Concrete floors, white walls, massive windows and tall ceilings – industrial lofts are loved by interior designers as they truly act as a blank canvas. However imbuing a cozy vintage charm in a bright loft space can also be challenging. Exposed mechanical ductwork, cold and hard surfaces (visually and literally). These elements give a sense of austerity which might scare people away. Where do you start when trying to soften up the space? Do you have to paint those big white walls, maybe cover up every surface? No I tell you! Why hide that which makes the space unique?
In this Chicago Bucktown loft designed by yours truly, the goal was to enrich the stark white interior by adding layers of texture and subtle patterns. Green and orange are nearly complimentary colors so they play off each other beautifully. The lush green velvet button tufted sofa, is flattered by its surrounding rich leather armchair and side table. I have products linked below so you can also get the look, or create your own take of it! Some items are exactly the same, and others are similar versions which I would recommend.
The best way to ground a bright and airy space is mixing in black tones. However, to avoid a super monochromatic look and warm up the space, I recommend adding in natural features such as wood, cane or dried stems like pampas grass. This can soothe the high contrast of black and white.
I love this casual desk space tucked behind the sofa and main seating area. Having a desk in a living room can sometimes read and feel a bit too corporate for a space where you’re otherwise looking to relax. However this is a relaxed yet chic option. It may be more suited for rather laid back work scenarios, and not a typical 9-5 desk job (where you’d probably want storage, adjustable chair etc). Nevertheless, what’s great about this set-up is that it’s quite multifunctional. Both the desk and its chair are informal enough to where you can use this area for other activities. I see this as a great cocktail table during a party, or space to do arts and crafts.
Moving onto the bedroom, we had a little bit of fun here with pattern on pattern. For the longest time, I was afraid of using all patterns except for stripes. However after working for Soho House I’ve learned to appreciate them and use them to a space’s advantage. This wallpaper has a marbled effect which mimics the marble base of the bedside lamps. The back pillows are in a Zak + Fox fabric (who by the way make some of my favorite patterned textiles ever). You might also notice the channel tufted headboard is in a dark green fabric, so it plays off the rust orange pillow in front similarly to the scheme in the living room. Normally I wouldn’t necessarily match the colors of a bedroom and living room, however since this loft had a pretty small footprint it helped the space feel more cohesive.
Last but not least, vanity or dresser styling is one of my favorite things in an interior. Mainly because it’s a space for completely meant for self care. It’s not about eating, working, cleaning or some other activity – it’s all about feeling good (and ok maybe getting dressed too). Personally, I think the space should feel calming, and inspiring in an unforced way. A serene artwork, scented candle and couple objects you love will do the trick.
So in summary, these are the key points taken from the examples above;
- Complimentary colors across layers of materials and textures pleases the eye
- Blacks alongside natural tones grounds yet softens the space
- Don’t make it too formal – casual is more cozy
- Pattern on pattern adds a sense of fun and playfulness (again less formal)
- Calming areas catered to self-care are immensely important in creating a homely haven
I hope you enjoyed this post and got some ideas flowing from it 🖤 Let me know in the comments below!
All photos by Margaret Rajic, courtesy of Blueground. Styling by Emerie Forehand.
*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.
November 28, 2020