amazing spaces: the loft

  “A home doesn’t need to be big, just smart.” – Ikea

There’s a little development just southeast of where we live: a charming mayberry-esque town, remnisent of seaside {also known as my dream neighborhood.} Where homes are found in varying shades of pastels by the oodle-fulls, the trees drip with Spanish moss, and the wrap around porches are a regular social event with mint juleps and sweet tea.

And today, I’m beside myself with excitement, as I get to share a piece of this delightful town with you, via a friend of ours who resides at The Waters. Aside from his home, Dale and his wife, Rita, also own a little piece of heaven affectionately known as The Loft, right over their garage, that they rent out when their family isn’t visiting them.

At a very impressive 375 square feet, our uber talented friend did it all himself: his fun hobby is interior design, with lots of experience under his belt. But Dale really shouldn’t quit his day job: this {intimidatingly} well-rounded fellow also makes a living as a well-known and loved dentist. 😉

Welcome to The Loft. With delightfully soothing beachside tones and inviting ambience, the small space lives large on style and smart space planning. Not only is it a feast for the eyes with great aesthetics, but it serves its purpose well.

Dale wanted it to feel as open as possible, so he vaulted the ceiling, painted it pale blue to evoke the feeling of open sky, and left it all as open as possible. There are no permanent closets…just the two back-to-back armoires. A smart move on his part, all so he could maximize the space.

That center area makes such a statement piece in the room. Likewise, it was also his biggest challenge with the space. How did he do it? A friend who runs a roofing business gave him the cedar shakes on the wall left over form a roofing job. So he mounted, and painted them on that challenging little spot. He turned something that could be an obstacle, into a beautiful, functional piece in the middle of the room. Brilliant…and one of the most charming features in the space.

A lot of those pieces look custom. Where did he score all those great finds?

None of his pieces were actually custom: just carefully shopped for. {The key to a great space.} The great chair is from Pier One, and the sofa from Aidan Gray.

The Armoires? From Ebay, and were originally unfinished. He put them together himself, and painted them. Placing them back to back, they serve as the only standing closet in the space.

What about that kitchen? Those were actually a custom job, by Dale and his dad. They did all the detail work from the beadboard, trim, installed the floors, and cabinets, painted and hauled all those {über heavy} appliances up the stairs… and installed them. WOWSA!


The beauty is in the details, with finds from Ebay, a trip to Canada, Southern Homes and Gardens, and almost everything in between. Dale and Rita’s loft shows us that great spaces are made over time…and that the beauty is all in the carefully thought out details.

What’s Dale’s favorite piece in the space?

I guess my favorite piece is the coffee table. I never could find one the right size or shape, but came across the suitcase and metal legs at Resurrect in Auburn. Just bolted them together. Perfect size and look, and I don’t have to worry about glass rings….lol! I keep all of the manuals for tv and appliances etc there.

VERY clever. I’ll also take that lamp.

When searching for a PB Stratton bed, this one was purchased from JC Penney and repainted. At a 1300 vs. 450 cost difference, it was a definite win.

Jamin and myself, in our furniture/etsy days, were honored to be contributors to the space. Dale was one of our best customers: He handpicked that chest of drawers, as well as the desk and chair at the front of the space. They found themselves a great home. And those frames above the bed…do they look familiar? 😉

Those awesome, drool-worthy bathroom cabinets came as a dresser, but Dale cut out a hole for the sink and faucet, and polyurethaned the metal top to keep from rusting so it would serve well as a sink in the space. And that subway tile in the shower? Swoon.

So, I guess we just have one question left: where does he hide the washer and dryer? …behind the folding mirrored bifold door…a $30 steal from Home Depot.

Dale has a real eye for scale and spatial arrangement… the true triumph for smart design in a smaller space like this. I love how this room stands as a tried and true testament for living large in a smaller space. It’s not so much about square footage, but how creative we all can be. “Small can be a good thing…it forces you to pick and choose what’s important to have around and what’s not.” – Dale

Truly, a charming place.

How long did it take Dale to finish out the space? He started it in the fall, and finished in the spring of last year…and he’s been renting it for a year now. Interested in staying the night {or more} in this charming town, to do a little sight seeing around The Waters + Montgomery? Shoot us an email, and we’ll be sure to pass your information along to Dale and Rita! That is, if I don’t beat y’all to it…This mama needs some R + R!

