Saturday, April 2, 2011

We're not in Lafayette anymore Toto?!

Standing inside any of the Buchanan Lofts in Downtown Lafayette & that's how you feel--like you're "not" in Lafayette, Louisiana anylonger?! Instead you're in say some Scandinavian or Euro Loft apartment, but for sure not in a hotel? even a boutique hotel/apt - these rooms are like living the Loft Life w/o actually owning or remodeling or decorating one?!

I don't know who Leah Simon is but the decorating she did in these is Absolutely Fabulous?! And I want to see more, will get my chance next at the Grand Opening coming up--YeeHah?!

This past Friday I got a sneak peek inside the Buchanan Lofts after a long wait, so many days at Americas Coffeehouse under them having Floyd make me my usual (a cross between a Machiato & a Cortado - which is what I use to order back in Stavanger, Norway for the last 2 years until I had to repatriate--again?!)

Many a day I would ask Floyd--Are they done yet?! And there's going to be a door where? into your coffee house from their lobby--I can't wait?! Not to mention I'd love to be walking in from over there, as if I were a guest of the Lofts right?! (one day - or when I have guests of my own who will come to stay here...another can't wait?!)

We were ending up our Social Media Breakfast meet up when Jaci with The Russo Group says: "Who wants a tour of the lofts?" I felt like saying "I do, I do, I do?!" like a little excited kid who's been asked do you want a double decker chocolate ice cream cone with sprinkles on top--Y-E-S?!

On their last day of construction & what looks like a lot of details left in the lobby as they were still making a lot of noise putting up the exterior lights, whilst we were trying to have our meet up too mind you (most of us were lucky & didn't yell out talking inbetween the silences of electricians working with drills or whatever else of higher decibles?!) We got to step carefully past it & up the lime green stairway to the 8 lofts above...

Although we didn't get to see them all, what we did see was as if we were walking thru a Loft Catalog of nearly ever element you'd love to see in a loft that you'd live in--to think you can stay in these overnight or over the weekend or longer is just mind boggling these days & here of all places?!

Me with my ExPat/Traveler eyes on still after only repatriating 3 months ago back to the US from Norway I keep thinking I'm on a trip somewheres & not to Lafayette, Louisiana either?!

So many little decorating details catch my eye, an antique or a stainless something or a piece of art or wallpaper strips that don't match but do or bare old red bricks or on & on this list could go...

What use to be an old Abdallas Dept store - which I do remember these from like the first time I lived here, going on my third time now - they have repurposed/recycled a lot & it's great to see that...

Love Jaci's story about the fur closet of Abdallas being repurposed into the backboard wall for one of the bed's in one Loft especially...thinking I'm sure Leah, who we're told decorated it all could tell us so many more - Jaci (Russo) also told us Leah (Simon) probably had all these great finds stuffed away in warehouse storage for a year or was it years getting ready to use them all in these 8 Lofts plus the Marquis Suite?!

I never thought we'd get to see that space too, but down the stairs we go & across in front of Americas Coffeehouse & back up the outside metal stairs to the Marquis Suite of the Buchanan Lofts that you can also rent out - though Leah has been living there while the rest of the Lofts were being done & decorated...

All of which I find out are Pet Friendly, as her big friendly puffball of a dog follows us up the stairs - am thinking how great is that too?! Having traveled through a lot of Europe watching so many folks traveling with their pets & knowing that when I did travel back here in the US on trips with a little dog even it was a huge expensive hassle in most cases...

Now the energy in the other Lofts was something, but to top that in this Marquis Suite/Loft was just Fabulous?! Again like walking thru some designer loft catalog, but I don't know how she does it--one that you feel comfortable in, like you could curl up on the sofa by the hanging fireplace or sit at the cypress wood dining table & have a fun meal with family & friends...

Of course the food coming out of the industrial modern kitchen would be Fantastic too - later I'll read that you can rent the space out & have the Chef from Tsunami's from downstairs come cook a meal (did I read that right, will have to go back & find that article to be sure now?!)

Walk out on the inside patio, stepping over the ledge as if you're in a New York Condo (I've only seen them on TV of course) to the smoothed cement floor to look out these huge rectangles cut out of the brick work & wonder how they did that, but can imagine sitting here with an espresso in my hand having late night conversations with the sounds of downtown Lafayette off a short distance...

Back inside notice an ocean waves view of what I think at first is a painting on a wall, when we're told it's from a photo taken when Leah was on an island in Hawaii that Vinyl (a once shop in RiverRanch they tell me) put on this canvas to hang like art - which is so fun, only sadly I hear they closed their shop (what bad timing for me then to return now--had in mind a whirlwind tour of photos in my head from past travels that could of done this with?!)

The ideas go on & just pour out of Leah like glitter?! Passing her desk she says it's on the IKEA Hackers page (maybe she submitted the photo) & I'm thinking OK I know IKEA but they have Hackers? & they do what? I guess they are a group that supports taking all things IKEA & making them into a bit different/other things - so say this desk instead of the legs going on the edges on either side of the top, as most would, they go inside at an angle to make a triangle underneath it instead...

Writing this I remember I wanted to go see what they have photos of on their webpage - because I've shopped at IKEA a lot & especially loved the store in Stavanger, Norway (am still kinda bummed that I'll be missing out on the new Gianormous IKEA that was going to open up in Forus - which I saw the sign for & read about, but knew I would probably not be there for their Grand Opening & could hardly imagine them making one bigger/better than the one they already had?!)

Just a small fraction of the ideas this creative beautiful woman has put into these Buchanan Lofts - I don't know which I'm more excited about, seeing the Lofts or meeting Leah?! Thank you Jaci?!

