industrial-chic-living-room-concrete-fur-hermes

Tricks to softening a hard space

Over the weekend, I spoke with a potential client about ways in which you could soften a minimalist concrete and wood space. It got me excited about the possibilities, and I discovered that there are a few sure-fire ways in my opinion to accomplish this:

Soft textiles, rugs, drapery, throws and pillows (helps if they are casual and loose)
*  FUR anything (or velvet…as long as it’s plush)
*  Upholstered, leather or feminine seating
*  A rustic or antique piece
*  Hanging lighting fixtures that are either ornate (like a chandelier) or loosely gathered (like bulb pendants)

Oftentimes adding even one of these elements can entirely change the feeling of a space.

I think the point would be to add elements that make it feel effortless, pliable, relaxed, comfortable…less permanent and rigid; adding that extra layer to balance it out. (Reminds me a bit of the Boho Glam Recipe I threw together, but perhaps with less glam and more iconic pieces?) What would you do?

Loving this look? Great sites for more of it:
Vosgeparis
From the Right Bank
Desire to Inspire
Solid Frog

Check out my Pinterest board for sources and more inspiration!

20 Comments

  • October 10, 2011 Reply

    karlita Borrego

    great and useful tips! specially for my home in which my husband has made sure to add lots of modern elements

  • October 10, 2011 Reply

    tobe | because it’s awesome

    yes! i’d say round/curvy shapes (lamps, vases, bowls) and delicate metallics (like the platner chairs above) work wonders as well!

    • October 10, 2011 Reply

      that girl

      Ah yes totally!!

  • October 10, 2011 Reply

    designstiles

    That first room is absolutely gorgeous. Is that a pony in the far right corner?

    That burnt sienna piece of art really adds a lot to the space.

  • October 10, 2011 Reply

    victoria | vmac+cheese

    These types of spaces are among my favorite. Maybe because the cement floors/walls are so often in lofts, and I LOVE lofts! Your tips are spot on, though! The other thing I love is bringing in some ethnic or global elements into the textiles. I like the look of a Turkish rug, a linear, modern sofa, pretty, flowing drapes and cement floors. Oh, and art work, lots of framed art work!

    • October 10, 2011 Reply

      that girl

      Yes definitely the ethnic textiles!

  • October 10, 2011 Reply

    Dulce@lavitapetite

    I completely agree on all points. I am a designer and I hate to do anything minimal without softening the hard lines. Furry-soft textiles are a favorite of mine.

  • October 10, 2011 Reply

    Tamra {walks with Bella}

    most definitely loooving this look. When are you coming to NYC? I so terribly need an apt makeover, and someone to convince my hubs it needs some pizzaz!

  • October 10, 2011 Reply

    Naomi

    I knew this post was coming based off my pinterest blowing up. Yes it would be quite a treat to live in any of these spaces. I definitely need big art to pop against my industrial walls. And OH! to enjoy a flokati rug! Not going to happen as long as I have the black pug.

  • October 10, 2011 Reply

    Dawn {The Alternative Wife}

    These are all fabulous ideas and inspiration! I would definitely go with anything soft and furry and also throws and pillows. Soft accents are the way to go :)

  • October 10, 2011 Reply

    Tamara, Bella Boho

    Crystal chandi’s and old brick, or concrete, were meant to live happily ever after.

  • October 10, 2011 Reply

    Annemarie @ Brunch at Saks

    Oh I love this. Everything is stunning. xx

  • October 11, 2011 Reply

    Lonely Wife Project

    This is exactly my style!

  • October 11, 2011 Reply

    Miya @ Design Indulgences

    Great tips. I love industrial lofts and the like but sometimes they can look a bit sterile and cold. I find that rugs, super duper large plush ones (or reg. ones) help not only anchor a space, but keeps it feeling like an actual home. For me, there CAN be too much of a good thing (ex: I love concrete painted floors but again…it can feel too factory like if there aren’t any rugs).

  • October 11, 2011 Reply

    elizabeth

    These are some of my fave pics of all time. That blue green glass chandelier in the concrete loft is crazy good. Why do you have such a talent for finding inspiration pics??
    -e (modern24seven.blogspot.com)

  • November 16, 2012 Reply

    Ulf G Bohlin

    Love these environments. Unfortunately almost impossible to create living “with the right feeling” in the old industries and raw winds in Sweden. When isolated and changed the windows are done, the whole feeling is gone. Either destroys the building’s beautiful original features on the outside or inside.

    • November 16, 2012 Reply

      Ulf G Bohlin

      When I wrote “raw winds” I mean, of course; raw unenriched attics;)

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