Home Design: Bring Latin Flair to Your Urban Loft Apartment


Whether you live in a loft in Denver, Manhattan, or Miami, the industrial chic design provides an urban feel. For people who like the Latin edge, some Latina decorators offer home design tips for transforming your space. According to an article by Elle Décor, South America-born decorator Juan Carlos Arcila-Duque was able to blend spicy Latin décor with urban sophistication for his loft in a former 1920s cheese warehouse. Some of the home décor ideas include creating a relaxed and comfortable space that appears modern but without the sterile feeling that sometimes accompanies modern design. Here are some tips for brightening up your living space while connecting with your heritage:

Painting the exposed brick

One of the common characteristics in a loft is the exposed brick. One of the designer’s ideas was to paint the brick walls white. The floors are also pale in keeping with the classic Latin vanilla palette. Exposed brick in an urban loft is often a focal point. Some areas where you may find interior brick include are: as a wall in a master bedroom, between windows, and in a modern-looking kitchen.

Bringing in heritage items

Another way designers bring a Latin flair to urban lofts is by choosing photographs and objects related to Latino heritage. In the case of Arcila-Duque, he brought in Columbian artifacts and a rug made by an indigenous South American tribe. When decorating your urban loft, choose vivid colors and incorporate paintings and photographs by Latina artists. One or two noticeable items can have a dramatic effect—don’t feel like you have to cover a side table in Our Lady of Guadalupe candles; even a small woven rug or a painting can make a strong statement.

Consider displaying special heritage items on metal shelves. Express yourself with favorite plantings on rooftop terraces or balconies. Finally, use bold splashes of color to contrast with the vanilla palette and to warm up the cold stainless steel materials.

Entertaining in the space

A high priority for Arcila-Duque when he designed his own living space was to create an environment suited to entertaining friends. The kitchen, always an important part of the overall home décor, is often practical and functional in an urban loft. It can also carry through the industrial theme with stainless steel appliances. Arcila-Duque entertains as many as 50 people in his loft. To accommodate guests, he brings out comfortable cushions and custom-made steel settee as well as dining tables and bucket seats.

You may want to blend these tips with some of the Feng Shui tips for positioning your furniture offered in our series on creating anti-aging homes.

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