An Austin Loft that Breaks All Sorts of Design Rules (That You Should, Too)

An Austin Loft that Breaks All Sorts of Design Rules (That You Should, Too)

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Adrienne Breaux
Jun 24, 2015
(Image credit: Whit Preston )

It's true, this professionally designed loft in Austin, Texas is maybe a little out of size and money reach for some of us. But though we might not be able to exactly replicate its open floor plan or high-rise city views, there were four design "rules" that we saw got "broken" in this stylish space — and they're ideas that anyone can pull off in any type of space.

This space was designed by Jennifer Fisher of J.Fisher Interiors. What she had to say about the design of this space:

"My client came to me as a recent divorcee that had to vacate his home fairly immediately. He rented a furnished loft apartment in downtown Austin, Texas that only someone in his predicament would have considered renting. It was dark due to the over-styled and out of place, heavy drapes covering a 30'L wall of windows. It had mustard colored walls and a brick red ceiling. The furnishings in the living area consisted of a sofa covered in cream terry cloth, and 2 rolling office chairs with ripped seats. It was, to say the least, terrible. At first, the plan was just to focus on the entry/living/dining areas of the loft. I started with repainting everything in Shoji White by Sherwin Williams."

1. Dining seats DO NOT have to match

We're hardly living in a world where it's impossible to consider mismatched dining seating, but you might still be resisting breaking this decor "rule." Here in this loft, however, is a beautiful illustration of how a mix of seats can add interest (especially in a minimally decorated space).

Dining room resources: "The focal point in the dining area is the incredible original painting of artist Elizabeth Chapin’s (Editor's note: we toured her colorful Austin home years ago!) Aunt Jan from Charleston, South Carolina that came from Wally Workman Gallery in Austin. I used Blu Dot’s 76" Branch dining table and bench with Chip dining chairs and counter stools all anchored by a fantastic wool rug from Black Sheep Unique also in Austin."

(Image credit: Whit Preston )

2. Elements can stick out a little bit into traffic flow

We talk a lot about traffic flow at Apartment Therapy, specifically making sure the paths to get from one room to the next are left wide and unimpeded. But that doesn't always have to be the case. If you find a seating arrangement feeling a little too claustrophobic, go ahead and stick a corner of a chair a little into the traffic flow if there's still enough room to comfortably walk around. Choosing a leggy, airy chair helps keep the path feeling open, too.

Living room resources: "In the living area, I found an amazing Kilim rug from Black Sheep Unique. The vintage mid-century black lacquer credenza with chrome details, and reclining lounger with pop-up ottoman by Milo Baughman for James Inc., were both found on Chairish. I specified the Paramount left sectional in Lead, and the Free Range coffee table from Blu Dot and used a Parabola marble base arch floor lamp from Dot & Bo behind it. A mid-century inspired Novara floor lamp by Anthropologie sits next to the recliner. The throw pillows came from West Elm and an incredible original art piece by Patrick Puckett, also from Wally Workman Gallery, tied everything together," says Jennifer.

(Image credit: Whit Preston )

3. Big bold lighting can totally go in the middle of your bedroom ceiling

Sure, bold pendant lights look pretty rad over dining tables, but they can go in bedrooms, too. How it works in this bedroom? The light in the center of this room balances with the oversize lamps on the nightstands to make for a space that reaches vertically and works visually.

Bedroom resources: "The bedroom has Blu Dot’s Nook bed, Series 11 nightstands and media cabinet in graphite on oak, Hitch bookcase in Slate and smoke, and Dollop rug in natural. The table lamps are vintage Murano glass found on One Kings Lane. The original art piece is by Joyce Howell from Wally Workman Gallery," says Jennifer.

(Image credit: Whit Preston )

4. Go ahead and put stuff in front of a window

We know instinctively to leave our windows unblocked so that we don't mess with a good view, but like layering in a vignette, placing a few choice items a little bit in front of a window can add a lot of interest and sophistication in a space. Why it works here: the fig leaf is natural and catches the light while the sculpture is lined up with a window frame. So you get that layered vignette effect without really negatively affecting the view.

Entry resources: "In the entry, I specified two Son of a Bench benches from Blu Dot and used the Case Study planter from Room & Board with a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree and a few decorative books. The client’s own spectacular Remington sculpture finished it off," says Jennifer.

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