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A Tour of My Loft (upcycled, found & hand made)

Loft5 Loft1 Happy Friday everyone! Today I want to share something near and dear to my heart. . . my condo, or what is referred to here in the Pearl (the name of a downtown Portland neighborhood) as a loft. I am feeling extra sentimental because I will be moving from my beloved loft in just a few weeks. I will be moving to a space where I can both work and live, with an abundance of windows for natural light photography and a large workspace for me to create new posts and videos for this blog. I am just a tad nervous since I have not found this new home yet but have faith the the perfect home is waiting for me.

Loft6 I have been a frugalista all of my life, first out of necessity but now for the pure joy of upcycling furniture, finding treasures and hand making the things in my home. My newest treasure is my linen slipcover sofa that I instantly crushed on when I found it in furniture shop just down the street. Not able to justify the dollars needed to purchase this custom made piece, I kept looking for a good second choice with no luck. One Sunday morning I opened my Craigslist app on my iPad and found the EXACT sofa listed for a tenth (yes, that is correct) of the original price! I about jumped out of my skin! The sellers were moving to London and though they had just purchased the sofa, needed to sell it quickly. Happy me! My two large chairs were also Craigslist finds that I made new slipcovers to replace their questionable covering. The over sized ikat ottoman was a floor sample from West Elm. I am always on the lookout for pieces with both comfort and a nice shape and have an old tufted chair that I will be reupholstering and sharing here on the blog in the next few months.

loft4 Making my own curtains and pillows was one of the first things I learned when I began styling my home. I find using current and even trendy fabrics an easy way to keep the room looking fresh for very little cost and time. Being from an artist family, I have always had a nice collection of original art at my finger tips. I laugh when I realize that the only time I paint since I was in art school is when I have a wall that needs to be filled. The four large pieces in the living room I created specifically for this space, though you will see they have been moved a few times in different photos. My interiors are always in process.

Loft2 I am in love with the large stump I picked up off the curb (of course I asked first). I peeled off the bark and after it completely dried, polished it with a soft wax. I plan to sand the top flat someday and use it for a side table. My Ikea “étagère” is filled with both vintage books that I collect from flea markets and design books from some of my favorite bloggers. The other books that may not match are covered with a colored paper. Voila! Instant styling.

Loft8 This is my view of the West Hills from my 8th floor Pearl perch. I took this photo last summer so the sky is blue and the trees are full of leaves. Sigh. . . this city mouse is moving to the country.

Loft3 Loft15 Two of my favorite pieces. . . the desk a flea market find that I painted with Annie Sloan chalk paint (see tutorial here). The horse was something I picked up a Home Goods. He had been dropped on his head so both ears were missing and one hoof was broken from the base. This chunky piece is made from a thin resin and painted to look like wood so not a high end piece, but I do have a thing for horses so I could not just leave him there to be tossed in the trash. Once I repaired the broken parts I painted the piece with an old white chalk paint and gave him a soft wax finish. Love!

Loft9 I try not to buy too much Ikea furniture, but this bookcase looks great after I covered that back panel with a sunny yellow fabric. (You will see the matching pillow placed on the sofa.) I filled the shelves with little dishes I pick up for food photography. You will see flea market finds, pieces from Anthropologie and West Elm and pottery made by my parents. . . all treasures to me.

Loft10 The loft did not come with an island which was so needed for both storage and work surface. I put this mega island together using two baker racks, two Ikea desk tops screwed together then tiling the top with black granite tile. I love setting tile! The pendent is another Ikea find. I had plans to make it into a paper sculpture. Maybe in the next home. The open shelves are filled with more of my mother’s pottery, my glass bottle finds and white pitcher collection.

loft13 Moving to my French inspired bedroom. . . the headboard is another of my treasured possessions. The headboard was custom made by a furniture company in exchange for designing a new logo for their shop. The three decorative pillows are handmade and the rest of the bedding I found at one of my favorite stores for gorgeous and affordable bedding, West Elm. The chandelier which hangs over the bed was one of those amazing finds on Craigslist where the homeowner replaced it with something new. . . to my delight!

Loft14 Mixing modern with vintage is one of my favorite design styles so the nightstands add that old world charm. They are 70-80’s pecan wood, very solid and well built. I refinished them with Annie Sloan chalk paint in old white and after this photo was taken, replaced the metal handles with new glass pulls. The glass ball lamps were another Craigslist find.

Loft12 You may recognize the jewelry frame from the tutorial I did for The leftover linen from this project became one of the bed pillows. The Wolf dress form was found on Craigslist. I purchased it to use in my sewing room, a bit disappointed at first with the stains and the missing base and finial. New Wolf dress forms are over $1000 now, so even though it was distressed it was a good find. After my fashion design dreams fell by the wayside, I saw the form as a great decorative piece placing it in this wrought iron plant stand and topping it with stacked banister finials. Now the water stains and yellowed muslin just add to the character. This lowboy dresser was another 80’s junk store find that found new life with the chalk paint and new crystal nobs.

