Sterling Lofts

When a retail professional in her mid-twenties returned home to Columbus last year, she wanted to create an environment that would be similar to the lifestyle and uniqueness she had experienced in New York City.  After several months of looking for an unusual and dynamic living space in Downtown, she came across Sterling Lofts in the Brewery District.  

Not only was Sterling Lofts’ location a plus; the individual, one-of-a-kind floor plans reminded her of New York’s versatile and eclectic lifestyle.  It was an immediate love affair and the awesome task of designing the interior began.  

Ginny Salamy, the Chair of Interior Design at CCAD and President of Sunflower Design, was called upon to work her magic by incorporating her distinctive sense of style, space planning, and creative problem solving to a raw space that was full of character and waiting to be transformed into a reminder of life in the “Big Apple”.

The one bedroom flat consisted of several interesting features that included: 16’ barrel-vaulted ceilings with rustic metal beams imbedded in a rough concrete finish; brick rusticated walls; floor to ceiling arched windows that let in lots of light; and an abundance of vertical wall space within a tight setting.   The challenge was two-fold: create a transitional space that offered casual sophistication and comfort, while adding personality and accomplishing it on a limited budget.

The client’s budget was the driving force for this design so the plan was to design and furnish the space while spending the minimum for maximum results.  The process began by planning the space so it would flow as one and appear larger and more open without additional construction.  The exposed brick walls in the bedroom and living room were complimented by painting the remaining walls a light neutral green/gray with a warm tint of beige (Benjamin Moore’s Abington Putty).  This added softness and airiness in contrast to the textured reddish-brown brick.  The designer decided to add wood flooring (reminiscent of lofts in NYC) throughout the space for consistency and the appearance of extra square footage.  The floors were stained a dark, walnut brown to add drama and warmth against the light walls and brick.  Plantation shutters (Great Indoors) adorned the windows for a clean and stylish look throughout the space.

While the interior of the plan was right on track, the client feared Columbus would not have enough choices in furnishings and accessories for the space.  Not to worry.  Salamy, being a bargain-hunting diva with a great eye for design, introduced a number of Columbus locations.   She began by outfitting the living room with a casual sectional from Kittles (best to buy when they have a special sale) in khaki green, brushed cotton that exuded casual comfort and flattered the wall color.  Custom pillows and a throw were made with complimentary fabrics to dress it up.  A sleek leather ottoman, also from Kittles, became a coffee/dinning table for the compact space.  This is a great alternative when space is limited and style is important.   Handsome wooden trays are brought out when company comes for dinner and the ottoman becomes the dining space.  

Ginny found an interesting set of Lucite lamps at Grandview Mercantile in the Short North for $175.00 and spray painted the shades a soft silver to add sophistication.  In the kitchen and living area are pendent lights that were created by Salamy.  While browsing in TJ Maxx, she found red glass bowls from Mexico for $8.99 each.  She scooped them up, brought them to Franklin Glass in German Village and had holes drilled in the base for wring at a cost of $10.00 for each bowl.  The pendants are not only funky, but cast a warm pinkish glow in the evening that warms up the space.  The client loved them as well as the price.  

Beyond the conversation area another seating arrangement with book shelves for personal and fun accessories was created.  Special finds:  Chinese Empire chairs and table from Grandview Mercantile at a negotiated price.  Other bargains from TJ Maxx such as the rug, the floral garden seat ($25.00 on clearance), and kitchen and bathroom accessories.  The console table and mirror (from Design Within Reach, a trendy furniture catalog with a reasonable price point) are nice additions to a plain wall.  Z-Gallerie provided numerous accessories from their clearance sale.  Art posters were purchased at World Market at a nominal fee.  The wrought iron bed was a find at the Pottery Barn outlet in Jeffersonville.  So were some lamps and other accessories.  The Coup d’Etat was the cooper pediment above the bedroom closet, found at Grandview Mercantile, which the client said was “the best accessory of all.”  She could not believe that such a piece was available in Columbus and at such a price!  If purchased in NYC, it would have fetched 3x the asking price!

The space turned out to be everything and more than the client had hoped.  It is warm, friendly, personal and eclectic.  The budget was adhered to and the outcome was sensational.  In NYC this project would have been unattainable on the client’s limited budget.