While attic living has its upside, figuring out a layout strategy for these open and undefined spaces certainly presents some challenges. When designer and blogger Naomi Stein of Design Manifest transferred into her Philadelphia attic, she was immediately drawn to its industrial layout and close place to Philadelphia’s historic district.
Considering that the attic had several nooks within the open space, Stein worked her décor plot around a few well-styled vignettes, divided according to purpose. Color and ethnic touches made the sparse space more vibrant, while classic and clean-lined furniture kept the look grounded.
at a Glance
Who lives here: Naomi Stein
Size: 1,400 square feet; 1 bedroom
That’s interesting: This apartment is like most in this portion of Philadelphia — big, old factories which were converted into loft apartments.
Stein’s décor plot was motivated mainly by her home’s lofty architecture. The high ceilings, white brick walls and exposed iron beams begged for a visually interesting inside. “I wanted to keep it light, bright and modern but also bring in an interesting mix of furniture,” Stein says.
Since each one of the attic — except for her bedroom — is just one great room, it was essential for her to pay attention to floor plans and arrange the furniture in a logical and comfortable manner. “Even the very best furniture will not look good if it’s positioned incorrect,” she says. “I had my furniture set out three manners before I found the very best arrangement.”
Rug: Pottery Barn; coffee table: vintage; wallpaper: Nina Campbell for Osborne and Little; gloomy mirror: Anthropologie, repainted
Although this exceptional console includes a refurbished-vintage appearance to it, Stein really made the bit using two Ikea Rast dressers and a few beautiful hardware. The end result is a cheap console with a very expensive look. Read the Entire DIY on Stein’s website.
The construction of this space introduced several decorating challenges, mainly because the distance isn’t just a simple rectangle or square. There are several awkward nooks and cranniesthat resulted in 15 complete wall sections. However, this ended up defining certain areas from the space, such as the workplace nook and this living room sitting area. “I really approached each wall as a different vignette, but obviously they all had to match,” says Stein. “That helped me not have any dead areas or awkward corners”
Chair: Mitchell Gold Bob Williams; wood side table: vintage
Stein considers herself a furniture auction fiend and finds lots of her unique pieces while browsing these one-of-a-kind occasions. Craigslist, eBay and thrift stores are other preferred accessory stops, while she depends on big-box stores like Ikea for fill-in items.
Pillows: Carlos Santiago, Etsy
Although she wanted to keep the walls maintain the area’s lofty feel, punctuating with color and pattern was a significant portion of her décor scheme. “I gave a healthy dose of gold, rustic and lacquer to add dimension to the color. I guess the plan was to have you walk in and be overwhelmed with attractiveness,” Stein says. “I needed each vignette to be ideal, but I did not want any particular element to pop out at you”
Bench: Ballard Designs, coated in La Fiorentina cloth; art: vintage; cushions: scraps found from Substance Culture
The dining chairs are refurbished vintage pieces inspired by one of Stein’s favourite artists, Mary McDonald. “She does a fantastic mix of glam and chinoiserie, and I aspire to make spaces very similar to this,” she says. A modern pendant helps ground this dining room area from the open space, giving it a solid place in the attic.
Dining table: Docksta, Ikea; tablecloth: vintage; pendant: Structube
Blue and pink were always supposed to be the principal colors in the palette for the space, but Stein was attentive to balance out these daring colors with neutral elements to soften them. The end result is an eclectic and colorful space that feels cohesive although not matching in an overpowering manner. This desk nook, tucked into one of the attic’s odd corners, makes use of this color palette using a shocking blue wall and an electrical pink parsons desk.
Wall paint: Brillant Blue, Olympic; pink desk: West Elm, painted in Very Berry,Glidden; wall socket: eBay; side tables: Rast, Ikea, repainted
Since the attic is made up of several vignettes, Stein wanted each area to have its own focus. 1 item in each vignette was designated as the colorful or patterned bit, and the rest was a blend of wood, black, gold and white.
Bar cart: vintage; artwork: Nicole Cohen
The distance is a lease, so the kitchen came as is. While Stein would really like to change out the chimney for something a bit more her style, she was able to dress up the space with some unique vintage art, a fun rug plus a few friendly houseplants.
Mixing patterns is harder than it seems, but the very simple and open layout of this attic gave Stein a little more freedom to make a textured appearance with layers of cushions, fabric, artwork and wallpaper. These layered patterns include an extra degree of dimension to a space that might have felt flat otherwise.
The doors in the living room lead to the bedroom — the only closed-off space in the attic. Stein was able to tone down the feel of her attic in this room, since it’s not attached to the most important space. The general style is the same, but it’s a bit more soothing. There is less pattern and color, but this diverse room nevertheless makes sense with the rest of the apartment.
Bed frame: Urban Outfitters; table lamp: Arteriors Home
“I knew from the beginning what I wanted to perform, but it also totally evolved across the way,” says Stein, pictured here with her pug,” Bailey. “I really like my white brick walls and really wanted my location to read neutral, but neutral infused with bohemian glamour.”
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