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Susan's Carriage Loft




Amherst, Massachusetts



Square Feet:


What I Love About My Home

There are so many things I love about my home: the light, the cathedral ceilings, the open floor plan, the quiet neighborhood. My house is one side of a duplex, in a wooded condo community comprised of many different sized homes, from 4-bedroom single-family houses to the small “carriage lofts,” which is what my place is called. My unit is situated in such a way that I have a lovely sense of privacy. Bettie (the cat) can go in and out through her pet door as she pleases. I have a small deck, a garage (with closets) and a storage shed. I was able to arrange the space into distinct functional areas: kitchen, dining, work, and living areas are all downstairs. The bedroom and bath are upstairs in the loft.

Biggest Challenge in Furnishing My Home

I would love to have a dedicated painting and sewing studio where I can make a creative mess and leave it. I’ve considered giving over the living area to painting, but I can’t bring my self to give it up. I do have a nice work space, it’s just a little cramped. Projects frequently take over the dining table and every work surface. I’m sometimes torn between the pleasure of a creative mess and the serenity of an orderly and beautiful home.

Favoriting and voting have ended.

Comments (62)

I love the space you've created!

posted by clabich on April 20, 2011 at 11:07am
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love it ; very cosy and beautiful but the most beautiful thing there is your cat! :) so cute....

posted by burcuayaz1 on April 21, 2011 at 4:33am
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Susan, I'm going to need you to move out as soon as possible. Please leave everything as is (even the cat which looks exactly like mine). I plan to become an architect as well, so leave all of that just as it is. Good luck wherever you go and keep in touch.

posted by cvgmiami on April 20, 2011 at 9:28am
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what's not to love here ? Even the floorplan should be framed.

posted by Allegra M on April 20, 2011 at 8:59am
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Go Amherst!

posted by zoe13 on April 20, 2011 at 9:24am
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posted by Joe K. Shoenfeld on April 20, 2011 at 10:53am
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LOVE your place!

posted by maglyb on April 20, 2011 at 10:46am
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Love everything about it! And the pretty kitty doesn't hurt...

posted by Ananda Khalsa on April 20, 2011 at 10:48am
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Your place is great, Susan. Here's hoping you win!

posted by Jack Cavacco on April 20, 2011 at 10:56am
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Beautiful space and beautiful kitty! :)

posted by Tracy333 on April 20, 2011 at 10:58am
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posted by Sue C on April 20, 2011 at 11:30am
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I miss Amherst..

love your home - it's warm and inviting and original.

Where is your coffee table from?

posted by casey w on April 20, 2011 at 12:47pm
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This is wonderful! One of my faves so far. I would curtain off that drafting area, then when you want to leave a creative mess, just pull the curtains.

posted by r2b2 on April 20, 2011 at 12:50pm
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Nice Place - a Virgo's paradise!

posted by danielspaniel on April 20, 2011 at 1:02pm
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Beautiful house!!! I love the hanging man.

posted by Chara on April 20, 2011 at 1:03pm
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Gorgeous architecture matched and enhanced by your superb sense of design! Perfect for a creative soul's loft-life!

posted by visualeyes on April 20, 2011 at 2:23pm
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Thanks for all the nice comments everyone! Casey, the coffee table was a gift from a friend whose dad bought it new in the '60s. It's signed on the underside by Simon Watts. It could use refinishing, but I love it.

posted by GreenKey on April 20, 2011 at 1:20pm
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You're home is great! I feel your pain about space for painting. I often have more than one going at a time so they tend to take up a lot of room. Your home seems very warm and cozy.

posted by mollyfields on April 20, 2011 at 1:53pm
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What a beautiful little house! I want to see more!

posted by California Sleepybears on April 20, 2011 at 1:50pm
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I LOVE it! Is your Santo on the wall vintage? If not, I'd adore knowing where you got it! :)

posted by Halo Hill on April 20, 2011 at 3:36pm
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I could live here. I love this place: so warm, and bright, so much wood, evenn the cat is wonderful. I wanna it, all of this. House tour please, I wanna see the bathroom and closet below stairs.

