Com­fort in con­verted ware­house

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - - HOMEFINDER - By Lori John­ston and Marena Gal­luc­cio

Ryan and Karen Gravel’s kids roller skate and ride skate­boards and scoot­ers on the con­crete floors in their in­town At­lanta loft. When they want to take the ac­tion out­side, they walk around the corner to the Belt­line, an idea that Ryan birthed as a Georgia Tech mas­ter’s stu­dent.

Liv­ing in a ware­house con­verted to work-live spa­ces is a de­par­ture from the cou­ple’s pre­vi­ous sin­gle-fam­ily homes, but freed up time they were spend­ing on main­tain­ing the house and lawn, said Ryan, who uses the Belt­line to com­mute to his of­fice at Ponce City Mar­ket. Plus, the loft pro­vides a durable set­ting for youth­ful whims, such as us­ing the skate­board as a luge while watch­ing the Olympics.

“That’s some­thing you wouldn’t be able to do in a nor­mal kind of house,” he said. “If you’re open to cre­ative liv­ing si­t­u­a­tions, then you’ll see other op­por­tu­ni­ties that other peo­ple miss.”


The up­stairs study space is lo­cated be­tween the chil­dren’s new bed­rooms. Home­owner Ryan Gravel com­bined shelves from his mother’s old sewing stu­dio for one con­tin­u­ous piece filled with books, games, a map of Georgia, an At­lanta pen­nant and crafts.

Ryan and Karen Gravel live in the In­man Park loft with their two chil­dren, Jonas, 9, and Lu­cia, 12, and their dog, Chica. Ryan Gravel is an ur­ban plan­ner, de­signer and found­ing prin­ci­pal at Six­pitch and author of the book “Where We Want to Live – Re­claim­ing In­fra­struc­ture for a New Gen­er­a­tion of Cities.” Ar­chi­tect Karen Gravel, prin­ci­pal and di­rec­tor of the his­toric preser­va­tion prac­tice at Lord Aeck Sargent, en­cour­ages fam­i­lies to be flex­i­ble and think out­side the box when choos­ing a home.

A mod­ern George Nel­son pro­pel­ler pen­dant lamp hangs over the Crate and Bar­rel din­ing room ta­ble. The light was pur­chased from De­sign Within Reach. The col­lage at the head of the ta­ble was cre­ated by Karen Gravel, who used pages out of Si­mone de Beau­voir’s “The Se­cond Sex” and af­fixed them to a board.

The red stairs, with a geo­met­ric de­sign on the rail­ing, lead up to a com­mu­nal study and read­ing space and the chil­dren’s rooms.

Large white in­dus­trial pen­dants hang over the stove­top in Ryan and Karen Gravel’s At­lanta kitchen in a con­verted ware­house.

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