David & Marta's Simple Yet Stylish Loft

House Tour

Name: David and Marta
Location: East Village, Downtown -- San Diego, California
Size: 820 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years -- rented

This loft in downtown San Diego has a soaring 35-foot ceiling and exposed rafters and pipes, which bring a raw edge to David and Marta's pared-down style. The space also makes a stylish backdrop for the surf and California-themed prints David designs as Orange & Park.

The Bluebox, a former warehouse smartly rehabilitated into seven lofts by award-winning architect Jonathan Segal, is hard to miss in downtown's East Village. If the building's bright green façade doesn't catch your eye, its huge old windows will.

Inspired by modern Japanese design, David and Marta have created a minimalist space that appears much higher-end than it actually is. Credit their backgrounds in design (he: graphics, she: fashion) for making Ikea and CB2 standbys look chic against all that clean white.

Upstairs, David and Marta carved out a dual office, with two long desks that serve multiple functions, from computer workstation to sewing table. For their sleeping quarters, they've kept it simple with a basic bed and dresser, and several large white armoires that blend in for seamless storage.

Downstairs, a bold green accent wall anchors the entertainment and dining area and leads the eye to the small but efficient kitchen. The living room is a cozy place to relax and gaze out the loft's two-story window, which allows in ample light and a connection to the downtown hustle and bustle beyond. When the curtain is drawn, the window seems like a shoji screen, imprinted with the elegant silhouettes of the trees outside.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Stripped down, functional, modern, geometric.

Inspiration: the International style, hotels in Spain, modern Japanese home design, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou

Favorite Element: The big window. We have no private outdoor space with this apartment; such a large window in this relatively compact space is really important in providing some contact with the exterior.

Biggest Challenge: Storage. The apartment had none when we moved in. I originally built a walk-in closet in a corner of the bedroom using salvaged windows, suspended from the ceiling by wire rope. It was classic but we grew out of it pretty quickly.

What Friends Say: People like the high ceiling with the bare beams. It's about 35 feet from ground level to the high point and you can look up and see that from the living room.

Biggest Embarrassment: The yellow color on the walls in the bathroom! About a year ago we decided we wanted a washed-out, vintage yellow in there but totally blew it and bought something with a lot more saturation. Been meaning to repaint it ever since.

Proudest DIY: The curtain on the big window. There were vertical plastic blinds there when we moved in. I summoned my skills from home economics class to sew the curtain, then hooked it up to the existing track. (This was back before Marta started sewing...) The trees outside cast shadows on the curtain if it's closed in the afternoon and from inside, it's like a shoji screen.

Best Advice: Keep it simple.

Dream Makeover: Combine this place with the adjacent unit and create a megaloft! We'd also love to have a little rooftop deck accessible through a hatch in the ceiling... but who wouldn't?

Resources of Note:

LIVING ROOM
• Cube coffee table: CB2
• Sofa: Ikea
• Clear acrylic chair: Eurway
• Credenza: Ikea
• High table: Eurway
• High chairs: CB2
• Rolling 3-shelf table: CB2
• Violin floor lamp: Crate & Barrel
• Arc lamp: Plummers
• Pink & white art: Laurie McCray
• Curtains: sewn at home using Ralph Lauren fabric
• Ornate picture frames: reclaimed from my mom and painted black

KITCHEN
• Metal shelves: Ikea
• Vintage lamp: garage sale

BEDROOM
• Bed & bedding: West Elm
• Storage units: Ikea

WORK AREA
• Tables, bookshelves, small metal lockers and drawers: Ikea

Thanks, David and Marta!

Images: AnnaMaria Stephens

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