posted by Ofelia on April 20, 2011 at 3:45pm
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Are those Ikea Billy bookcases?

posted by kelleyk on April 20, 2011 at 4:51pm
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This one is my favorite! I love the place, and I love what you've done with it. It looks like a comfortable place to live and work.

posted by cremedela on April 20, 2011 at 6:54pm
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Is this in a cohousing development? Just kind of has that feeling, but really nice windows and exposed timbers.

posted by ts on April 20, 2011 at 7:02pm
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This is... my favourite place on AT EVER!!!!! I am so so madly in love with this place. Green with envy. I would LOVE a place like this- I'm on the hunt and have been for years. Just can't seem to find it... :(
This is being saved as images on my laptop so I can look at the pictures and sigh for months to come...

posted by melissacj on April 20, 2011 at 7:09pm
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This is amazing, I absolutely love the clean look of it all and the red framed windows - this may be my favorite so far!

posted by ModHomekeeper on April 20, 2011 at 7:15pm
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You'll find it, just hang in there melissacj.

I adore this place! Thank you for sharing.

posted by aynn on April 20, 2011 at 7:17pm
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I love your "creative space" with the desk, flat files, and organized shelves. I'm going to copy your setup for my spare bedroom/art studio.

posted by mauras on April 20, 2011 at 7:51pm
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I'm lovin' how she didn't smack a picture about the couch. It looks beautiful without one as the bookcase is magnificent.

posted by daylight on April 20, 2011 at 7:56pm
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I meant "above" the couch. Btw, how old is your condo as it reminds of the the half-timber houses in Germany?

posted by daylight on April 20, 2011 at 7:57pm
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My favorite of all the Small Cool entries so far.

posted by sypage on April 20, 2011 at 8:19pm
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Perfect ... just perfect! The size of the place is fantastic, and your design choice is beautiful. I want to live there!

posted by Elfreth on April 20, 2011 at 8:49pm
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I love the red chair and how the rug complements it so well. Actually, I love everything about this place. Simply beautiful.

posted by daylight on April 20, 2011 at 9:01pm
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Thanks again everyone. You guys are making my day! To answer a few questions:

@ Halo Hill - the Santo is the Virgin of Guadalupe and was made in Mexico. I bought her at Two Hands Paperie in Boulder, Colorado.

@ kellyk- Yes, the shelving in the work area is two Billy bookcases from Ikea.

@ daylight and @ ts - No, this is not a co-housing community. It's a very unusual condo community with 50+ units, built in 1974. I did extensive renovating when I bought the place 3.5 years ago.

@ Ofelia -I'm sorry to say you would be disappointed in the bathroom! It's the only area I didn't renovate. (I just had to stop somewhere.) I hope I can get to that some time in the future.

@melissacj - Don't give up! You'll find your home.

posted by GreenKey on April 20, 2011 at 9:34pm
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Bravo! Excellent use of color, form, light, and cat.

posted by mint71 on April 20, 2011 at 10:19pm
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I love how well put together your place is. Not cluttered at all even though there's a good amount of furnishings....same color of wood furnishings makes it all tie in nicely as well.

posted by smoothsailing on April 20, 2011 at 10:25pm
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Very nice, indeed.

posted by reclamationdesign on April 20, 2011 at 11:17pm
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when can i move in? this is the nicest apartment i have seen in a long time - fabulous

posted by stereobeijing on April 21, 2011 at 12:27am
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Although I have a family that I love, I have to admit that while viewing these photos, I had the sudden intense desire to live alone (with a pet) in this incredible place! You've made a beautiful, practical, day-dreaming inspiring living space. Two thumbs up!

posted by rabbitrabbit on April 21, 2011 at 12:17am
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Wow... this place is MUCH nicer than anything I had in Amherst.
Amazing style, love the apartment.

