Sophia Bush Design Tips Chicago Loft Apartment
As she settles into her newest place (a converted Chicago loft, where she stays while shooting NBC’s Chicago PD), Sophia Bush shares her challenges and her approach to making a spare, industrial space (like the ones in inspiration photos below) feel like a real home. Read her top tips here.
“I’ve always loved creating warm and inviting spaces. My parents and I moved quite a few times when I was young, and I was inspired watching them re-create and tailor our homes to fit our family’s needs and tastes. Now that my career always has me on the move — filming on location all around the world— I’ve been able to apply my passion for design and décor in my own homes, and then push it further to include construction and renovation projects.
My new place in Chicago is really special. It’s a very old converted loft–when I saw it, I fell in love with the bones. But the design choices made prior to my moving in were not so much my taste, so I started making the space feel personal with furniture and art. I generally recommend that first: before a renovation, live in the space. See what you use, what you don’t, what you wish you had. Allow yourself to get to know it. Then, plan the big changes.
When it comes to my personal design approach my style mixes high and low, vintage and new, to make sure the space feels very grounded. The plan for my loft is to clean up the lines and minimize the breaks in the walls. A lot of the walls feel very chopped up, plenty of them sit at dated 45-degree angles, and some don’t go all the way to the ceiling. I’m also redoing a bathroom and adding one more to create an en-suite for the main guest room. The updates will make the space more efficient and comfortable, and then there will be some aesthetic updates as well–new kitchen cabinets, closets, and paint colors. I’m very excited!” –Sophia Bush
Read more for tips from Sophia at the bottom of the page.
Original Abstract Expressionist Figurative Oil on Canvas
Ink & Ivy "Mercer" Coffee Table
Tov "Cooper" Sofa in Blue Velvet
Spero Gouache on Paper of Abstract Figures
Druzy Quartz Geode Bookends
Handwoven Nomadic Anatolian or Turkish Area Rug
Mid Century Modern Rattan Wicker Chair
Contemporary Art Accent Lamps
Robbie Kemper Original Acrylic on Canvas "Silver & Gold"
Pair of Mission Style End Tables
Handwoven Turkish Kilim Accent Rug
Seth Thomas Sputnik Wall Clock
Pair of Decorative Afghan Pillows
Classic Literature Book Set
Pair of Mid Century Brass Quail Bookends
Mid Century Modern Chest of Drawers
Eight Danish Modern Style Dining Chairs
Hand Knotted Indo-Persian Heriz Serapi Rug Runner
R. Walker Original Abstract Geometric Minimalist Oil on Canvas
Hollywood Regency Harlequin Jester Lamp
Richard Anuszkiewicz Limited Edition Serigraph on Paper "Inward Eye"
Set of Three Vintage Counter Stools
Painted Clay Abstract Sculpture
Pair Mid Century Modern Table Lamps
Ethan Allen Maple Bookcase-on-Dresser
Mata Ortiz Mexico Art Pottery by Efren Ledezma
Mid-Century Fluorescent Desk Lamp
Pair of Solid Mahogany Tiered Oval Tables
Fernand Leger Lithograph for Museum Morsbroich
Vintage Box Sofa
Set of Five Geode Coasters
Roseville Pottery Double Handled Carnelian I Vase
Vintage Serving Cart in Brass
Chromed Sphere Light
Joan Miro Offset Lithographs of Original Exhibition Posters
Vintage Eldon Gold Tone File Tray
Alexander Calder Limited Edition Lithograph for WFUNA Anniversary
Chrome Slat Bench
Vintage Lorenz Thonet Bar Stools
Ceramic and Aluminum Bowls
Danish Modern Wall Mirror
IKEA Poang Lounge Chair and Ottoman
Hand-Knotted Pakistani Karaja Area Rug
Burled Walnut and Aluminum Occasional Table
Vintage Green Vinyl Footstool
Stanley "Design 21" Open Shelf-on-Chest
Signed Abstract Oil Painting on Canvas "La Salamande"
Glass-Top Rattan Table with Chairs
George Vranesh Limited Edition Serigraph on Heavy Stock Paper "Day #2"
Gilded Oval Wall Mirror
Antique Steamer Trunk
Sophia’s Tips for Warming Up an Industrial Space
Create rooms by sectioning with color. For example, define your kitchen in a deep blue paint next to your eggshell-hued living room. Or go bold and use wallpaper in one area! You can even inlay a vertical seam on a wall where you want the spaces separated. I recommend doing so in brass or wood.
Use rugs to delineate space and texture. A large area rug grounds a living room, while one or two layered rectangular rugs can create the floor plan for the dining area. Lay a runner on one side of the kitchen island or in an entry hallway to define a space.
Consider light height. Lights can create the illusion of various “rooms” throughout the space. For example, a line of higher lights can create a hallway while lower lights can establish a living room.
Embrace open shelves! These create separation without blocking off a space, leaving it open to light and airflow. This is a great way to display meaningful items like collectibles, photographs, and books (try stacking books both horizontally and vertically to add texture and depth).