Ryan & Katie's Loft — Where Fishtown Meets Kensington

Ryan & Katie's Loft — Where Fishtown Meets Kensington

Aaron Able
Dec 7, 2009

Name: Ryan & Katie
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — where Fishtown meets Kensington

Ryan and I moved into this terrific loft on the top floor of a remodeled fabric warehouse just 9 months ago. As the first renters to live here after a very artistic family built all the interior spaces with custom church window doors, cherry veneer walls and handmade tiles, we initially hesitated to make this great space ours. Luckily they left us some furniture to start with and we began to accumulate special pieces from flea markets, IKEA, and antique shops, and art created by our friends.

The kitchen is my favorite part of the house! When we moved in we treated ourselves to a set of All-Clad pots and pans and a few Wusthof knives which have really inspired me to explore my favorite past-time and entertain our friends more frequently (we just hosted Thanksgiving for 15 of our friends who couldn't visit family this year!)

One of the biggest problems we had was picking the right colors to paint the non-wood walls. Originally the kitchen was dark royal blue and olive green while the living room and bedrooms were maroon — all of which made the open floor plan feel small and crowded. We wanted to brighten up the space with light, modern colors that would offset our eclectic belongings and help us appreciate the bare 12 foot ceilings.

We're lucky to have both north and south facing windows that run the length of the loft and let a lot of natural light in and give us a great view of Center City. The outside walls are still covered in their original yellow "elementary school" tile, which we've tried to soften with art from local artist Christopher Thompson and favorite prints Pittsburgh-based Tugboat Printshop. Our landlord fabricated custom shelving that runs from one end of the loft to the other on the north side and we use that space to show and store books, instruments, records, Ryan's typewriter collection and ephemera we've picked up along the way.

As soon as winter moved into Philly we decided to get a wood burning stove for the living room which was already equipped with a chimney opening in the roof. The antique pot-belly stove we found on Craigslist has once again transformed our space, only now it feels like we're in a wintry cabin!

Our bedroom is still a work in progress, but one that I'm very proud of! Ryan and I made the bedside tables and lamps, and we've begun designing a custom bed frame that we'll put together with big Mahogany planks we bought at a sawmill nearby. On the wall are two original Katsushika Hokusai woodblock prints that were a gift from my grandmother.

We each have our own creative spaces where Ryan does freelance web design for non-profit organizations and I sew and paint (in our spare time!). In my office I have a reading nook under the building's steel beams and a ladder to the roof, where we picnic and play like it's our yard.

I am constantly looking around for new inspiration for our house, rearranging the furniture, or planning our next party. We hope to stay here for a while while our garden grows!

Thanks Ryan & Katie!

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