Photos contributed by Dan Francis Photography and John Borge Studios | headshot by J. Alan Paul Photography
Let’s say you fall in love with a historic building, but your style isn’t exactly traditional. How do you stay true to the original character of the space without compromising your own taste? Through my experiences as an interior decorator, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks that will help you do just that. Allow me to demonstrate with two units I staged for the historic Woodrow Apartments in Downtown Fargo.
1. Draw your color inspiration directly from the space.
When observing these units, two features stood out to me. There were chrome light fixtures and exposed brick walls with orange hues. For the first unit, I complimented the chrome with a cool color pallet. For the other, I went with a warm color pallet that worked well with the exposed brick. In both units, I used cut flowers and house plants for minimal pops of color.
2. Don’t be afraid to go modern.
Clean lines can be used to accentuate the natural features of a home or building by creating contrast between old and new. In this case, those natural features were the exposed brick and wooden beams, which pair well with contemporary furniture and décor. In many downtown lofts like this one, you’ll find clean lines, multiple textures and minimalistic style.
Notice how the clean lines let the exposed brick and ceiling stand out.
3. Follow the 80/20 Rule.
Right now, the reclaimed, industrial look is on-trend. It has a warmth and familiarity about it that many people find relatable. When I was decorating these apartments, pulling in that restored feeling was essential. Even though I adore this trend, I still decided to stick to the 80/20 rule.
That means choosing 80 percent of the furniture and accessories in the space for their timeless appeal while devoting 20 percent to current trends. I generally like to keep finishes and furnishings timeless because they usually aren’t replaced very often. When it comes to accent pieces and accessories, I’m more apt to follow trends because they can easily be switched out or replaced whenever the homeowner desires.