Inspiration No. 001: SoHo Urban Loft

One of my favorite cities in the world to visit is New York City.  Its energy is like no other and its architecture is as diverse as the individuals that inhabit it.  

This week’s design is inspired by a photograph that evokes the feeling of the cast-iron architecture of SoHo.  Cast-iron architecture (mid 1800’s) is an American innovation and SoHo boasts the greatest collection in the world.  Because of the strength of cast-iron, this movement created spaces with large windows, high ceilings, and interiors that were expansive and functional.   

Start with the Furniture

In this first design I have juxtaposed different styles of furniture, textures, and colors to create a hip urban dwelling.  This design is for the individual who isn’t afraid to mix it up.  

Starting at the top of the board, you can see that the large black cabinet with glass doors has an Asian inspiration.  As a designer, I am always looking for interesting pieces that have function but also become topics for discussion.  As an avid book collector (hardbacks only) I love how the books bring this piece to life.   If I had styled this, I would have added some sculptural elements that would take this to even a higher level.

The two-tone side chair, in graphite and black leather, makes the more traditional grey chest feel unexpected and as a result, a more interesting element of the design.

I choose a sofa style that has a modern vibe and covered it in a graphic traditional pattern with a dark expresso finish on the legs.  In my space design, I faced a pair of these sofa’s and separated them by a cloverleaf configuration utilizing three of the hammered drum tables.  As I said earlier, this design is for someone who is not afraid to mix it up.  Had I used the drum table in gold, it would have been expected and as a result, pedestrian.    

Add in the Details

Custom toss pillows fabricated in the neutral, stripe, and zebra swatches combined with the ready-made jeweled and beaded pillows that appear in the bottom left-hand corner of the board finish off the sofas.  The custom pillows are self-welted, feature down inserts, and are functional.  They provide all those who inhabit the space an added touch of luxury as they stretch out to read, nap, or binge watch their favorite show.

I envision the space with stained concrete floors and chose a great black and white vintage floorcloth to add another layer to the design.  

Lighting can either make or break a good design.  Remember the cloverleaf configuration separating the sofas?  I assigned each their own dimmable black iron spherical fixture (bottom left) hung at different elevations to create a sculptural piece of art for the seating area.  Note that each are dimmable because their purpose is not to light the room, but to add ambient light.  The floor lamp is incorporated as both ambient and task lighting.  A three-way bulb allows us to use this element in dual capacities.

Choosing Colors

Lastly, I have given you a couple of different palettes for paint.  The top card is perhaps more dramatic and daring whereas the bottom more neutral and safe.  

Although my inspiration stemmed from the cast-iron architecture found in New York City in an area that is South of Howard, you can Live in this Picture wherever you call home.


Photos courtesy of our vendors: Noir, Global Views, John Richards, Spicher. Kravet, Studio A

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