The Ups & Downs of Ground Floor vs. Upper Floor Homes

published Oct 17, 2011
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(Image credit: David Hernandez, Jacob Hand)

Have you taken a look at last week’s House Tours? David and Teresa’s aerie had me contemplating the advantages and disadvantages of living high and living low. Each has their pros … and cons:

My own home is on the ground floor. But for the last two months, I’ve been living on the top floor. It has literally given me a whole new perspective. Here’s what I’ve discovered from my own experience.

Living low:
Temperate: Despite the fact that I have no air conditioner, when it gets hot, my apartment’s still nice and cool because it doesn’t get direct sunlight.
Separate: The front door leads directly into my home so it can often feel like I’m living in a house. If I’m having people over for dinner, it’s not unusual for me to leave my front door open. My guests can walk in without me having to interrupt my preparations to answer the buzzer.
Green: Because the complex’s green spaces are right outside my front door, I’ve appropriated them as my own and I often sit outside to have my coffee in the morning.
Easy: Whether it’s bringing in the groceries or a new piece of furniture, having my home on the ground floor makes it a lot easier to move stuff in and out of. There are no stairs to climb and no elevator to squish into.
Cozy: The soft muted light of a low floor home is calming and soothing and meditative, naturally lending itself to intimate gatherings, curling up with a good book and nurturing your soul.

Living high:
Windows: There’s something about a view that feels empowering. It’s also a better indicator of what the weather’s like outside than the ever-fickle weathermen.
Light: Because the space gets flooded with light from morning til night, I’ve less of a need to turn on a lamp. I’m up earlier and, high above the street lamps, can it be that my sleep is deeper?
Safety: I don’t need bars on my windows and I’m less worried about casual break-ins.
Quiet: Up high, the rush of traffic seems more like the hum of a white noise machine.
Clean: Despite the fact that this space, like my own, is on a busy street, it stays cleaner because it’s not as close to the dust that gets kicked up by cars and people scurrying by.

Image: David Hernandez, Jacob Hand from Teresa and David’s Grown Up Tree House