Thursday, June 13, 2019

Welcome! Our Urban Dwelling Tour

After six months of planning, purging, organizing and packing, we are completely moved out of our former home. As a point of reference, my last home tour featured on the blog was from Christmas 2018, when we were already under contract to sell, and can be read here.
We are embracing downsizing into an urban condo dwelling, going from approximately 5,000 to just under 2,300 square feet of living and storage space. Our loft was listed as a 3BR, 3.5BA condo, but we are using the two extra bedrooms as his and her individual spaces. The best way to explain it all is to show you all. Grab a drink, I have a lot of pictures!

Our building was originally constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, developed as condominiums in 2007. There are six floors, and nine units total. Upon entering our front door, there are two steps up. The entire dwelling is then on one plane, with wood flooring set on the diagonal throughout all living spaces. All baths have heated tiled floors, as do the entry and fire exit. Window coverings are uniform, remote-controlled dual blinds, one being light-filtering, the other room-darkening.
We asked the seller to include several items in our purchase, and we have worked some of our own previous furnishings into the mix, purchasing only a few new things. I'll try to note these as I take you on the tour. I haven't hung anything on walls yet, with one exception.

Great Room: Living, Dining, Kitchen
The great room is seen immediately upon entering our front door. The sectional, dining table & chairs were the seller's, and we are keeping them, at least for now. They work well in the space. The armillary and canvas tote on the floor pictured below were previously in our sunroom.
The back side of the sectional is ideal for the nested Hekman tables I purchased last November at an estate sale. The occasional table beside the sectional, Parsons chairs, and accessories were all in our previous home, all pulled from different rooms. I bought SureFit slipcovers in grey (Target online) to blend with the dining chairs. These chairs will be extra seating for company. I'll inject more color when Mr. P. is not watching. 😉(Kidding, but I do have at least three other sets of slipcovers).
The dining seats were still covered in plastic from the seller's original purchase! A medical professional, the seller was the original owner of this loft, and only dwelled in this condo one day a week for nearly ten years. The kitchen and bar area can be seen in the background. All interior doors but one are Italian track doors (glass). The coat closet track door is shown below.
In the corner of the dining area, I kept my French curio from the former home, and much of my silver service collected over the years. The wall behind the dining furniture is prime space for some sort of arrangement, which I am still deliberating.
The view from the kitchen/bar area shows a wall with two track doors. These were formally bedrooms, now his (left) and her (right) spaces. The electric fireplace is functional for both ambient light and heat.
I kept my Orfanello statue that was previously in our entry at the former house.
Balcony, View:
Seller included the deck chairs and small table for our balcony. My two favorite garden statues made the cut and keep me company out here. The glass block wall you see is the back side of the shower in one of the baths.
City views from our balcony. We can see what's referred to as the "city and state" view - various church steeples and our state capitol in the distance. The river is also easily viewed from our balcony.
His space:
As noted, one bedroom was made to be Mr. P.'s space, the left side of the wall with center electric fireplace. The first thing we did was have this room and our master bedroom repainted. Below are the before (top) and after (bottom) of his space.
In the now furnished space (photo below taken from opposite corner), we brought our Henredon sectional bookcases and credenza that were previously in our family room. The Ekornes Stressless recliners with ottomans are new additions (love!). While this room is still not fully organized, it's already a comfy area for reading and watching television. The lamp on the credenza (seller's) matches the hanging lights in our living area. One wall is exposed brick in this room. Mr. P.'s computer area is tucked away in the space next to the window on the right.
The adjacent bath (sliding door entry can be seen in photo contrasting the paints) is from the realtor listing. Not much has changed, as Mr. P. is being quite guarded in what he'll allow me to put in his space.
Her space:
My space is on the right side of the wall of the sliding doors flanking the electric fireplace in the great room. 
A mix of furnishings from our previous dining room (entry cabinet), sunroom (chaise), living room (Asian credenza and table, mirror, tall and short floor curios), guest bedroom (mannequin), basement (bookcase and mid-century side chair), along with seller's grey flannel side chair and small credenza now used as desk - all make for a completely new mix among the cozy red painted and brick walls.
The tall curio will house part of my antique purse collection, a future styling project.
My computer, printer and stereo speakers are hidden in the corner as best as can be. Did I mention there were nine (9!) televisions mounted in this condo?? I'm not kidding. There's a TV in each full bathroom. We may use 3 or 4 of them, but I didn't want them removed until we were certain.
The closet in this space (behind mannequin in photo above) will be my household furnishings closet. The adjacent bath to this space (a track door across from the entry cabinet) is also a photo from the realtor's listing.
Powder, Laundry Rooms:
On the opposite end of the condo, beyond the kitchen wall, is a main hallway. Off of that hallway is a shorter, intersecting hall (directly behind kitchen wall) that leads to the powder and laundry rooms. The latter is the only room with a conventional door. The powder room is the only room where I hung something on the wall, my antique sheep print. The small cabinet in the powder room was formerly a CD cabinet in a small sitting room
This space is quite small, but perfect for company to use.
Just beyond the powder room is the laundry room, equipped with compact Miele washer and dryer (seller's).
Opposite the equipment wall, I brought in my baker's rack from the former home's sunroom. Every inch of space counts, and the seller was brilliant in his space design. Behind that cabinet door on the wall is a pull down, swiveling ironing board, just perfect for our needs. There's a TV mounted on the wall opposite the ironing board. 🙄
Just beyond the intersecting hall with powder and laundry rooms are yet a few more rooms along the main hallway.

