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Converting a warehouse to a residence that actually feel like a home can be a tricky endeavor, requiring just the right balance of warmth and coziness while preserving the character of the space. Sometimes it’s just a matter of renovating a disused industrial or retail space to make it livable, while historic structures need a studied approach to keep from literally whitewashing right over the characteristics that make the space special.

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This might mean preserving elements like working garage doors, antique brick walls, paint-crusted beams or even original industrial equipment. For this particular remodel in Brussels by SHSH Architecture + Scenography, the challenge was making a large, open-plan space livable with new rooms that add privacy without eliminating the airy feel.

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A long, timber-clad wall encloses the master bedroom with a built-in bench running the length of it and niches to hold books and toys. A swing hangs from the old ceiling beams. Around the corner, a sliding glass door provides access to the bedroom and maintains a visual connection to the rest of the house.

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The most striking element is a massive bookcase that wraps around two sides of the children’s room, acting as a dual-duty room divider with an open ceiling. A third volume, painted green, hides the kitchen and laundry room.