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Living in a loft and simplifying

LavaKnightLavaKnight Registered User regular
edited October 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey everyone,

So I just got a new job and it's a good one that's going to allow me to "upgrade" my life. In the plans are moving out of my sweat-lodge of an apartment (that some of you may remember from my thread on ineffective swamp coolers.)

I found a really cool new set of environmentally conscious lofts downtown, but I've never lived in a studio and/or loft before, and think it might be a bit of a change from my moderately-sized one-bedroom that I live in now. I get a choice between two different units, one of which is substantially bigger for $100 more. I think I could make that work financially, while still meeting my savings goals, but whichever one I choose, I'll still be moving into a smaller place then I am now.

I have a small desk and my computer, large tv (that's not mountable, unfortunately), a bed (which will go up on the loft), and some assorted small furniture that need to fit into an interesting space. I currently watch my tv from my bed, so I'll probably have to get a small couch to fit too. Currently, I'm having trouble picturing where my desk and computer will fit with regards to the tv/couch combo. In addition, the units don't have closets so I will have to find a wardrobe and fit that somewhere as well.

So basically, I have to make this (apologies for the clutter):
Spoiler:
Spoiler:

Fit into a space similar to that seen in the artist's rendering shown near the bottom of this page

I figure I'm going to have to simplify a lot of my current living habits, which I'm excited about. Aside from the essential pieces of furniture, I don't need a whole lot to live in, and am wondering if anyone else has any experience living in a loft, moving from a moderate sized space to a moderately small sized place, or simplifying their living arrangements in general.

Thanks for any help you can provide!

LavaKnight on
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Posts

  • TrillianTrillian Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Don't get attached to stuff and throw stuff out. Be ruthless in what you keep and what you get rid of. All that old crap that you look at think "I'll need this someday" has to go. Get furniture that doubles as storage or a spare bed and only buy small stuff. You'll be amazed by how many stores cater to people living in sweet little bachelor lofts who like nice quality stuff that fits their single-serving size lifestyle.


    They cast a shadow like a sundial in the morning light. It was half past 10.
  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Firstly why do you own three bikes?

    Secondly look at what you can store above you, ie hang, your bike (note the single!)

    Thirdly, what trilly said, sticking shit under the bed saves a bunch of space.

    Look at replacing your Computer with a laptop, or your tv with a media server/computer with a tuner card.

  • mooshoeporkmooshoepork Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Yeah, you need to get ride of at least 2 of those bikes.

    There should be plenty of stuff you can throw out.
    Spoiler:

  • TinuzTinuz Registered User
    edited July 2009
    I however do see the point of owning multiple bikes (if you're an enthusiast, you want different things for different days)..but do hang them somewhere. Really guys, it's a hobby...don't go downsizing on life's finer things.

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  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Ikea has a lot wardrobe/closet type stuff that is relatively cheap and gives you a place to hang your clothes. It's also all modular so you can basically build it to fit your space.

    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/categories/departments/bedroom/10997/

  • DHS OdiumDHS Odium Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Yeah, if there's an IKEA store near you, you've already won half the battle. We got a small, cheap platform bed, and they have these storage units that go under there perfectly. There's a lot of space saving designs out there.

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  • TL DRTL DR Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    You don't have a bed frame. Build or purchase something that will raise the bed to about eye level, so you have room for a desk or whatever underneath.

    eokNV.jpg
  • furretfurret Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Hey, I'm a packrat, and if it's not hard to move it, I wouldn't get rid of anything til you get it there and see you don't have the space. :P But I am onboard with IKEA shelving. Think vertical. Think in three dimensions. You may have reduced floor space, but it looks like you've got good volume, so use tall shelves/book cases, suspend things from those rails, and stack stuff up high. Maybe you can get one of those sweet rolling library ladders!

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    If that's really all you have, you should be fine. You don't have that much stuff.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    How many sqft are you moving from and to? Hell, I might take the smaller place just because an extra $100 is substantial to me right now.
    storage storage everywhere
    Find it, make it, use it. Keep neat and tidy because otherwise life is going to suck extra hard.

    I have a queen sized bed, dresser, night stand, table, crib, chair, and ottoman in my 200 something sqft studio with enough room for a ton of toddler toys and space to run around. I had to make some "sacrifices". I have a standing desk thats actually a 12'' deep shelf and my table is smaller than usual.

