“Yep, this is my first real estate purchase, and that I found itlike people state of authentic love, when I was not looking.” –Lucas Mire
Lucas Mire is a technological wizard through the day, folk singer-songwriter through the night, and a art and interior layout fan 24/7. He bought his loft, in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward (right across the corner from the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr.)two years ago and is continually thinking about how to best organize everything for maximum relaxation and of course, for entertaining. I’ve been a guest in his own house several times and will tell you he has succeeded. But he never quits playing about with different arrangements and documenting his furniture and art.
The plan of the loft is similar to that of a railway flat using a hallway. When you input, the master bedroom is to your right, followed by the bathroom, and the lounge space, the spacious galley kitchen and ultimately, the big open living/dining room. We’re going to flee through in reverse, beginning with the big open space.
Please tell us a little about your building, your neighbors and your area.
I’ve been in Atlanta for decades, and dwelt in midtown Atlanta for eight of those years, but began to feel like I was perhaps missing out on different pieces of our great city. I am a mid-century modern fan, and there was something around Tribute Lofts’ outside that appealed to this sensibility since I would pass it on the way to visit friends in Cabbagetown or Lake Claire. Plus, as a part time folk musician, I truly appreciated the concrete walls, ceilings and floors for audio containment. I appreciated the construction abuts the Freedom Trail and is readily available for walks and bicycle rides. Or, if you want to walk to catch a meal, several yummy restaurants are nearby: Across the road, Highland Bakery, Fritti, Sound Table, Dynamic Dish, Krog Bar…
Do not forget karaoke night in Corner Tavern! It is really enjoyable to see The Old Fourth Ward hopping with this much action and new shops and restaurants. What was your”first assembly” with the area and the loft like? I’d spent the night with some friends in East Point and in the morning that they were driving me home and we passed Tribute. I said,”Hey, do you mind if we simply pull in and look at this place?” They were game and so very, very soon afterward I found myself within my future residence. I really responded to the total amount of space, the concrete construction, the loft touches, the floor-to-ceiling windows from the living room, the backyard bathtub, the balcony. It fulfilled all of my needs except for cupboard area, but the cost was right. And after living at a 550 sq. ft. studio for five years, an entirely separate bedroom felt like caviar–so decadent! Additionally, while I envisioned some changes, I enjoyed that which’as is’ from the builder’s paint colours, and selection of tile into the lighting fixtures and cabinetry. It was an inner”Yes” all the way around.
What was the very first measure of your remodeling/decorating procedure?
The initial step was getting lighting to the main living area, which had none. I knew I wanted at least 5 points of light for this amount of space, and I added them within the span of a couple of weeks. I also instantly had my buddy Jeff encounter and install dimmers and additional closet racks and fixtures, and hang on a couple of curtain rods. The walls are tangible for the most part, so hanging art took Jeff’s experience plus a special drill. He knocked all of that out in about 6 hoursthen I took him to Jack’s Pizza for supper.
Inform us about the largest renovation/decoration challenge you faced. Initially my den seemed like a little cave, and I instantly knew I wanted to make it a cozy place for overnight guests that doubled as a lounge/library. But I did not wish to manage this concrete wall. . .so I guessed an affordable solution is to hang on window coverings within it, to provide the illusion of depth and dimension and also as focal point design point. I chose a graphic print from IKEA and also called my friend Gina to come hang them (decorating is really about connections!) And install some lighted bookshelves you could see from the hall to instantly tell you before entering exactly what this room is about. Sort of like when the Barefoot Contessa sets limes in addition to a key lime pie so you know what type of pie it is before you cut a slice. I still need to paint (Benjamin Moore’s Baby Seal Black)for a chandelier or some sort of lighting fixture to your ceiling, and also hang a heavier, more substantial curtain in the entryway.
That I love lounging in that room. It feels like I am chilling with musicians right off the studio space or something. The lighting is always groovy and sexy in there. All right, onto another question, what are your preferred style and colours?
