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Question
The apt in question is a medium-size (by NY standards --ie:
1050 ft) 2 bedroom.  I took down the walls to the living room
and now there are two parallel beams about 15x15" leading to
square columns about 15 feet apart.  I was originally planning to
have picture rail molding around most of the apt, paint in
various pastels up to the molding and white above.  Where the
walls meet the ceiling (about 9ft 2") it's slightly curved and has a
subtle "lip" detail.  My question is whether the rooms will feel
bigger and higher if i have no molding and paint the color up to
where the lip ends and white just in the center of the ceiling.

Also, with these beams i feel i have a bit of a conflict of style:
the beams and the columns hint at a more industrial style
although the apt originally appealed to me for its prewar
characteristics (the bldg is from 1926).  It seems like the
moldings will define which way it will go but most important to
me is the sense of space.

Also fwiw the living room will contain a 7' grand piano. . . .

I look forward to your advice.  Thank you!

Answer
Hello,
Your loft sounds wonderful and I do believe you can creat some EXTREMELY retro-contemporary details with crown molding.  The chair rail, I'm not particularly enthused about, but crown molding sounds nice.  Here's what I'd do to your space:

Maintain the crown, but stain it dark...dark brown or black.  If your style is city modern, maintain elegant sleek palettes such as:  medium dark woods, rich creams, greys and ivory, a bold grey blue or burgundy as an accent color.  Get the picture?  

If your piano is black...bring in the black with mouldings and some furnishings.  How dramatic to have a contrast of light and dark...color and neutrality.  Furnishings with sleek lines and brushed chrome, satin nickel and lots of polish.  Pier One has a Loft 21 line...take a look at their website to get an idea of what I'm describing.

Good Luck!
Alicia Valair, CKD, CID, Allied Member ASID

Decorating & Furniture

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Alicia Valair, CID, CKD, Allied Member ASID

Expertise

Whole house interior space planning and decorating; kitchen layout, and design trends; residential themed environments; selecting furnishings and accessories for your lifestyle.

Experience

12 years experience as an interior designer, FIDER graduate and business owner for 5 years. Speciality area: residential interior designer, NKBA certified kitchen designer, and home office designer

Organizations
ASID, NKBA

Publications
Homes of Color magazine, Las Vegas Life magazine, Tucson Home and Garden magazine.

Education/Credentials
B.A. Interior Design, Marymount University, Arlington, VA
Website: www.lifestyledesigninteriors.com

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