How to Create a Cool Downtown Vibe in Any Space
Just hearing the word loft conjures up cool imagery of open-plan living rooms, exposed-brick walls, structural elements, and industrial vibes. Converted warehouses or former manufacturing buildings fuse old and new with ease, for an edgy space with a ton of attitude. These über-trendy conversions typically dominate hip neighborhoods like the East and West Village, Chelsea, SoHo, Union Square, and the funkier Flatiron District in Downtown New York. But you don’t have to live in the Big Apple to own a cool loft-like space. Our simple tips showcase how to style your home with a downtown vibe wherever you are.
Open plan is synonymous with the loft interior style. Since New York is notorious for small spaces, this simple design trick gives the room a spacious appearance, even if it's not. To ensure it stays looking that way, carefully consider your furniture placement. Even if your home isn't open plan, you can give off the essence of one by thinking about your furniture placement. Once you've decided on your pieces, move them around, really work the space, and play with it, making sure to leave ample "white space" for breathing room.
Since these apartments are typically converted warehouses or old industrial buildings, there will usually be a few exposed-brick walls throughout the space. We suggest styling your interior around these historic features for a cool Old World-meets-new mashup. Midcentury modern furniture, industrial lighting, frameless mirrors, and decorative accents in various metals always pair well with the brick color and texture. If your home doesn't have an exposed-brick wall, then maybe there is one hiding underneath just waiting to be shown off. You could hire a contractor to find out or opt for a brick wall decal or concrete wallpaper to give your room that industrial feel.
If you've always wanted to put a pair of 1970s Milo Baughman floating cube armchairs next to a French-inspired occasional chair, then now's the time. Lofts are notorious for housing a variety of furniture in differing eras, styles, and conditions without clashing. If it's your first time testing this design style, then the dining room is a great place to start.
With so much open space, towering high ceilings, and exposed brick walls, it's time to curate a gallery wall. The revered design feat is a creative collection of artworks ranging in height, position, and style. From new artists to flea-market finds, the gallery wall is a humble dedication to all forms of creative expression. Even if your interior doesn't include these features, the gallery wall is easily achieved on any wall space—now you just have to learn how to hang one.
Dedicate your bedroom to the art of sleeping by keeping the design to a minimum. The exposed feel of a loft-like room welcomes minimal, fuss-free style, so your boudoir should be simplified to only include the necessities, plus a few sentimental pieces for comfort and added pleasure. Luxe white cotton sheets are essential to get the look.
An indoor swing is the epitome of studio chic. As far as we're concerned, those soaring ceilings are just asking for one. Even if you don't have the lofty roof, we've seen cute swing styles hanging from lower ceilings too. So bring out your inner child and add a touch of whimsy and romance with a simple swing in your living room. It will be the highlight of your dinner parties; who wouldn't want a turn on a chic swing? Depending on the style you choose, it can add an industrial vibe or a bohemian mood.
The loft apartment style lends itself to a high-low mix of furniture and accessories. Fuse an Eero Aarnio couch with a thrifted coffee table, a vintage pendant lamp from the local flea market, and new furnishings from your favorite high-street brands. This beautiful blend of old and new is where the magic happens. Experiment, mix it up, clash a little, and above all, enjoy the process.
Are you a fan of the downtown loft style?