Designer Andrew Flesher discovered that the challenge of outfitting a broad open loft space — without breaking walls, traditional rooms of any kind and 60 feet of glass windows — compelling enough to take it on. And he took a surprising approach when decorating the distance, mixing traditional furnishings with modern pieces. “I really like the combination of things so that there’s some surprise, some anxiety, some juxtaposition between substances, styles, and level of formality,” Flesher says.
His Minneapolis loft exemplifies the tension between traditional and contemporary. Highlights include white leather upholstery paired using wooden antique bits, abstract paintings mixed with classical oil portraits, and art deco light fixtures sprinkled about.
Following is a look of how he divided the ground plan into a livable space, making an elegant-yet-relaxed living room in an urban atmosphere.
A box-style bookcase in white serves as a divider, delineating the more casual seating area from the dining room. Instead of stuffing each box with publications, items are carefully positioned in each branch, making an intriguing scape which includes cable chunks, contemporary sketches and mirrors among a couple piles of stacked books. Two white leather upholstered chairs with black frames face each other, making a cozy conversation area.
Farther into the space is just another casual seating area comprising an overstuffed couch upholstered in grey linen. Two white ceramic stools flank an oversized, square wooden coffee table, making a nice contrast of light and dark. A dark brown sisal rug also helps create an awareness of a smaller room.
The shiny white flooring and bright white wall give a contemporary, clean environment where the designer has placed traditional furnishings for this particular corner office. A Dorothy Draper black desk extends nicely with a grand oil portrait framed within an abysmal gold-leaf frame. Vintage crystal sconces add a touch of art deco glamour to the grouping.
A large abstract painting by artist Harold Hollingsworth hangs contrary to a freestanding wall. Two polished nickel chrome chairs sit facing using a green fern to the left breaking up the highly clean, modern look. A classic crystal chandelier adds to the grouping’s overall elegance.
The oversized French country agency (complete with a pleasure tasseled secret ) is juxtaposed nicely against the ultra-modern and modern white Barcelona chairs and ottoman. The general contrast provides a sleek look that is made warmer from the wooden bit. “I do believe that all design, and all new design, is really a development of what has happened in the past,” Flesher has said, which is one of those reasons he showcases all of his antiques in this glass block of some room.
Among the most contemporary vignettes of this space is this little Buddha statue which rests on a white base mimicking the cylindrical form of this column. Doesn’t it feel serene? This is a stunning example of how to execute restraint.
A gentle upholstered headboard feels casual put from the elegant cherry chest of drawers and easy, oversized mirror. The easy black iron lamp is a clean choice that does not compete with the intricacy of their chest.
A genuine weathered mirror offsets the antique wooden cabinet he’d fitted for the ceramic oval sink. Fresh flowers are arranged, and a gold framed drawing using a sage green matte is wrapped over the toilet. A number of the only contemporary sconces flank the elaborate mirror, which is yet another example of the tension between traditional and contemporary.
The kitchen is modern with laminate white cabinets, chrome fixtures and white appliances. Black Scandinavian wooden chairs surround a white Saarinen table. It’s the most only white space, allowing any and all meals to be the star.
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