    SHELVES
    STORAGE

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  • LavaKnightLavaKnight Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Yeah, the bikes all have a function. I actually have four in this apartment if you look closely :o One is my girlfriend's and the other two I can't do without. I might find a home for the one with red handlebars, and drop the total down to three. That said, there should be a bike storage area in the entrance way of the new building, which will house one of them, leaving the other two for a standup bike rack, which aren't too expensive.

    Thanks for the info on IKEA. We have one nearby in Sacramento, but I don't have a truck, so options are somewhat limited. Are those wardrobe combinations easily transported in the trunk of a car? Possibly sticking out the rear somewhat? Actually, I could borrow a Prius, which has more back space with the seats put down. Alternatively, I could probably find a moderately nice one on Craigslist, or something.

    The plant is actually pretty small, but the framing makes it look larger than it is. Not too worried about my plants.

    I think I will be ruthless with all my extraneous things, like old videogames and clothes I wear, but the flow of the apartment with my current furniture is what has me worried. I might have to go with the larger place just to give myself the most options, as the small units are really quite small (300-400 ft²)

    Thanks for the help so far, I'm definitely interested in hearing what everyone has to say.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    It depends on how much stuff you are buying at Ikea. I personally wouldn't bother unless the seats folded down. Check out their website and you'll be able to figure out some minimum dimensions that something might be.

    HGTV has a show called Small Space Big Style that showcases living in tiny areas. Might want to look into that show, it usually has a lot of the same ideas done in different ways.

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  • wunderbarwunderbar Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I think ikea has a delivery service as well.

    But yea, think vertical, think very vertical. You can go all the way to the ceiling. Use it.

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    The artist's rendition of your new place looks bigger than your current place.

    I don't think you'll need to get rid of anything, to be honest.

    You don't have a lot of stuff, either.

    daniant wrote:
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  • HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Another thing to try is to put everything in a corner somewhere 6 months ahead of time and when you need it, pull it out of the corner. Hopefully by the time you're ready to move you'll have a pile of stuff you have but don't use (in the corner) that you can get rid of.

    Don't be afraid to throw out old furniture that isn't going to work as well in your new place, especially if it's Wal-mart/Target/Ikea stuff. It's better to get rid of furniture that's taking up a lot of space and not adding a whole lot than to keep it around clogging stuff up. Last time I moved one of the pieces of furniture got broken and it actually turned out to be a relief that I didn't have to find a place for it. Don't be that person moving stuff you're gonna throw out later :D

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    If you do go to Ikea, be careful what you buy. A lot of their stuff is absolutely terrible in terms of quality, and you'll most likely have to throw it out a year later. It's better to spend more now for something that will last several years.

    Sure, their stuff might look snappy, but if it's hollow and filled with cardboard, is it really a good quality table?

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  • LavaKnightLavaKnight Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Glad you guys don't think it will be an issue. I'm mainly worried about bringing two rooms into one, and adding a couch and wardrobe to the floorspace as well, but I trust your opinions enough to think it's feasible. Thanks for the input everyone.

    I've read that about Ikea (in this month's Atlantic), which is why I'd prefer to buy a second hand piece locally, but I will definitely try to find a more substantial piece if I do end up going there.

  • wunderbarwunderbar Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I've personally never had an issue with quality from Ikea. a couple of pieces are a bit flimsy, but most of the stuff I have is built well enough.

    Ikea is not something I will use to decorate my entire place with. A few pieces, yes. But I'd never do a whole place in Ikea

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Something like a book shelf? That's fine.

    A computer desk? Not so much.

    An entertainment centre? Even worse.

    Most of their shit is built from partical board or hollow wood reinforced by cardboard. Here is a picture where a guy cut into a shelf, and you can see the cardboard.

    Also, some of their stuff is better than others.

    See if you can find a liquidation place near you. There are warehouse-style furniture stores that basically sell off slightly damaged goods or repossessed furniture. I got a solid oak entertainment centre and coffee table from one of these places, both in pretty much perfect condition. We were never able to find the same models online to compare how much it would have cost new, but from similar stuff we found it looked like we saved about $1000.

    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
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  • RhavenRhaven Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Figgy wrote: »
    See if you can find a liquidation place near you. There are warehouse-style furniture stores that basically sell off slightly damaged goods or repossessed furniture. I got a solid oak entertainment centre and coffee table from one of these places, both in pretty much perfect condition. We were never able to find the same models online to compare how much it would have cost new, but from similar stuff we found it looked like we saved about $1000.

    Yeah, you can save quite a bit by looking around for furniture and checking out warehouse sales and liquidation places. We bought a china cabinet/display shelf thingy for $400 at a warehouse sale and later came across the exact same one brand new for $1300.