Loft11 I am including a photo of the bathroom to show how elegant changing out the simple bulb cover with a capiz pendant can look. The second bedroom became a guest room after my daughter moved and I decorated it with her artwork, vintage French bistro chairs and hand made bedding mixed with a bright pink West Elm duvet. The art above the bed is another example of attaching interior fabric over a canvas stretcher frame to create an easy and eye catching piece.

Loft7 Here are a few photos of where I began my loft design process. Fabric, art and paint. I loved mixing the industrial style loft with what I call my “creative comfort” style. I hope you enjoyed my tour. Stay tuned for the next phase of my life as you will be coming along with me when I junk shop, decorate, upcycle, paint and sew. Now if I can just find that PERFECT house!! ~ Lia

  1. Nothing short of incredible. So glad Arline told me about your blog. I love it!!

  2. your space is incredible! My question is regarding the picture that shows several pieces of painted furniture together– are they all painted with graphite AS paint? Thanks!

  3. I LOVE your space and talent!! plz share where you got the capiz shell chandy….. i know they can be really pricey 😡 . been wanting one!!


  4. Thank you for beautiful world of amazing things!
    Sorry for my bad english)

  5. Hi Lia,
    I love your blog, you are so good!
    I want to learn how to make the paper flowers but I need more time to do that.
    For now I want to cover the back panel of an ikea bookshelf for my daughter’s room and I want to use fabric.
    Could you tell me how did you attach the fabric on your bookshelf? I was even thinking of glue, or velcro on the back. Thank you very much

  6. love love!!

    • Thanks Katie! I am working on shooting the house I moved into a few months ago. Similar but different and fun to have a new space to decorate.

  7. Very Nice!

  8. Gorgeous! Hopefully your new place will be even better :)

    • Thanks! It is coming along nicely. It is bigger so I have a lot of projects to finish. I will share photos when I am closer to done.

  9. Your loft is amazing!! Love the dark colors mixed with lighter and more natural pieces. I have some of that Annie Sloan paint to try out, too! Did you like it? I have a Louis XVI chair to refinish and I want to do it right!!

    Your blog is beautiful! Was great meeting you yesterday!

    • LOVE Annie Sloan paint! It will be perfect on your Louis chair. It is the easiest ever, and the results always make the piece look enriched. It is all in the wax.

      It was great meeting you yesterday too! You are inspiring me to get my sewing machine out again. 😉

  10. My jaw dropped when I opened this link. What a GORGEOUS space! So sad that it all has to get taken down, but I’m sure you’ll be able to recreate the magic in your new home. Good luck with the move! (Oh, and totally gushing over the quality of your photographs. I have so much to learn from you.) ~M.

  11. Wow, love that! Can’t wait to see what you’ll do to that cute house.

  12. It was so great meeting you yesterday and I loved this pictorial of what you’ve done with the condo…I am forwarding the link to the buyer :) I can’t wait to see what you do with your new place!

  13. Wonderful Lia…Thank you!!! I would promise to give it a wonderful, loving home! :-)

  14. Hola Lia,
    Et felicito , has aconseguit un lloc veritablement agradable , elegant i acollidor, jo en vull un com aquest !! però bé crec que hauré de conformar-me admirant el teu… ha ha ha ha .
    Gràcies per ensenyar-nos-el ,

  15. Hello Lia,
    Beautiful home. I am sure your next will be very bit as much and more.
    Hopeful question…..I am in love with your black desk and stool an have been searching high and low for one like it for our home. Is there any hope you are willing to part with it in your move? I know I already have the answer, but it never hurts to ask!!

  16. This home is one of the most relaxing and comfortable places that I’ve ever been in. I aspire to create my space to have the gentle, quiet feel that yours has.

    Your new space will come.

  17. Very stylish and imaginative decor! Lia, no matter what new property you decide to call home, it will truly end up being a beautiful and cozy home for you – your talent won’t allow it to be anything less! Thank you for your terrific ideas!

  18. Your photography is world class.

  19. Your condo is gorgeous! I wish you could come and decorate my apartment! You are truly talented!

  20. Splendid space! I can’t imagine giving it up! If you recall the paint color used in the living room and the master bedroom. Spring painting is just around the corner and I’m searching for the perfect colors.

    • Thanks Monique. I am mourning a bit. 😉

      I do remember the paint colors in the living room, the bathroom came painted. The living room is Palisade by Sherwin Williams and the charcoal is Peppercorn also by Sherwin Williams.

  21. Wow, it’s gorgeous!

  22. It is all so beautiful and tranquil! Love your space so much! Good luck on the move and finding just the perfect spot to settle into.

  23. You’re loft is really beautiful. I love how you kept the large pieces neutral and let accessories add color. It makes the loft feel very serene. Your headboard is to die for and I especially love all of the upcycling you’ve done. There are a lot of creative pieces. Thanks for sharing!

  24. I especially love the custom kitchen island and old dress form perched on a plant stand and topped with a banister finial. You amaze me!

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