14 April 2015

Lofty Downtown Style

I want to share with you all a peek at some of my recent design work, which is what usually keeps Italian Girl in Georgia away from here.  



Let's take a walk up these stairs for a closer look.





Last month I participated in our local Historic Foundation's semi annual Design House, which this year instead of the traditional selection of an Antebellum home, was an old building in the downtown district that had been renovated into a retail space and lofts.   


Lucky for our town rich with historic architectural gems, this has been the theme of gentrification for several years now.  And right up my alley because ever since I began my studies and graduated with a degree in architecture I never really wanted to build from the ground up.  


I have always believed that with so many abandoned buildings, both historical and relatively new throughout our cities and towns, that these structures could be put to good re-use with the right architectural and design modifications.


So, as a member of the organization and as an architectural and interior designer who believes in not wasting a useful space and wanting to help beautify our city, I thought it would be appropriate that I participate this year.

The area in the loft I was assigned to and enjoyed very much designing was the semi public space within the building - the stairways and landings that connected the loft downstairs to those upstairs.


The palette I chose was clean and crisp - warm grey {which changes its tones throughout the day}, brilliant white, and coal black.  I absolutely love how my glossy white French chairs and table stand out in front of the black wainscoting {which is original to the building}.


I specified that the hand rails and risers on the stairs also be painted the coal black.  This created a strong graphic look and accentuated the interior architecture further - giving even more of a lofty gallery feel to the space.



I took full advantage of the vast wall space and high ceilings and used it as a private gallery, specifically showcasing my original black and white photographs of iconic places and images of this town along with the work of other photographers, mixed media art pieces I made, and vintage Italian posters I have had in my own art collection for many years.  

All that with a mix of whimsy and humor, of course.



When I was in graduate school in Athens, Georgia, I lived in a loft and drew from that experience as I considered the design of this space.



The furnishings were minimal - a couple of French arm chairs {different but compatible}, a traditional side table painted glossy white, large scaled silver framed mirrors on the walls of each landing to reflect the light coming in from the skylight above, a deconstructed crystal chandelier, and the monochromatic eclectic arrangement of art on the walls {some of which even included my son's pen and ink artwork}. 



Art Deco inspired sleek black candle holders, vintage Georgia history books, and...


...a splash of hot pink with over-scaled wall flowers {poppies}, a tiny but sculptural Kate Spade glass vase, and a silk tassel the drawer pull of the table were some of the smaller scale details.




The industrial chic and minimalistic crystal chandelier I designed and made with Swarovski crystal garlands and pendants which surround and dangle from the scalloped metal wire lamp shade frame I then converted into a hanging fixture.



During the day, the light changes as it flows through the skylight above and the crystals cast a kaleidoscope of color on the walls.





I hope you enjoyed your tour!  Thank you for your visit.  As always, I appreciate the time you take to read my stories.


Ciao amici,
Suzanne
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