See how one designer and blogger revamped an industrial loft in the City of Brotherly Love with a masterful use of vibrant colors and patterns. The result is a sophisticated space with character and glamour. Take a tour below:
While loft living has its upside, figuring out a design scheme for these open and undefined spaces certainly presents some challenges. When designer and blogger Naomi Stein of Design Manifest moved into her Philadelphia loft, she was instantly drawn to its industrial design and close location to Philadelphia's historic district.
Since the loft had several nooks within the open space, Stein worked her décor scheme around several well-styled vignettes, divided according to function. Color and ethnic touches made the sparse space more lively, while classic and clean-lined furniture kept the look grounded.
Philadelphia Loft 1: Design Manifest, original photo on Houzz
Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: Naomi Stein
Size: 1,400 square feet; 1 bedroom
That's interesting: This apartment is like most in this part of Philadelphia—big, old factories that have been converted into loft apartments.
Stein's décor scheme was inspired mainly by her home's lofty architecture. The high ceilings, white brick walls and exposed iron beams begged for a visually interesting interior. "I wanted to keep it light, bright and modern but also bring in an interesting mix of furniture," Stein says.
Since all of the loft—except for her bedroom—is one great room, it was important for her to pay attention to floor plans and arrange the furniture in a logical and comfortable way. "Even the best furniture won't look good if it's positioned wrong," she says. "I had my furniture laid out three ways before I found the best arrangement."
Rug: Pottery Barn; coffee table: vintage; wallpaper: Nina Campbell for Osborne and Little; blue mirror: Anthropologie, repainted
Although this unique console has a refurbished-vintage look to it, Stein actually made the piece using two Ikea Rast dressers and some beautiful hardware. The result is an inexpensive console with a very expensive look. Read the full DIY on Stein's blog.
Philadelphia Loft 2: Design Manifest, original photo on Houzz
The structure of the room presented several decorating challenges, mainly because the space isn't just a simple square or rectangle. There are several awkward nooks and crannies, which led to 15 total wall sections. However, this ended up defining certain areas in the space, such as the office nook and this living room sitting area. "I really approached each wall as a separate vignette, but obviously they all had to coordinate," says Stein. "That helped me not have any dead areas or awkward corners."
Couch: Mitchell Gold Bob Williams; wood side table: vintage
Stein considers herself a furniture auction fiend and finds many of her unique pieces while browsing these one-of-a-kind events. Craigslist, eBay and thrift stores are other favorite accessory stops, while she relies on big-box stores like Ikea for fill-in pieces.
Although she wanted to keep the walls white and maintain the space's lofty feel, punctuating with color and pattern was a big part of her décor scheme. "I also gave a healthy dose of rustic, gold and lacquer to add dimension to the color. I guess the plan was to have you walk in and be overwhelmed with beauty," Stein says. "I wanted each vignette to be perfect, but I didn't want any particular element to pop out at you."
Philadelphia Loft 3: Design Manifest, original photo on Houzz
The dining chairs are refurbished vintage pieces inspired by one of Stein's favorite designers, Mary McDonald. "She does a great mix of glam and chinoiserie, and I aspire to create spaces similar to that," she says. A modern pendant helps ground this dining area in the open space, giving it a solid location in the loft.
Dining table: Docksta, Ikea; tablecloth: vintage; pendant: Structube
Philadelphia Loft 4: Design Manifest, original photo on Houzz
Blue and pink were always meant to be the main colors in the palette for the space, but Stein was careful to balance out these bold colors with neutral elements to soften them. The result is an eclectic and colorful space that feels cohesive but not matching in an overwhelming way. This desk nook, tucked into one of the loft's odd corners, makes use of this color palette with a shocking blue wall and an electric pink parsons desk.
Wall paint: Brillant Blue, Olympic; pink desk: West Elm, painted in Very Berry, Glidden; wall shelf: eBay; side tables: Rast, Ikea, repainted
Because the loft is made up of multiple vignettes, Stein wanted each area to have its own focal point. One item in each vignette was designated as the colorful or patterned piece, and the rest was a blend of wood, black, white and gold.
Philadelphia Loft 5: Design Manifest, original photo on Houzz
The space is a rental, so the kitchen came as is. While Stein would love to change out the cabinetry for something a little more her style, she was able to dress up the space with some unique vintage art, a fun rug and some friendly houseplants.
Mixing patterns is harder than it looks, but the simple and open layout of the loft gave Stein a bit more freedom to create a textured look with layers of pillows, fabric, art and wallpaper. These layered patterns add an extra level of dimension to a space that might have felt flat otherwise.
Philadelphia Loft 6: Design Manifest, original photo on Houzz
The doors in the living room lead to the bedroom—the only closed-off space in the loft. Stein was able to tone down the feel of her loft in this room, since it's not connected to the main space. The general style is the same, but it's a bit more soothing. There's less pattern and color, but this eclectic room still makes sense with the rest of the apartment.
Bed frame: Urban Outfitters; table lamp: Arteriors Home
"I knew from the beginning what I wanted to do, but it also totally evolved along the way," says Stein, pictured here with her pug, Bailey. "I love my white brick walls and really wanted my place to read neutral, but neutral infused with bohemian glamour."