It’s time for an update on this post to how to create a warm downtown industrial loft. When I first moved into this Downtown LA loft over 3 years ago, I knew that the immediate energy felt cold – with its exposed pipes and concrete flooring but what I also saw was so much potential to add warmth and personality to it.
The previous owner was an art dealer so he had a ton of art and colors in the space. It was really beautiful in its own way but it didn’t feel like me. So I stripped down the bookcase that housed all of his art and books, removed the idea of having a dining table or a work desk in that space of the room and started to build a cozy corner (and kitchen!) from scratch. I needed a blank canvas to start with.
He also had a built in dark wood bookshelf as a separator between the living area and the bedroom and to me, that completely cut off the space and “breathability” of the natural openness – so down it came!
Below are some key tips on how to create a warm and inviting downtown industrial loft:
Whether it’s a bunch of pillows and cushions on the floor, or in my case, a swinging chair; always make sure you have comfortable seating where you can relax, write, meditate, and lounge. I opted for this swing. Having a central place in my home where I can journal and relax was always in my vision. Typically lofts have high ceilings so I used the height to my advantage and installed this hanging rattan chair from Serena & Lily. I have higher ceilings that can withstand the weight of a swing, so I thought why not! Plus the idea of swinging around felt very whimsy and light, so it could counter balance the industrialness of my place.
In case other people want to join me in my corner, I also have a woven ottoman from CB2 that can also double as a foot rest.
Natural lighting and lighter colors
It was really all of the natural light and huge windows that I fell in love with when I first found this loft. I loved the industrial feeling of the windows and the concrete floors, yet the space still felt soft, open, and bright with all of the natural lighting. Lighter colors in the kitchen, such as light stones made in quartz or dekton countertops also adds to the update to this otherwise colder space.
Accessorize with cushions and blankets
Part of what makes the seating cozy is the use of accessories. You can see a variety of pillows from CB (that’s where all of mine are from) and while it can get pricey if you need multiple, you can always get great finds at Home Goods. I worked with my friend and designer, Ebru Kuyak to really style this area the best. There are always so many options when you go to the store so it really helped having a professional to consult with!
The throw is more decorative in warmer months, but when it starts to get chilly I can’t wait to wrap myself up in this one from West Elm. Also since I don’t have carpeting in my home, I needed to make sure that if I wanted to sit down on the ground that I’d be able to! So I purchased this Urban Outfitters rug for its functionality but also because it added a pop of color to my otherwise monochromatic space.
Add wood textures
Wood is classic and always gives a place warmth. I have a West Elm wood stump that acts as a side table but when needed can also be added seating. It’s a good counterbalance to the concrete flooring for sure. I also added more custom pieces where I went to a local carpenter and told him my vision and he was able to create wooden cabinets for me to fit specific areas.
Decorative accent pieces
I think it’s super important to have the right mood starters in the space. Whether that is an essential oil diffuser or books to display, make sure to always have a few pieces around your home that give you a sense of calm and show your personality.
Add plant life
Adding plants into any space immediately gives it life. Because I have taller ceilings and had empty space to fill, I ended up getting two trees – a rubber tree and a Bird of Paradise. Again, there are so many options and it was a bit overwhelming. I wanted to get a fiddle leaf initially (who doesn’t?) but after speaking with Ebru she convinced me to get a larger statement, yet classic, tree like this rubber tree. Fiddles are so common and for such a unique space it needed some plants that have more personality. If you live in LA, I would suggest going downtown to the wholesale district as you can get some deals. Or you can get some more unique finds at stores like Sunset Nursery too. If you don’t live in LA, Home Depot definitely also works and I’m sure there are local nurseries to explore!
Thank you to Ebru Kuyak for helping me turn my vision into reality.