Comfort in converted warehouse
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.