sneak peek: melissa mcclure’s LA loft


when it comes to homes, i’ve always dreamed of living in a loft, so jewelry designer melissa mcclure‘s LA loft is right up my alley. not every home can rock a cool old vintage sign inside or effectively turn a darkroom into a home office, but melissa sure pulls it off with ease. thanks so much to melissa for sharing today (and to amy holbrook for the tip) and don’t forget to check out her fantastic jewelry designs. click here to see more, full-sized images, and here to find all our incredible sneak peeks! – anne

[Above: There are three 1930’s skylights that cast crazy shadows in the open space. The ceilings are 30 feet at the top of the bow trusses. The owner of the building is a Seattle-based architect that did all of the metal work himself while he was utilizing the space as his design office in the 1980’s.]

This area was described as an “urban junkyard” by an interior designer I know. I thought that has great, but I think of it as industrial hippie. The coke machine still works and the light table lights up.

Blackboard walls frame the eat-in kitchen (I still can’t remember to buy chalk at the store!). The kitchen supply purchased table is mounted on casters so it can be pulled out from the wall to accommodate up to six diners. I also can move it into the showroom space for any other functions.

View from kitchen of the showroom area (to the left) and my workbench and tool cabinets to the right. The giant gray wall in the back left was a wall built by the photographer who worked here before me. I knocked it down, painted it and then hung it from chains from the industrial fluorescent lights like a giant painting.

The vintage industrial work sink is held up by concrete counters and metal kitchen boxes created by the owner/ architect back in the 80’s. Simple stainless IKEA shelves were put in by me to house my bar and tableware. There is a pull-out butcher block work table on casters to the right of the sink to increase countertop prep area. . . My sturdy vintage O’Keefe & Merritt stove from the 50’s. The walls are the same gray as the canvas in the showroom lounge. I have a strange obsession with egg cups and objects that are made to resemble animals– there are egg cups in the shape of chicken feet on the top of the stove next to the spices.

This table was an editors cutting table before it was donated to me by a friend (much of the furniture I have was cast-off from friends and family). I had no idea that being cheap made me somewhat environmentally friendly. The colored rolls of paper on the far right are seamless rolls for photography, left here by the last photographer tenant. The doorway at the far right leads to the room that houses chemicals used in my goldsmithing work.

More blackboard walls divide the upstairs lounge from a room that serves as a closet.

My office once served as the previous tenant’s darkroom. I painted the walls out in a deep gray, the ceiling is next! I This is the space where I draw, read and do all the other business tasks associated with the business.

An original Eames rocker, vintage phone and clocks (batteries dying!) that are supposed to reflect the local time in my favorite cities are in front of tinker-toy type modular room divider pieces created by my good friend Mark Epping. . .  My bizarre collection of books, science and lab items, globes, mannequin parts and outdated machinery. This area is upstairs and lines the narrow walkway to the upstairs lounge.

My loftcat, Monkey, is a favorite subject for my photographer/ neighbor and has an entire wall dedicated to her. I am not the crazy cat lady, I just think it’s great to have collections of like subjects and display them together when I can. Monkey cares more for the Starck chair than any other in the loft.

  1. Nikko Moy says:

    …yeah I am pretty jealous.

  2. Lynne says:

    I love everything about this. My favourite is the old shirt cabinet – I have always wanted one. I’m always keeping my eye out, but they are so expensive. I love it!

  3. richie says:

    I totally have that same wired lounge chair – 2 of them actually. It’s so funky love it.

    love the old neon sign too. loft is excellent. It’s nice to see places that AT hasn’t covered yet!

  4. Bess says:

    wow, love this space! industrial and homey all at once, i love the old wood beams in the walls and the vintage signs, the blackboard walls look great too, i’d never thought of painting the whole wall instead of just a portion. and ps. Monkey sure is one design savvy cat! thanks for sharing.

  5. Lizzy says:

    I’m liking it! My eye was especially drawn to the typewriter bookshelf. I love those boldly painted hands & innovative/unusual book ends.

  6. Leah Hennen says:

    Sick with jealousy ….

