A Designer Lists Her Three-Story Live/Work Loft in Orange County For $525K

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By Paige Alexus / Published by Paige Alexus
From the front of the Santiago Street Lofts in downtown Santa Ana, California, it may not look like a residence at all—due to its industrial garage door facade. However, inside lies an interior designer's modern live/work loft space that’s available to buy for $525K.

As Orange County’s first transit-oriented urban development, the Santiago Street Lofts were designed by William Hezmalhalch Architects, Inc. in 2007 and were built for creatives who want their life and work to fully coincide. Each 1,885-square-foot loft consists of one bedroom and two-and-a-half bathrooms—which are carefully puzzled together over three floors with a close attention to space.  

A Designer Lists Her Three-Story Live/Work Loft in Orange County For $525K - Photo 1 of 8 - When you first approach the loft, you can choose to enter through a simple door, or through the garage door that slides back completely. This reveals the main workshop floor that has its own bathroom and painted concrete floors. 

When you first approach the loft, you can choose to enter through a simple door, or through the garage door that slides back completely. This reveals the main workshop floor that has its own bathroom and painted concrete floors. 

Though Southern California is known for its cultural connection to driving, this development took a stab at encouraging a public transit-based commute by placing it a block away from the SA Transit Depot. Most importantly, the ground level is located in a street-facing commercial and retail area where artists and small business owners can have access to foot traffic. Walkable to the Artists Village, Bowers Museum, and local galleries, gastropubs, and theaters, it’s an ideal scenario for an artist who wants to work (extremely) close to home—and at a reasonable price point. 

A Designer Lists Her Three-Story Live/Work Loft in Orange County For $525K - Photo 2 of 8 - The second floor is separated from the main floor, and offers a private open living space that’s connected to the upgraded kitchen. 

The second floor is separated from the main floor, and offers a private open living space that’s connected to the upgraded kitchen. 

The particular loft that’s for sale has been home to Claudia Desbiens of ModernMecca who ran her staging and interior design business from the main floor. "It’s a very creative space. The community hosts monthly art walk events where 25 galleries, art studios, and  boutique stores turn their main workshop floors into storefronts—and are able to go home upstairs at the end of the day." She continues, "My clients would come over and I could lay materials out on a big conference table." 

You can find the whole listing here

A Designer Lists Her Three-Story Live/Work Loft in Orange County For $525K - Photo 3 of 8 - When Desbiens moved into the loft, she had Brazilian Cherrywood flooring stalled. The connected kitchen (seen in the hero image) featured stainless-steel appliances and fruitwood cabinetry. 

When Desbiens moved into the loft, she had Brazilian Cherrywood flooring stalled. The connected kitchen (seen in the hero image) featured stainless-steel appliances and fruitwood cabinetry. 

A Designer Lists Her Three-Story Live/Work Loft in Orange County For $525K - Photo 4 of 8 - Shown here is the view of the living space from the lofted bedroom. The loft is being sold with a four-piece set of George Nelson bubble lamps that hang from the twenty-foot ceiling. 

Shown here is the view of the living space from the lofted bedroom. The loft is being sold with a four-piece set of George Nelson bubble lamps that hang from the twenty-foot ceiling. 

A Designer Lists Her Three-Story Live/Work Loft in Orange County For $525K - Photo 5 of 8 - The bedroom is tucked into the loft space and sits under exposed air ducts and pipes—both of which add to the industrial vibe.

The bedroom is tucked into the loft space and sits under exposed air ducts and pipes—both of which add to the industrial vibe.

A Designer Lists Her Three-Story Live/Work Loft in Orange County For $525K - Photo 6 of 8 - The space holds a total of two-and-a-half bathrooms, one of which is ADA-compliant. 

The space holds a total of two-and-a-half bathrooms, one of which is ADA-compliant. 


A Designer Lists Her Three-Story Live/Work Loft in Orange County For $525K - Photo 7 of 8 - Before listing this space, Desbiens used to use her main floor as a place where she could invite clients in for meetings. Many of the neighbors use it as a place to feature their work in a gallery-like setting. 

Before listing this space, Desbiens used to use her main floor as a place where she could invite clients in for meetings. Many of the neighbors use it as a place to feature their work in a gallery-like setting. 

A Designer Lists Her Three-Story Live/Work Loft in Orange County For $525K - Photo 8 of 8 - The steel-framed home sits behind an industrial roll-up door and has its own two-car garage in the back of the unit. 

The steel-framed home sits behind an industrial roll-up door and has its own two-car garage in the back of the unit. 

If you have a home for sale, or have seen one on the market that caught your eye, let me know by sending a note to paige@dwell.com