Urban Design

Designing an Industrial Modern Los Angeles Loft

Peek inside a TV and film producer's 1,200-square-foot industrial modern loft in Los Angeles and steal his best design secrets.

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Garage Style Door

The building was still under construction when he first visited the space, but he immediately fell in love with the 1,200-square-foot, three-story, one-bedroom plus den, two-bathroom modern loft built by architects Pugh + Scarpa. The producer adds, "I still can't believe I spent so much time looking at houses all over the city and ended up in an apartment six blocks away, on the exact same street."

Although the five-unit building was still under construction, after seeing the interiors of his would-be loft up close and personal, the producer was architecturally smitten. Mark specifies: "The first floor has a glass garage door, which rolls up to the ceiling and separates the living room from the patio. When I first entered the space, it was just a gaping hole with plywood and tarps flapping in the breeze, but when the developer described the door, I was sold! It's a true embodiment of California indoor/outdoor living. Since the weather is so mild, I raise the door year round." In addition to the glass garage door, there are numerous details that make the space stand out from typical condos: polished concrete floors, a floating steel-and-wood staircase, skylights in the master bathroom and at the top of the stairwell, a first-floor bathroom with sliding frosted glass walls and ceilings that range from 14 to 20 feet.

With the keys to his new home in hand and his boxes all unpacked, Mark went about designing the interiors himself. "I'm one of those design obsessed people who re-arranged furniture as a kid and drove my parents crazy with 'suggestions,' but I didn't anticipate how cold and uninviting the loft would feel at first. It has 20-foot ceilings, and the developer went a little too far with the industrial elements to keep costs down. There were fluorescent tube fixtures in the bathrooms and kitchen (like you'd find in a garage), industrial carpeting on the second and third floors, and everything had been painted a stark, cold white. It was like living in an empty swimming pool. I decided to live in the space for a few months before doing anything so I could get a feel for the space and learn how the light changes at different times of day."

Though he spent a lot of time looking at new furniture, Mark started with classic modern pieces by George and Ray Eames, Corbusier, Milo Baughman and George Nelson. "Some of my favorite pieces are from the apartment I grew up in. My brothers and I were lucky to be gifted with some beautiful furniture after our parents split up. I'm really confident in my tastes and very comfortable mixing high-end and low-end furnishings. My place has new and old, expensive and cheap all jumbled together, but I'd rather have an empty room than buy anything I don't love and want to live with for years."

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