It’s easy to think of the downtown Loft District as an exercise in sleek, industrial style, where reclaimed materials abound but with a strictly minimalist feel. It doesn’t have to be that way, though, and Urban Standard is an excellent alternative option. Bursting with Urban inspiration, here are our tips for relaxed, reclaimed, and still Pinterest-worthy interiors.
1- Accent walls may not be the rage they once were, but color blocks are a statement worth making, as in the back wall of Urban Standard’s main space. Bonus points for being low-key and achievable using only sample paint containers. One caveat: You’ll want to plan these to accent larger furniture items, the simplest way to make them look intentional. Or use paint to create a flat, large-scale art piece.
2 – Say yes to theater seats. These show up with relative frequency at antique stores or even on Craigslist, but it’s easy to write them off as impractical for folks without abundant space. Urban Standard shows how well they can accent a low window wall, turning what would otherwise be blank space into extra seating options with character. Also consider using them near a front door to create a charming entryway vignette plus practical drop zone for bags and coats.
3 – Curtain off rooms, not windows. Where privacy is not a major concern — as in the main living space on an upper floor — consider opting out of window treatments. Many of the large industrial windows in the district are just as well served without them. Instead, use curtains to create soft, flexible dividers between rooms in an otherwise open floor plan. They’ll create at least some privacy when hosting overnight guests or keep a cluttered bedroom area closed off when you’re entertaining.
4 – Find room for quirky accents. Found an extra-large bust at What’s on 2nd or really inspired taxidermy at Birmingham Oddities? Put it front and center. We like the way Urban’s busty dude pulls focus from the wall-mount TV above it. If a piece leans particularly airy, consider using it as window dressing the way Urban has with its birdcage.
5 – Stop designing your gallery wall. Remember when we hung stuff on walls without a carefully-balanced-but-asymmetrical plan? Urban proves you still can. Their rows of framed prints are only semi-aligned but still do their job in filling expansive wall space. One caveat: this strategy works best for relatively simple, monochromatic prints.