San Francisco Loft Living

Decades ago New York City artists, actors and the avant-garde pioneered loft living.  Creating a new way to live these people made their own rules by converting warehouses, manufacturing spaces and industrial buildings to spacious light filled dwellings and work spaces. The first lofts had the challenges of developing kitchens, bath rooms and heating systems. The coveted open space usually had exposed brick walls, iron or timber columns, huge windows or skylights and aged wood floors. These elements were kept to complete the style of the first living lofts.

Loft living became mainstream throughout the United States as manufacturing left the hearts of cities and towns. Those who wanted the true loft experience in San Francisco defied local laws and building codes. A few loft style apartments were developed as live/work spaces in historic buildings but codes required that they be developed with plain standard kitchens, bath rooms. The true spirit of loft living was lost.

Restrictions gave birth to creativity as loft style apartments were developed South of Market. New condominium buildings with large open plan living spaces were built to satisfy the demand of those who wanted urban loft style live/work space.

INSTUDIO Design Directors were asked to develop a new design plan for a client who was in the process of purchasing a large but dated loft. The loft had great bones and lots of private outdoor space, but pure white walls, poorly refinished ebony stained floors, track lighting and plain maple cabinets made the great spaces dull and lifeless.

INSTUDIO rethought the lighting and finishes selections, then produced interesting furniture plans for the client to consider. The white color palette throughout was replaced with a warm neutral color that changes with the light:  Benjamin Moore’s Edgecomb Gray. Oak floors were refinished receiving a honey colored stain. Plain black metal stairs came alive with a new color that was inspired by aged steel. Maple cabinets throughout the loft with beautiful brown and black granite countertops were transformed with paint in complementary neutrals or black.  Basic track lighting was augmented with contemporary ball pendant fixtures.

The client was asked about her favorite color to wear for special occasions, she replied RED! The design directors selected a beautiful deep orange red as an accent wall color that can be seen throughout the loft. A new circular sofa purchased for entertaining has dramatic effect. A custom shag rug follows an angled feature wall that leads you through the space.

Loft living can feel as comfortable as any home while reflecting your life and style when you get design direction from INSTUDIO.

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