We love the way you have different seating areas set up through your loft. Any reason for this type of arranging?"] I enjoy entertaining, and at any party, people break off into groups. So, in a way, I'm acknowledging this by setting up three sitting areas in my loft, which work well for larger groups. I often light just one area when entertaining a small group. It helps say, “Sit here,” without me having to tell guests anything.
Q: Tell us about that happenin' fireplace!
An eye-catcher, isn't it? Because it's ventless, I basically could have built it anywhere in the loft. It just made sense to become the focal point for the main seating area. Because there are no walls or divisions, you still need some kind of visual anchor.
Q: We see you skipped the mantel. Why?
I love the fact that there is no mantel because it creates a very strong, graphic look. For the grate, I used heavy rusted iron strapping, which keeps the firebox open below.
Q: Let's talk about your master bath. How did you ever come up with the idea of using mirrors to separate the vanity from the tub?
Natural light is important to have anywhere in your house, especially in your bath. It's helpful to be able to look out and get a sense of the weather. For the four large windows, I installed motorized shades, but most of thetime they're open. Because I wanted to maintain the views, I puzzled for some time on how to hang mirrors at the vanities without them blocking the sunlight. That's when the idea of installing them as individual panels came to me. It keeps everything open and bright from both sides.
Q: Why do you think loft living is becoming so popular across the South?
Surprisingly, many of my clients who choose to move into a place downtown are baby boomers who are experiencing empty-nest syndrome. The things you give up to live downtown, such as mowing the yard or replacing the roof, aren't a bad trade-off. You're within walking distance of great restaurants and other attractions. You don't have to seek out the action―it's happening around you.
"Dowtown Comfort" is from the February 2008 issue of Southern Living.