A 400-Square-Foot Loft Looks Way Bigger Than It Is

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Industrial loft with green walls
Credit: Diana Watts
I’m a sucker for a gallery wall. Mine features gifts, souvenirs, and the artwork of friends.

Name: Diana Watts and ball python snake named Baby Ed
Location: Downtown River Market — Kansas City, Missouri
Type of home: Loft
Size: 400 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, renting

Credit: Diana Watts
When I first toured the loft, my “I’ll take it” moment was when I saw the view.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: It’s a little studio with a lot of personality. The top-floor views of the downtown Kansas City skyline are easily my favorite element. But the exposed brick and original beamed ceiling are close seconds. It was painted green by the owner and I wound up keeping the color. Painting 20-foot walls seemed a little daunting! I already happened to have a lot of green furniture (and too many plants) so the color is pretty much everywhere.

Credit: Diana Watts
The lamp was my great-grandfather’s. The gold jewelry box on the wall was a thrift shop find. The hand-painted mirror was found in a Chicago alley.

The neighborhood itself was one of the strongest selling points for me. It’s always lively and artistic. I wind up hanging out on my fire escape to people watch (okay, fine, I’m dog watching) when the weather is good. I live next to a huge antique shop, so I wander in there quite a bit to see if anything needs to come home with me.

Credit: Diana Watts
Guests are horrified by these stairs-slash-storage cubbies. They’re even more horrified when I tell them that the ladder in the living room was the sleeping loft’s point of access before a former tenant built the stairs.

Small spaces like this one force you to keep your clutter to a minimum and to utilize storage creatively. I’d moved around a lot, so downsizing wasn’t an issue. My apartment is a constant work-in-progress. There are plenty of things I plan on tweaking and upgrading, but I love where I live so I’m in no real rush! It’s just me and my pet python, Baby Ed, living our best lives surrounded by plants and books. What more can a girl ask for?

Credit: Diana Watts
I have a lot of witchy little talismans scattered around, especially in my precarious library area.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Eclectic, edgy glam downtown loft.

Credit: Diana Watts
Is a place ever a home until you’ve amassed books in every corner?

I’m a writer with a theatrical education, so the vibe leans toward the moody and dramatic. I typically side with the maximalists. The color palette became very green, very quickly! But there’s a lot of gold and bronze throughout, which I feel compliments the green and deep blues nicely. My style is very much inspired by luxe Art Deco interiors, Victorian gentleman’s parlors, and a little bit of industrial glam. I like my space to be a blend of feminine and masculine. I have a strong love of history, which is fairly evident in the space. Lots of antiques, old books, photos and inherited pieces. Ultimately, I want to evoke the feeling of a museum or curio cabinet.

Credit: Diana Watts
The building was originally a coffee factory. I managed to find an old bottle of their instant coffee!

What is your favorite room and why? It’s all one room, but my cozy little sleeping loft is probably my favorite nook.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? A new throw pillow. Witchy rebel vibes abound.

Credit: Diana Watts
The elk above Baby Ed’s tank is named Actaeon.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Take your time. Curate. Only hold on to pieces you absolutely love. Worry less about design and focus more on having fun and creating a space in which you feel the most yourself.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.

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