    You should also check out the house & home magazines at your local bookstore - a lot of them have entire issues devoted to living in smaller spaces. You can find a lot of neat storage and layout ideas there.

  • MindLibMindLib Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    thought this might help;
    http://www.stacksandstacks.com/dual-wall-bike-rack-with-adjustable-shelves/?groupId=9037&categoryId=1271&AID=9926704&PID=2187177&SID=1246904424z4a0wpgox29ysitai0s65c

    It's all about finding the right method to utilize space. Discreet racks, shelves... You can get a ceiling mount for that plant of yours as well.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    IKEA is great if you've got my philosophy when it comes to moving/furniture buying: when I move, I want to throw away/give away most of my furniture. This will leave only smaller stuff that I have to move. IKEA is great for this. Plus, you don't worry about things getting spilled on or broken.

    And I crammed most of the stuff I got from IKEA into one trip in my 1990 Honda Civic. You don't need a truck.

  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    just get stuff off the floor and up onto walls or ceiling. lofting the bed with desk or couch underneath is a good use of space.

    there is an RC willy in roseville and i think a place that sells furniture that is used to stage new homes etc in sac somewhere, i never found it

    camo_sig.png
  • KistraKistra Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Possible the best part about IKEA is their display rooms. The one near me has at least 10 different "apartments" put together in sizes from 300sq-600sq ft with varying shapes. Even if you don't get any of their stuff going through those to get ideas on how to use space efficiently can be really helpful.

    For quality I think it depends a lot of what you buy. Some of their stuff is real wood the whole way through (trust me, I cut a piece off of my desk to thread wires through). It isn't hard to figure out what is cheap and what is better by looking at the price tags.

    All of the stuff comes in flat boxes. so it is easy to fit into or on top of cars.

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  • akuteakute Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Blaket wrote: »
    Firstly why do you own three bikes?

    There are four bikes.

    *adds nothing constructive to this thread*

    </end waste of your time.>

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    He will be living in a loft. He doesn't need to loft his bed.
    It's already there.

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  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    He will be living in a loft. He doesn't need to loft his bed.
    It's already there.
    not necessarily. he could mean loft in the hipster way which essentially is a large open living space over buildings/restuarants or he could mean loft in the sense that there is an open area upstairs that doesn't cover the entire apartment.

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  • KistraKistra Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    mts wrote: »
    He will be living in a loft. He doesn't need to loft his bed.
    It's already there.
    not necessarily. he could mean loft in the hipster way which essentially is a large open living space over buildings/restuarants or he could mean loft in the sense that there is an open area upstairs that doesn't cover the entire apartment.

    Um... did you bother to look at the picture in the link?

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  • PojacoPojaco Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Blaket wrote: »
    Firstly why do you own three bikes?
    Because bikes are awesome.
    Yeah, you need to get ride of at least 2 of those bikes.
    NO, just no.

    If you were really obsessive about having your bikes out of the way (mine usually leans against my bed, so I can sleep close at night :winky:) you could do something awesome like this:

    http://lifehacker.com/5211899/build-a-minimal-diy-bike-rack

    But if I were you I would throw away some things that aren't one of the most useful things you could own.

  • TrillianTrillian Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Pojaco wrote: »
    Blaket wrote: »
    Firstly why do you own three bikes?
    Because bikes are awesome.
    Yeah, you need to get ride of at least 2 of those bikes.
    NO, just no.

    If you were really obsessive about having your bikes out of the way (mine usually leans against my bed, so I can sleep close at night :winky:) you could do something awesome like this:

    http://lifehacker.com/5211899/build-a-minimal-diy-bike-rack

    But if I were you I would throw away some things that aren't one of the most useful things you could own.

    Well you can only ride one bike at once. Since space is at a premium, he could stand to sell 3 bikes.


    They cast a shadow like a sundial in the morning light. It was half past 10.
  • Captain VashCaptain Vash Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    my favorite thing about ikea is that I furnished my entire bedroom for about 800 dollars, a year ago, and all my ikea furniture is still in perfect condition.

    and my desk is actually pretty nice, it's just a big ol' slab of frosted glass sitting on two metal stands that look like sawhorses.

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  • PojacoPojaco Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Trillian wrote: »
    Pojaco wrote: »
    Blaket wrote: »
    Firstly why do you own three bikes?
    Because bikes are awesome.
    Yeah, you need to get ride of at least 2 of those bikes.
    NO, just no.

