Decorating My Loft In Rockford, Illinois

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My lovely loft was located in the William Brown Building, U.S. National Register of Historic Places, states,
of the last remaining commercial buildings of significant Romanesque Revival architectural style in Rockford, Illinois. About this historical monument, the

". . . with the recent rehabilitation
of its first story storefronts, the
building has excellent integrity,
particularly in its exterior detailing
and design . . ."  

I moved into this old bank building (built in 1891-92) which now hosted 30 loft-style apartments and a first floor anchored by commercial/retail space.

Those apartments, with their high reaching 11' tall walls overlooked Rock River. (I was on the fifth floor.)  My kitchen pantry was a huge, old bank vault. Is that cool or what! I found it extraordinary.

Here are photos and narrative about the decorating of my loft (you gotta' get you one!)

Whether it is working with a design client or whether I'm designing my own home, I am looking to create a surround of collections that reflect memories - or - of items that are cherished, items of interest or even that can be of interest. I have decorated using the things that I have, things that I love, integrating them into this incredible space.

I love art and artwork, I mix up my art placing contemporary impressionist pieces next to classic oil paintings and antique pieces.

In this particular home I was challenged with the enormous walls.  The design principle of proportion was integrated to assure that my furniture pieces did not look too small, almost like Barbie-doll pieces.

In the two photos at left, the oversized, colorful oil paintings have much visual weight and give me 'purchase' of my high ceilings.  By careful placement of other items under and around them there is scale, and by distribution of all of the furniture and accessories there is rhythm and unity.

The photo at right shows the opposing wall, made up of a grouping of various artworks and objects including a precious antique wall-mounted grandfather's clock.  The high-reaching top pieces provide needed elevation, and the two antique, French Provencial side chairs (being of smaller scale individually) each gain more presence when grouped with the nestling table.

This is a small table grouping, I like the mix of texture of the wooden duck decoy, the books (which also give my grouping height), the small pillow and the floral wreath.

At left, another table top grouping or vignette. When displaying objects, groupings of three or five work particularly well and are visually stronger than a group of two or four.  It is also pleasing to the eye to vary the height of your objects.  (Keep in mind that books are an easy, interesting way to create a platform for smaller objects.)

At right, another small vignette, this one includes hanging plates as art.  Note that there are five items:  two hanging plates, a vase, an elevated book and books.  It is a beautiful still life, pleasing to the eye.

Presenting Grilled Peaches Bonus Recipe In Honor Of The 'Rockford Peaches'

In case you were not aware, the Rockford Peaches
were a women's professional baseball team who played from 1943 through 1954 in the All-American Girls Professional baseball League representing Rockford, Illinois.  The Rockford Peaches were also featured in the 1992 film "A League Of Their Own."

Grilled Peaches Bonus Recipe

Yield:  Serves Four


2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 ripe peaches, cut in half, pits removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Vanilla ice cream, optional


Preheat grill or grill pan to medium.
In a small bowl mix sugar and cinnamon.
Brush cut side of peaches lightly with butter.
Oil grill.
Place peaches cut-side down on grill and cook until grill marks appear, approx. 3 - 4 minutes.  Brush peaches bottoms lightly with remaining butter and turn peaches over.  Sprinkle sugar-cinnamon mixture over cut side of peaches.  Cover grill and cook until sugar has melted and caramelized and peaches are easily pierced with a sharp paring knife, approx. 3 to 6 minutes longer.
Serve immediately, with ice cream, if desired.
This recipe will also work well with other fruits like nectarines, pineapples, apples and even strawberries (try grilling berries on kebab skewers).

Credit:  My Recipes Grilled Peaches Bonus Recipe


Kelly said...

When I get my cool loft, you will help me create my style and beauty (and whimsy!). Love it!

Patricia, Editor said...

And we'll have so much kick a** fun doin' it, too.

Jim McComb said...

I worked in the William Brown Building in the 1960's when it was Illinois National Bank. I was the "mailboy" and went throughout the building every day to every department on every floor picking up mail to run through the postage meter on the first floor and take down the street to the Post Office. 50 years ago, I no doubt walked over the very same floors you're walking on today! Jim McComb, San Dimas, CA

Patricia Loya said...

Jim McComb: that is so very cool! I happened to be dating an elevator constructor who really, really was concerned about the building's elevator. He could smell the water build up and feel every 'off' noise - but it's a historical monument. The elevator is so much fun - many, many days my bicycle Caroline, my dog Christopher and I traveled in it with heartfelt joy.