New Yorkers like to complain that their city is becoming homogenized, less like New York and more like everywhere else. A stay at Christo Holloway's one-of-a-kind Brooklyn loft will quickly dispel that notion. His building is filled with artists, designers, and photographers, and Holloway enjoys inviting his guests into his bohemian circle to experience the city's still-vibrant creative culture.
A designer, craftsman, and model-maker by day, Holloway, a frequent and popular Airbnb host, has created a unique apartment that can transform from an open space into one with several distinct zones through the use of ceiling mounted curtains and large built-in furniture. He makes clear to prospective guests that he lives in the home full-time and that there are no traditional walls. He calls his loft "an experiment in how much privacy you really need" and "flexible architecture." The result is an immersive experience in Holloway's creative world.
Curtains on ceiling tracks, hung around large built-in storage units, can be deployed to create two sleeping areas. A large kidney-shaped table with a built-in curving bench can seat more than 20 people. Holloway uses the spacious dining area to host supper clubs and birthday dinners, to which he always invites his Airbnb guests. "I've become friends with most of them," he says. "People really like to hang around."
Perhaps the loft's best asset is its view, a sweeping expanse of the East River, Lower Manhattan, and New York Harbor, which is visible both from inside the apartment and from the rooftop deck and garden. "It's a million-dollar view, you just sit and take it in," he says. He is currently building an awning and a daybed for the deck, so guests will be able to sleep outside in pleasant weather.
Holloway also grows lettuces and vegetables in containers on the roof. "People really like that you can go outside and grab a salad," he says.With a South Williamsburg location, Holloway's place is quiet at night, a relief from the hustle of Manhattan across the East River. The loft is close to a ferry stop but a 15- to 20-minute walk to the subway. "Many people just want to spend a day or two in Manhattan and then they're happy to come here to Williamsburg in the evening," he says. "Williamsburg is itself a place people want to see." By sharing his social life with his guests, Holloway enriches their stays, and they, in turn, add to the liveliness of his life without walls.