Urban Spaces: Industrial Modern Los Angeles Loft
TV and film producer Mark Taylor purchased a 1,200-square-foot industrial modern loft in The Fairfax District of West Hollywood, then designed the home to fit his needs.
Overall, Mark's loft is neutral, light and airy. To add a jolt of energy to his otherwise minimalistic, neutral bedroom, he painted the wall behind the bed a shade of red from Dunn-Edwards called Red Contrast. This is an excellent design trick for homeowners who love red but find it too high-energy for a whole bedroom. Although the red wall becomes a focal point upon entering the room, it's out of sight once lying in bed.
An avid shopper of furniture with a history, Mark found a trio of 1970s chrome-and-mirror tables at a Highland Park secondhand store, then used two of them as bedside tables and put the third to work as a side table in the living room.
Just four feet from the bed sits a 16-by-10-foot floor-to-ceiling closet. Made from bamboo plywood, the custom structure holds Mark's entire wardrobe, complete with a rolling library ladder that allows Mark to reach the top cabinets.
For a touch of industrial modernism, Mark's bedside lights are an aluminum Artemide swivel-arm sconce (bought new) and an aluminum Artemide floor lamp (found on Craigslist).
Garage Door, Going Up
To raise the garage door, Mark simply stands on the stairs, then pulls back a rotating chain that locks in place.
From the start, Mark was determined to fill his urban home with iconic modern furnishings. At a local vintage store, he came across a 1970s Milo Baughman rocker, which he had reupholstered in a gray/brown velvet.
To keep his elaborate collection of books within arm's reach, yet also have them double as decoration, Mark displays them on a book tower surrounded by some of his favorite art pieces, from photography and abstracts to a simple modern red chair.
Mark's second-floor lounge is a great spot to watch TV or relax with Lulu and his favorite shelter magazines, which are kept organized neatly in baskets.
Architecturally, Mark's loft is referred to as industrial and modern. One design element that lends the loft to this style is its floating staircase made of chunky wooden stairs and a steel frame.
The first-floor bathroom is a focal point itself. With floor-to-ceiling frosted glass as its walls, filtered light streams in through a tiny window, yet keeps the interiors of the bathroom privatized from the loft's other rooms.
Although at first glance the first-floor bathroom appears to be a powder room, it's also a full-functioning shower. A modern floating vanity and mirror sit along the right-hand wall, keeping the center open; a shower head is installed along the subway-tile-covered exterior wall; and the floor is slightly sloped with an integrated drain. Not only is this handy for guests, but it also works as a great washing station for Lulu.
Mark has a huge collection of design and art books, particularly those written about the work of modern architects. One of his favorite modernists, John Lautner, designed many of LA's most iconic modern homes.
Classic modern touches make their way to Mark's dining room thanks to six Eames Molded Plywood Dining Chairs, pieces that represent a classic, masculine aesthetic and will never go out of style.
The garage door's frosted windows diffuse the sunlight, casting a beautiful glow on the loft's interiors.
To make indoor entertaining easy, breezy and conversational, the dining table and chairs sit directly in the middle of the kitchen area, giving it more of a great room feel.
Although the TV and film producer watches lots of television, he has banished it from his living room to the second floor, where it resides in the guest room/den. Instead, Mark surrounds himself with art and accessories that inspire, as well as his favorite music, which is stored in a blond, modern wood console.
An avid collector of art, Mark keeps pieces on display casually throughout the loft by simply leaning them against the walls as groupings. This enables him to rotate works that have been sitting in storage in the upstairs closet. The pop art is something Mark considers more of a conversation piece, while the overscaled nature photography was taken by a friend at a local hiking trail, blown up and then framed professionally.
In keeping with the industrial-modern style, Mark decided to forgo carpet or hardwood on his stairwell and also the second and third floors, instead sticking with OSB (oriented strand board) sealed with several coats of super-shiny floor protectant.
To ground the lofty living room, Mark had the back wall painted a shade of brown called Black Walnut from Dunn-Edwards. Although Mark's personal design style is characterized best as modern, it also includes global influences collected while traveling, such as art, accessories, textiles and accent furniture.
A Decked-Out Den
While the first floor is used for living, dining and entertaining, the second-floor den is a multipurpose TV room/guest room. With odd dimensions and an awkward layout, Mark bucked the idea of using sofas, instead covering the floor with cushy floor pillows upholstered with animal hides and an air mattress for overnight guests.
Killing Dead Space
To put dead space below the floating stairwell in the second-story lounge to good use, Mark tucked a modular bookcase into it to house many of his books, then added a classic modern rocker.
A Moveable Feast
To bask in the California sunshine, Mark added two modern loungers to his patio. Both on wheels, they're easy to move around and roll into other areas, should Mark decide to add more seating space for parties.
Palms for Miles
When perched in either of the industrial-modern loft's outdoor areas, Mark is surrounded by views of the tall L.A. palm trees.
With the glass-front garage door open, the gap between the outdoors and the indoors is bridged, creating an open, airy feeling that allows Mark to enjoy the sunny and cool Los Angeles climate roughly 300 days a year.
Entertaining in Mark's loft is easy and breezy, thanks to the glass-front garage door. Once open, conversations can carry on from the patio into the living room and vice versa.
Of all spaces in the loft, the living room is Mark's favorite. Whether perched on the sofa or lounging in his Milo Baughman rocking chair, it's the area you're most likely to find him reading a script.
Private Patio Perch
There were many selling points that drew Mark to purchase his loft, including a top-floor private patio connected to the master bedroom. The hammock is the perfect Saturday morning spot for Mark to enjoy the sunshine with his favorite books.
Let the Sunshine In
Mark's loft capitalizes on the abundance of California sunlight thanks to an 8-by-5-foot skylight integrated into the building's roofline.
No Space Wasted
Throughout the loft, Mark finds spaces to display his extensive collection of art, even if that space happens to be the 4-inch return of a wall along the floating stairwell.
A Roof With a View
In true urban fashion, the building's rooftop is accessible via an integrated steel ladder that runs up the wall of the third-story patio.