June 13th, 2011
Unconventional living is foundational to the (almost) bohemian lifestyle. I previously mentioned that I built a studio and loft inside a warehouse so this is a bit of a follow up for those interested in the benefits of warehouse living.
The dream of most urban artists and bohemians is the warehouse loft studio. I’ve lived in a few cities around the world and every time, the desire for a huge unconventional living space grows within me. So in San Diego, I’ve managed to create that arrangement.
The warehouse is located in a light-industrial part of town, just east of downtown San Diego. The neighborhood is called ‘Barrio Logan’ and you may have seen it featured on The History Channel’s Gangland. The neighborhood isn’t as rough as it’s reputation, or at least not in my experience. If anything, I’ve made some fascinating friends living here.
So the nine benefits of living in a warehouse:
Cheap Rent: The warehouse I rent is $1400/month. But since it is a 1500+ square foot place with a huge outdoor space and gated yard, arrangements can be made to make the rent cheaper. I currently live/ work in about 500 sq ft of space. The rest is used by a friend of mine who builds and shapes surfboards. He also uses the space for paintings. He doesn’t live there, so I have my own run of the place. My portion of the rent is $500/month.
Piles of Space: That’s right. With 1500+ sq feet of space, 10+ ft ceilings, a huge outdoor area and gate access, there is no shortage of space. I even built a 12’x9′ shed for my motorcycles out back. If you really want rent to be cheap, then split it up with a group of passionate, artistic, creative, bohemian friends.
Freedom: How many places can you really do whatever you want? Remember that desire to own a bunch of goats and chickens? Well who’s going to know when you’ve got a warehouse? You want a sunroof? Cut a hole in the ceiling. Two shower heads? No problem. An extra room? Office? Check check. We truly have done what ever we want. Sure it may take a bit of creativity or some learning, but I assure you building isn’t as complicated as folks would want you to believe. I put in a huge oversized front door so my motorcycles can wheel in with ease. No one taught me how to do it. With a bit of google research, a few phone calls to some people in the know, and a trip to Home Depot and suddenly you’re looking at a staircase that can hold six elephants. Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done.
Neighbors: If you even end up having neighbors, they will likely be some of the most colorful and dynamic folks you’ll meet. Who else chooses to live in an industrial side of town? My neighbors are some guys who live/work in the salvage yard next door. I also have some welders nearby and some quirky architects too. Sprinkled in the mix are your low income families with charming little kids. In a situation like this, you’re able to have your friend’s terrible ’90s rock band come put on a show and not a single complaint will come your way.
Impress Pretty Girls: Okay, in my situation it’s just one. But still, I like to think it was the warehouse that did it.
You’re Immediately an Artist: That’s right. Just by living in a warehouse, you automatically qualify for artist status. So toss some paint on a wall, get out that marble, chisel and hammer, or get your gypsy-folk band together. When you build your own living space, cut port-hole windows in the bathroom wall, and have custom built stadium seating for your projector theater set up, well then my friends- you are an artist. Now go create.
Okay, well that wasn’t quite nine benefits. I’m sure there are plenty more, but this gives an accurate idea of why living in a warehouse is beneficial to life and creativity. So when someone tells you they live in a warehouse in a neighborhood that you don’t quite think is up to par, well remember this post. Believe it, warehouse living is actually even better than you think. Drop me a line and come visit. I’ll be here til the end of the year.