Joel & McKenzie’s Salvaged Live/Work Loft

published Jan 26, 2011
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Name: Joel & McKenzie Taplin, and their 14-month-old daughter Gere
Location: Monohasset Mill — Providence, Rhode Island
Size: 2,700 square feet
Years lived in: 11 — rented, then owned

One of over 30 live/work spaces in the Monohasset Mill building on Providence’s West Side, Joel & McKenzie’s loft evokes a feeling of cozy farmhouse minimalism despite its expansive size. Credit that to the fact that their décor is refreshingly free of big box store trappings, eschewed in favor of furnishings that are inherited, thrifted and hand made.

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Joel, a framer and woodworker, built out much of the loft himself — even the plumbing exhibits a sense of whimsy — first as a renter after graduating from RISD where he studied Industrial Design, and then again a few years later when he joined with other artists to buy space in the building. Many of the architectural details, like the oversize doors and industrial sinks were salvaged from local demolitions. Now a family home where he lives with his wife McKenzie, a photographer, and toddler daughter Gere, the couple celebrates their parenthood by letting bright, kid-friendly elements dominate the space. The openness allows for a blending of work, living, and play space — the perfect arrangement for a growing family.

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Baby-proofed!

Favorite Element: The light

Biggest Challenge: The current layout came from the trial and error of living in the loft before it was renovated. For example, the kitchen used to be in another place, the front door was moved, and our sleeping loft has had 3 different iterations. We have always loved this benefit of living in a open space — if we did not like something in one place, we would move it. We’ve done a lot of building and demolition and rebuilding. For now things are a bit more fixed, primarily because we use the space differently now that we have a daughter.

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Resources of Note:

• Sink — Salvaged
• Stove — Earthen Vessel, now closed
• Fridge — Sears

Furniture: Hand-me-down, thrift stores, and hand made

Lighting: Lightolier/found

Rugs & Carpets: Grandparents, IKEA, thrift stores

Tiles & Stone: Home Depot and salvaged

Window Treatments: IKEA curtains, Joel made the rods

Beds: Hand made by Joel

Artwork: Friends

Flooring: Original

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Joel & McKenzie!

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