Help! Fix Up This Live/Work Warehouse Space

Help! Fix Up This Live/Work Warehouse Space

Grace Shu
Jan 13, 2010

Last year, I did five-part series about redecorating on a budget for my friend's studio apartment. To say that it was a great learning experience is a bit of an understatement; so this year, Gregory challenged me to do the a similar series. "Consider it penance," he said solemnly, "for all the headaches you gave me in 2009." Well, Gregory, sorry about that. And I'm upping the ante this time around: You may remember this somewhat controversial post I did awhile back when I stayed at my friend Evan's live/work warehouse. Instead of blacklisting me from his home forever, Evan has invited me (and you!) to help him revamp his living space, starting with the bedroom area.

Evan's home is basically one very, very large box of a warehouse space with no walls aside from the concrete ones that reach up to about 30 ft high. As the owner of his own apparel company, Evan runs his business on one side which includes rows and rows of boxes, an abundance of shipping supplies, and a designated photo studio area to shoot model/product shots. While that side of things is fairly organized, it's the living side that needs a lot of work. "Basically," Evan has said, "I want it to feel warm and welcoming...and separate from my work."

To give you a better sense of his home, here's a layout:

Even though we'll be tackling the entire living portion of Evan's warehouse, I figure it's probably easier to concentrate on different areas. While we have some ideas mapped out for the living and kitchen areas, it's the bedroom (and eventually, the bathroom) area that could use some input from all of you. Here's Evan's bedroom in its current state:

Looking past the unmade bed, I think one of the biggest challenges for this area is lighting. Because Evan has had to create walls and storage using two freestanding wardrobes from Ikea--not to mention, the bedroom area is actually tucked in an alcove--he's also blocked out a lot of the natural light that comes in from the floor-to-ceiling wall of frosted windows on the opposite end of the space. A few readers have pointed out that fluorescent bulbs now come with different brightness, so any recommendations as to what kind of bulbs/wattage would best create a warmer ambience would be so appreciated. We'd like to swap out what's in the overhead light (which is a very glaring light that is reminiscent of 7th grade history class). The only other source of lighting he has is that table lamp perched on an Ikea side table.

A few weeks ago, I sent Evan this amazing house tour that was featured on Unplggd as a source for inspiration in style and comfort. Evan loved the apartment; but in particular, he loved the idea of a dual-sided projection screen, except as a potential room divider/privacy screen for his bedroom or even a means to separate his working/living areas:

Although, we're not quite sure how to mount curtain wire anchors to concrete...? Anyone have any ideas on how to set that up? We welcome your ideas, suggestions, and other feedback for Evan's bedroom makeover!

Please join us as Evan and I embark on this venture of redecorating his home on a budget. We're currently in the early stages of planning and budgeting, and I'll be posting the follow-through series with before and after photos (from the same viewpoint...) in the upcoming weeks.

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