It is easier to say what I don’t like… I will definitely enjoy an antique something or other, but it’s just not me. I gravitate toward clean lines and a mix of colour and texture. There is something about of touch of orange which makes me really excited. I end up having traditionally neutral colours for my couches and chairs, and funk it up with a pop of orange. I consider myself as a lover of monochromatic combinations, which explains the reason why I love my kitchen. . .all white dishes, clear glass, along with the slightest taupe/beige–it feels sophisticated to me. But the very next minute I will find myself fantasizing about placing FLOR tiles at alternating rectangles of green, orange, grey, blue and black (that my friend Allyson will allow me to cut and install. It requires a village!)
Yes it does! But you repay the village with music and wine, so it’s all great! I know my favourite place in your house, what’s yours?
I really like being outside on my balcony’s super comfy outdoor couch with a huge pillow along with a throw studying, speaking on the telephone, or having a soul-satisfying talk with a buddy in person. Inside, as it becomes dark, the feeling of the entire place completely changes, and when I get the lighting exactly right, I will create a sense which makes me feel totally proud and happy I get to live at a place that really reflects who I am at this moment. I love it when someone comes over and says my area feels like me. That’s the largest happy moment because I’ve somehow managed to externalize a sense of relaxation and livability for the guests.
That daybed is my preferred place too! I never want to look like I’m hogging it too much, but I get too comfortable and determine I don’t care about anybody else! Lucas, you have such a wonderful art collection. Apart from pets and photos, what would you grab in a fire? A box in the cupboard that has letters and notes from my mother, art made by special people in my life, a couple of special books and my computer hard drive with my music collection on it. Hmmm, now that consider it, I should maintain an off-site backup of the songs.
I think exactly the exact same thing every time I ask that question, I get busy doing other things and neglect. So, other than backing up your music, what’s your next project? Aside from the aforementioned den painting and lighting fixture, I truly want to redo my kitchen countertops. Right now it is a split level bar, and I would like to have one big island and really connect the living/kitchen place at a more satisfying way. The high bar isn’t working for me or my guests.
We would love to gain from what else you have learned. Please provide us your best suggestion for your remodeling/decorating beginner.
I’ve a few…
1. Install dimmers on literally every light in your living area, and if you have lamps get the dimmer switches from IKEA. It can have quite an impact and enable you to specify a large number of moods.
2. Let it evolve. Do not feel as if you have to do everything at once. I still don’t have a overhead lighting fixture for my bedroom. I am not sure what I want to do yet, and I know one day I will spot the thing
that will be perfect. I want to redo my kitchen and put in real drapes in the living space, but trust meit will all happen when it’s supposed to and when it’s right. And one of the interesting things about decorating on a budget is you can experiment, wait, and be very zen
about it all. I think constructing a house that reflects your idiosyncratic tastes and aesthetic–that is exactly what we want–can take some time, and that’s OK.
3. Trust Yourself. Everyday you can read about how big art can make a small space feel small; dark colors make a room feel claustrophobic. Then the following you can see or read about some layout pro saying the exact opposite. I personally dislike symmetry in
general, however in my bedroom, it simply feels balanced and appropriate to possess two of the exact same bulbs on each bedside. Divide your own rules if you really feel like it. I heard once that the only thing we have to offer
the world is our take on it. So, try not to overanalyze and live out your internal layout instinct. It may take trial and error, but that voice will get clearer if you keep listening. If you like something, some crazy combo of colors, go with it. You are
another Kelly Wearstler. . .and if nobody enjoys it, at least the most important person in your life does: YOU!
