This Loft in a Restored Firehouse Is Fearlessly Decorated

This Loft in a Restored Firehouse Is Fearlessly Decorated

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Name: Bailey Li of Bailey Li Interiors
Location: The Valley Arts District — Orange, New Jersey
Size: 670 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, renting

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I love the idea of residing in a restored firehouse that is now used as a live/work art gallery that houses a group of creatives from different mediums! It’s like living in a piece of history that is birthing a new story. There were once tales of horse-driven fire carriages that would load up right in my space and head out to save lives in the nearby community. And now there are several tales being created daily of amazing artists of different walks of life that occupy the entire structure in an effort to bring new life and a new perspective to a community that desperately desires a refresh!

I stumbled across my loft space after finding a commercial loft space for one of my clients in the same community. I knew from that moment forward that this is where I belonged. Coincidentally I was amidst a design project for yet another client and I discovered that she was actually the developer for many of the industrial restorations in the community I desired to move to; she made a call and everything fell into place.

This is my first year here. I do a little entertaining but I plan to collaborate with other creatives and host some amazing events, exhibits, and workshops within my space as well as the gallery hall. I say this shamelessly—but recently most of my time is being spent in my bed! The drama of the sheer drapery, the backdrop of raw brick and the detail of the antique egg and dart molding and tin ceilings serve as an immediate escape for me. I often climb in bed to clear my thoughts, to meditate, and to come up with new ideas for projects I am working on. Honestly there is not a single item in my space that I do not absolutely love. I believe that keeping any item in your space that does not resonate with you will only distract from your inner peace.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Hmmm now that is an interesting question! One that stumps me every time it’s asked. Some assume I have a particular style but I do not see it that way. I see my style as limitless and ever evolving and expanding. Also based on my profession I feel it would be self-centered of me to make my “design style” about me. My client is my muse so I am usually digging deep within the individual to discover their uniqueness and deliver it into the aesthetic of the space.

I do however infuse my eye and curate quality elements that I believe will come together for best effect and purpose, but style is subjective. Interior decorator is only a fraction of who I am; I am part decorative artist part poet but overall I am simply a creative. I find that my artistry is about freedom and the fearless expression of authenticity.

I am drawn to antique and vintage pieces because they reflect who I am; the craftsmanship, detail and passion that was put into the furniture and structures of our past evoke as much emotion in me as a passionate love poem does. I love the mystery and romanticism of the past but when I marry those elements with the present it feels to me that I am creating a new and unique form of art, writing my own poetry through the details of my space and creating an environment that feels rich in history and culture with a fresh modern twist.

Favorite Element: My son Aiden’s self portrait and his painting of me! It fascinated me to see him express he and I through his creative eye. The paintings possess a pure innocence and point of view that I hope never gets tainted by the world. His paintings symbolize self love, self pride and reflect his brilliance.

Biggest Challenge: My boudoir, which I cannot refer to as a bedroom. I struggled with it because I originally had it where the sofa is now and it looked amazing there against my hand-painted “Evolution of self love” wall. However my living area never felt quite right where I had it and I felt like I was cutting off the flow of the open feel of my loft. I wanted to have an amazing boudoir area that would give me a great view of the beautiful firehouse doors as well as leave the rest of the space open and airy. The sheer drapery gives me a sense of privacy and serenity that takes me away yet does not block out the beauty of all the elements throughout.

Biggest Indulgence: My vintage scooter console is my indulgence of the adventure that I dream of experiencing. It feels like I can hop on it and cruise out into the sunset and race towards freedom at anytime!

Best Advice: This is the advice I gave myself: IT’S YOUR LIFE, IT’S YOUR LIVING SPACE, see it as your opportunity to live out loud and unapologetically in the privacy of your own home! If you have guests that you think will come over and have a problem with your taste and design choices then show them your beautifully hand-painted door! In a nutshell: Just create, express your talents, and live fearlessly!


Living room area — Silver textured wall with gold leafing by Bailey Li Interiors using low VOC Modern Masters metallic silver paint

Living room area — Evolution of Self Love accent art wall is custom by Bailey Li Interiors using Modern Masters charcoal metallic paint / Rustoleum metallics in champagne, pearl, black, charcoal.

Bedroom area — custom textured wall by Bailey Li Interiors using select Benjamin Moore paint mixtures and Rustoleum pearl metallic

Vintage scooter console — Sierra Trading Co. in East Hanover, NJ
Antique gold gilded cherub candelabra — Verdi Home in Montclair, NJ
Mirrored desk — Elegant Decor
Custom textured wall and door — by Bailey Li interiors using Benjamin Moore metallic copper paint
Rustoleum metallic gold and bronze paints

Victorian Style gold leaf Antique sofa — Acquired at an antique auction years ago; I had it reupholstered in black and white houndstooth and velvet for an art exhibit two years ago.
Vintage stainless steel and brass trunks — RL HOME
Brass and horn candelabras — RL HOME
Black and white print hide rug — Safavieh
Hand-woven jute rug — RL home
Antique club chair — Origin unknown
Antique coffee table — Antique dealer
Japanese style X coffee table base in gold leaf finish — Studio Livia
African drum — Remember When Antiques in Chatham, NJ
Antique crystal chandelier — Garage sale in Montclair
Antique mirror — Antique auction
French style antique chair — Verdi Home in Montclair, NJ
Paintings — Artist Aiden Hackett
Small lamp — HomeGoods
Throw blanket with large fringe detail — Homesense
Gold and wood Tray tables — Calypso Home in NYC
Antique settee — Origin unknown
African kuba cloth pillows — Meru Amina Vintage Gallery in Bloomfield, NJ
Brass and malachite stone trinket box — Calypso Home in NYC
Sheetmetal and leather lounge chair — Timothy Oulton

Dual-sided antique bar cart console and gold-leafed antique carved wood frame — Remember When Antiques in Chatham, NJ
Gold and wood Tray tables — Calypso Home in NYC
Tree trunk stools — Hill and Velez by Desiree Godsell and Ronald Upperman

Sheet metal and leather headboard — Restoration Hardware
Copper and rope light fixtures — Homesense (I hand embellished with jute fringe trim)
Black Mongolian fur butterfly chair and stool — Restoration Hardware
Feather floor lamp — custom by Bailey Li interiors
Metallic poufs — Homegoods
Sheer drapery with jute — World Market, customized with Jute fringe trim by fashion designer Milele Atelier
Luxury candle — Krushed Velvet Studio
Wooden henna foot — Homesense
Light book — Lumio

Thanks, Bailey!

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