When senior executive business developer John Cugasi first toured a loft for sale in Atlanta’s renovated Fulton Cotton Mill — a historic, 1880s building with a storied life — he was smitten. “It is a true city loft that is difficult to find in Atlanta, with 19-foot walls, 10-foot windows and everything that goes in tandem with industrial buildings of the period,” he says. “The space was clearly unique with well-preserved history.”
Even better, the loft was in an ideal location, in the hip, edgy and urban Cabbagetown neighborhood just east of downtown. Part of the Cabbagetown District, a historic district recognized by the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, it is known for its architecturally significant buildings and artful dwellers. “It has a truly diverse, vibrant community with access to a wide variety of culture, from street art to museums and restaurants,” John says.
The building’s bones had everything John wanted except for the outdated kitchen, which was showing age from previous tenants. He saw potential for the beautifully weathered loft to return to its rustic-contemporary roots, the focal point being a new kitchen. “I wanted to move in the direction of modern — and particularly modern industrial,” he says. “I knew Cantoni would be very strong on that front.”
He paid a visit to our Atlanta showroom, where he met design consultant Kohl Sudnikovich. Sudnikovich, who happens to have a deep appreciation for architectural history and design that speaks to a building’s soul, was instantly inspired. “The loft has an interesting past — it has weathered several natural disasters — and beautiful exposed rough beams and brick,” he says. “It just needed the perfect kitchen for the atmosphere — nothing too contemporary — but a custom design that would marry well with the space.”
Working in tandem, the duo started with cabinetry selection. They found an ideal solution in our Factory Collection by Aster Cucine, which is handcrafted in Italy from recycled materials and decades-old reclaimed wood. They selected the rustic wood cabinetry for the base cabinets and the new island Kohl designed. “The cabinetry is very unique and industrial, and has historic value in itself — it was beautifully salvaged from Italy’s iconic countryside,” Kohl says. They stacked black iron cabinetry with glass fronts above. “We thought the material would be a nice contrast to the wood,” Kohl adds, and “would pull out the rich wood grain.”
Polish came by way of a careful mix of hardware metals, from black-painted rebar to warm copper accents on island drawer-fronts. But the pièce de résistance was the coordinating Spartacus stone countertops, found in an Atlanta stone yard. “We hit it out of the park with the stone, which beautifully tied all of the metals and finishes together,” Kohl says. “It took us five seconds to determine it was the one.”
John agrees. “I especially love the way it waterfalls on the island, which has that ’wow’ factor — it provides much-needed space and is a work of art you can enjoy simply by sitting in the living room,” he says, adding that he appreciated Kohl’s direction and collaboration. “Kohl was knowledgeable and accessible, and understood the area, neighborhood and vibe. Together, we achieved exactly what I hoped.”