Master Bedroom, Bath:
The master bedroom is at the near end of the main hallway mentioned. This is the other room in which we immediately changed paint colors. Before (top) and after (bottom) are pictured below.
This space is much smaller than our previous bedroom, so furniture placement was a creative mix of [mostly] pieces used before. The leather chairs were from the family room and dining room, the chest of drawers and mirror from my previous office/guest room.
Lamps and side tables were from various rooms as well. The cedar chest was a necessary storage piece brought from our previous bedroom, as was the Sleep Number bed.
We purchased the headboard new, Amish-made and special ordered to match the chest of drawers.
The master bath is pretty large, with two sinks, a huge walk-in shower with nine shower heads (maybe 9 was seller's lucky number??), and an adjacent infrared sauna room (and another TV in between, lol).
Utility Closet:
Our utility closet (and fire exit), situated at the end of the main hallway beyond the master bedroom and bath, has a unique design concept: the utility closet is built behind a variation of a jib door! As seen below (real life, those are framed prints not yet hung on the left side), the jib door/bookcase is housing many of my books, CDs and video discs.
Behind the door is the utility closet, housing the HVAC unit and water tank, as well as the fuse box, cleaning supplies, tools and paint. I'm a total fan of how our seller designed this space (on his own). He told us he had designed office spaces and other homes he's lived in. 
In leaving our home, one feature I'd hoped to retain was some sort of garden. Our building shares a terrace garden that is designed on two levels, great for entertaining. There's also garage parking in the basement and ground floors of the building, two spaces for each loft.
If you've stuck with me this far, I wish I could refresh your drink before you go on your way. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed the tour. I know many of you are nowhere near ready for this lifestyle. I wasn't quite ready either, until last year. You'll know when the time comes, if at all.
I'll likely share how I handle storage, some noteworthy points on purging, and other organizational issues I've been dealing with over the past six months in future posts. I'm just happy it's [mostly] in the rear view mirror now! 

Feel free to leave your comments. If you can't say anything nice, just let the crickets sing. Thanks for your readership!

Rita C. at Panoply


  1. Absolutely AMAZING, Rita, I am so excited to see your new home!!! It is fabulous, and you are making the integration of your belongings to this new space and style look seamless. I love the traditional and modern mix. The gorgeous floors stand out and oh my the views! I know this has been a life changing move, and you're so right, you just KNOW when it's time to take the leap. Thanks so much for sharing with us, it's beautiful!!

  2. Rita,
    Beautiful! Normally, apartment-style living and modern style are just not my thing. But the combination here of wood, wall colors, textiles, accessories, etc really make this quite stunning! You have plenty of space for entertaining, family, friends, each other, etc. As a fellow garden enthusiast, what will you be doing instead of gardening? I always loved seeing your gardens. It is a lot of work, but a labor of love for those who love plants. I guessing you must have plans for your time. Although I am not retired yet (a few more years to go) I find that gardening really helps me keep active, gets me outside, & enjoy the seasons. Otherwise I would spend lots more time on my inside hobbies & too little time outdoors. Loved the laundry room & utility room!

    1. Mary, thank you so much for your comments! As for gardening, I was still focusing on my own up until we moved, and still have plans to garden, just less. I transplanted several plants to one daughter's home just less than a mile from me. I also have another daughter and two sisters with gardens of various degrees that I can help out any time. It'll be like having grandchildren - I can have their gardens when I want them, and leave them when I've had enough!

  3. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE every single thing about your new home! It is absolutely amazing and you have done a great job pulling it all together! I so miss living downtown and wish I could get the hubster to go back to loft living, but he absolutely refuses! Rita, this is fabulous!! Love and hugs!

