Tuesday, December 27, 2005

How to make a small space feel bigger....?

Brandon and Cory have just moved into a newly built two-story loft in the heart of the city. While the couple shares an artistic sensibility _ Brandon is a photographer and Cory is a makeup artist _ their loft did not reflect their creativity. The ground floor of the space was bland, underutilized and a real mishmash of furniture and styles.

When they purchased the place, they thought their hip digs would be big enough to both live and work in, but now they are worried they might have chosen too small a space for their multitasking needs.

I knew that with some proper design and reorganization I could make the space work, but I had two big challenges before me. The first was to maximize the smallish, horizontal room and turn it into a functional loft for living, working and entertaining clients. The second was to produce a harmonious balance of contemporary and casual. While they are Eastern city slickers now, Brandon and Cory are originally from the west coast and wanted their space to incorporate a cool, laid-back feeling.

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Lofty trends is coming to Tucson

TUCSON - Downtown Tucson is seeing a revival many urban planners can only dream of: a steady stream of loft and condominium developments that is changing the downtown scene.

Projects converting old industrial buildings and a courthouse and even a convent into loft-style apartments are under way. Run-down buildings too far gone for renovation, like the old YMCA building, are being razed to make way for the hot new dwellings.

One of those set to be finished soon is the conversion of an old federal courthouse annex into a high-end loft condominium project. The $8 million project is scheduled to be done next year.

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Downtown Colorado Springs has rocketed back as a hip place to live after two decades of hemorrhaging residents, a new study for the Brookings Institution found.

Nobody would mistake it for a city that never sleeps, but downtown Colorado Springs is looking good compared with a couple of decades ago. The area saw a mass exodus during the 1970s and 1980s, when the population decreased by 38 percent, leaving only 3,401 people living downtown.

That trend reversed during the 1990s as the population grew by 1,634 people, an increase of nearly half. Downtown populations nationwide grew by 10.4 percent on average during the same period.

By the end of the ’90s, Colorado Springs boasted a larger downtown population than many other cities, including Denver; Austin, Texas; Cincinnati; and Des Moines, Iowa, according to the study entitled “Who Lives Downtown.”

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