Living in a loft is something many dream of. Large open spaces with exposed beams and raw brick walls. When Swedish photographer Andreas Larsson went to the US. ten years ago to study photography in Miami, he did not exactly have any plans to settle on the West coast, but after graduation he was persuaded to move to Chicago and where he has been living ever since.
He have hunted to find the perfect place for years. He knew exactly what he wanted, but finding the apartment proved easier said than done. A large and spacious home with no walls: a loft was the dream.
A typical US loft is a single-level apartment with an open floor plan. It usually has only the external walls and the interior is undivided. Andrew finally found his dream apartment on the fourth floor of an old industrial building from the 1890s. The building had been converted into residential buildings after the 80’s but the apartment had too many walls for Andreas’ taste.
In the beginning it was two rooms, but I removed all the walls that disturbed and opened up so that light can flow freely. One of the outer wall is completely covered by the window, he describes.
After tearing down the walls, he had laid down the same floor to cover the open area. Andrew chose oak floors painted with a special paint, generally used outdoors. With the help of the dark color of the floors the place has a special atmosphere where the wood grain is prominent.
– Here it is fashionable to leave the beams and brick walls unpainted, but I knew exactly how I wanted it so I painted over all of my friends’ great horror, ” laughs Andrew.
Andrew believes that it takes time to fill a home. Because he also exactly knows what furniture he wants, he buys one thing at a time. Design classics are not cheap, a genuine Arne Jacobsen might cost upwards of $450, for example.
I have great fondness for such stuff, but it is expensive and takes years to collect. What’s more, it is more fun to buy what you really want rather than getting a lot of new things when you move in, – he adds.
The residents of Chicago often buy a home with the idea that they will make a profit when they sell it. According to Andrew, they are not particularly keen on the large open areas, but prefer rooms and partitions.
Many buy to sell, and of course you can do so but I want to also live in my home. I, I have no plans to get rid of my loft for some time.
He is considered a bit crazy to do that, as he mostly focuses on safe bets and avoid expensive renovations. The furniture consists of few but exquisite objects. Sparingly, but tastefully. The living room has an Eames chair, the lobby wall is decorated with the popular hanger Hang-It-All from Eames too. The dining table is Piet Heins’ famous Superellipse flanked by Arne Jacobsen Ant chairs.
It is not easy to decorate a large open area, you have to be creative. Plan and be smart, but invisible storage areas. Andrew points out.
Andrew lives in the area known as Greektown which is protected, which has no house higher than eight floors. It is full of old factories that may not be demolished so they will be converted into apartments instead.
It is a pleasant and a bit old-fashioned area which is quite rare in the United States. I’m very happy, ” he concludes.
Chicago is a cold and windy city during the winter months. Andreas has central heating at home, despite the icy wind, he and his dog Penny – a Vizsla – have a warm and cozy life in this loft.