4. Do not buy prefabbed artwork. I once purchased some lovely print of a famous piece of art from a chain merchant because I did really like the piece. But when I wrapped it in my house, I could not walk by it without feeling sort of gross income for a while. I brought it back and learned a major lesson: Recently an artist/painter, or find local artists you like and also get something completely original that just makes you excited when you see it. Among my recent faves is local Atlanta artist, Alex Leopold–his
mixed-media collages provide me the chills and speak to me on a psychological level I really don’t really comprehend. But I know I love getting his bits in my house, and I also love supporting local artists as soon as possible.
5. Build relationships… with your favourite musicians, supervisors at your favourite house stores, and with people who will install dimmers, bookshelves and floor tiles. (Sorta kidding about that last one, as I
really do love my friends!) Everything in life is all about relationships. For example, once local shopkeepers know who you are and what you might be looking for, they could call you with new items or items which are going on sale that might work for you. Enroll them in your strategy for your house and harbor and, generally, they’ll be pleased to help. I let the people at a local house goods store know I was looking for a couch for my den, and a ballpark style and budget I had been
hoping for, and a couple of months later when one style was discontinued, they rang me up using a fresh in-box couch for just $300. It was the previous one and they desired to get rid of it.
That’s an amazing score! Apart from local stores, what are some of your favourite sources for home decor?
My place is mostly a mix of Crate & Barrel, CB2, IKEA, Vessel, and West Elm. Cheap and casual, with a light modern skew.
What is your main design pet peeve?
Sets of furniture, leather or pleather poufy sofas, and, please don’t hate on me, however also the compact-flourescent lightbulbs which are great for the environment but horrible for YOUR living environment and don’t work nicely with dimmers.
Oh I know, I utilize them out of guilt, but I truly despise them. They are improving though. Lucas, thank you so much for touring us about today. It had been such a joy to talk about your house with our readers!
The fun green shag rug demarcates the dining area.
Many of these pieces do double duty. Negative tables function as stools. Ottomans function as storage bits and coffee tables.
Lucas advises buying and/or making original artwork. “A big lesson: Recently an artist/painter, or find nearby artists you love and get something completely original that just makes you excited when you see it”
“There is some thing about of touch of orange which makes me really excited. I end up having neutral neutral colours for my couches and chairs and funk it up with a pop of orange”
This bar may appear familiar, as a picture I took of a year past is quite popular on Houzz! Lucas always takes care to light it up and change out the floral arrangements.
Look down to the right and you see Freedom Park…
. . .and into the left, Downtown and Midtown Atlanta’s skylines. Incidentally, there’s a rooftop pool with amazing panoramic views of the city, from Turner Field into the mountains.
The balcony isn’t really profound, but 6-8 people are able to find a seat here during parties.
“I really like being outside on my balcony’s super-comfy outdoor couch with a huge pillow along with a throw studying, speaking on the telephone, or having a soul-satisfying dialogue with a buddy in person.”
This high bar isn’t a favorite:”I wish to have one big island and really connect the living/kitchen place at a more satisfying way,” Lucas says. “The bar Isn’t working for me or my guests”
By maintaining plates eyeglasses and white clear, Lucas can keep them open shelving without getting a hodge-podge effect.
Though the house is uncluttered, it is likewise lived in. It is so much simpler to leave out the spices and oils you’ll be using daily.
A small office is tucked away in the front end of the galley kitchen.
The workplace is the perfect place for storing cookbooks, looking up recipes online and enjoying deejay.
Things to do with no windows to the outside? Hang floor-to-ceiling birch tree cloth of course!
The bathroom cupboard is always organized like a boutique screen.
One thing which gets Lucas OUT of the house is live music. This shadowbox of ticket stubs is a continuously evolving collage in the bathroom.
“After living in a 550 sq. ft. studio for five years, an entirely separate bedroom felt like caviar –so decadent!”
To save space in his bedroom, Lucas employed a branch instead of a headboard, and the bedside tables are shelves which float over the ground.
An oversized sliding door separates the bedroom from the hallway.
Once you take the elevator to Lucas’s floor, you look down to this enjoyable private courtyard.