  7. fabi says:

    absolutely brillant! so personal, original and cool!

    it’s artistic, it’s urban, it’s got good design and it’s so full of soul. a perfect translation of urban contemporary living.

    by far the best sneak peek ever!!!

  8. Heidi says:

    Weeping softly with jealousy.

  9. Faerysarah says:

    love the blackboard walls! I used to have a strip of wall in my last house that was a blackboard, it was so much fun! thanks for posting :-)

  10. Mike Wilkie says:

    “Loftcat” will now be a staple in my vocabulary.

  11. Julie says:

    this is pretty much my dream loft. kick ass…

  12. Love this loft. It manages to look spacious yet cozy at the same time. And what loft would be complete without its “loftcat”!

  13. Laurie says:

    Nice to see a real loft and now what LA landlords are passing off as “lofts.” I love the utilitarian-yet-comfy look of the place..the light…and the personality that comes through.

  14. Michelle says:

    So urban chic, I really like the grey in the office

  15. lauren says:

    amazing. do you think there is a loft like this to be found in manhattan? :)

  16. ML says:

    Damn, that coke machine is wicked. Yet another great sneak peek I wish were my own place.

  17. dolce chic says:

    This is such a great place! I love the Coca Cola machine, typewriters, and antique stove!!! The floors are gorgeous as well.

  18. Rene Wheaton says:

    So cute that Monkey has such sophisticated taste!
    I love the look of the place but I think the coffee table in the “urban junkyard” is my favorite! I love it paired with such modern elements.

  19. Summer says:

    I particularly love how functional the kitchen looks to be! We’re working on a functional kitchen plan and this is very inspiring! Thank you!

  20. Ali says:

    So inspiring! I just moved into a loft space and want it to have the same look and feel as yours (which will be hard to do!). If you have any tips on loft living, I’m all ears!

  21. This is very urban chic. I can’t believe this is in LA?

  22. susie says:

    omg! I remember that sign for Valley Gem Shop from growing up in Sherman Oaks!
    Great place! I want to come visit….

  23. soumitri says:

    we have a large garage – very daggy – ad now that is looking like an asset. awesome work.

  24. Erin says:

    I love those grey walls, they are so beautiful and serene. I had some in my room as a teenager. Monkey is the cutest thing!!

  25. Sam says:

    What a space – me want me want!! Love the kitty cat too – no space is fully complete without a kitty!

  26. emma wyngaard says:

    my favourite sneak peak to date – sooooo jealous!!

    lucky monkey!!

  27. detour2mode says:

    wow i love that!!! especially the chair and clock

  28. Melissa has a great editing eye and scored a fantastic space here. I love eclectic spaces and this loft is probably my favorite space ever.

    Gorgeous space.

  29. euni says:

    this is a pretty awesome space, i love it actually!

  30. Elizabeth W says:

    i want to marry your stove. and i don’t think your monkey gallery makes you come off as a crazy cat lady, the fact that monkey is black and white deffinitely helps to create more of a design asthetic. and besides cats are natural models anyway!

  31. Kristan says:

    I LOVE that

    (a) old vintage sign and Coke machine

    (b) darkroom office for its look and cleanliness (although I always wanted an actual darkroom myself!)



  32. This space is right up my alley, I am not sure if it because I am a fellow jewelry designer or because I love lofts but you have done a great job. I love seeing how all your tools are stored etc… I too have an egg cup collection. And how lucky to have those huge photography paper rolls and for free…

  33. nosideup says:

    and again loving the drawers unit!

  34. Melly says:

    This loft is truly inspirational, a dream to live in and decorated with love and class!

  35. i love the light table and the coke machine and the clocks and i could go on until i literally turn green with envy.

  36. Ana says:

    Wow! This is sooo amazing and inspiring!

  37. Bridget212323 says:

    such a great space! Where is it in LA? i’m currently looking for an apt!

  38. The coffee table and the light box came from our store. Mellissa is a great client with awesome taste. I’m so happy our pieces worked in her loft.

  39. discontinuity says:

    any pointers on getting a desk chair like the one in the office?

  40. Rose says:

    omg itz amasing!

    i love it


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.