Here at SRA, we love what we do because it allows us the advantage of working together to inspire one another. For this month’s blog, we asked the team to take a moment and share from a designer’s heart their ideas for a dream conversion project. Read below to get a sneak peek at the various avenues and activities that make up the DNA of a space conversion project.
To be very honest, the old Italian embassy was my dream conversion project. I L-O-V-E bringing the classic buildings back to their original splendor and beyond. I love mixing the old classic background and the new modern amenities and furnishings.
As book lover, and formerly on the path to becoming a librarian, I’ve always had a soft spot for libraries. In the early 20th century over 1,600 libraries were built across the country by Andrew Carnegie – many of which are a tribute to the architecture and design of the day with ornate wood or plasterwork and intricate detailing. Today, many of these Carnegie libraries have been replaced with more modern buildings and it’s common to see them up for sale. Shown here is one such library in Elmwood, Indiana built in 1903 and recently sold. I’d love to have a hand in restoring one of the Carnegie libraries to its former glory, while infusing modern touches, of course. I mean, wouldn’t that circulation desk make an awesome bar?
I’ve always found banks to be some of my favorite conversions as I explore new cities, whether they get repurposed as a restaurant, a hotel, or even a coworking space. The buildings are usually historical with stunning architectural details both inside and out that include beautifully aged marble, intricate trim work, and of course no bank is complete without a safe door/room that can open up to some really creative ideas! The most recent application I saw was a “vinyl vault” that was a very small safe repurposed with shelves of records on either side as a pass-through to the restrooms. So fun! I’d love to work on turning an old art deco-style bank into a gorgeous hotel or apartment community with lots of charm and surprising details.
Of course, I have to pick a shipping container conversion.
About 5 years ago, I joined the cult of people obsessed with Tiny Houses. Growing up surrounded by clutter, I’ve always been a fan of minimalistic, functional interiors with attractive and interactive exteriors, so that would be a critical combination if I built one. After designing a home on a 26-foot trailer and a home in a 40-foot shipping container – and building neither of them – I’ve put this dream on hold while I renovate a townhouse. Still, tiny houses of any kind will always hold a big place in my heart!
Spending time on my grandfather’s ranch as a kid, I grew up loving barns and homes near the countryside. It is a dream of mine to be able to convert a barn into a home (maybe my own one day), with a modern, rustic twist. The tall ceilings, views of the landscape and use of the original wood beams are some of the reasons why barns have the potential for a beautiful home!