    If you were really obsessive about having your bikes out of the way (mine usually leans against my bed, so I can sleep close at night :winky:) you could do something awesome like this:

    http://lifehacker.com/5211899/build-a-minimal-diy-bike-rack

    But if I were you I would throw away some things that aren't one of the most useful things you could own.

    Well you can only ride one bike at once. Since space is at a premium, he could stand to sell 3 bikes.
    How many pairs of pants do you wear at once? All pants are the same, and you could use the extra space for something else, so why not minimize there? Neckties and shoes? don't get me started on those...

    This might be an obvious tip, but going vertical when possible is a good idea. 1 tall bookshelf instead of 2 squat shelves, vertical bike rack (or hanging!), entertainment center that lets you stack your equipment, etc.

  • LavaKnightLavaKnight Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I like that DIY bike rack. The ceilings of the loft are pretty high, so I think that will be a pretty nice looking solution that would fit the modern aesthetic of the loft. Thanks Pojaco, glad to have some support! I like your link too, MindLib. That rack seems super useful with the shelves.

    I'm turning in the application tomorrow morning, and should be able to put the deposit down later this week. I'll definitely be looking into vertical options and multi-purpose furniture, but it's good to know that you guys think I should be able to fit most everything pretty easily.

  • cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Businessman!Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Is "upgrade" in quotes in the OP because the new place is smaller? This new place is better because of its location, and not because it's any bigger right? Cause it's smaller.

    edit: Though I would like to say that the artist's rendition of the loft looks pretty sweet. You even have alcoves and stuff for the bikes.

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  • LavaKnightLavaKnight Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Yeah, the place may be a little bit smaller, but the location is a couple of blocks closer to downtown, it has a washer and dryer, and the whole aesthetic of the place is really modern and high end. They're really doing a great job with a building that used to be an old firehouse, and even though it's a little bit smaller, I've never been as excited as I am now to move into a new place. I could probably get more space for my money somewhere else, but there are very few modern apartments/buildings here in Reno, and everything I look at is pretty similar to where I'm at now.

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    It's smaller in that there is only one room, as opposed to 2, but it looks like your current place has 2 fairly small rooms anyway.

    Have you seen the place in person? The artist's rendition is great.. but let's face it.. it's an artist's rendition.

    Going by that though, you've got a lot of space for what you have right now. You can split up the main floor area to have both a couch/tv and your desk/computer.

    Your bikes could easily be hung on the walls in the hallway coming from the front door.

    I just realized, is there a kitchen at all? Do you have one where you are now? I'm not familiar with "big city living," so I'm not sure if that's a dumb question.

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  • LavaKnightLavaKnight Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Yeah, there's a kitchen. I think it's tucked around the corner not seen in the artist's rendition. It's a pretty small kitchen, but has a dishwasher which I don't have now, which will be nice. The unit I looked at (among the smaller units) was similar to the one in the rendition, but had a slightly narrower entrance-way that opened up into a slightly more open floor than the one seen.

    Glad you all think that a couch will fit alright with my desk. That was one of my primary concerns.

  • LavaKnightLavaKnight Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Thanks for the help and advice everyone! After work yesterday I went and put a deposit down on the unit, and should be moving in by the 15th or August, so I'll post an update with photos as soon as I do!

  • LavaKnightLavaKnight Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Update #1: So my move got pushed back until the end of the month, unfortunately. I ride by the building on my way to work every morning, though, and it's looking really good. I'm very excited to move in, so thanks for everyone's help.

    I found a couple of Ikea wardrobes for sale locally, and bought them for an amazing price, but I'm starting to get worried about them. They're the Aneboda wardrobes, and previously I thought I'd be able to install a drawer or two into the bottom of them, hanging the clothes above. There are plenty of holes in the sides, but looking on Ikea's website, I can't find drawers that go into the Aneboda. The Komplement drawers could work, but I haven't found any mention of putting them into an Aneboda wardrobe from my googling the last 20 minutes or so. Is it possible? Ikea's three hours away, and I'm planning on making a trip there in the next two weekends to get matching drawers and maybe a new desk, but don't want to drive out there for nothing.

    Thanks again for the continued support. I'll keep you guys updated on the move in, because the place is going to be amazing!

  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    While you're living there...make sure nobody touches your hair.

    http://haberae.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/Salon_7.136162407.jpg

    Also, judging by the artist render, you have plenty of options to hang your bike. If anything, you need get some nicer looking furniture.

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