A Look Inside A Midtown Loft Turned Real Estate Office

Nika Jusufi transformed her family’s Midtown loft space into her real estate office.
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Photograph by Sasha Marceta

Often, when a couple has a child and lives in a city loft, they make the decision to move into a house with more space and outdoor areas for their family. Nika Jusufi did just that, but there wasn’t a chance she’d sell the renovated loft she and her husband lived in before moving. It was just too cool. So, what to do with the space? Make it an office.

Earlier this year, Jusufi moved her office from Eastern Market into what was formerly her home. Her real estate business, Nika & Co., which she founded in 2020, sells real estate in southeast Michigan, with a niche in historic homes and lofts in Detroit.

The home-turned-office, located in the two-story Stuber-Stone Lofts on Cass Avenue in Detroit’s Midtown area, is perfect for the entrepreneur and her two full-time real estate agents — it’s spacious and modern, providing a wonderful opportunity for holding special client events. The historic building, constructed in 1916 as an auto dealership, was even once a hideout for the infamous Purple Gang (a mob of bootleggers who operated out of Detroit in the 1920s).

Jusufi and her husband, Gjon Elezovic, rented an apartment in the building many years ago, she explains, and then purchased it five years ago before revamping and updating its design. “When we purchased it, it was very beige and sad. We cleaned up the lines, expanded the laundry room, and updated the kitchen and bathroom.”

To help them transform the space into an office, the couple called on Maranto Design Co. in Detroit.

“The firm’s Alex did a phenomenal job,” Jusufi says, “working with what we had and bringing in some vintage pieces. She was really methodical, providing many options.”

The couple and their 18-month-old child, Leonardo, now live in the city’s Boston-Edison neighborhood. The busy mom says her two Detroit spaces (office and home) complement each other and are total opposites. She goes from a modern, light-filled Scandinavian-style design by day to a historic beauty with intricate millwork at night.

“They’re both beautiful worlds,” she says.

“The idea behind my office is that it doesn’t feel like an office; it feels like a cool lobby. It’s important to be inspired by your environment if you’re working in it.” Her favorite feature is the “surprise element,” she says, “when you walk in through a long, narrow hallway and turn the corner into a bright work area. It’s a jaw-dropping moment.”

A look inside her office showcases a nod toward midcentury style, apparent from the furnishings to the artwork — perfect for this vibrant region of the city.

Photograph by Sasha Marceta

Layout

The loft features a bi-level design.

High there!

The former living room, with 16-foot-tall ceilings, is considered the office’s lounge area.

Let’s meet

The conference table on the upper level is maple, by furniture company Ethnicraft.

You gotta have art

All of the large abstract paintings were created by Jusufi’s husband, Gjon Elezovic, a painter and car designer.

Sideboard style

A George Nelson black sideboard features a long, cabinet-style look with sliding doors and short feet.

Choice chairs

The lounge area’s two large, comfortable chairs upholstered in a tan suede (page tk) are from CB2. The two black leather chairs (left) are by Mies van der Rohe. The chairs in the dining area and kitchen are by Eames and Bertoia.

You’re benched!

A restored midcentury bench in the lounge area is by Bertoia and is a nice spot for a couple of coffee-table books and a textural throw.

Light fantastic

“The many large windows allow for a lot of natural light, which makes it feel as if you’re outdoors,” Jusufi says. Light also comes from gorgeous fixtures including the dining room pendant from Flos and sconces throughout from Tom Dixon.

Kitchen confidential

The couple aimed to keep the kitchen’s design simple, Jusufi shares. “We reconfigured the space [it was U-shaped] and splurged on the black-with-white-veins marble counters.” Cabinets are from Ikea and made in Italy.

Check out photos of Nika Jusufi’s real estate office


This story is from the September 2023 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more in our digital edition. And click here to see more metro Detroit interiors.