Thanks Dale, for sharing your awesome loft with us. By the way, Jamin and I have already asked permission to shoot their home this fall, so I can’t wait to share the rest of their awesome taste for all to see…below is a sneak peek Dale thought all of you would like…I’m thinking he read our plate post. 😉

On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t be coming over. Those may disappear right off the wall…

{Photos: courtesy of the talented Britsnap.}

Hope you enjoyed some incredible eye candy today. Happy weekend, everyone!

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Responses to amazing spaces: the loft

  1. A very pretty space with so much to look at and it is warm and inviting. I do like the coffee table and the cabinet in the bathroom.

  2. Wani says:

    wow! Thats awesome! We’re house shopping now and would love to have an area like that in our new home!

  3. Shaundra says:

    Wow, that’s a gorgeous little space! I love that lamp too. 😉

  4. Tina says:

    The LOFT is absolutely breathtaking! Dale and Rita did an amazing job creating the space. Britsnap took awesome pics (as always) and your words never fail to eloquently tell the story. Great blog post all-around!

  5. Kelli says:

    This loft is so cute. For some reason, it reminds me of the apartment in Julie & Julia!

  6. Absolutely lurrrrve that coffee table! And those bathroom cabinets… I’ll just leave it at that because no words would do it justice.

    Great, great post!

  7. Meredith says:

    That loft is absolutely gorgeous! I love the Ikea quote. That has been my mantra for years. :)

  8. Jennifer says:

    Jaw on the floor! That is SO stunning!!! I’m thinking hubs and I need a second honeymoon! Love your touches too, Ash. Just beautiful.

  9. I love the shingles used on the wall! Such a great space. LOVE IT!

  10. Jessie says:

    That is an inspiring loft! Really, truly, I could live there happily! Well, as long as I could find a place for my sewing machine. :) Just looking at it makes me want to (re)plan my dream home… with a lot of inspiration taken from these photos!

  11. Shirley L says:

    Absolutely amazing! It is gorgeous and I am so impressed with all the fantastic use of space! Thanks for sharing :)

  12. Lindsay says:

    What a beautiful space! That armchair is exactly what I have been looking for… if I can just find a cheap look-a-like to reupholster!!!!

  13. Yarnista says:

    Holy wow. I never knew I could live in so little space, but seeing it laid out like this, I totally could. You get the feeling of distinct rooms without a choppy, dark feel. Absolutely love it!

  14. Dale and Rita says:

    Hey Ashley, I’ll bet you could make Spam look and taste like a honey baked ham. Hope you don’t mind, but I put a link to your entry on our vrbo site. Great job, and thanks for the shout out…

  15. Dorothy says:

    What a terrific job. It looks like the little hideaway I’ve always imagined, but better. I wish I lived nearby and I would indeed run and, rest.. there a while.

  16. Amanda says:

    This place is amazing! I would LOVE to live there!!!

  17. [email protected] says:

    My aunt Sue and uncle Mike live at the Waters. Love it!!! It is very seasidesque…. Dale did awesome!! Very impressive! ~ You should open a shop in their little town square. Those folks would eat up your cuteness. Painted furniture, frames, etc. ~ Are you in Montgomery?

  18. What an amazing space!! Aesthetically beautiful and so uber efficient! Thanks for sharing. :)

  19. amelia says:

    ahhh, how charming! i hold a special little place in my heart for shake shingles (the wall behind the desk) i haven’t seen them much in interior spaces. capitol LOVE!

  20. Candi says:

    I love his use of the painting above the table to balance out the windows of the kitchen and that the painting is a window! Also a favorite was the bathroom sink. Some of my favorite places and spaces are usually the smaller and cozy. He did a great job!

  21. Nicole says:

    What a beautiful home!

    Kisses from Hong Kong,

  22. maggie says:

    What a charming loft! I love small spaces like that. So well thought out.

  23. Right up my alley. I really admire how the space looks like it was put together over time. The storage options are genius.

  24. Dorothy says:

    I forgot to ask you: do you by any chance know what paint colors he used? They all blend perfectly, and they are soooo soothing. Thank you!

  25. Oh, the loft is so wonderful! My favorite part is the Anthropologie Ordinal Dresser used as a sink cabinet. Genius! I did a roundup of Ordinal Dresser knockoffs on my blog today, and although Dale’s interpretation isn’t a knockoff, I just couldn’t pass up featuring it in the post as well. Thanks for sharing this unique space with us!