When you think of interior design trends, a few stand out from the crowd: the rustic look offers the beauty of nature in a rugged yet sophisticated — and often cozy — environment; industrial decor is more about functionality and tends to be more modern, possessing a heavier look and feel; vintage design (considered one of the top 10 furniture trends of the 21st century) is all about the charm and mystique of days long past.
When decorating their homes, most people pick one and stick with it since mixing and matching styles can easily look sloppy and disorganized. One very ambitious antique dealer combined all of them — and successfully, too — in a one-of-a-kind loft in Chicago.
Originally built in the 1890s, this live-work space has been carved out of a former coal factory, perhaps lending inspiration for the solid industrial furniture pieces like the steel fireplace and concrete fixtures.
Though the base design is minimalist and industrial, there is still warmth to the space. High quality furniture such as the leather-topped coffee table owner Stuart Grannen crafted from an old pommel horse lends a timeliness that is unique to this incredibly unique space, and there are a number of varying upholstery fabrics that lend texture and flare to the open rooms.
Grannen owns Architectural Artifacts, an 80,000 sq. ft. antiques warehouse in Ravenswood. This experience no doubt led to his artfully crafted decorating decisions, like keeping the factory’s original clay tiles and raw concrete walls, yet adding exposed overhead timber beams. However, his bare-bones choices don’t mean the house is cold or unlivable.
“My client took every step to keep as much of the industrial patina intact while adding modern conveniences such as radiant heating, a new roof, and new windows,” said Grannen’s properties agent Lucas Blahnik.
Grannen’s bold yet knowledgeable and well-planned design choices are inspirational to those who may be bored with their current style. Understanding how pieces, textures, and patterns go together (or stand apart) is crucial to achieving such a look, and can help those designing all spaces — whether they’re residential or commercial. With dedication and the right know-how, you can have a home or restaurant as unique as Grannen’s coal factory.