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Posts Tagged ‘contemporary furniture’

Contemporary Loft Furniture Ideas for the Dining Room

Friday, March 11th, 2011

A loft apartment’s wide-open spaces, high ceilings, large and/or numerous windows, exposed pipes, ducts or beams are very appealing. But these are the very features that can present the loft dweller major decorating challenges when planning a dining room in an open concept living space. Whereas you will most likely want clearly defined areas for sleeping and relaxing while watching television, it makes “sense” for the dining area to flow into the other living spaces in your loft.

Open Concept Dining

A dining room, whether it’s formal or informal, generally has an intimate feel about it because the space has walls; the intimacy factor can be further enhanced by the wall color that is chosen for the dining room. In a loft apartment you will not have those options since your dining set and any other dining furniture you select for the dining area will be out in the open. Here are a few ways to create a cozy atmosphere for a loft dining “room”:

  • Put an area rug on the floor
  • If there is no ambient lighting directly above the dining table, add a pendant or a chandelier that is on a dimmer switch
  • Feature a picture or print, especially if your dining furniture will be opposite a wide expanse of wall, that projects an intimate or cozy ambiance

Contemporary Loft Dining Furniture

The most important aspect about a loft dining area is to choose a dining set that makes a statement. It will be the focal point of the loft space as a whole rather than just the immediate dining area.

You don’t necessarily have to create walls, but if you would like to project a definitive end of the dining zone and the beginning of the next functional space, position a sideboard, buffet or credenza in such a way that it acts as a boundary between the two.

There are no hard and fast rules; there is no reason why you can’t have more than one eating area. While the main dining area can stand in for the formal dining room of a house or condominium, you could place counter stools around a kitchen island or add a gathering table at the opposite end of the loft as a place to have breakfast or a casual meal.


Thanks for joining me for this 3-part Contemporary Loft Furniture Ideas series. Come back next week when I will begin a new 3-part discussion on how to design a games room for your family.

Contemporary Loft Furniture Ideas for the Living Room

Friday, March 4th, 2011

In terms of a décor design project, a loft apartment is a blank page – it is a large, open space, often with cement or brick walls, cement floors, ductwork, bare pipes and exposed beams made of wood or steel. A loft space is like no other type of home: don’t treat it like it is. The appeal of a loft is its edgy modernity. Get creative; be inventive; take “expressing yourself” to a whole new level. In the second part of this series, I will be discussing contemporary loft living room furniture ideas and decorating tips for the living room.

Pick a Spot

In a house or a condo, the living room is typically the main room for relaxing, personal downtime and entertaining; it’s no different in a loft apartment. Because a loft design floor plan is essentially open concept, you will have to choose a location for your living area. Pick a spot that makes sense and reflects your lifestyle. If you like to, for example, have people over to watch game, for cocktails or just hang out, it would be good to have your living room closer to the kitchen rather than at the opposite end of the loft.

Take advantage of any architectural features in the loft that would enhance your living area such as a skylight, the view from a specific window or support beams and/or pillars that can define the living room from the other areas in the apartment. If there is an accent or freestanding wall, you want to reserve that for your entertainment center. Don’t forget to identify all of the other areas you will require. In addition to needing a bedroom, and living and dining areas, would you like a pair of contemporary club chairs by your favorite window or a home office?

Create the Illusion of Walls

The main challenge that you will have when decorating a loft apartment, is that you will have only four walls. The option of putting the large pieces of furniture against the walls of each zone like the bed in the sleeping area or the sofa and the entertainment center in the living area will be limited. You will have to give some careful consideration to the actual placement of your living room furniture, taking power sources into account. To create the illusion of walls and to define the separate zones of your living room area from the rest of the apartment use living room furniture pieces like an entertainment center or modular bookshelf. When considering using a certain piece of furniture as a screen, boundary or “wall” take into account whether or not the back is finished (can be seen) or unfinished (can’t) – some manufacturers leave the backs of case goods unfinished if they are not meant to be viewed from all angles.

Loft Living Room Furniture

Because of its edgy, industrial origins, loft living room furniture should reflect its environs. For a minimalist feel select modern style furniture with geometric lines and angular or asymmetrical profiles. These living room furniture pieces would have absolutely no decorative detail and are typically made from space-age materials.

If modern is too “stark” for you, contemporary style shares some of the same design principles as modern, but lines are less angular, profiles less uniform.

Another way to define the living room from the rest of the loft apartment is to choose a sectional as your sofa and position it so that it functions as a partition.

Since you are living in a loft space and storage will be at a premium, pick specific living room furniture pieces like a coffee table or end tables that include plenty of hidden storage.

Come back next Friday for Contemporary Loft Furniture Ideas series pt 3 when I will be discussing how to design a contemporary dining area for your open concept apartment.

Contemporary Loft Furniture Ideas for the Bedroom

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Often the first image that springs to mind when “loft” is mentioned is an industrial space with high ceilings and plenty of room that has been converted into residential use. But loft apartments come in all sizes and shapes, from small to large to multi-level. No matter what size of loft apartment you are decorating, contemporary and modern are the two most popular styles when decorating a loft apartment. If you’re proud of your new home but you’re wondering where to start, today I begin a new style series that focuses on contemporary loft furniture ideas for the bedroom.

A loft apartment is all about the space; not just in terms of how much room but the physical space itself. Because of its industrial or converted nature, the appeal of loft living is the unexpected – it could manifest itself in high ceilings complete with ducts or pipes; exposed wood or steel beams; or long expanses of brick or concrete walls interrupted only by large windows. Since loft design is typically open concept, your “bedroom” will be seen from the other living areas in the space. Don’t be intimidated. Allow your imagination to soar and celebrate the possibilities.