  4. It is all so stunning - my fav is the jib door (I always thought that was a great idea) You have a nice blend of old and new and you have a flair of making it all looks so homey. Enjoy your new home!!

  5. Very chic Rita! I am swooning over the brick walls! I am very happy for you!

  6. WOW! I do love your new space! You’ve found yourselves quite a gem! Love the his and her spaces and that bathroom with all the tile! Equally impressive are the utility room and the kitchen with all that stainless! Congratulations!!

  7. Rita, I absolutely love your new dwelling. It is has such a unique and modern vibe, but warmth in its brick walls. I do love the his and her spaces, that would be wonderful for sure. The master bath looks fabulous, nine shower heads would be awesome. I am so happy for you and so glad it is all behind you now. Moving does make one purge, I wouldn’t really know since we have been here for forty years. I love your city views! Thank you for the lovely tour!

  8. Rita, what a wonderful tour of your beautiful new home. I do love the his and her spaces and the shower with nine shower heads - wow. You will enjoy your terrace with all the lovely views. I am so happy the move is behind you, moves are exhausting. Rest and enjoy every moment. Wishing you and all those you love, many happy times in your lovely new home.

  9. It is lovely, Rita! I love the comfort and function of your furniture pieces. The pleasant light and views are so pretty. All the rooms look quite roomy and you have done a fabulous job designing your spaces. I admire all your hard work and now you can relax and feel peaceful.
    I look forward to your upcoming posts on purging, storage, and organizational issues. I'm going back for a second look now and take more in.

  10. Rita this is beautiful! This gives me hope for my upcoming move. You have done such a great job. So many awesome things. You must be in heaven - and so glad that you are settled. Happy to have you back my friend!

  11. I LOVE your new home. I didn't think I would, as I am not a contemporary person, so to speak (even though I have designed contemporary homes (our flip houses in Naples and Pompano). I should have known that you would make the rooms feel comfy and cozy ....and you certainly accomplished that with your personal touch. I think that is why I am not a fan of my flip houses' staging..I furnished the homes with contemporary retrospect, I should have placed some warmth based items. I will certainly take your "lead' in our next flip.
    I know it must have been so difficult purging all your lovely things and knowing which to keep and which to purge. Kudos dear friend, I enjoyed my cup of tea while visiting with you this morning....and your view of the city is amazing...Did I see your "space" with windows on two sides? lovely.

  12. It is just stunning. All the gorgeous brick and the light coming in....I love it! I'm wondering how you're feeling waking up in the space now? I hope it is one of a light and free mood of "I don't have to mow a yard anymore and more time on funner activities". I am glad you are not asking the same question a lot of people ask when they first move..."What's your favorite room" because I don't think I could pick a favorite. I love the way you're mixing in your furniture pieces with the modern lines of your new home. Looks wonderful!

  13. Oh Rita, your new home is perfect for you and Mr. P!! I love that you each have your own space. Even though your new home is smaller, you still have so much space. I’ll look forward to your tips on purging. Thank you for taking all of us on a tour of your beautiful home!

  14. OMG OMG OMG!!! Where to begin. Rita this is stunning. I love the exposed brick. Those bathrooms are to die for!!! Your spaces are beautiful. I love that you have that cozy space to watch TV with the two chairs. I love how you have mixed the modern and your vintage pieces and they work beautifully together. Your place looks like it is right out of a magazine. All of the hard work was so worth it. This place with the views is absolutely unique and stunning. That laundry room oh my amazing and your kitchen is gorgeous. Oh I could go on but I want to say Bravo for getting this place and all the hard work to get here was well worth it. Beautiful.

  15. Rita, I love your new home but love even more how a few of your collections made the move with you. You worked them into your new home so expertly they just blend right in. My transition to a smaller more manageable home in in the works on a two year plan so I look forward to advise on purging and decided what makes the move. sb

  16. It is stunning Rita, when I first saw glimpses of your condo in earlier posts I was quite surprised to see the modern style as you are such a lover of all things vintage... It's an exciting contrast to your former home, and it seems to be a celebration of this next new phase of your life! The industrial elements are softened by your touches, and I LOVE the way you decorated the extra bedrooms to create his and her spaces, that is such a great idea! Love the exposed brick, and wow the laundry room and utility closet are awesome! The outdoor spaces are lovely too. Now you can relax and enjoy!

