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How to create your own NYC loft at home

The industrial-style spaces of New York City apartments are quickly becoming a strong influence for decorators and designers around the world. Industrial conversions make for grungy spaces with loads of personality and opportunity for design innovation with high ceilings and exposed features.

While we can’t all go out and buy ourselves a brand new warehouse-converted apartment (although they’re all the architectural rage in Australia at the moment), we can bring a little bit of NYC cool into our own homes with a few simple design and renovation tips.

Choose a crisp and simple colour palette

Choose a simple but striking colour palette for your space. Monochrome is popular, where crisp white walls are balanced with black or charcoal features such as a floor to ceiling bookcase, or chrome window framing.

Monochrome is ever stylish, and a great choice for those planning on selling in the future. When the space is empty, white walls will bring in loads of light and make the room look bigger. It also allows potential homebuyers to imagine bringing the space to life themselves with their own favourite colours and art work.

The best thing about a simple colour palette is it means you can really dress your space up with art, furniture and ever-changing soft furnishings, keeping your space fresh and colourful (more about this below!). If you do want to bring a splash of colour to the walls, choose a striking and bright colour such as turquoise or fire red.

Expose any features

One of the key features of an industrial-style New York apartment is exposed building elements. Brick walls, ceiling beams, pipes and concrete flooring bring the industrial feel to life in New York apartments and warehouse conversions. Now we understand this may not be possible for all home decorators, but there’s no harm in exploring whether you can expose a brick wall or beams in your ceiling. Depending on your home’s age, exposing brick could be as simple as chipping away at the plaster of your walls, re-grouting and coating with a sealant to finish. (But be sure to know what’s underneath before you try!). If you’re re-flooring, try polished concrete or natural timber. Keep your wood floors minimally-treated to ensure a rustic, grungy look. If you can’t expose the structural features of your space, try using furniture with wrought-iron frames and untreated timber. Choosing industrial-style lighting and hanging pendants is a trend popping up in New York-inspired homes.

Play with scale

One of the key features of an NYC apartment is big open spaces, high ceilings and oversized furniture and furnishings. If you don’t have a big space to start off with, large furniture will just make it feel even smaller, so choose a floor to ceiling art work such as a wall mural, some giant cushions or a big lamp to mix up the scale of the apartment and bring in some large, striking features.

Beauty in chaos

The best thing about a New York-style loft is that they start with a simple base, so no matter what furnishings and décor you bring into the room, it will work. Let go of the need to make sure everything matches and go crazy with things you love. If you see a bright orange ottoman you must have, buy it – even if you’ve chosen green cushions for your couch. If you find a piece of art you love, but you’re not sure whether it will complement your furniture – who cares? Anything goes in an NYC loft! An undecorated New York-style apartment can feel a little bit cold and clinical, so bring it to life with your own personality and show off your style. Don’t forget to fill the space with things that inspire you such as art and books. If you’re not sure where to start with the artwork in your home, pop art or art deco pieces could be the way to go. Soft furnishings such as rugs, cushions and throws will help you bring some balance and warmth to the space, and you can change them regularly to keep your rooms fresh and inspired. Your space is all about you, and with a NYC loft-inspired home, you can pretty much throw out the rule book and do whatever you want when it comes to your decorations. It’s about finding what you love and letting your room flow with it.

Photo Credit: Semio via Compfight

Photo Credit: WanderingtheWorld via Compfight

Photo Credit: this_could_be_my_house via Compfight

Richard Tarrant - Bio

Richard Tarrant - Founder and CEO of PictureStore Pty Ltd
Richard is founder and CEO of PictureStore and has worked since October 2000 to make wall art accessible to all Australians. Google+

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