When we last spoke with Jen Adrion and Omar Noory, they were enjoying their small place in Grandview and shortly after their story ran, they decided to move over to the Brewery District. What would make them leave the cute area of Grandview?
“We were on a month-to-month lease at our old apartment in Grandview,” says Adrion. “We’d been tossing around the idea of heading out to the west coast for a few years, but we weren’t quite ready to make the move. Last November, I came across the listing for this apartment totally by accident. I saw one tiny photo of the kitchen area and I told Omar, “we HAVE to go look at this place TODAY.”
That place she found was a fantastic live/work space located in The Jack building in the Brewery District. It’s an open loft – technically an 800 square foot studio apartment. Filled with natural light, wooden beams, and beautifully aged brick, the apartment excited them both.
“Once we walked in, we instantly knew it was the place,” says Noory. “We saw the exposed beams and brick. Then we saw the washer, dryer, and dishwasher. At that point it was a done deal. We turned to each other and said, “we’re doing this!”
Although they do miss living in Grandview, they’ve come to love living in the Brewery District.
“It has a totally different vibe – more urban than Grandview,” says Adrion. Being close to all the great stuff in German Village is another plus.
Their new loft has a wall of north-facing windows that provide a great view of Downtown. The windows also provide pleasant diffused light all year long.
The Jack Building was built in 1909 and was home to offices and storage for ColumbusJACK Corp, a company that supplied hydraulic jacks and other ground support equipment for the airline industry, for over sixty years. ColumbusJACK was acquired by another company in 2001 and has since relocated to the South Side, near Routes 23 and 104.
Adrion and Noory still enjoy having their studio space located inside of their home. With the odd hours they work, it makes it easy to relax and take a break whenever you may need one, and then get back to work when creativity strikes. Having the space be a large open area makes it a nice spot to work on your computers and not feel trapped in a tiny room.
“I really can’t imagine us having a studio separate from our home,” says Adrion. “Maybe someday.”
“This space is an awesome backdrop for our product photos,” add Noory. “We fought with uneven lighting and crooked doorways in our old space. Here, we have a ton of locations and textures to shoot and perfect lighting.”
They also enjoy having a larger area to entertain guests. An updated kitchen with better appliances makes it much easier to cook. With only four drawers of concealed storage in the kitchen island, they had to get creative with storing their food and get serious about the belongings they really want to have since they would be constantly on display.
Feathergrain wood boxes and glass containers from The Container Store help keep things looking stylish and tidy. Adrion used their vinyl cutter to make the labels for the spice jars. A leaning bookshelf, also from The Container Store, provides visual interest and extra space for a bar and other items.
To separate the bedroom from the main living area, Noory and Adrion turned to Tim Friar of Grid Furnishings for a custom built media shelf.
“We knew we wanted the shelf to act as a room divider, fitting in the space between the wall and an existing brick column,” says Adrion. “And we knew that we wanted to the TV to sit on there.”
“Tim knew how deep it should be, and he thought of the staggered plexiglas backing, which was genius for two reasons,” says Noory. “The overlapping part acts as a cable run, hiding cords coming down from the TV. Having the plexiglas frosted gives some privacy to the bedroom while still allowing light to come through. It really completes the space.”
Friar came in and did a site survey of their apartment, and then presented multiple floor plans utilizing every inch of space. His ideas helped them figure out where to place their studio.
Friar also worked with them to build a custom 12 foot long work station. The desks have Wormy Maple tops with a catalyzed conversion varnish finish on a 1″ tubular raw steel frame with a clear finish.
Decorations in the workspace are very minimal and what they need is on an industrial rolling storage unit they found at mix:HOME in Clintonville. Their every day supplies are hidden in a deep red storage unit by Bisley.
Noory and Adrion have been slowly transitioning to a minimalist lifestyle. They left most of their furnishings behind in their old place, donated many of their old art supplies, and decided to start fresh in this loft.
“We found this amazing space, so we figured that it would be a great chance to furnish a place from the ground up with stuff that we really love,” says Adrion. “We also couldn’t imagine putting our collection of random hand-me-down furniture from college in such a gorgeous space. We had a really good year with the business, so we decided to upgrade a bit. It was a ton of fun.”
Another of the upgraded pieces include a gorgeous slate gray loft-sized sectional by Gus Modern, from Grid Furnishings.
“It is actually an awesome piece because there are no buttons on the tufts and the side piece can be moved around to make different arrangements,” says Adrion. “The fabric is also beautiful.”
They also purchased a painting by MWM Graphics during a show of his in Cincinnati. It fits perfectly in the apartment.
“We wanted a big statement piece for the limited amount of open wall that we had to work with,” says Adrion.
“I like this piece because MWM’s work is a good mix of our aesthetics,” says Noory. “Jen likes some artwork that I don’t, and I like some things that she doesn’t. This piece combines a lot of things we both like: geometry, street art, oversized pieces.”
“Before minimalism, we were blissfully ignorant,” says Noory. “Now, every purchase has a thought process behind it.”
It can be a little stressful to get rid of the stuff they already had says Adrion. “I still look through every donation bag two or three times before we drop it off, just to make sure I’m not getting rid of anything important. But aside from the difficulty of that process, there hasn’t been one negative thing about having less stuff. It’s made our lives easier in so many ways.”
Although they had planned to stay in this gorgeous apartment for a long time, Noory and Adrion are feeling the itch to move. They’d like to try New York City or San Francisco.
“Fortunately, I’m really good at selling stuff,” says Adrion. “I like to say that when we buy something big, we’re really just renting it because sooner or later I’ll be selling it to somebody else. This time though, we’re planning on staying pretty lean and mobile for awhile. We’re kicking the minimalism into high gear so we can move around a bit.”
Interior photos provided by Jen Adrion and Omar Noory of These Are Things.
Art by MWM Graphics – Matt W. Moore.
At Home is a monthly column on Columbus Underground focused on urban home remodeling and style as well as older home renovations and unique homes in Columbus. If you would like to have your home featured in the At Home series, please send me an email at Anne@columbusunderground.com.
[At Home is sponsored by Homeport Home Ownership’s NoBo on Long Condominiums. Inspired by the historical architecture of the King Lincoln District, NoBo on Long embraces today's contemporary lifestyle and is ideally located just minutes from Downtown, Franklin Park, and Port Columbus. Units 143 - 149 are uniquely designed for space, style, and convenience. These sophisticated one-bedrooms include open living space floor plans leading to a second story private terrace, standard wood flooring and a large walk-in closet in the master bedroom. Unit 1066 is the last remaining gorgeous renovation of a historic 1890s luxury brick duplex with full bay windows. It combines historic architectural detail with modern style and convenience with a large, open concept great room, 2 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, and dramatic 10 ft. ceilings. Call (614) 221-8889 x363 or stop by Homeport Home Ownership at 734 E. Long St. M-F 9-5 or by appointment.]