Sunday, July 10, 2011

Warehouse chic - For So Zo! :)

The most fabulous Zoe of So Zo, what do you know? once posted about how much she would love to live and work in a warehouse. As I kind of do, I promised to post some pics that actually SHOW this about my living space. The ones I've posted before say more about my OTT tastes and penchant for red and gold furnishings (I think I missed an illustrious career doing interiors for Chinese restaurants and bordellos!) than the provenance of this wonderful space.
It was originally the Empire Spice Factory, and after a short and famous career as student living, was converted in around 1997 to eight flats, and we have the one in the front top.
This is an old photo as the decor visible through the windows isn't ours, nor is it that of the previous owner! I nicked it off a real estate website.
I am told by a friend who quite coincidentally flatted there "23 years ago when it was a studenty dump" (his words) that in certain weather you could smell the spices in the floor. I was so hoping this would happen still but alas no!
Anyway, I think our place falls well short of Zoe's fabulously evocative description:  "a sanitised, pre-converted trendy warehouse pad with its token ‘original’ exposed brick work wall and fancy lampshades installations" but it's not her ideal either: "a big industrial or ex-industrial space, all brick and concrete, with lots of light and air in which to spread out to live and create. Big areas [...] in which we would work and generate ideas and hang out and relax."
Zoe I love how you put words together! :)
In spite of not being an enormous industrial feeling space (requiring a LOT of heating, she thought practically) it does however achieve being a place in which I and other creative types hang out and create :) Several such sessions are in previous posts, but there are heaps more.
 But first some crazy ceiling shots to show how interesting this space is still. This one shows the skylight over the stairs and a glimpse of my costumes rack (shrouded in a white sheet to protect it from fading)
 Same view, different angle. I think our ceiling at its highest would be 6m.

 This is where the ceiling drops to accommodate the upstairs space.
 The stairway to (sewists') heaven!
BAAAD photo! This space is 6m by 4m at least, but with the DH lurking around on the computer in his dressing gown, and the place being a tip right now, I can't get a good all encompassing shot. But I have 4 tall cupboards for stash, lots of shelves for, umm, more stash, lots of bookshelves, and two big sewing tables so at least three of us can set up machines. A quilter's envy; design wall big enough to take a queen size quilt, the "big computer" and its desk (where I am now) and windows on three sides with views over the rooftops of one of the funkiest parts of town!
So, it is pretty darn fabulous. And I fought for it! :)
Like Zoe, a part of me yearns for the big industrial space to live, work and create in. But for now, I am chuffed as ever to finally have a home that works for us on almost every level, at a price we could afford. And I wish the same for you, Zoe, and every other creative soul working away on the dining table or in a dark nook somewhere :)


  1. Ah bless you for answering my curious request!!! What an AMAZINGLY interesting space you live in!!!! I'm so jealous now it's a good job I'm sitting down or I'd fall to the floor (of our tiny one level flat) and weep!!! I cannot comprehend the amount of tabel space and shelving you have for your creating, so nice of you to share it with friends to have crafty get-togethers!!!

    Thanks again for letting me nose about, you're a star. AND thanks for your lovely supportive comments recently

    Zoe xxx

  2. I love it! The red and gold...I feel the pull of it, too...:) I love spaces with an interesting history, and this definitely has that!