A Dated ’90s-Style Loft Is Stripped Down to a Streamlined Aesthetic
When Chicago–based architect Mike Shively first saw his future home in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, the loft looked nothing like the serene, minimalist haven he had in mind. "It had the early 1990s trappings of lofts: dated curved glass block walls, reclaimed wood, slate tile, and faux graffiti art," Shively says.
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Despite the visual clutter, he saw potential in the 1,000-square-foot loft and decided on a minimalist approach. "The project was an exercise in simplification," he explains. "Every decision was about minimizing clutter and tightening the palette."
To that end, Shively swapped the glass block walls for streamlined walnut-and-glass partitions, and replaced the original red oak floors with wide-plank white oak. Careful attention to detail was key to achieving a simple and streamlined atmosphere; the cabinets match the oak floors, while the walls, trim, and metal elements were painted light shades of white.
The embrace of clean, sharp minimalism not only creates a sense of spaciousness in the open-plan loft, but it also provides the perfect backdrop for displaying Shively's curated designer furnishings.
"Our goal was to minimize the palette to create a clean and calm space," Shively notes. "Custom details are spread throughout including an oversized mirrored door that reflects natural light into the bathroom, and an integrated kitchen."