Wall graphics, rich colors turn dull loft into stylish space

Soni and Raj met on a blind date, fell instantly in love and sealed the deal with a traditional Indian wedding with 450 guests. Their fairy tale continued as the two moved into their first home together — a large townhouse in close proximity to downtown.

But reality soon set in when their extended family descended upon their house, and overnight guests became a regular occurrence. While the couple loves the company, they had nowhere to comfortably sleep all of their visitors.

They set up guest quarters in their third-floor loft, but a few makeshift air mattresses in an otherwise empty room didn’t make for a restful sleep — or a stylish space. The couple wanted the loft to function as a cozy bedroom for guests and a stylish retreat in which they could relax when they were alone. They also wanted a place where Raj could do a bit of work during those rare, quiet times. So I geared up to make this loft a multifunctional room that could be all things to all people.

Since this was purely a cosmetic makeover, with no construction to be done, I got straight to work on the aesthetics. I wanted the loft space to flow with the feel of the rest of the house, so I picked up some of the colors from the lower floors — chocolate brown and light green — and used them as the basis for the loft’s rich and fresh color theme.

I painted most of the walls in a bright pear green and then designed a spectacular feature wall in a darker, pea-soup shade. Along half of this feature wall I created several floating display shelves in a rich, dark wood. On the other half, I mounted a unique pattern of Plexiglas and vinyl wall panels. I got my inspiration from an antique Japanese floral print, drew a pattern, enlarged it and had it printed on the vinyl. The panels were then mounted directly to the wall, but set out by three inches on painted wooden dowels.

To accent this feature wall I installed a halogen track light system which creates a very cool three-dimensional look. In addition, I put up some dropped track lighting and puck lights on the shelves for more sparkle.

I then got to work on the sleeping quarters. With minimal space to work with, I decided to install a chocolate-brown leather sofa, which pulls out into a queen-sized bed. I also added a cream-colored ottoman that does double duty as a bed. To complement these furnishings I also installed two leather chairs, a cream curved-backed chair, and several throw pillows in a variety of accent colors.

I created a tiny office area where Raj can work, and sectioned off the room with sliding privacy panels made out of a woven grass-type fabric.

Lastly came the accents, including a wooden screen to hide the staircase; a multicolored, patterned, wool carpet for the floor; and a host of accessories from wicker baskets to family photos.

By maximizing the use of the space, utilizing a rich color scheme, and adding a unique wall graphic, this room was transformed. The uninspired loft went from barren loft to hotel chic in no time flat. It is functional, stylish and ready for the crowds. Now that’s divine!

Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV’s “Divine Design.” For more ideas or information visit Her column is syndicated by Scripps Howard News Service.

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