Beginning in 1922, the building was originally the headquarters of Double Cola; later it became a bank, and eventually a tire store before it fell into disrepair and was later purchased with plans to begin the stabilization necessary to make it livable for residents. When the current owners purchased the loft it was an empty shell, giving them the opportunity to configure the space to fit their lifestyle. Interior designer Keith McCallie drew up plans for the renovation and also did the interior design for the loft. “The owners knew what they wanted it to be,” says builder Chris Sterchi of Sterchi Construction. They wanted an open space and to make the best use of east and west windows.
“In terms of environmental stewardship, I feel like reuse of an
existing structure is inherently a green building practice. We bought old heart pine beams from a local supplier and transformed them into the beautiful moldings and windowsills that are seen throughout the loft,” said Sterchi. “We used high performance features such as LED lighting, water sense plumbing fixtures, high seer mechanical systems, spray foam insulation and on demand hot water heaters. The bamboo floor is a certified sustainable product and the appliances are all energy star.”
As far as the interior design style, the homeowners wanted an industrial theme, and achieved this through exposed duct work and use of materials such as concrete, zinc, and acrylic on surfaces like cabinets and countertops. The backdrop for such high-tech materials is very traditional, however, the original brick walls were left exposed in most of the loft. Bamboo was chosen for the flooring throughout.
The kitchen is in a corner to the right of the stairway and is a unique feature, says Sterchi. The combination of materials and finishes results in a striking juxtaposition of shiny and dull, textured and smooth surfaces. The zinc cabinet doors are trimmed in walnut and acid washed to give them texture. The countertops are concrete, but with a smooth surface.
The entire kitchen wall is lined with varying widths of glass tiles in shimmering gold tones. A zinc countertop and cabinet extend from a wall between two windows and separate the kitchen from the public areas. To save space, four side-by-side stainless steel refrigerator drawers were installed and a gas cooktop and overhead stainless steel vent add to the industrial theme. Over the counter are two light fixtures comprised of strands of gold beads. A convenient feature in the kitchen is a serving window which has a frosted glass front when closed. Located directly across from a small, intimate den, the window makes it easy to serve food and drinks.
From street level the loft is accessed by a spiral staircase that leads up to the main level which is 50 feet long. The large room has a dining area, seating area, and a small alcove with additional seating. The room’s 14 foot ceiling and six large windows across the front and two at the end add to the spaciousness. A mixture of furnishings are used such as a Hungarian antique hand-painted bench, contemporary sofas and chairs, and a custom made dining table. A 9-foot heart of pine dining table is the starting point for the rest of the décor in the loft. The alcove across from the dining table is furnished with two contemporary tufted slipper chairs and modern artwork, making it a cozy area to enjoy the see-through fireplace.
A den and the remainder of the four bedroom, four bath loft are portioned off into separate rooms, some with partial brick walls, some with finished walls. The den directly behind the main area is where the family can gather to watch TV and is furnished with a sofa and two club chairs. The rich terra cotta color on the TV wall and pale green on the sofa wall complement orange and green tones in the Oriental carpet.
Bookcases filled with books line one wall in the spacious master bedroom. Next to the bed is a small sitting area with a leather club chair and TV. A half wall behind the sitting area was added to create a small, enclosed office space with a desk, chair, and computer.
The bathroom has a custom made vanity made of beech from locally reclaimed lumber. The vanity has an open base with a shelf for storage and has a green translucent acrylic countertop. There is a glass walk-in shower with a brown and white tile floor. On the floor are 14×14 tiles that have an abstract geometric pattern.
The beech and green acrylic vanity was used in a second bathroom and a third bathroom has a cabinet base with a concrete countertop and green tile backsplash. Different tile treatments were used in the two bathrooms. In one, pieces of one inch white tile are laid in 8×16 sections among 14×14 beige tiles that have a linen textured finish. In the other bath, 14×14 tiles with alternating square and rectangular shapes are used on the walls and 14×14 beige tiles with a linen textured finish are used on the floor.
Each of the three remaining bedrooms are decorated in a very eclectic décor. One has built-in closets and upper storage areas with a recessed center section and a chest of drawers and shelves above, all custom made by Sterchi Construction. The upper storage areas were added to take advantage of the high ceiling. The lower section of one wall was finished leaving the exposed brick wall above while the third bedroom’s walls were completely finished. The rooms are decorated in contemporary artwork, pictures, and mirrors. Simple headboards are used such as a tufted beige linen headboard and a wooden green headboard.
The fourth bedroom features a large sitting area, loft, and alcove. The walls are a soft, pale blue and are dotted with mirrors, pictures of dress forms, and shelving holding decorative pieces. The sitting area in one corner has a white shag rug and two white mid-century style arm chairs. Above the bed, a section of the brick wall was left exposed while the rest of the walls were finished. The bed has a beige tufted linen headboard and is covered in a pale blue duvet. Over the bed a crystal chandelier was hung. The alcove under the loft is painted a bright coral color and has a built-in day bed.
This Southside loft is a good example of collaboration between builder and owner. Working from the same page, they were able to incorporate high-tech materials and finishes into surprising, but beautiful elements which work well in the historical building. An empty shell was transformed into a functional urban living space that is a perfect fit for the owner’s lifestyle.