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An open, industrial loft in DTLA gets a cozy makeover

An open, industrial loft in DTLA gets a cozy makeover
MTV's "Scream" star Carlson Young, 25, shares her DTLA loft with her fiancé, Isom Innis of the indie pop band Foster the People. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)

Actress Carlson Young knows a lot about drama. After all, as Brooke Maddox on the MTV series "Scream," she spends a fair amount of time confronting murder in the fictional town of Lakewood.

At home in the downtown Los Angeles loft she rents with her musician fiancé Isom Innis, however, Young enjoys a different kind of drama.

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"We wanted to feel inspired every time we walk in the door," Young, 25, says of their two-bedroom unit. "We wanted to create a warm home that features creative design elements that you haven't seen 100 times before."

To assist them in creating distinctive living areas in the large, open loft, Young drafted two close friends who happen to be interior designers: Joyce Pickens of JDP Interiors and Caroline Walkup.

"They both have different points of view," Carlson says. "Joyce helped us with the studio and bedroom. Carolyn did the kitchen, living room and dining room."

Walking into the loft, the first thing you notice is the surplus of light that streams through tall factory windows, offering stunning views of downtown and the Eastern Columbia building across the street.

At the center of the loft, a vintage wood screen from 1stdibs divides the space and adds a homey feel to what was once a sewing factory.

A comfortable living room with a sectional and wall-mounted television feels both open and private. A second seating area on the opposite wall is partitioned off by a pair of teak bookcase room dividers from CB2.

A music room is distinguished by two-tone green walls, a classic bar cart from Sunbeam Vintage and a record player that rests on a burl-wood Milo Baughman table from Venice Vintage Paradise. To add a sense of fun, the couple repainted a rattan chair and suspended it from the ceiling. Finishing off the room is a print of a famous Richard Avedon photo of English model Jean Shrimpton. "It really makes the area," says Young.

To establish the kitchen and to add storage, the couple installed an island using a base Young found at a restaurant supply store online and capped it with Carrara marble top. To give it a creative edge, Walkup wallpapered the base.

A bookshelf was added above the appliances for a folksy feel, and wooden bar stools from West Elm add further warmth. A Saarinen tulip table nearby offers a convenient place to sit, eat or relax and helps to create yet another living area.

Balancing Young and Isom’s personal tastes, they created a space that they can also entertain in.
Balancing Young and Isom’s personal tastes, they created a space that they can also entertain in. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)

At the far end of the loft is a studio for Innis, 28, a musician and producer who has toured and played with Foster the People. In addition to musical instruments, the studio includes a sleeper sofa for overnight guests and a stunning salon wall featuring framed artwork from the nonprofit Exceptional Children's Foundation in downtown Los Angeles.

"We wanted our place to look like a cozy art gallery," says Young.

Matte black walls in the master bedroom create a sophisticated, serene getaway along with midcentury side tables, a tangled chandelier from Schoolhouse Electric and layers of textiles — fur throws, cotton bedding, kilim and jute rugs.

In other fun paint touches, the dining room is differentiated by a pair of black racing stripes that go up the wall and on the front door. To create a unique entryway, Walkup dripped peach-colored paint.

For Innis, who previously rented in Hollywood, living downtown is a welcome change.

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"Over the years we were spending more and more time downtown," he says. "Now we can walk to Staples Center, the Ace, Whole Foods and more."

"I love living downtown," adds Young. "There's a creative energy down here. And we love looking at the Eastern building."

Twitter: @lisaboone19

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