Transitioning a Sprawling Industrial Loft to a Cozy Home
The spacial openness of industrial lofts provide an excellent canvas for owners and interior designers to express a multitude of design aesthetics. While this creative freedom can be vast in the possibilities that it offers, it can also result in interior designs that — while impressive in terms of style — remain cold and fail to create a synergy with the essence of the lifestyle of those who will live in the space.
An industrial loft located in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn provides an impressive demonstration of what can be achieved in loft aesthetics when the design approach incorporates style with function and strives to create a home that is stylish, as opposed to simply a space that is stylish.
The loft, located in a building that once housed a shoe polish factory , is owned by the successful co-founder of a fragrance line and his girlfriend, a financial consultant. Both being young, well traveled and accustomed to entertaining large gatherings of family and friends, the space offered by the loft was ideal in terms of its practical application and the opportunity it offered for self-expression in their home’s interior design.
Through the professional design services of Jae Joo, the young couple were able to create an aesthetic for their loft that retained the impressive attributes that came with an open layout and 20-foot ceilings, while simultaneously achieving the cozy warmth of a home.
The concrete floor was left as is, as were the exposed brick walls and exposed concrete columns and pillars. This helped to retain the original character of the space. It also allowed for the structural elements to demarcate the eclectic mix of styles used within the space.
The largest open area was brought together by using two focal elements on opposing walls. This allowed for the huge panel windows located on the exterior facing walls to be left devoid of any window treatments. This retained the sensation of openness and also allowed for visitors to appreciate the scale of the space.
The focal element used on one of the walls was a 14-foot tall shelf unit used custom designed and built for the space. Consisting of nine tiers and with space at its base to accommodate television and a cabinet unit, its use of industrial tubing in its design and method for attachment to the wall blends in seamlessly to the overlook of the loft. Its sheer size provided the loft owners to display their collection of travel souvenirs while not diminishing from the scale of the space.
As the focal element for the opposite wall, an eclectic mix of framed photography and taxidermy samples were used hung in a gallery format. Again, this utilized elements that were intimately personal to the owners to soften the coldness of the space without sacrificing the majesty of its scale.
The furnishing selection was determined by the practical needs of the couple’s entertainment habits and the size of the space. Nearest the wall where the gallery was placed, there is a large marble-top dining table which can easily accommodate ten diners. While immense in scale, when not in use it is easy to make it into a complimenting element to the space by using large, yet unobtrusive, decorative items on the table itself.
The main living area consists of a large sectional sofa that receives plenty of light from the large windows. The sectional rests on a blue pattern rug that helps to segment the space without deterring from the open-air feel.
The kitchen area was warmed up by using a large black marble top island. Due to the distance from the windows, the use of a dark marble not only creates a separate sense of space for the kitchen, but it also allows for artificial lighting used in conjunction with the natural light from the front of the loft to blend together, creating a buffer space where natural light blends in with artificial lighting.
The end result of using a few select custom-built pieces in conjunction with large scale furnishings not only allowed for plenty of space for the loft owners to express their own sense of style, but was also able to retain the scale of the space while making it welcoming and cozy. This style of loft design can definitely serve as inspiration for those with similar spaces.
Images: HOMEPOLISH, Photos by Julia Robbs