This Southside penthouse loft seamlessly blends original industrial components with rustic-chic fixtures for a space that is all its own.
By Candice Graham
Photography by Med Dement
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When Charles Moore decided to purchase a home in Chattanooga, he originally focused in on the Riverfront area. When he came across a loft apartment on the Southside, however, he knew he’d found the perfect place. “There’s a neighborhood feel here. You get an urban space, but with ease and comfort. People are out walking their dogs, and people are invested in living here,” he says. “This is what I wanted, but it wasn’t what I had originally imagined.”
Charles’ impetus for moving to Chattanooga was to be closer to his daughters. His youngest daughter, Amelia, is a junior at Baylor and an avid rower. Being in Chattanooga allows him to travel to her competitions and provides a place for her and her friends to spend time. His middle daughter, Campbell, is a student at Emory University in Atlanta, just a short drive away. His oldest daughter, Hannah, lives in St. Louis, Missouri –
Charles’ home state. “This is a great jumping off place for me. I can get here and stay, or branch out from here,” Charles says.
Charles’ primary home is in southeast Missouri where he continues a tradition of farming which has been in his family for several generations. Described as being in the vein of “Norman Rockwell,” the other residence is traditional and rural, and he knew he wanted something different in Chattanooga. “I already have a home. I didn’t need another home,” he explains. What he found is an urban apartment which is a fusion of rustic and warmed industrial characteristics that are apparent from the moment you step through the door.
Red oak floors sweep the bottom level of the loft and provide a warm juxtaposition against the original concrete walls. Transformed from a centuries-old knitting mill, the space retains much of its original industrial character, such as ceiling beams and faded paint. Track lighting illuminates the living room area which features two large couches and pillows that make the room pop with personality. A gift from the previous owner, the pillows are ornately embroidered and feature bright and warm colors such as red, orange, and green. Sleek metal floor lamps and shelving help outfit the room. Artwork by a local artist is displayed on the vast wall nearby. As a nod to his youngest daughter, Amelia, the artwork features canoe boats in muted tones of blue and grey with occasional pops of yellow. A painting of a black lab rests against the wall near a workspace with an unfinished wooden desk, a canvas chair, and stacked shelving.
Beyond the living room is a dining area anchored by a rich wooden table and chairs (see next page). Metal x-based legs echo the mixture of rustic warmth with industrial features throughout. Sleek black chairs line the table, which leads into the kitchen area. In the kitchen, concrete countertops and stainless steel appliances stand out against light-colored wood cabinetry. A large, open industrial shelving unit on wheels provides a place to store dishes and containers – a fun element that is both functional and decorative. Bridging the gap between masculine features and an inviting space was a concern throughout the decorating process, and was achieved by a muted color palette accented by subtle color pops that warm up the space. In the kitchen, these colors come through in fruit displays and verdant indoor plants.
Near the kitchen is the curved steel staircase (see next page) which leads to the middle floor. This loft area overlooks the rest of the space and serves as the master bedroom. Thin metal rods serve as the railing, allowing for a view of the space below. The floor of the second story is made of bamboo, and uneven planks hang over and mirror the skyline of a cityscape. In the master bathroom, small white tiles blanket the floor and a large shelving and storage unit houses towels and toiletries. A glass walk-in shower and concrete countertops add contemporary elements to the room’s industrial feel with its exposed ceiling pipes and beams.
Up a narrow staircase is the top floor of the penthouse loft. Vibrant art depicting Chattanooga is displayed on the wall, and a full bar area makes up the indoor portion of the space. The metal bar features a sink, an ice maker, and a refrigerator. “I’ve had friends over to watch the sunset or to have coffee while the sun rises. It’s a great place to watch the storms come in. My daughter has had friends over for a pre-prom gathering and for photos with the skyline in the background,” says Charles. A garage-style door opens to the outdoor area, where cushioned outdoor furniture provides a comfortable place to relax and take in the views. “It’s a great change of scenery for me. I love the mountains and rivers and all the things to do in Chattanooga,” Charles says. “I look forward to coming back every time I leave.”