  17. Rita, you have taken the space to a perfect place, I love what you've done. How wonderful you each have you own space, no sharing and the baths are fabulous. I would love the luxury of heated floors on frosty mornings. You have amazing views to enjoy your morning coffee or an evening glass of wine, I love that! I also love how you added your own furnishings to some already there. Also, love, love, love, the recliners and ottomans in the MB. You've had a long and tiresome six months but look at you now! Enjoy and enjoy and know you won't have to worry about doing it in the future. Great choices. I'm really looking forward to your future tips on moving and organizing.

  18. Your new home is stunning, Rita! I love the electic style of modern with vintage, along with the light filtering in through all those large windows, the brick on the walls, and the space you've created for just you and another for Mr. P! I'm just wondering which direction your balcony faces because you can probably put pots of flowers and/or plants on it and create your own little garden space (much like I did on our deck). I didn't see sun shining on it, so I wasn't sure if it was facing north or not. Isn't it freeing to purge and downsize? I can't believe it's been six years since we did all that when we moved!

  19. Wow, Rita! I think it's fabulous! And I really admire what all you had to do to downsize into a smaller space. I love the use of the brick in the rooms; it's very warm. And that walk-in shower is to die for. It looks like you have good light and your private space, which I think is incredibly important. And nice you could keep some of the seller's things that work well within the space, at least until or if you find something different. It all works so well. I really like the layout too. That's a huge job, moving and well done, you!

  20. Well, Rita, your efficient nature really shows in this downsizing effort! I know it was a monumental task, but you two did a great job transitioning to your smaller space, and it looks great. I loved seeing which pieces made the cut! Enjoy putting on those final touches, then sit back and enjoy a job very well done. 👏

  21. After wiping my feet on that pretty front door rug and upon you opening the door I must say I am enthralled with your beautiful new urban dwelling, Rita. A I walked around your fabulously light-filled home, stopping at this and that to inspect every lovely detail closely, I am struck by the beauty of your new loft. Why, I believe I love everything; from your amazing Orfanello statue, to those oh-so-comfy your amazing 'her' space (oh to recline on that chair and look out the windows to the view)....all is rather fabulous and so very elegant and well thought out. I love the seamless combination of the 'old' and the 'new'. Perhaps the previous owner had a thing about the number nine. I cannot imagine nine televisions and to have nine shower heads in one shower.....well that would be quite the showering experience. A most amazing home you have to enjoy the next chapters in both yours and your husband's day to day living. Enjoy!

  22. Very nice new home. We came by your town this past Friday on our way home from Columbus, and we thought of you!

  23. Wow, there are good at arranging the room ... the condo you own is laid out looks very elegant.
    The view of the balcony also looked beautiful ... very pleasant.

    Greetings from me in Indonesia

  24. Beautiful! I love what you've done with every room. You've managed to combine contemporary and classic in such a savvy way. Well done!

  25. Rita, I love it! Your balcony is so charming and what a great laundry room! Very chic, my friend! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

  26. Wow! You have been a busy lady . It all looks so very nice . That balcony screams , “sit a spell with a cup of coffee” to me ! Girl , 5000 square feet prior to this ! Wow! I bet this is downsizing for you . So very lovely . Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  27. Rita....your new home is truly amazing! The space was very well planned and the loft looks brand new! I can see many details of this home that you loved. What a view!!!...had to laugh at the all the TV's, but I actually love having them around as I use them as noice filters for my tinnitus....I think my contractor looked at me with two heads (again) when I said I needed space for a TV in the laundry/craft room! I absolutely LOVE your views!!! must be wonderful to see those views during the day and especially at night! Cannot imagine the beautiful lights of the city! I so look forward to seeing more of your beautiful new home!!!! Congrats and glad that you are settled in!!!

  28. Rita...your new home is AMAZING! Kudos to you for keeping the items you love and making them work in your new space. I know what a journey this will be two years in August since we sold our home ( with my beloved garden and screen porch) and moved to an apartment in a retirement ( 55+ ) community. We were lucky to get the last unit in the building...someone backed out - and it was the only floor plan we wanted. Some things were already done, but we got to pick out most of our own finishings. After downsizing, selling, and giving away 40 years worth of stuff...we LOVE our new space. Different, light filled, easy to live in and entertain....and we have a screened patio that looks out on gorgeous landscaping and a field of corn now, and deer in the winter. We are 3 miles away from a small city with great entertainment and amazing restaurants. Several times a week we look at each other and say "we love this place" ! Wishing you much love, health, and happiness in your new home !!!

  29. Your loft is wonderfully eclectic in its design and furnishings. LOVE the idea of each of you having your private space. I'm sure that will help with the lifestyle transition. I cannot imagine the former owner having so many TVs -- or so many shower heads, lol!

