Monday, October 25, 2010

the best laid plans...

It was a gorgeous weekend and I had plans.  Good plans.  But as is so often the case, things went a little off course.  And sometimes, if you're lucky, what takes the place of your best laid plans turns out to be awesome.  I had planned on spending Saturday morning at the Farmers Market and yoga, but my boss called me and asked me to cover for him for a couple of hours at the office.  We were one of the sponsors of a "Downtown Lifestyle Tour", where people could walk around downtown and see what other people have done with some of the lofts and other living spaces that are "above the store".  Because we are one of the more "outside the box" and creative working spaces downtown, the tour organizers asked us to be in the tour as well as sponsor it.  I happily agreed to come in for a few hours and it was fun.  We had lots of visitors, and everyone loved the space.  When my boss came in around noon he gave me a ticket to go on the rest of the tour - something that I thought sounded interesting and fun, but hadn't planned on spending such a beautiful day actually doing.  But I thought "why not?"  So I toured a couple of apartments and lofts, all of which were beautifully redone.  Original 150 year old brick walls, original wood floors, windows from the floor to the 11 or 12 foot ceilings. You know.  I was about to call it a day when I realized that one of the lofts on the tour was special and I had to see it.

A little back story, first.  Wilmington is the third largest film industry town east of the Mississippi, after New York and Atlanta.  There is a lot of  movie and TV activity going on around here, and it's not unusual to see movie stars hanging around.  In fact, several of them live here, at least part-time.  Back in the 80's Dennis Hopper and David Lynch made a little movie here, called "Blue Velvet". The movie is so bad it's a cult favorite, now! They actually give tours of all the different places around town that were in the movie!  Anywayyyy...Dennis Hopper loved Wilmington so much he bought a building downtown - the old Masonic Temple - and built himself a huge loft.  Now that Dennis is gone, gentleman - well known for rehabbing/remodeling old houses and lofts and doing it beautifully - here in town has bought it and is in the middle of remodeling it to live in with his family.  I couldn't wait to see it!

You enter the loft from a freight elevator original to the 1850's building.  Straight ahead is Dennis' original kitchen - hasn't been remodeled yet.  This was supposedly "top of the line" in 1987!  All the cabinetry is stainless steel. The remodel  is only about 1/4 of the way done - much of Mr. Hopper's original stuff is still here.  I wonder if he ever actually cooked here?

These are new.  I like them. Not sure what was here before, but maybe we'll see...later.

This is the living room - huge.  Just to the left there is a glass "garage" type door that opens to a huge balcony, and those skylights (original) are about 8x10 feet!

I would so love to have one of these!

They displayed a photo of Mr. Hopper himself, in the living room as it looked when he lived there.

The original 80's, stainless steel cabinetry with black fixtures, bathroom - disco!  The new owner is installing these opaque glass doors throughout.
A different bathroom. This is the direction the new owner is going in.  Love this!

I thought this was interesting and fun.  All new.  This is going to be the new owners son's bedroom.  The platform will hold a mattress, and the area above it will also have mattresses (and a ladder) for sleepovers!  The niche at the head of the bed will be a bookcase.  The area below the bed is head room for a stairway leading downstairs.  Interesting use of the space.  I think the son is about 8 or 9 and I'm pretty sure he'll love this room .

Breakfast area - obviously all new.  Can't wait to see how this will be finished!

This was the original entry.  How 80's!  I'm guessing Mr. Hopper was single at the time?  Because this place must have looked like a nightclub!  Now it's being used for storage.  I wonder what the new owner is going to use the space for?

Maybe these are the old kitchen light fixtures!  This space had about a dozen of these assorted 80's style fixtures, and a bunch of big old metal signage letters - you can see a "t" at the left of the photo.

I ended up spending a good part of the afternoon here and it was fascinating.  So I'll plant the daffodil bulbs next weekend.


  1. hi karin,

    thanks for the tour. so interesting to see how people (esp rich/famous ones) live. as much as i love gardening i think i would have made the same choice. good call.


  2. Thanks for sharing this tour! I have always loved lofts, I like having everything open. This loft looks to be pretty cool. I can't get over that original entrance, funky!

    Amy R.

  3. I'd much rather tour fabulous spaces than plant bulbs any day! Lucky girl.

  4. Janet - I think so, too!
    Amy - thanks for stopping by! LOVE the photo of your "furbabies" on the bed!
    Karen - I love getting dirty in the garden, but touring homes is a really close second! I'm glad I decided to do this one - the bulbs can wait!

  5. Wow. Thanks for the outing, and neglecting your garden for us! You posted so many great shots. Love the cutout of DH.

  6. WOW! - i gutted my house and am doing a reno now - but man - NOTHING like this - JEALOUS! - just WOW!!!!

    *kiss kiss*

    PS - spreading the word - come one come all and
    *Enter Camille Beckman Luxury Give-Away Here*