1 – 5 : : DesignStyle : :

: : DesignStyle : :

….and I remember – I do . …… so many years ago, I was sitting on the fence – working in the rock ‘n roll industry –
and seeking possible design commissions.

It so happened, that at that time, in Toronto (circa 1972) that the guys I  were involved with, had access to another
guy with a lot of cash to invest.  Collectively, since we managed & booked rock bands, we thought,
‘Why not find a really cool spot and open a club?’

Of course – why not? One of our buddies dabbled in real estate – one day he was telling us about this unusual place –
a second floor factory/loft – abandoned….that was accessed via a front door on Yonge Street, in the heart of downtown.
One entered what appeared to be a retail store, ascended to the second floor, then by  accessing a door at the rear and walking across an enclosed ‘bridge’ to the building on the other side of the alleyway –
you entered  this amazing space –
about 10,000 sq ft – of an old light manufacturing factory. It was unheard of! It was so totally unique.

I surveyed it – I drew up prelim plans – I hired an architect, so we could massage it’s course through the myriad of
Toronto’s zoning and building by-laws……the whole project was a BIG secret….’cause this was a one-of-a-kind space.

Long story short – for one reason or another – it all fell apart. Reasons don’t matter – what matters is that it has always
remained in my memory as an OpportunityLost.

However, when I stumbled across this beautiful posting, all those memories came flooding back – because it was such a similar structure…..
the old plank floors, rough brick, paned glass windows……

I hope you enjoy this, ’cause I did….

Atlanta-based photographer Rob Brinson has had this loft studio in the King Plow Art Center, a former plow
factory from the 1800s, for 23 years now. Today it’s the full-time studio space he always dreamed of when he
first became a photographer. He and his wife, Jill Sharp Brinson, stylist, designer and creative director for
Ballard Designs, lived there full-time for six years but now use the living spaces as a getaway and a crash-pad
for friends and relatives. I’ve always dreamed of living in a loft, and this sneak peek only encourages the dream!

‘ The most amazing aspect of the studio is that it has over 1,000 panes of glass and has incredible
light for my work. It is over 6,500 square feet with sections 25-feet tall with clerestories and was originally the
foundry and pattern shop for the factory. Each day, 180 trains go past the studio, but I do not even hear them anymore.
It’s located in the Westside District of Atlanta (which is pretty much the place for design, style, dining, etc.).
This area was not that way 23 years ago, and I was pretty lonely over there, as I was the sole occupant of
the 180,000 square-foot factory for a while, until I convinced a good friend he should risk all of his money on
developing it as an art center. Luckily it worked, and we are still good friends. When living there, my young
son referred to it as Fort Apache, but now it’s all chichi. The loft is an equal blend of my wife and I with a tilt
toward me; my home probably tilts to her talent more. The style is industrial and functional. It’s kind of like a
space with a view, as every room has great natural light.

The upstairs loft was originally a private bedroom and living space before I decided to rid it of any walls.
No sleeping late here with all of its windows. It has a different feel because of the lower ceilings.

Image above: The conference area with “RL” 60-lb. metal letters (my father’s name and the
first two initials of my grandfather, son and I). Jill had my mother’s 1950s chairs reupholstered
(she threw out most everything else). A real feel-good space.

Image above: An area I can hang my prints while I work on projects, and a sofa that
was a gift to me from Jill. She thinks the dogs are not allowed on it . . .

Image above: The kitchen sinks were $100 on the side of the road — nothing gets by Jill.
The quirky antique stool was found in London by Jill, and after arriving home with it,
she saw it in a spread in
World of Interiors.

All that comes to my mind is,      WOW!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: