Loft Living: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - Juniper Home

Loft Living: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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You know what’s a really weird experience? Walking through your home for the last time. Saying goodbye to the empty loft late Sunday night was a surprisingly hard moment for me. In a lot of ways the space was a challenge to live in, so I wasn’t expecting to feel that nostalgic as I stood there taking a million pictures of our old home.

The same day we were shown the loft two years ago, we also toured a really lovely two-bedroom in Battery Park City. It was in a nice luxury building with all sorts of amenities. The apartment was a good enough size, and the finishes were really nice, but the real selling point was a heart-stopping view of the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty.

We went back and forth on which of the two apartments to rent. Each place represented two very different sets of trade offs. They were the opposites of each other in almost every way. What would life have been like there on the river?

When it came down to it, we decided open-concept living was a better fit for our family. It just felt more “us.” I wanted to live, eat, work, play all in the same space. It felt like a great opportunity to get in a lot of family time. And I think we actually achieved some of that dream over the two years we lived in our big white box. I know I’ll miss some of that. Some of the other things… not so much. Namely, the fashion photographer neighbor who would play loud house music for his shoots that would often last until 3 or 4 in the morning (!). Also, the less-than-awesome natural light situation that made it hard to photograph the windowless bedrooms and that probably gave us all SADD in the winter. Also…

Did I ever mention that we didn’t have walls that went all the way up to the ceiling? A law was passed the month we signed the lease that made landlords super liable for accidents involving pressurized walls (commonly used to divide up apartment spaces here in New York). So when we signed the lease, we thought we were going to be able to divide up the space with semi-permanent, insulated walls, and that ended up not being the case. We were too close to moving in when we heard the news, so we just had to roll with it and make eight-foot tall ‘bookshelf walls’ instead. We stacked old trunks on top of the shelves to fill the two-foot gap and give us more privacy, but I think you can figure out on your own that the wall situation was not super ideal.

And now our house in Brooklyn has very separate spaces for separate functions, which I’m thinking might feel a little lonely at first! But, the exciting news is all of us have real rooms, with real walls. We have more than one bathroom (hallelujah!). And my office is two full floors away from my kids room (which will make business calls sound a lot more professional than they’ve been the last two years! ha!).

In my experiences working with clients in all sorts of home and apartments, and also with all the places I’ve lived (my move-count is up to 22!), I’ve had the chance to think a lot about how to make spaces work despite/while embracing challenges. The reality is, we can never have it all and there are always tradeoffs. I wonder how soon I’ll miss the tradeoffs that were unique to the loft.

How many times have you moved in your life? (It’s actually a fun exercise – try it! Can anyone beat my 22?) Also, am I the only one that slowly walks through the empty house after packing up, saying goodbye to each room? So many memories (sniff, sniff). But here’s to many new ones!

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70 thoughts on “Loft Living: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

  1. I'm 37 and I've moved 26 times!!!! A bunch were college, but my husband and I have moved 7 times in 13 years of marriage, and at this point we have 5 kids and a dog. Actually were supposed to move in to our old rental today! Because,you know we thought we wanted a big house with shiny appliances and lots of bedrooms but it turns out we wanted our old neighborhood and are making do!

  2. Honestly, I've never thought to comment on this great blog but I too can never leave a space that I don't walk through nostalgically. I think of all the dinners, all the laughter, all the blood sweat and tears to get the paint color exactly right and even then think it probably could have been better… it's nice to connect with the emotion rather than the superficiality and that's why it's worth so much more than this idle text. Enjoy your move and know the depths to which you inspire the silent masses.

  3. I am almost 50–my current home is my 23rd residence. (I counted–I thought the number would be higher!) I have been here almost 15 years, though. I remember getting very antsy after the first two years–it was really hard to adjust to the fact we were not going to be moving. I'm still adjusting, actually. (There's too much moss on this ol' stone, I think!)

  4. After several moves, local and long distance and the death of a husband…I take to heart the notion that a house is an address–the people we love are our home.

  5. At age 33, my move count is 23 (I grew up as an Air Force brat, then coincidentally married an Army guy) with many more moves on the horizon. The Army has us moving every 2-3 years and I've got at least 16 years left as an Army wife. Moving is a lifestyle – I get restless if I'm in one place too long. Though it can be bittersweet at times, the next move is always an adventure!

    Looking forward to seeing what you do with the new digs!

  6. now that you've left it- My husband and I are in the Financial District looking for a place just like your loft. Could you let me know the building- so we can inquire?

  7. now that you've left it- My husband and I are in the Financial District looking for a place just like your loft. Could you let me know the building- so we can inquire?

  8. I never have time to say goodbye as I like to ensure everything is packed up properly and every room is spotless before I leave. Then I'm too exhausted for the Goodbye which is good as I don't like them.

    I've moved 6x but you did really well packing up in such a short time. After 21 moves I'm pretty sure you have a really good system.

    Maybe you can share some of these?

  9. How about 35!!!
    My husband and I have been married 53 years and have lived in 35 different homes. You name it, small apartments, a mobile home, condominiums, single family ranch, colonial and even a bi-level. We are now in a single family 2050 sq.ft. home in a DelWebb community. I was a Realtor specializing in New Construction, my husband was in the A.F and then moved quite often in his civilian job. All explaining the fun of trying new living!!! Have fun….Enjoy each experience!

  10. At last count I think I hit 30 different places I have lived and I am thinking I might have missed a few…we moved a ton while I was growing up…!
    I am happy that my own children have lived in just two homes though who knows they will probably grow up and wished we' d had bigger adventures!
    And I ALWAYS say good bye even to hotel rooms!
    Congrats on your new home I can't wait to see it unfold!!!!

  11. I thought 22 was a huge number, and was completely surprised when my tally was 25 moves. I counted every single move, and most of those were during my college years and first couple years of marriage, and I also counted all 6 of the cities I lived in as a missionary.

    There was a time during my late twenties when I got a little shell-shocked from so much saying goodbye–and from never having the time to keep up with old friends in the midst of making new friends–so I didn't feel like getting to know anyone, since it seemed like it would be so hard to say goodbye. I also felt guilty for not keeping in touch with people I really had cared about. (Facebook and the internet have made keeping in touch SO much easier!)

    I've been in my current suburban home for 9 years, and although I'm tired of our house itself, we're happy with our schools and neighborhood and doctors and dentist, so we will likely make the house do and stay put while my 5 kids are in their school years, unless a really great home goes up for sale very close by.

  12. I just moved last weekend, so I'm feeling the nostalgia of our old home, but loving the larger, newer space. It was an odd feeling, for sure walking through it the last time, bittersweet. As for total moves in my lifetimes… it's right around 24 that I can remember.

  13. I am also at 22. Our current house is number 17 for my husband. We both moved a lot as children so we have been in this house for eleven years (and we are only in our mid-thirties). That means I hit number 22 when I turned 23! Staying put for a while now.

  14. So far, I counted 34 moves. I'm sure there are a few I have forgotten. I didn't realize there are so many of us who have moved so often.

    Now, I don't feel so bad.

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