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Melissa and Keith Bishop, Loft B

“We went from 3,000 square feet to 720,” says Melissa Bishop, sitting on her leather couch. “Crazy, huh?”

Portrait of Melissa and Keith Bishop in Loft B of the Finn Lofts
Loft B tenants Melissa and Keith Bishop downsized from a 3,000 square foot space to a cozy 720 square foot loft. "We downsized our lives," Melissa says. "We streamlined."

That’s what their friends in Hutchinson, Kansas, thought, too, when the Bishops decamped from their McMansion (Melissa’s expression), sold most of their possessions on Craigslist, and, shockingly for steak country, became vegetarians. “I think they thought we were having a mid-life crisis.”

But really, they just wanted to simplify, ride their bikes everywhere, and start anew. “We downsized our lives,” Melissa says. “We streamlined.”

Childhood sweethearts—“We used to touch feet under our desks in grade school,” Keith remembers—they’ve found that living in a smaller space has added a new dimension to their relationship. “In our house there were rooms we didn’t use. We didn’t even open the doors,” Keith says. “We’ve gone from never seeing each other to seeing each other all the time.”

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    Building Community

    With a clean-lined new loft building designed by El Dorado Inc., a fleet of hip galleries, and a burgeoning creative class, Wichita is anything but plains.

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