Color In Lofts: Gray & Black

Color In Lofts: Gray & Black

Mark Chamberlain
Jun 15, 2010

"What color can I paint my big boxy loft other than white? I want it to feel less industrially cavernous and more human-scaled." Good question. Why not try a few neutral colors in a variety of values? Let's take a look.

Different types of architecture sometime require different types of color. Way back when I was young and uncertain, and "Tribeca loft" meant just one thing, lofts were painted white—off-the-rack white. I can't really see painting a big urban loft in suburban cupcake colors or buttercup yellow, but once in a while one gets done with plain white.

In this instance, we started out with the Corbusier idea of focused areas of color, in the sense of accent walls to break up the mass. I wanted some dark colors somewhere to suck us into the room, and there was that fabulous big painting to be considered as well. In the main room, we put the darkest color Black Iron, on the smallest wall. We also did something that my friends and I used to joke about in art school, which is to make sure the wall color looked good with the framed painting, and I'm glad we did. (Those were some snarky art students back then). It's Ralph Lauren Boulder Gray and it's a cool color, same family as the dark off-black, and after much consideration we finally flipped it over on the opposite wall with the mirror.

The bedroom was too tight to really photograph well, but was a vertical shaft with this huge overhanging soffit. Here we used a warm grey, Benjamin Moore Athena, to separate the walls from the ceiling. The wall behind the bed received one of my Fauvist color washings, which started out with Ralph Lauren Turret Stair and then went off to the moon, and which was still wet at time of photography. After all, one does enjoy a dark color to anchor a vast space and give you something to curl up under.

Benjamin Moore:
Black Iron 2120-20
Athena 858

Ralph Lauren:
Turret Stair NA32
Washboard TH07
Palais Royal TH12

- Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter

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