Lofting Amongst the Leaves

Image via Apartment Therapy.

Image via Apartment Therapy.


When you think loft apartment, you probably think New York. Maybe LA. However, plenty of old industrial cities have wonderful lofts. Some of those lofts are fairly affordable on an average professional salary. Like Durham. This week for Apartment Healing, I’ll be highlighting a classic Durham tobacco loft.

This is Apartment Healing, the Saturday feature of the The Black Urbanist where I talk about my love of interior design. This month, I’ll be spotlighting a few of my favorite home tours from sites such as Apartment Therapy, AprhoChic and others that share my sense of simple, eclectic and transformative style, especially in spaces and places where its un-expected. Before we get back into the meat of the post, just a reminder that The Black Urbanist is powered by Bluehost.  Check them out and they’ll get you started with everything you need about web hosting and blog making. They’ve kept me going right here for the past 4 years and counting.

Whenever I come to Durham these days for more than an afternoon, I have the good fortune of staying with my friend, who has one of the cutest old loft apartments near the train station and the regional bus station. It’s also in good proximity to restaurants, which has rapidly become the selling point for a lot of people who have the means and love being close to entertainment.

And if you are reading this and you tend to find yourself living where you are because you are close to the restaurants, and not necessarily using anything else, this might be a perfect spot to go to.

The specific unit I’m highlighting, was at the time of its writing, home to a mom and her two elementary age girls. The ceilings were high, and the windows large, as it is with my friend’s place. The configurations are unique, bedrooms are on platforms and walls don’t always go to the ceiling. The home spotlighted in Apartment Therapy didn’t have proper shutters on  its 22-foot tall, west-facing windows at first. The owner learned the hard way that party goers will sweat and suffer if faced with that kind of sun. I used an extra blanket during my last visit to my friend’s, due to the recent cold snap and the fact that large windows also leak out air.

Someone in the comments of the piece on Apartment Therapy asked if the smell of the tobacco leaves lingers. I can say that it does. And it adds character. Kudos to the people who had the idea of making old factories apartments. They aren’t perfect, but they are certainly cool.

Check out the original Apartment Therapy article here.

This post is part of my participation in #NaBloPoMo, the time of the year when bloggers come together to pump out daily content and connect. Find out more about that project and how I’m participating, here and here. This is day 15 and I’m so excited to have been able to daily blog. Thanks everyone for sharing posts, commenting and liking them on social networks.

About Kristen Jeffers

I'm Kristen. Almost five years ago, I got tired of not seeing black women as nerded out about trains, better streets, riding bikes, walking not just out of necessity, tall buildings, old buildings and honestly a lot of other things. I was in grad school for community and economic development (ok, it’s actually an MPA), and I wanted to make sure people knew I existed and that I could help them do this thing called placemaking better. Five years later, I’m still doing that, although not from my hometown of Greensboro, NC, but from Kansas City, MO. I spend most of my time in Kansas City promoting better biking and walking infrastructure metro-wide with BikeWalk KC and the Kansas City B-cycle. But I also wrote a book A Black Urbanist (you can grab that over on the right) and sometimes I give speeches and help other communities tell their stories at design charrettes and public meetings. I’ve also written or appeared in all of the major “urbanist” publications, either as a subject or as a writer, as well as most of my hometown papers as subject or writer as well.