This pair of empty nesters migrated south from Colorado to Texas and settled in the lovely historic Heights of Houston. With their human kids grown up and gone away (they still have two feline fur babies), they decided to downsize to a loft and upgrade to a more modern look. Lofts present some spacial challenges because they are small and relatively unstructured. In order to visually and functionally expand the space, design must be streamlined and free of clutter, with pieces strategically placed to add shape and form to the free flowing nature of many lofts. Ceilings that cap at fourteen feet definitely aid in opening up the area, and provide sufficient wall space for this couple's extensive art collection, but this tremendous downsize was still a challenge. See how we put their art on display, complemented by some old and new pieces of furniture, and gave their new home a modern, yet traditional and homey look.
Concrete floors and exposed brick can feel a bit cold and industrial, especially paired with the contrasting color combo of red, black, and white. In order to bring in some unifying warmth, we featured several walnut pieces throughout that blended the red-brown of the brick with the black pieces that accessorize their home.
Finding a place to sit in this living room is a nonissue. You can choose between the modern sofa bench, the pair of matching chairs, or the four red hot bar stools. To keep themselves and their fur babies happy, the couple needed to use comfy yet sturdy materials that they kitties could climb on and relax.
Speaking of seating, this modern sofa bench not only opens up the space by providing visual flow, but it also opens up the options of where to sit. The removable seat backs provide guests with endless possibilities to maximize (or even minimize!) their social interactions.
This may seem like a simple coffee table, but it is so, SO smart-- especially for this space. Though a unique shape, the triangular with rounded corners is perfectly positioned between the living room's available seating. The base faces the sofa and the other two sides face the matching chairs that seated at nearly the same angle. Still nothing can get in the way of guests chatting and gliding from space to space.
Just beyond the sofa is the dining area. Again, the sofa allows the living and dining 'rooms' to be brought together perfectly so guests can feel free to glide from space to space. Here is a great example how to blend traditional with modern: a refinished antique dining table and chairs offsets the cool edge of the modern pieces.
Perfect for parties, we equipped the dining area with a full bar cabinet to the left, and a sideboard storage to the right that can easily serve a buffet. This loft was designed for entertaining! However, the large windows may make some nosy neighbors jealous they weren't invited... Maybe next time, neighbors!
Enough talk about the furniture- let's move on to the art and accessories! When space is limited, its crucial that displayed items are always kept organized in a way that looks deliberate. Board games, books, religious symbols, family photos, and vases can all coexist on these floating shelves in a visually appealing manner because they're grouped by color and complemented by other items to be equal in height.
You can bet that I needed a ladder to install the artwork here. Tall ceilings are lovely, elegant, and elongating especially when the walls are adorned with art. This couple had a fairly extensive collection of pieces dear to them that they wanted to put on display. Even though they downsized, there was plenty of wall space to accommodate.
The paintings were continuous with the classic color scheme of red, black, and white featured in the furnishings, textiles, and other accessories. Fresh paintings subtly bring in more color to a space to make it overall more interesting.
Just to brag about these ceilings one more time, we had enough height to add not just one but TWO chandeliers! In a loft, this is a big deal. One in the living space and one in the dining area bring in just enough light to the rest of the room.
What a wonderful, fresh start for a new chapter in this couple's life together: a cool loft in a hip part of town, modern, and designed with entertaining in mind. They may be empty nesters, but their kids are sure to stop in for a visit (or maybe just a drink or two!).
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