Lofts may be prized for their chic urban aesthetics and sunny, airy feel, but they can also be challenging to decorate. When virtually everything you own is set up in one big space, things can get visually overwhelming very quickly. For that reason, open plan lofts require a highly coordinated interior design scheme, careful editing, and a focus on various functional “zones” so they don’t feel chaotic.

That task is, perhaps, a tad easier when your tastes lean toward minimalism. But what happens when you like things to be a little more classical, ornate, and colorful but still want your space to feel harmonious? London-based STUDIOLAV took on the challenge to design a loft in SoHo for a couple with exactly that sense of style.

If you’ve never worked with an interior designer before, the firm’s description of how they got started on this project provides a pretty interesting glimpse into the process. In order to please their clients, designers first have to figure out what they’re going to like.

They explain: “As citizens of the world, we live and experience the whole world as our home. We carry our identities and value our inheritance. At the same time, the connection with new cultures is something we are longing to explore and experience. Collectors of experiences, the citizens with a multicultural identity desire to creatively experiment with their interim habitat, to create an environment that visually reflects their eclectic personality and lifestyle. After meeting the owners of this SoHo loft in Manhattan, New York, we got inspired by their diverse background and vibrant personalities, and the concept for the interior started quickly forming into a solid idea.”

“Their intriguing collection of contemporary fine art and photographic artworks was the one of the first things we came across in an attempt to understand the clients’ aesthetics and temperament. Researching and working with them from the very beginning, we created a space that would work both as a home [and] as a place to socialize and work from.”

“A flexible and well-thought layout, along with a curated selection furniture and accessories, has been a key ingredient to further enriching the unique aesthetic of this contemporary abode. The challenge here was to define the different areas and functions: living area/lounge, formal dining room, kitchen, workspace/study, and gym without compromising the openness of the space and the warmth of the morning rays.”

Your taste in art can definitely reveal a lot about you, so it’s cool to hear that STUDIOLAV used that as the jumping-off point for their design. In the finished product, you can see how the modern-meets-classical pieces displayed on the loft’s exposed brick walls have informed the mood and color scheme of the entire space. While the furnishings are clearly modern, their shades, textures, and materials complement the more antique and baroque imagery.

Ultimately, the loft feels highly individualistic — you can’t just buy interiors that look like this straight out of a catalog. And though the open space has to house so many different functions, like dining, entertaining, and working, the areas dedicated to each one are clearly defined. It’s easy to imagine guests gathering in small clusters within each space, just as the owners desired.