 Pick a Spot

In some loft design floor plans, the bedroom is enclosed but usually it isn’t. If there is no designated area for the bedroom, you will have to select the area you would like to place the bed. Take advantage of the windows by placing the bed in front of them for maximum natural light or across to take advantage of the view.

Another common place for a loft bedroom is up. In a multi-level loft, the sleeping area is only accessible by staircase. Before going shopping for contemporary bedroom furniture for your loft apartment, even if you plan on purchasing RTA (ready-to-assemble) furniture, make sure that you will be able to get your bedroom furniture pieces up a loft staircase.

Create the Illusion of Walls

While open concept design is fine for the rest of the loft apartment, when it comes to the bedroom, most of us like a little privacy. You can create the illusion of a standard bedroom by using bookcases, shelving units or stackable organizer cubes as “walls” to separate your sleeping area from the rest of the apartment. Another option is a room divider or decorative screen. Choose a type of bookcase or room divider with an “open” or transparent design; you don’t want to block out light or make the space dark.

Loft Bedroom Furniture

Select furniture for your loft bedroom that will be in scale with the other furnishings in the space. This simply means don’t think you have plenty of room for oversized nightstands and a king size then find out you only have room a loveseat and a small end table in your living room.

Consider storage: you might have lots of open space but only one main closet. Choose nightstands with all drawers instead of ones with just legs or a shelf. Buy a bed or platform bed with an underbed storage system of some kind. As well as the standard bedroom set, find ways to add case goods like an armoire, lingerie chest or chest of drawers to your loft bedroom design.

Designing a loft bedroom and selecting the right bedroom furniture for the space will payoff big dividends in terms of comfort and style. Come back next Friday for Contemporary Loft Furniture Ideas series pt 2.

Contemporary Style that’s Black and White

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Etagere in Carbon Black

Decorating a room in contemporary style is a good choice when a traditional style living space makes you feel like you can’t relax and modernism has the same effect, but a different reason – it appears cold or bare to you. But what is contemporary style? Contemporary style and modernism are often mistaken one for the other or the terms are used as synonyms to describe just one style. As discussed earlier this month in my mini series on modern interior design, modernism has virtually no decorative detail; lines are angular; and profiles are typically geometric but just as often asymmetrical. While both contemporary and modern emphasize geometric forms and clean lines, contemporary furnishings incorporate decorative detail and profiles are more relaxed and tapered or curved rather than angular.

Today, we will design a bedroom, living room and dining room starting with what might easily be described as a typical modern color palette of strict neutrals – gentle beiges, well-defined grays or pearl whites but pairing it with black and white furniture. At first glance, it might appear too simple, but even though the lines and profiles of these pieces could be called modern, the look is definitively what I like to call urban contemporary. Urban contemporary furniture is ideal for apartments or condos because furnishing tend to be smaller in scale. And it’s all in the details; a mix of wood and metal paired with black and white for a look that is sophisticated yet truly comfortable.

The Urban Contemporary Bedroom

Black Bed

The Lexington Black Ice Graphite Panel Bed 5 Piece Bedroom Set in Carbon Black is perfectly suited to an apartment or condo bedroom. The platform bed, even though it stands low to the floor, is visually impressive because of its tall leather headboard with a sleekly polished nailhead trim. It actually makes the room feel larger. The metal decorative detail of the headboard is reinvented in the hardware used for the dresser, chest of drawers and nightstand. Look closely – the drawer pulls resembles filing cabinet hardware, giving these case goods a unique appearance.

Since the furniture is predominately black, we want to bring white into the room for contrast. Shag area rugs are making a comeback. A large white one will provide plenty of contrast as well as a cushy place for toes. Select bedside table lamps with a polished silver metal base and white shades. Tie the furniture in with the floor covering by choosing black and white bedding. Personalize this room with the accessories and finishing touches that are right for you and you will have created a bedroom a contemporary urban flair that will be a comforting as it is esthetically appealing.

The Urban Contemporary Living Room

Carbon Black

Urban contemporary is also exclusively suited to the open concept design that is becoming so popular in today’s living spaces when the living merges into the dining area and the boundary of the kitchen might be defined by a breakfast bar or counter. I like the crisp look and feel of the Lexington Black Ice Sapphire Leather Sofa in White and the spectacular effect it has in the room when it is matched with the Lexington Black Ice Tungsten End Table in Carbon Black. Although it doesn’t provide such a dramatic contrast as the silver nailhead trim on black, the metal accents lend this leather sofa a chic designer look. As mentioned above, it’s all in the details, and the tabletop’s polished silver inlay is proof positive. Brushed metal, highly polished metal or glass accents are a common characteristic of urban contemporary style.

The Urban Contemporary Dining Room

7 Piece Dining Table

The Lexington Black Ice Platinum Dining Table  7  Piece Dining Set in Carbon Black is everything you want dining furniture to be – practical, functional, comfortable and beautiful to look at. The china cabinet has beveled glass doors with a chic “X” groove for that perfect stylish touch. The dining chairs are leather with tapered backs and legs and backrests that have silver nailhead trim. This tabletop also has a silver inlay, while the reflective surfaces of the table legs add another dimension to this urban contemporary design.

The emphasis of urban contemporary is on functional furniture that is cleverly disguised as chic and contemporary. The result is furnishings that reflect an urban lifestyle that demands flexibility and practicality with a metropolitan flair.

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