Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Retro Redesign: SOMA

I'm taking you to the gritty and trendy SOMA this week after some heavy Tudor inspiration last time.  That's one of the best parts of this city - the architecture runs the gamut! I found this fun loft, but to me, this is an example of a style mix that doesn't do the space any favors:

This loft, in the trendy and industrial SOMA neighborhood, strikes me as too neutral.  Somehow the feel is more grandma when the space is so cool.  I'm not going to suggest ultra modern decor, but I think a better arrangement of furniture (not so boxy) and some clean mid century lines would take this space to a whole new level.

First, I would roll up the floral rug (and I love me some floral rugs, just not in this space) because it accentuates the boxiness of the room and doesn't have a loft vibe. Instead, I would want to see something more like this in the space:

My first thought was an animal skin rug, like a black and white cow hide.  The irregular shape and the texture would work really well.  But when I saw this, something about the geometrical shape and the zebra pattern spoke to me.

Then I would troll craiglist for seating as awesome as this:

I even love the bright blue cushions - this space needs an injection of bold color!  Scale would be important in this room though, so you'd definitely have to keep that in mind, but I think breaking it into two separate space a living area and an office area would break it up well.  It would take a while to collect everything I would want in this room, especially at affordable prices.  But patience and vision would pay off in the end after a few more items like side chairs, desk and a buffet were secured.  

Speaking of scale, some oversized art for the wall would be a must.  I know they have some hung up there, but I'm struck by how it looks like it's trying to be modern.  Art is so subjective, but what is hung there now isn't my taste, so I would change it.  First I would change the wall color to a bright and bold complimentary color to the couch.  Something in the orange family.  Then I would hang some classic black and white photography gallery wraps like these:

I think it's fun to have a space pay homage to it's surroundings, so I purposely chose Yosemite, a great Californian park, and the Transamerica building, a San Francisco icon.  I love that the black and white tones will pick up the gray tones in the zebra rug.  I would add more tone on tone accessories in silvers and charcoals until it felt balanced.  

How do you feel about mixing styles? Would you take this loft back in time like I did or bring it into the 21st century?

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