoHo is the epitome of an old American city.”

That might explain her instant attraction to the 7,200-square foot loft, which occupies the entire top floor of a landmark red-limestone building at the corner of Wooster and Broome Streets.

Ms. Kashper is one of the three architects who formed DUB Studios, a young practice with offices in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. So after Ms. Kashper and her husband, Eugene, an entrepreneur with beverage and real estate interests both in the United States and Russia, bought the property for $6.9 million in 2006, she naturally appointed herself the principal designer.

It took a year of demolition and permit wrangling before construction could begin. Then, for 10 months, she visited the job site every day— a meticulous, $2.8 million renovation that saw a Pop Art-inspired bachelor pad stripped down to its 19th-century shell.

“I went to the G.S.D., so there is definitely a line of Modernism in me,” Ms. Kashper said, referring to the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where she met Michael Piper, a partner in the firm. (She met Gabriel Sandoval, the other partner in the firm, in Los Angeles.) “But I grew up in a building family. My uncle is a contractor, my dad was an engineer — plumbing and electrical.”

Her hands-on approach was evident during a recent tour. She pointed out how the loft was gutted to reveal its original industrial charms— cast iron columns, exposed ceiling joists, arched windows — while newer mechanicals, like air ducts and gas meters, were cleverly concealed inside slick cabinetry and soffits.

“There were layers and layers of Sheetrock in every direction,” Ms. Kashper said. “Once we opened up the space and saw it raw, I was afraid to touch it.”

Indeed, her layout seems to leave the architectural bones exposed and intact. The public areas, including a sunny great room, glossy-white freestanding kitchen and a home theater, trace an L-shaped swath along the south-facing windows. Private spaces for the family, including a master suite and a modest-size bedroom for Izadora, their 2-year-old daughter, were placed along the interior party walls.

Throughout the loft, Ms. Kashper chose refined finishes to complement the industrial shell: warm wenge floors and rich mahogany (polished to a high sheen in the wine room). Inside the white-cube library, walnut bookshelves frame a square skylight.

Ms. Kashper said that a motivating force behind her open-floor plan was a large family. Natalya, 34, and Eugene, 39, emigrated from the former Soviet Union in the 1970s, along with relatives. Their aunts, uncles and cousins gather frequently for birthdays, anniversaries and weddings.

In fact, while the couple was apartment hunting, Mr. Kashper’s younger sister, Alya Kashper, got engaged. They immediately decided to host the rehearsal dinner for 150 in their new SoHo loft.

Not only did that move up the renovation schedule — the wedding was taking place in less than a year — but it dictated some of the design choices.

To accommodate wedding guests, a raised stage was built in one corner. The nook now doubles as a dining room and Ms. Kashper is at work designing a table that can expand to accommodate up to 26 people. Given that the couple is expecting another child this spring, better add another place setting.