The Inside Man: Barney's Pop Art Loft

The Inside Man: Barney's Pop Art Loft

Maxwell Ryan
Aug 17, 2010
Sponsored Post

Name: Barney Santos
Location: Downtown Los Angeles
Style: Fun, artistic, modern loft

Barney's wall is going green! With the help of Valspar Paint, we're finishing the final details of our Los Angeles makeover and preparing for the reveal on Thursday.

Barney has a loft in Downtown LA, and I met with him last month to figure out how we could add color and personality to his home. As a newlywed, Barney wanted to make the space more comfortable and livable for himself and his wife, Evelyn. We've been rearranging furniture, painting the walls, and adding artwork to personalize this huge, open space. Here's a run-down of what we've accomplished so far.

Barney's loft has one huge wall that runs the length of the whole space. I wanted to use a warm tone to shake things up and bring some contrast to the mostly-neutral room. After flipping through the fan deck with Barney, we zeroed in on a couple of greens that had warm undertones and could work with his beige furniture. I sent him some samples, and once Barney tested them on his walls, he preferred the Gilded Pesto. We're using Holmes Cream, a rich beige, as a grounding neutral. To highlight the huge window (with an incredible view of downtown), we're going with a light gray — Cliveden Gray Morning.

The main wall and fireplace pre-paint
The loft has high ceilings, one BIG window, and lots of natural light, but it felt rough and unfinished. Adding color has helped a lot. The green wall differentiates the main living space from a bedroom in back, and the fresh coat of paint makes things feel much cleaner and more finished. To break up the expanse of green on the main wall, we also updated the fireplace with a new coat of Dove White 7002-7. Painter Alan Silverstein and his crew from All Los Angeles Painting did a really nice job. (Thanks, Alan!)

Gilded Pesto - 6007-6B (main accent wall)
Holmes Cream - 3004-10B (neutral walls)
Cliveden Grey Morning - 6001-1B (window trim)

My floorplan for Barney's loft

On my last visit to Barney's, we rearranged his existing furniture to create a conversational area and a place to watch television at one end of the loft. A dining table now anchors the middle of the room (to be replaced with a more modern style that will go with the rest of the room), and Barney's office is at the far end.

Barney and Evelyn rearranging furniture

Once the wall color went up, it was immediately apparent that curtains and rugs would be the next thing to give the loft a more comfortable, lived-in feeling, so our stylist, Joe Maer, has been shopping for those final layers.

Look for a full resource list on Thursday.

  • Furniture — Barney found a local company, InMode Home, where we've bought a lot of furniture, including a new console, dining table, dining chairs, and side table.
  • Curtains — We couldn't find standard curtains that would fit the giant window, so we're having them custom made.
  • Living room rug — We created a large rug by piecing together two smaller ones.
  • Accessories — These are going to be a mix of IKEA and local shops.
  • Artwork — Barney has a sharp eye for artwork, and he found a local gallery, Hold Up Art, where he's chosen some original paintings by emerging LA artists.

This loft is going to be great...I can't wait to share the final pics on Thursday :)

We've teamed up with Valspar Paint to create The Inside Man, a special feature dedicated to daily (Monday — Friday) posts from Apartment Therapy and GQ about men's color conundrums and style questions. From sofas with cup holders to brilliant bachelor pads, we’re focusing on the décor dilemmas men often bring to us.

Barney's Pop Art Loft: Phase 2 - The Prescription
Barney's Pop Art Loft: Phase 1 - Local Inspiration
• Read more about guy style at
• Check out GQ's guide to guy style at

Photos: Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, Barney Santos
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