Walking out we hear again that they're suppose to be done that same day by 2 or was it 3:00pm to have their first guest?! I would love to see who that is, they should take photos...And too that they're nearly booked for International Festival, which for Lafayette that's end of the month of April already?! I am not surprised at all...

No April Fools--best Interior Spaces I've been in while in Lafayette, LA?! Now can't wait to attend the Grand Opening & hopefully will remember my camera & maybe be allowed to take a few photos...

Later I will Tweet Jaci to say she's lucky to get to take photos for the Opening & I'm thinking it could be an art/photo class for ULL students to come to the Buchanan Lofts to take photos - so many modern design interiors decorating compositions/portfolios they could make there (if only I knew how to use a real camera real well I'd be among them?!)

Then Jaci Tweets back to say we're all invited to the Grand Opening & I'm thinking Oh Yeah--another chance to see those lofts again...soon after daydreaming what it would be like to live in them, could I ever afford the daily/weekly/monthly rate to do just that - if I get an inheritance or win some lottery or sell all & just move in?! (sigh) Until then will just have to go visit & often, if I can get away with it for any reason what so ever?! Please, please, please...(I'm back to childlike excitement, if you could hear me?!)

Come on Toto let's go check in at the Buchanan Lofts--maybe the Marquis Suite will be open?!

(photo note: tabletop decor borrowed from listing, photo by Kurt Adler - if I should give credit, but I'm sure there's a Dorothy Doll with Toto too somewheres else?!)

Links following to all things Buchanan Lofts that I could find while Googling madly to find out what I was missing & if I could possibly budget in a weekend to check in for real?!
(could not figure out how to copy any other photos except one from their holding page for the webpage to come, but will keep trying?!)

Buchanan Lofts - holding page, more to come
(& I hope soon, with more photos too?! now am hearing next week--Yeah?!)

Dwell magazine blog - from a visit to LA-ab & LSU graduate students in Architecture with Jim Sullivan their professor who designed the Marquis Suite at Buchanan Lofts
(if I understand what he wrote correctly)

VRBO from Home Away
(enjoyed the comments there - "not your mother's loft" & another fav quote: "If you want to commute quietly with nutrias, then keep looking..." This is so Cajun, I can just imagine it being said - also I know what a Nutria is, big ugly rat that looks more like a beaver to me?!)

from Buchanan Street Happenings - Marquis Suites
(I realize I have not met Michele & Sean Ezell who they mention as being a part of this revitalization of the upper warehouse space in downtown Lafayette - but am guessing when I met a lady out front watching the electrictians working, who said Leah was her sister that did all that design work upstairs which I was gushing about to her--that Michele may be Leah's sister, could be wrong but will find out am hoping yet during future visits of the Lofts?!)

am guessing this is a Wedding link, being called Wedding Websit & under Out of Towners there's a How to Get Here & Recommended Hotels...sounds like someone's got family/friends coming into town hoping these Lofts will be ready & open for their Wedding party to stay at end of May - their other 2 choices noted were the boutique hotel downtown, The Juliet Hotel or the Hilton Garden Inn...
(if I had a vote, would be for Buchanan Lofts & I'd say Book Now?!)

More great photos here of the Marquis Suite - even the dog, aww--she's such a fluffy furball...
(I agree the coolest place in Lafayette & all I got to do was visit so far?!)

marquis loft

marquis loft living space bedroom #1, queen bed, +patio
bedroom #2, twin beds + patio pillow top twins light filled queen bedroom
hallway from living-> bedrooms 1000 thread count sheets full bathroom w/shower
seperate private toilet area hall bath, with shower exterior patio, downtown views
restaurant quality kitchen pet friendly marble counter top, deep sink, gas stove
PERFECT for entertaining! dining for 10 +patio access  

this is the coolest place you'll ever stay in. comfortable, spacious, 60" HD tv with satellite, high speed fiber, outside patio, laundry room, and many more details. adjacent to an 8 room loft hotel



-Leah Simon

End of my Googling Search list & photos--so far...
There will be more of course after the Ribbon Cutting (this Friday) & Grand Opening (April 14th am told) too, if I get to steal away & snap some sneaky shots?! Mwah hah hah...
(you may not know this about me, but normally I don't get all that worked up about interiors or decorating or even as a long time traveler overseas a room for the night--but these are so different & so fun & have just so much great energy in them & as well I've been lusting to live in a Loft for a lot of feeds that need is all I can say right now, sorry?!)

Cast of Characters:

Jaci Russo - The Russo Group
(plus find her on Facebook & Twitter & Linked In & what ever else constitutes Social Media--if it does then I'm sure she/they are there?!)

or for the Razor Branding Blog of Jaci's/The Russo Group go here...

Leah Simon - Buchanan Lofts
(watch for more of her there when they get everything up & running, soon I'm week I'm hearing thru the Twitter Grapevine, so will be checking in to find out - or she's over on Twitter, look for her there @Leah600)

And a little blast from the past about Leah - from Rock 'n Roll to Sushi...
(besides St. Thomas Moore High School--the things you find a Googling?!)

Or this one from Elle Decor Magazine (previously in Metropolitan Home) - about her updating a mid-century ranch house in Baton Rouge...
(what her designer said there is so true--people love the vibe in her restaurant & you just feel comfortable in her home?! I'm thinking the same is true of these new lofts in Lafayette as well...)

Be sure to check out the Resources page for her house if you're into Design, because you can buy what's in the photos (of course for a price?!),9

Floyd Willis
Owner/Barista Americas Coffee House - Lafayette, LA
find him on Facebook for now
(am hoping he'll start up a webpage & include all his great photos of America too - or a book?!)

Other links of mention...

IKEA Hackers--they take IKEA furniture to a new level (of their own?!)
(no, I did not find Leah's desk in there--way too much else to be distracted by, so had to jump out...another time?!)

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