Downtown Loft Transformation Unites Industrial and Organic Elements


Remodeling Design+Build Custom Cabinets & Furniture Healthy Homes

Having just purchased a downtown Des Moines loft they intended to remodel with industrial style, this young couple was impressed by the Silent Rivers design aesthetic we created at the Des Moines Arts Festival. Their desired changes to the bedroom, bathroom, living area and kitchen wished to avoid a formal dining and seating arrangement in their modern home.

We suggested replacing the original kitchen island with something dramatic, durable and well suited to hold its own presence amongst the existing industrial interior of brick walls, exposed beams and rafters, concrete floor and large columns. A 16-foot long stainless steel island supported by an actual Silver Maple tree stump blends organic and industrial style with ample entertaining space and a modern layout.

Our overall design for this loft remodel co-mingles its architecture with organic and industrial materials  — waxed and raw steel, Baltic birch, warm wood tones, exposed tree bark, recycled barn board and teal rift-sawn oak. Steel and Baltic birch are used in the unique entertainment center that serves as a functional divider between the bedroom and living area. A clever touch: The backside of this custom-designed piece is a desk with ample workspace!

The combo of smooth Baltic birch and steel also appears in the bathroom, this time partnered with mottled gray tile and rift-sawn oak in a teal stain. Notice the unique angles of the floating vanity featuring a stainless steel trough sink with two wall-mounted faucets. In the make-up area, both the counter and the birch shelves carve around the giant concrete column.

The homeowners were so pleased with their loft remodel, they asked us back to create a new surround for their gas fireplace. Previously clad in black granite, we paired recycled barn board with birch and steel. Ensuring it did not impede on the concrete ceiling and its sprinkler lines, we created a “stepped” mantle with barn board on the vertical surfaces, steel caps at the corners, multiple birch shelves and a recessed steel hearth at the base.

See more of this loft remodel

Click the articles below to see before and during photos, as well as a video on how the Silent Rivers woodshop artisans managed to perfectly fit the stainless steel counter around the organic shape of the tree stump!

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