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Saturday, January 2, 2010

An Old Storefront That Was Built In The Early 1900’s

"It’s a great sample of a storefront renovation by Tyler Engle - Architect,
the old storefront that was built in the early 1900’s
converted into a cool home for live/work space.''

I have always wondered
about living in this way.
I live near a small coastal town that has quite
a bit of 'quaint' left in it.
It is called Delray Beach, Florida.

The downtown area has more
than a few adorable buildings left in it.
I used to think about opening a design studio
on the first floor and living upstairs.
AND THEN.......
making a roof garden on the 3rd floor.
On the 3rd floor in any of these buildings
you would still be able to see

Only one problem....
I am not completely sure that I would like
not living anonymously.
I mean,
it is a small town and people would eventually
get to know that I lived there.
Would I really want to say hello when
I didn't feel like it?

Ummmm....One part of me would love it,
and the other....well, the other part of me
is a recluse.

I would probably have the
'Closed' sign up more often than not.
I would be up on the roof painting,
 listening to music and
ordering in Chinese or Italian.

And you can be certain that
I would have to dress up
 in a disguise to grab a pack of ciggies.

Have you ever thought of living 
above, behind, or below a business of your own?

* The client is a couple with an extensive art collection. Creating the modern equivalent of the traditional courtyard house, the new design is centered on a large skylight over the living and dining room. Reminiscent of a shipping container a wood-clad service core houses the kitchen and powder room. A flexible and multi-functional space is facilitated by large pocket doors, steel plate blinders that hide the kitchen and concealed equipment that pivots out for use. 
* click here for the article.

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her BLOG.....
Interior Design, Palm Beach, Boca Raton,Ft.Lauderdale,Design Service, Window Treatments, TurnKey Interior Design Service,Paint selection, Floor-Plans,Online Interior Design,
Design Center of The Americas, D.C.O.T.A.,Living in a Storefront, The Old Storefront That Was Built In The Early 1900’s


  1. Hi Renee
    Well I think it would be great. I long to get out of the city and live somewhere small. A 'village' where you can wander down to the local cafe and catch up with friends or stay at home and escape from the world and well a view of the sea would really make it perfect.

    The only problem is I'm like you, and can happily lock myself away from the world for days on end. Although I think a lot of that comes from working with ppl all day long and needing to escape when I can.

    Oh and your question re living above your business? That would also be perfect for me. I Love working from home... no commuting.. a dream!! Just have a nice big 'Closed' sign for timeout!!

    Have a great new year Renee... I'm sitting brewing ideas on what I can do to get out of the rat race. Of course so far all my solutions require 'money' and the 'rat race' ha ha... it's a dilemma!! xx Julie

  2. julie,
    you are so cool.
    yeah baby!!!

    we could have stores next to each other.
    we could have roof parties, with out 'closed' signs up.
    then dress up in comical disguises (the same ones all the time)
    i can be groucho, you can be harpo, (and we could switch on occasion just to mix it up a bit)
    then we can sneak out and do whatever we needed to.

    but the joke would be....
    evreyone would laugh as we went by.
    they would look at each other and say "there those 2 go again!"
    i wonder which one's which today??

    sounds like fun eh ????

    oh yeah...there is that money thing....!!!!!


  3. I've often though of living over a business. I'd have a back door
    and fenced in yard.
    That place did nothing for me, it
    still feels commercial.
    Maybe a fenced yard would not be safe?
    It has it's pro's and con's..
    Keep thinking, love M

  4. Yeah-if it could look like this store front and be located in Camden. Especially during the winter months-with all of the locals meeting for coffee and chowder. It's very appealing until you think about the anonymity part... gotta love small town Maine.

  5. Hi Renee,
    Well, my husband has his own business and I can categorically say, hand on my heart, never in a million years, not if you paid me, would I live above my business !!!!
    You can never get away from your work and I don't think that that is a good thing .....mind you, if it looked like the one that you have shown then maybe, just maybe you could twist my arm. XXXX

  6. That 3rd floor roof top escape sounds PERFECT!!!

  7. I always learned to keep business and personal life separate...But...if I lived in that awesome store front turned fabulous...WITH a roof top garden/terrace to have an ocean view... mmmm...I just may learn to cope!

    Happy New Year Renee! Love your blog!

  8. debra...
    that sounds divine.
    ....maybe near cappy's.
    we could meet and bring our laptops and yack,yack,yack.

    sounds like a dream.

  9. Ok you and Julie are going to have to save a storefront for me so that I can get in on all of the fun. We could have one BIG store with 3 apts above so we can be by ourselves when we want to! LOVE the idea!

  10. renae,

    LET'S DO IT !!!!

    xxx love you

  11. no, we now need FOUR storefronts, i want to join in the fun! can i getting silly, causing people to whisper, think of the potential for nonsense!

    seriously i have indeed day dreamed about the storefront bit. in my fantasy it is in rural england or new england in a small village with a hidden roof garden and private garden. the best example of this i have seen is in connecticut. the biz is called michael trapp. his rear property is private, large and magical, a real escape.
    cocktails, costumes, chick friends and ciggies....heaven!

  12. Ok...screw we need a WHOLE town for all of us to live above our businesses! And we would just shop each others stores/galleries/studios...and we can call it blog land, and.....

  13. Renee -I'm completely with you! In theory it seems like a good idea, and the photos are beautiful, but in real life I think it would be hard not to be able to hide away from time to time.

  14. ok you guys!!!!!

    we can dream can't we.
    let's see now....

    we have julie, she's in...
    renae, debra, yvonne (fr la petite),debbie phillips,
    and linda( from lime)are all on board.
    but we can not leave out scott!!!
    scott can crack the whip and get us back to work.
    we would need some one like that for sure.

    but don't kid your self ladies,
    he will be BEGGING after a long saturday of retail to borrow one of our costumes to wear.

    he will want to escape that one customer, that shows up every saturday nite after closing time to purchase a pack of designer cocktail napkins for a hostess gift, she will want it gift wrapped of course....
    btw...she has never made any other purchase, nor has she brought in any customers, and did i mention that she returns it for her money back on monday morning saying "i really didn't need to bring anything."

    these people do exist.

  15. ha ha ha..... That sounds like a challenge...? I'm horribly competitive, and as an Aries I ALWAYS win. Or, at least in my ego driven mind I do!! : )

  16. Do it. It sounds fabulous.

  17. I would love this, if it were close enough to the city. The dream of an Atelier and my living space above has always intrigued me!

  18. What's old is a new idea again. It was a solution to a problem before now. In today's way of life it comes with many luxuries that we're possible before. So if you think about it as a luxury...well than it is! Great post beautiful snaps.


  19. Your idea sound great! And the pros of living on top of your own business It think by far overshadow the cons (in my opinion).

  20. Oh,... a Happy New Year, Renee!!



Thanks for participating!!

About Renée Finberg

I have been in this business since the age of 22.

I love what I do and cannot imagine my life without Design.

Design Challenges are great.

And because of those challenges

I have imported fine antique pieces from Paris,

Designed and Manufactured Furniture,

Created Fantastic Window Treatments,

And solved all kinds of spatial & architectural issues

With my unique style.

If I can't find it, I create it.

My rooms would make excellent movie sets.

I am a visual, tactile and audio sensitive individual.

Creating is what I live for, not math, not spelling, not science.

Just Great Design.

Just imagine how it would be if each of us,

If only for a few hours of everyday,We could be in a space that is our very own.A place that is exactly the way we want it to be

Surrounded by all the things we wanted to see,

The atmosphere we wanted feel, smell and the sound we wanted to listen to.

Private Paradise



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