8 Live/Work Spaces We'd Move Into in a Heartbeat

8 Live/Work Spaces We'd Move Into in a Heartbeat

By Kate Reggev
These dynamic live/work spaces bring together the home and office for the best of both worlds.

With more and more people seeking a flexible, live/work lifestyle that incorporates a home office, it’s no wonder that this type of residential unit is becoming increasingly popular. Often featuring converted warehouses, manufacturing buildings, or lofts, many live/work spaces contain raised or mezzanine floors, innovative storage ideas, and clever layouts to delineate between public and private areas. Here, we take a look at some setups we would happily call home. 

1. Xeros in Phoenix, Arizona by Matthew and Lisa Trzebiatowski

Matthew Trzebiatowski and his wife, Lisa, partnered together to construct their new home and office, which they named Xeros. The three-story steel, glass, concrete, and wire mesh structure abuts the North Mountain Preserve in the edgy Phoenix neighborhood of Sunnyslope. The glass-enclosed master bedroom floats above the corrugated, oxidized steel exterior.

In a transitional neighborhood in Hailfax, Susan Fitzgerald and her builder partner Brainard embraced the diverse and evolving community around them to design a property that would be more than just a modern dwelling for their family. Along with their own residence, the design called for commercial space for their firms, and a live/work rental unit. Positioned on the ground floor, the office enjoys spacial privacy, while still having intimate interaction with the living area above and common courtyard.

At the eight-unit, 4,000-square-foot development in San Diego near the Mexican border, Woodbury University professor Hector Perez designed each unit as a live/work space with dedicated outdoor spaces. Designer and digital fabricator Shawn Benson shares his 595-square-foot, second-floor space with his wife, Jessica, and their daughter, Roux. The 15-foot-high ceilings allow plenty of room for a full-size ocean paddleboard.

In one of the last industrial pockets of West Town, UrbanLab’s Martin Felsen and Sarah Dunn created a modern live/work space that incorporates storefront and manufacturing areas on the first floor, office space on the second floor, and a residential home for business owners Daniel Staackmann and Nicole Sopko on the top floor. The residents took care to make the business as amenable to its neighbors and 20-person staff as possible. The office is a showcase that includes an Eames Storage Unit for Herman Miller, a wall-mounted Eames leg splint, and chairs by Eero Saarinen and Harry Bertoia for Knoll.

Kouichi Kimura, the founder of FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects, wrapped the upper floor of this building in sheets of galvanized steel in order to reflect light and intensify its street presence. The architects also sought to create an ideal space for the photographer client, manipulating light and shadow throughout the interior with strategically places windows and thickened walls at apertures. For spaces oriented towards more public activities, such as the gallery and studio/living space, Kimura specified exposed concrete floors and white-washed walls. Wood floors and paneling denote transitions into more private areas, such as the resident’s bedroom. The result is a fluid, highly personalized destination for a photographer’s creative life.

Peeling back layers of construction dating to 1880, the architecture firm L. McComber ltée tackled this renovation of a Montreal attic to create a bright and inviting master suite and artist’s studio. When an existing ceiling was removed during the demolition process, a higher, sloped roof gave the attic an additional five feet of headroom. The architects took advantage of the generous 13-foot ceiling height, creating an airy, bright space that is oriented around a central volume that houses the bathroom. The wooden shelves of the volume were fashioned from hemlock planks that were salvaged during the demolition of the roof structure.

Located in a former warehouse and auto repair shop, this live/work residence organizes its kitchen, living, and dining areas, as well as an office, in a large, open volume with the atrium open to the outdoors. Several rooms—the master bedroom, bathrooms, laundry room, and garage—are enclosed in "boxes," while others are set off by walls that don’t quite reach the ceiling, leaving the trusses visible.

While some city dwellers prefer to escape to the country, creative couple Marie Lu and Primo Gallanossa chose to burrow into downtown Los Angeles, purchasing a live/work loft in the cultural epicenter of the Arts District. The bestselling author and game designer approached the architecture firm CHA:COL for an urban sanctuary that would host their writing and game design needs between frequent trips. The resulting 1,450-square-foot space not only provides space to work, but also includes sleeping and kitchen areas. The fulcrum of the project is the "Writer’s Block," a multifaceted, fixed piece of millwork that functions as a desk on one side, a lounge on the other, and shelving in between. Taking cues from the couple’s backgrounds in writing, illustrating, and game design, design principals Apurva Pande and Chinmaya Misra used the game Monument Valley as a guiding concept for the retreat.


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