"Live/work" describes a new way of life for many Columbus urban dwellers. “Live/work” spaces are accommodations that are specifically designed to enable both residential and vocational use. They are geared towards the many people who are working from home these days. Several years ago, city officials, developers and other community leaders started collaborations to redevelop our city and bring the downtown back to life. The results are an exiting new array of developments offering options and prices to fit all pocketbooks.
Working and living in a loft (or any small space for that matter) requires effectively accommodating work, entertaining, and personal space. Residential designer Carl Fankhauser of Inner Space and Lisa Schlembach, Vice President of Design with T.W. Ruff, joined forces with CityView Developers to outfit a space with great design and furnishings, and to create an effective, affordable “live/work” environment in a downtown Columbus development.
Surrounded by Columbus’ most popular destinations, including the Arena District, Short North Arts District, The Discovery District and Columbus’ central business area, CityView at 3rd offers the ultimate urban living experience.
Designing a Space for Your Work Style
For T.W. Ruff’s Schlembach, finding out how the client works is essential to combining workspace with entertaining and casual living. When working with professionals specializing in home design or office space, it’s important to ask the right questions when defining space and assessing the fiscal feasibility of a project. Schlembach insists on finding out how a client works best from home. She needs to know how to utilize technology and what flexibility is needed from the furniture.
A Design Formula for Flexible Living
The design formula for this loft-home exemplifies a model for flexible living. The flat-screen television functions as both an entertainment center and computer screen. The space offers multiple media, such as expansive glass windows and rich wood cabinetry. Area rugs were introduced for texture, color and spatial definition. Using fabric panels and rugs is a great way to provide visual separation in the open floor plan. The furnishings are easily movable, due to their scale, weight and the use of casters. The adjustable-height kitchen island serves multiple purposes. It performs equally well as a desk or conference area and provides a dining space for the homeowner.
The ground floor unit features a platform, which does dual duty as an entertainment area and an office. Upholstered chairs on casters (sporting tablet arms) provide seating that’s flexible and adapts to client meetings or after-dinner conversation. In addition, a clean white fabric panel allows the platform to be divided from the other areas while introducing additional texture.
At CityView, Fankhauser incorporates art to effectively soften the work environment. He recommends considering how to incorporate art by evaluating budget constraints and considering the finishes on surfaces and the lighting.
The owner’s suite serves as a sanctuary or escape, creating a balance within the home and allowing the homeowner a respite from the multi-disciplined public spaces. A platform bed with no footboard makes the space feel larger, while dynamic, large-scale paintings, sculptures and glass vases provide contrast to the home’s subdued neutral palette.
Lighting in a small space should be chosen wisely. Its function and aesthetic have equal architectural value. This is commonly discounted by the consumer, but is addressed in the loft at CityView with the use of several types of lighting applications. Upon entering the space, one cannot help but notice the large expanse of windows that provide a great amount of natural light throughout the loft. This natural light is powerful and energizing and allows one to feel connected to the world outside. Ambient lighting with all-important dimmers has been installed all around the loft to provide general and flexible illumination. Task lighting has been provided in "work zones" where visually intensive activities may occur. Finally, there’s the decorative lighting to add interest, a bit of whimsy and sparkle to the room.
The CityView at 3rd model is available for view by appointment. Call 221-8200 for more information. To learn more about creating smart “live/work” environments, contact Lisa Schlembach at 487-4000 or Carl Fankhauser at 297-7059.
Do You Want to Work and Live Downtown?
Questions to ask before you invest in an urban work/live space
By Bill Shelby, President of Spectrum Properties
1. Where is the property located in relation to your clients and co-workers?
One of the many benefits of living and working in the same urban space is having the ability to walk to restaurants, shopping, festivals and other hotspots. But, it’s also important to consider properties that provide easy access to your clients and coworkers.
2. Is the condo developer experienced in urban living live/work spaces?
Building in an urban area is very different from a suburban one and requires experience and knowledge for on-time delivery of quality, cost-effective properties. Be sure to research past projects of a property’s developer, and talk with residents of their completed projects about their experiences. Doing your homework will give you peace of mind, and you won’t wait months or years longer than expected for your new work/live space to be finished.
3. Does the property have tax abatement?
Several years ago, Mayor Coleman initiated a ten-year tax abatement to encourage people to move to the city’s urban core. Consider purchasing a condo where the tax abatement applies. The abatement lessens your monthly mortgage payment, making for a great investment. Talk with the property’s developer and your real estate agent about the potential savings.
4. Is ample parking available?
While Columbus is moving toward becoming a metropolitan hub, most people still need their cars to get around. Make sure that the property you are considering has at least one parking space per unit.
5. Are the building and individual condos secure?
Even though statistics show that downtown Columbus is one of the safest areas in the city, it’s important to make sure security measures are in place. Have the property developers show you all of the securities at each property you explore.
To learn more about “live/work” spaces available in Columbus, contact Bill Shelby at 461-1111 or via e-mail at email@example.com