Items in trendy loft designed to serve dual purpose: Daily living, evening entertaining
Without a good design for her loft in a hot neighborhood, my client spent two years avoiding having people over, staying in on Friday nights and dreaming of the loft life she thought she'd have. Her only obstacle was figuring out where to begin.
Since the living room was open to the kitchen and set off by a wall of windows, the first decision was the paint color. I chose a muted celery green, which gave instant warmth to the large space. The window was fantastic, and I wanted to make it a central focus. I had a window bench made to fit between the built-in bookcases on either side of the window.
The bench served two purposes: The hinged lid flipped up for additional storage, and it offered a great seat for guests. On top we lay a thick French mattress made from a high-sheen, gold-silk fabric. The bookshelves were covered with grass cloth, which rolled up for easy access. My client could hide her less-than-beautiful items behind the cloth and still get a clean look.
I had full-length panel draperies sewn from a rich gold-hewn fabric. These gave weight and definition to the window and flanked the single layer of soft sheer fabric that was fitted right to the window frame. This allowed all the light to filter through while providing privacy.
I had to think carefully about where the guests would sit. I brought in a caramel suede sofa and a few armchairs. The dining-room table, which can be used to house a buffet or bar, was pushed up against the wall, and I hid a few cube seats underneath.
Final touches such as a large hanging pendant light and dimmable wall sconces allowed for the room's mood to be changed from day to night. Mirrors went up on either wall, and floating shelves were put up to showcase my client's best conversation pieces.
The key to making a space like this serve two purposes -- everyday living and nighttime entertaining -- is careful selection of furniture. Have as many things as you can perform double duty, such as our dining-room table/bar and storage bench/window seat.