10 Creative Live-Work Spaces
eing free of the daily commute, working in your bunny slippers or painting in a sunlight-filled corner of your own home studio — these are just a few reasons that might tempt you to find a way to work from home. Gain inspiration for your own live-work space from these 10 creative examples from our My Houzz series and the people who live (and work) in them.
Artist Amy Ockerlander and her husband, Alan Brookfield, live in this vibrant live-work space in Seattle, where Ockerlander has the freedom to set up her paints and easel right in the center of a converted commercial building.
The open floor plan is divided through creative furniture placement (like the large bookcase seen here) and a central staircase. The space features 15 different hues on the walls. Ockerlander says, “I’m strongly motivated by deeply saturated, complementary colors.”
Artist Sarah Bianco and her husband, Pasquale Bianco, live in a creative Santa Cruz, California, building that includes an art studio directly across from their living space.
Bianco shares the space with a jewelry designer; each has an individual workstation. The creative community the space is a part of (the building is full of artists and craftspeople) encourages collaboration and the creative spirit.
This tiny (300-square-foot) rental presented quite a challenge, especially since multimedia producer Willa Kammerer needed the space to function as both a home and an office. With permission and help from her landlord, Kammerer divided the space into a bed area and an office using copper pipe and linen curtains.
Artist Gavin Benjamin’s Pittsburgh rental offers room for creating as well as showing his work. “I think of this home as a lab or a set stage where things will constantly be in flux,” says Benjamin. “More importantly, clients have an opportunity to view my work in a proper living setting.”
You’ll know you’ve arrived at the downtown Pittsburgh loft of John Eastman, who paints large-scale abstract works and makes furniture from reclaimed wood, when you encounter the enormous freight elevator. This feature works out well for Eastman, who often needs to transport large pieces of artwork and furniture in and out of the loft.
Looking to save money and add industrial appeal, Eastman used sheets of corrugated steel to create walls that define the interior spaces.
Artist and furniture designer Luc Sergerie lives in the light-filled upstairs of this home, with a furniture workshop and showroom downstairs. The separation between floors creates a natural boundary between work and home — not always easy to achieve in a live-work situation.
Illustrator Jamie Bennett and her husband, creative director Alex Wittholz, live and work in this Toronto townhouse. In their workspace the couple used butcher block atop Ikea cabinets to create a custom desk and storage area on a budget.
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Artists John Ballantyne and Liz Davidson renovated their 1862 farmhouse in Quebec to incorporate space for twin art studios, located in the property’s former barn. Their offices sit on a mezzanine level overlooking the studios. Ballantyne, who prefers to work in the morning sun, had his studio built on the east side. Davidson, shown here, chose the west side, so she could savor the light of the setting sun.
Artist Jean Shafer and her husband, George, live in this converted 1870 woolen mill building in Ontario. The space includes an art gallery in the entry, separated from the rest of the space by a custom-made glass barn door. Other artists and creative people share space in the mill building, and the gallery is sited near the entrance to allow for easier access when the mill hosts open studios.
Interior designer Kristen Peña and her husband, Luis, a director, renovated this 118-year-old Victorian in San Francisco’s Noe Valley neighborhood to include a shared office space. The couple created a separate entrance for their offices on the ground level, and reserved the new upper floor for family space.
The “design nook” on the renovated lower level is one of Kristen’s favorite spots in which to work, especially when she is meeting with clients.