  30. Your new home is amazing and so beautifully decorated. Wishing all the best!

  31. So nice!I am kidding...Magnificent!Splendid! Absolutely stunning!!!Congratulations.I wish you much happiness in your new home.Hugs,Maristella.

  32. Rita, this is such an exciting new phase! I would love it if you did an update in a year or so sharing what it's like and if you've made many changes in your daily routine. Love how you've decorated your new home! I know it was a challenge pairing down and deciding what to keep and what to let go. Enjoy this wonderful new space!

  33. Rita, I’m sure you’re breathing a huge sigh of relief now and hope you’re vacationing soon! I love the exposed brick in your new space in contrast to the industrial vibe. Wow, 9 TVs…that’s some serious TV love ;) Love the “his” and “hers” spaces! The former owner sounds like he would have been a great architect or interior designer. Love the creative mix and handsome tile in all the baths. I see your vintage Seeds box (Ferry’s?) made the cut…I wouldn’t have been able to part with mine either! Happy move to you and look forward to seeing your ‘purging’ and ‘organizing’ tips. ♥

  34. Wow! This is wonderful. We've talked of doing the same thing (downsizing to the city) so I'll live vicariously through you!

  35. I really enjoyed touring your new home. I know several couples in my town who left their big homes where they raised their family for a loft downtown. Your loft is so pretty and looks to have the perfect amount of space. I look forward to reading about how you purged before moving and how you organized your new space.

  36. Helloooooo Rita! Long time no chat. After taking time off of blogging when dad passed in early May, we left on a long planned, nearly three week vacation to South America. Came home to find your much anticipated new home tour --- wow! What a show stopper and brilliantly layed out. Love how you arranged new and old. The baths are incredible! Looking forward to seeing more.

  37. You have done a beautiful job of styling this space Rita! I love the wood floors, the views, the his and her spaces. You've given me some ideas for my little used craft room. Like others have said, you've taken a modern space and infused warmth and personality into it. I can't believe it was only lived in a day a week for years. But that's good for you, very little wear on things. Enjoy your new home; I know you will be tweaking as you go, but that's the fun of it. xo

  38. Rita,
    Congratulations on a successful move!
    You've done an amazing job of bringing treasured items to the blend of urban living!
    Loved the tour!

  39. Wow, Rita, I'm just catching up on this post now....holy smokes what a complete lifestyle change for you! You couldn't have selected a home more different from your previous home!! It's lovely, and of course you have chosen some wonderful pieces from your previous home to use in your new space. I can't wait to see what you do with that balcony!!!

  40. Oh my word, Rita! What a place - what a huge change!

    Congrats- that is a VERY big step!

    I wish you both much peace, joy and love in this beautiful new space.

  41. There’s so much about your new home that I love Rita! Where to start?! The floors are wonderful...not just the wood, but how about those heated floors! And the brick walls are the stuff dreams are made of. The bathrooms are yet another dream. Did you say 9 shower heads?! The views are outstanding, and I’m sure even more gorgeous at night.

    It’s wonderful you both have your own spaces too, and they already reflect your personalities and lifestyle.

    I can not begin to imagine downsizing to half the amount of space, and I am sure you’re glad it’s behind you and you can now focus on making this home your own. For sure, the sellers left you with a great place to start!

  42. Hello Rita!
    I have been enjoying reading, viewing and soaking up the fabulous ambiance, decor and views of your new home! It is absolutely gorgeous and I adore that you and your hubby are embracing this entirely new way of "living," life.
    I think you have been having fun too and isn't this what life is all about and don't you think we have earned this joy filled time in our later years!
    Looking forward to more glimpses into your new lifestyle and awesome abode!

  43. Rita!! I just really admire people who take the leap and go for something completely new and exciting. Your loft is gorgeous and those views are one in a million. The way you've mixed the loft's modern edge with your collected things is perfect. I hope you'll be very happy there. Do you think you'll miss your yard?

  44. What a fantastic change of pace and lifestyle! You have embraced a new lifestyle! So many televisions! I thought there were a lot in our house when we bought it, but 9!! Crazy!

  45. Rita,
    I've so enjoyed catching up on what you've been up to! WOW, changes abound for you and your hubby!! I cannot tell you how impressed I am with how you have integrated your beautiful furnishings into your new home. You have a way of arranging vinettes that are cozy, warm and inviting. And those views---beautiful!!
    We too are in the downsizing stages of life and it feels great!

  46. Hello Rita,
    First of all thank you for your nice words on my blog.
    You've got yourself a great new home.
    I'm so excited about it.
    Also this view from your balcony .....
    Really very, very nice.
    Have a nice Christmas.
    Many greetings