How to decorate a loft: Nine gorgeous ideas

Who doesn't love the idea of high ceilings, expansive spaces and walls of windows? Industrial style gets a serious hit of cozy when Sarah Richardson and her team get their hands on it.
By Sarah Richardson; Photos by Stacey Brandford

Lofty living

Create a stunning art wall with everyday snapshots

Don't be discouraged if you're on a tight budget for art. You can make your own! All of these images are close-up details of urban graffiti that we took on a digital camera (a point-and-shoot can work wonders). The frames are ready-made and come complete with mats, so all you need to do is select your favourite shots, blow them up at your local photo shop and pop them into the frames for a fabulous gallery wall, at a price you can afford.

Sarah's gallery secret: "To get the best results with a salon-style wall, I keep the width and height between frames consistent, so the collection reads as a unified whole."

Get this look: Lamps, Patina Antiques, 416-862-8880. Paint, Dug Out, Para. Photo printing, Toronto Image Works. Frames, Ikea. Side table, footstool, All Most Antiques, 416-466-9724. George sofa and chairs, Sarah Richardson Design. Sofa fabric, Designer Fabrics Online. Polka dot pillow fabric, Lee Jofa. Coffee table, Guff. Vintage green bottle, The Door Store. Vintage Antlers, Abraham's Trading Inc, 416-504-6210.

Living room, prints on wall, Jan 13, p63

Install a colourful DIY backsplash

Your backsplash doesn't have to be made of tile or stone. Get creative! We made this eye-catching number by painting wood pieces in varying widths and gluing them together. We chose colours to complement the room and lightly sanded the wood for a distressed look. Then we treated it with urethane and finished it with a piece of tile edging at the top.

Sarah's kitchen secret: "Extra counter surface always comes in handy, but installing an island can be pricey. For the most affordable way to add counter space, consider a prep table from a restaurant-supply company. Made of stainless steal with sturdy wheels, it can be easily relocated for entertaining."

Get this look: Paint, P5244-520, Para. Sconce, Sesco Light. Vintage Gears, Legacy Vintage. Green glass, Urban Barn. Rubrik doors, counters, sink, faucet, shelf brackets, Ikea. Cabinet hardware, Lee Valley. Wood backsplash, Lowes. Glasses, West Elm. Stainless island base, Nella Cutlery. Metal stools, Elte. Perforated vintage candleholders, Abraham's Trading, 416-504-6210.

Kitchen, Stainless steel appliances, Jan 13, p64

Choose a massive wood table in a live-work space

A giant table made from reclaimed wood takes centre stage in the dining area of this live-work space and does double duty as a boardroom table and gathering place for friends. With ingenious storage doors camouflaged in the column-shaped bases, it's easy to hide clutter or extra supplies and make that quick change from "work" to "live" on weekends. Dining room, Massive wooden table, Jan 13, p65

Sarah's tabletop secret

"Create an interesting tablescape by grouping together vintage-inspired coloured-glass bottles. Even without flowers, they look terrific as the light shines through!"

Get this look: Light fixture, Queen West Antique Centre. Metal plant pot, Ikea. Table, Cornerstone Furniture. Chairs, Hideaway Antiques. Vintage bottles, The Door Store.

Dining room, glass bottles on table, patterned wall hanging, Jan 13, p62

Make modern club chairs out of vintage finds

The most unique rooms generally showcase a mix of old and new treasures. While you'll likely want to invest in a new sofa for lounging, why not hunt for some affordable character pieces to add a touch of soul to your place? This pair of sculptural deco wood chairs cost just $300 each, and we completely transformed them with new fabric and cushions.

Sarah's colour secret: "If you're nervous about experimenting with bold paint, start small. Apply an intense hue to a single wall and leave the rest of the room neutral. By using strong colour in small doses you'll get an effect that's impactful, not overpowering."

Get this look: Paint, P5074-85, Para. Bookcase, Ikea. Side table, West Elm. Club chairs, Decorum Decorative Finds, 416-966-6829. Fabric, Designer Fabrics Online. Rug, Elte.

Living room, red wall, plants, two chairs, Jan 13, p66

Turn boring old filing cabinets in a cool desk

A piece of butcher block placed on top of brightly painted utilitarian filing cabinets is an easy and inexpensive way to create a big, colourful work surface—and the pieces can always be repurposed separately in your next home!

Sarah's storage secret: "Look for one-of-a-kind desktop organizers at second-hand shops. These old index card file drawers are perfect for pens and supplies."

Get this look: Desk lamp, Guff. Vintage card file drawers, Office and Shop Furniture. Butcher block, Ikea. Filing cabinets, Pottery Barn. Furniture spraying, Benjamen Furniture Refinishing, 416-475-2559. Matthew chair, Sarah Richardson Design. Chair upholstery, Perfect Leather Goods. Throw, Chair Table Lamp.

Workspace, Large window, desk, Jan 13, p67


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