While looking for a place in Washington, DC, I came across a listing for a loft condo unit for rent on Dwight & David, a local real estate firm. Often people ask me what really defines a true loft space as the term is used so loosely now in development. Originally popular with artists, lofts are adaptable living spaces created by converting industrial buildings such as a warehouse or factory. This type of conversion is a form of adaptive reuse. The interior architecture of lofts should retain elements of the building's history such as exposed brick, exposed ceilings, hardwood flooring. The plan layout is open with flexibility to frame out kitchens, living, dining, and sleeping areas. Due to the popularity of lofts, many developers have removed the element of designing your own space by creating standard layouts.
Walnut Street Development's conversion of the former Rainbow Auto Body Shop in Logan Circle into loft condominiums is a great example of adaptive reuse. The units feature twelve-foot-high ceilings, large windows and open floor plans. Exposed concrete ceilings and ductwork, steel beams and other industrial finishes occur throughout. While these lofts have been designed by an architect, I would essentially gut the unit and start from scratch. I have so many ideas already on how to make the space sing. The unit shown is currently available for rent at $2195. Not really looking to rent at that price, so I will certainly keep my eye on the building for a future purchase.
The one element that I like about the interior design of the units is the industrial sliding doors on the closets, mimicking industrial elevators. Although the placement is awkward. The previous inhabitants had an interesting sense of color. A good tip for using color in spaces - keep it simple...multicolor schemes can work but make sure the colors work together and are used in a way that forms transitions between spaces.
Rainbow Lofts are located on Church Street, N.W. between 14th and 15th Streets. Interested? Go to Dwight and David Real Estate for more information on this apartment.