My 1400sqft: Photographer Sasha Maslov embraces DIY design in his Navy Yard loft

August 23, 2016

Our ongoing series “My sqft” checks out the homes of 6sqft’s friends, family and fellow New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to a photographer’s Brooklyn Navy Yard loft. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!

If you’re a regular reader of the New York Times, Forbes or the Observer, you’ve probably found yourself lingering over one of Sasha Maslov‘s photographs. Over the last few years, the Ukranian-born photographer has focused his lens on everyone from Mary Lousie Parker, Elvis Costello, and Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen to notable economist Joseph Stiglitz and real estate mogul Douglas Durst. While Sasha’s world appears to be all about capturing striking images of famous and fascinating people, his creativity extends well beyond the 2D format. 

On the border of the Brooklyn Navy Yard is a 1,400-square-foot loft that’s been custom-outfitted from corner to corner by Sasha himself. A self-taught craftsman, his hallway closet hides a compact woodshop that’s allowed him to turn his once stark and wall-less apartment into a multi-room home filled with hidden storage and imaginative furniture. Sasha recently invited 6sqft to take a tour of his space, and let’s just say if he ever decides to quit photography, he’s definitely got a future in industrial design.

sasha maslov brooklyn navy yard loft/studioThe coffee table is from the Navy Yard and was used to move heavy items from Navy ships to the warehouse; The typewriter atop the table he found in the basement of the building and the giant spool is from a flea market; The couch he got from a set builder and he’s told has “been used in many movies”

sasha maslov brooklyn navy yard loft studio tableSasha also uses the space as a photo studio, hence the bare walls; The Framed artworks are from various friends; Sasha also built the dining table which expands to seat four more and hold cutlery


6sqft_sasha_0019Sasha’s kitchen is a mix of IKEA items and DIY contraptions using parts found at Home Depot and various flea markets; The cabinets to the left of the kitchen he built himself; The high school basketball player prints are by photographer Michael Carbone; The hanging ceramic plates are from his neighbor who also runs design studio A Space

What brought you to NYC?

Sasha: I would say photography and the search for something new and exciting did it.

How did you find your apartment?

This one I found through an agent. But they wanted 50 percent of the first month’s rent so I just went back to the building myself and found the building owner directly.

sasha maslov brooklyn navy yard loft/studio

sasha maslov brooklyn navy yard loft studio work space

sasha maslov brooklyn navy yard loft/studioMixing DIY and direct order: Sasha’s chairs are all designer knock-offs he found on Houzz; The cameras set on the shelf above his work area he’s shot with; His work desks are from IKEA; All of his past prints are archived, including those from his highly acclaimed “Veterans Project,” which will be turned into a book by Princeton Architectural Press and released next year

The area’s changed a lot in the last few years and there’s even more to come. How do you feel about this? What’s changed the most in your eyes?

The Navy Bar disappeared, Rope bar closed, which was the first bar I ever attended in New York. To be fair, a couple of good places opened but it’s slowly being gentrified just like many other parts of Brooklyn—it’s just not as fast. But I guess that’s what is happening everywhere.

sasha maslov brooklyn navy yard loft bathroom wal

sasha-maslov-brooklyn-navy-yard-loft-bathroomThe photos in the bathroom are a mix of personal images and those he found in his native Ukraine; His father is also a photographer and several of his pieces can be found on the wall; All of the frames are from the Ukraine, as is the street sign the candles sit above

Is there anything you wish was different about the Navy Yard?

It would be very nice if the rent was lower. In my area specifically, it would nice to have at least one good bar.

What do you like best? What are some of your favorite spots?

This area is great because it’s so desolate. For people who get around on public transportation it’s awful, but for me it’s perfect. It’s not crowded here, fairly quiet—except for the soothing thump of cars on the BQE—and it’s very close to the city, where I mostly have my shoots.

Spots: I’ve been going to Peck’s for lunch a lot. Roman’s in Fort Greene is very good. Fort Greene Park is lovely, of course.

sasha maslov brooklyn navy yard loft studio bedroom

sasha maslov brooklyn navy yard loft clock

sasha maslov brooklyn navy yard loft/studio

sasha-maslov-brooklyn-navy-yard-loft-studio-bedroom2The cross shelf, bed, hanging speaker cases, and night stands are built by Sasha; The photos on the bottom right are family photos

A lot of your furniture and built-ins are DIY. Where do you get inspiration for your designs?

Sometimes I see something on tumblr or in a store and take a note of it. Most of the times it’s a combination between what the inspiration was, what materials I have available, and how much time I can compromise on a project. I’m not very good, so it takes me much longer to build something and make it look nice.

sasha maslov brooklyn navy yard loft studio closet 2In addition to building a cool asymmetric dresser, Sasha also built the lofted bed and closet it sits under—his first project in the loft

What’s your favorite piece you’ve built?

Probably the dresser.

What’s your favorite thing about your apartment?

The feeling of home.

sasha maslov brooklyn navy yard loft bike shelf

sasha maslov brooklyn navy yard loft/studioThe two bike shelves above are more of his creations

How would you describe your interior design style?

Modern bullshiteque.

What are some of your favorite places to find furniture and objects for your house?

Most of the furniture here is DIY, but for the smaller objects and things, I really like to explore stores outside of New York. Wherever I go I find a flea market or some antique store and buy one or two things. That helps me bring little memory back, but also a useful object.

sasha maslov brooklyn navy yard loft/studio

You’ve photographed a lot of famous people, but who has been your favorite subject so far?

I don’t think I have an absolute favorite subject, but I have gotten to meet some very fascinating characters. The most interesting people are not necessarily the famous ones. My mom is probably my favorite, actually.


All photos taken by Martina Maffini and Michael DePasquale exclusively for 6sqft. Photos are not to be reproduced without written permission from 6sqft.

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