Design Crew

Posted on Sat, 29 Oct 2011 by midcenturyjo

Got a problem? Need some help? Just standing there shaking your head? Don’t know what to do? You’re not alone. Send us a link to photos of your design quandary and let the Desire to Inspire design crew help you …. that’s you lot… the readers! Bridget emailed…

Okay, I have a styling question.  My hubby and I have an industrial loft (30 foot ceilings, brick top to bottom, polished concrete floors, the whole nine yards) in Buffalo, New York.  After searching and searching for the perfectly vintage, perfectly chic work tables for both of us, we ended up purchasing these new industrial packing tables.  Our workspaces are out in the open, and we each wanted about 10 feet of workspace, so we realized that getting enough vintage worktop to look cohesive would be nearly impossible.. and finding 4 mismatched antique tables could get really hodge-podgy, really quick.

We bought these new:

Basically, we’ll each have 10 feet of workspace (1 6-foot and 1 4-foot table each), with brick behind.  The hope is that they’ll be a good, blank, cohesive, industrial canvas for us..  Do you have any ideas for how we could “chic” them up and make them feel more vintage industrial.  His stuff consists of a computer and then bike gear (tools, wrenches, etc.) and mine is 2 desktop iMacs and craft/paper supplies.

Any tips would be much appreciated!

Krysta says:

I second Pia's suggestion of treating or staining the wood. I think with the right stain you could really make the table look more vintage. Your loft is super awesome! I look forward to seeing the after pics to see what you guys ended up doing.

Alecia says:

Not sure how much work space you need, but the tables look pretty deep. I def recommend refinishing the wood on the table tops. Distressed, darker stain. Also, a hutch/shelves made of old fruit crates stacked up on the desk against the wall might be cool. Go vertical with the storage and display of all the stuff you guys will be using.

I agree with the posts above. Adding a big, abstract canvas on the wall would look incredible! Beautiful apartment by the way- love the brick walls 🙂

christa says:

What a great space! The living area is looking good, and personally I like the little spotlighted portrait.

For your work space – I would spray paint the metal bases of those tables with a matte black and stain the top deep charcoal. I would not bother distressing it. Next, I would build plumbing pipe shelving — google the phrase to see examples, or start here: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/chicago/how-to/morgans-diy-plumbing-pipe-shelving-097760 the pipes should also be painted matte black, with plain pine wood shelves. The shelves share the wall with peg board.

Bike up on the wall, or suspended from ceiling with parts and bkie tools hung on a styled out pegboard painted a good color. You can have a matching pegboard with your inspiration pics and crafting elements. If they mirror each other on oposite walls. The desks could be parallel to the window and set 3 feet from the walls so that your back is to the wall when you are seated. Goes without saying that the fug desk chair needs to go. Get these school stools – industrial awesome, and cheap too. http://www.worthingtondirect.com/tables/600_series_colorful_stools_by_ki.htm

have fun!

Try a ruffle…sorry, just kidding!

Joe says:

Refinish the surface of the benches, get them at least as dark as your TV stand. On your husbands table, preferably on the smaller one cut a hole for that bike lift to slip through, allowing the bike to be raised a few inches above the table surface when being operated on. That allows for easy access to flat surfaces to lay down tools, and reduces the footprint of the rack when not in use. For both work areas, pick up some machinist lamps or dental lamps from Restoration Hardware, they are on sale at the moment to continue the industrial feel. A set of old toolboxes that have been cleaned thoroughly would work well on either desk as well. Under the computers a drafting mat would probably look interesting, and on your paper station you should most definitely have one.

Obviously, you have reasoning behind the images you have up on the wall but I agree with other people on here that they can look out of place due to their size. If I were you, I'd cluster them on one wall, the wall with the fireplace. The wall with the TV already has more complexity to it, and I think the bikes on racks on that wall would complement it nicely, with a single light aimed at each. By grouping all the pictures on one side, and with it a fair amount of light, it will better your TV viewing experience, and if you haven't already put a dim light behind the TV, it will help with contrast.

I think with a ceiling the size of yours, it would be interesting to have cloth draping from the ceiling to catch light and diffuse it around the apartment, but thats just a suggestion.

Obviously, you asked for just input on the tables, but I had free time and got ahead of myself. Good luck.

christine says:

I like many of the ideas above, and look so forward to see what you do. I especially like the idea of adding of fabric. Be careful of too much metal, it's such a large space that already has an industrial feel with cool surfaces. Adding wood /texture / fabric will warm things up. I hope we have not overwhelmed you. Take it slow & steady and enjoy 🙂

Tellis says:

Get a table vice.

Tony says:

I'd be painting the steel frames acid green, IMHO, that room needs a punch of colour!

Ali says:

All good ideas presented so far! As you begin to procure furnishings (maybe for storage?) you might want to consider vintage furniture that is of, or reminiscent of the historical Roycroft arts and crafts movement founded in East Aurora, NY in the 1890's. If you like that style, I think it would be a nice compliment to the industrial base. It's a beautiful space, and I hope you will send an update when you are finished so we can see the finished room.

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