I never would have expected that my husband and I would ever entertain living in an urban loft. However, loft living is exactly where we have found ourselves as empty nesters. Although there have been some compromises to make for this move, overall we couldn’t be happier.
Loft Living In The City
When my husband and I decided to downsize, we decided to also go from suburban living to living in the heart of the city. We had always lived in suburban areas while raising our kids. The quite areas had great neighbors and a true sense of community. I never would have pictured us living in a busy city. However, after our daughter moved to New York City, we began to really enjoy our visits there and all the hustle and bustle. Although New York would still be too busy for us to live in ourselves, Grand Rapids Michigan is the perfect size city. And, living in a loft got us right in the middle of it!
My husband and I both grew up in a quite suburb of Grand Rapids. However, living right downtown gives a much better perspective of the city. When you live in the actual city, you tend to experience more of what it has to offer. The venues, restaurants, and shops are all just steps away.
Our loft design is the typical city loft. We have high ceilings, large windows, an open floor plan, some interior brick walls, and open duct work. Like many of the lofts and businesses downtown, our loft was converted from an old industrial building. I find this same brick and wood flooring in many of the coffee shops, restaurants, and stores.
The Best Part About Loft Living
Because the living area is only about 850 square feet, it is easy to keep clean. We also had to get rid of a lot of clutter from our old house and I mean A LOT of STUFF!! There really is something freeing about living a more simplified life. I tend to now decorate with fewer, more meaningful pieces. My cupboards are filled with just the necessities. I never needed all of that Tupperware or those special gadgets that only collected dust!
In addition to the interior simplicity, there are absolutely no outdoor chores to do!
A Cool Design
I have always liked the look of urban loft interior design. The high ceilings and open floor plan make it feel larger than what it really is. There is plenty of wall space for tall furnishings and art work. The interior brick, old wood floors and open duct work all work together to create a warm and somewhat funky living space.
Walking Distance From Everything
If we want to go out for dinner or take in a concert, we literally just need to walk across the street or down the block. Convenience is a huge plus!
The Downside Of Loft Living
Because there are so many different events going on in the city, we get to hear the crowd noise. The worse times are when there is live music outside. Luckily this only happens a few times a year. There are also the more frequent noises of sirens or people hooting it up.
- My husband wears ear plugs at night. I’m able to still sleep through most noises.
- We head up to our cabin, where the only noises are frogs or crickets, on the weekends when most of the loud events occur. Unless, of course, we are participating!!
Although we have parking spaces, we do not have a garage. One of our spaces is in a parking garage and the other is an open lot. This is really only an issue in the Winter when my husband has to brush the snow off his car. Yes, I’m in the parking garage! As far as storage goes, we do have a garage at our cabin for the things we need up there. We don’t have a need for lawn equipment or big tools at our loft and we use our bikes at the cabin.
Our building, and most other lofts, have a shared laundry facility on each floor. There are only four loft units on our floor that share the laundry, but I don’t care for that. It obviously wasn’t a deal breaker but if there was one thing I could change, it would be that! Not everyone has the courtesy of staying home to switch their loads. We could add our own washer/dryer unit to our loft but since space is so valuable, I am grinning and bearing it. One advantage to also having the cabin is that we are adding a laundry room there.
Loft Living Overall
I think loft living is perfect for us as a second home. If we didn’t have the contrast of our cabin, I may not enjoy all of the activity of the city. The way I feel now is that I am always on vacation. When we are at the cabin, I enjoy all of the peace and outdoor activities. When we are at the loft, I enjoy the vivacious hustle and bustle.