posted by Amy the Bicoastalscientist on April 21, 2011 at 12:51am
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nice! cute plans!

posted by MishMc on April 21, 2011 at 1:37am
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Absolutely beautiful. The architecture of the place is unique and you have only added to it. Love every bit about it.

posted by TanjaK on April 21, 2011 at 2:37am
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Ooh, this is lovely. Such a cozy cottage feel, while being modern, simple, and stylish.

posted by livc on April 21, 2011 at 3:12am
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want, want, want! I love this space.

posted by babbling on April 21, 2011 at 9:25am
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This home gives me a warm cozy feeling. It is so beautiful and healthy looking. You have done such an excellent job with your home. I hope YOU win!

posted by changedmymind on April 21, 2011 at 11:05am
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I want a little house with exactly this layout! I especially like the choice of light wood and the dark rose pink accents (and the cat.)

posted by Holly14 on April 21, 2011 at 11:52am
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Can you tell us a little about the wood character hanging on the wall in the window seat? I love it! It is so charming! What is it called and where did you come across something so quaint? Can we see a close up picture?

posted by changedmymind on April 21, 2011 at 4:43pm
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@ changedmymind: The figure is a sculpture made from trash by the late Matthew Leighton (from Greenfield, Mass.), who named him "Warwick." I can put a photo of him on my blog which you can access through the link in my profile. Most of Matthew's work was made from metal refuse. Warwick is mostly wood, which is unusual. I think his hair is made from an old blueberry rake. Thanks for asking!

posted by GreenKey on April 21, 2011 at 6:05pm
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@ changedmymind: Well, the light isn't very good right now. I'll try to get a good shot some time in the near future.

posted by GreenKey on April 21, 2011 at 6:32pm
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I'm in love. Your drafting table/flat file area is fantastic, the lofted bedroom, the exposed timbers. *sigh*

posted by Julia MN on April 21, 2011 at 8:42pm
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Hooray Amherst! As Amy said, this is worlds above anywhere I lived while attending UMass (Townhouses/Puffton anyone?) Your crafting area is fantastic and your kitchen is really beautiful... and not a Solo cup in sight ;)

posted by maechevrette on April 22, 2011 at 1:39pm
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Not much to say that hasn't already been said here, but you definitely have my vote!

posted by viveca on April 23, 2011 at 11:31am
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The black bookcase in the living room is striking and a wonderful contrast with all the wood. It's nice too to see bookcases with books.

posted by xerocada2 on April 24, 2011 at 12:15pm
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posted by Webegail on April 24, 2011 at 1:06pm
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I like your place, and your cat.

posted by bloggergal on April 24, 2011 at 4:38pm
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Officially a favorite! I adore your home ... stunning, earthy, peaceful and warm. So many beautiful shades of wood and greenery ... a perfect backdrop for such clever placements of rich color.

posted by lifeabundant on April 24, 2011 at 5:28pm
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Oh & LOVE the kitchen, living room & office storage. Please tell me ... did you anchor your shelves to your walls? I'm asking because I want to stack my book cases, hope that anchoring isn't necessary; but, want to do what's best for safety. Does anyone know the rules about this or what's recommended? Here's info on my shelving ...

My shelving is four very heavy, solid wood units (that have two shelves each) lined up in a row like a sofa table. I'd like to stack them so that there are 2 rows of 2 units. Each unit measures 20 ins wide, 15-17 ins deep (the front of the unit slants outward) & 31 ins tall. If you are familiar with Arhaus furniture, you may have an idea of how heavy their furniture can be. I'm thinking that I don't need to anchor them since they are so heavy and have a solid footprint (more like cubes than your standard shelves that have a shallow depth). I do know that anchoring is a must if shelving isn't heavy, sturdy, etc.

Thanks for any info you can share.

posted by lifeabundant on April 24, 2011 at 5:56pm
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You've got my vote!

My nephew lives in one of those fabulous townhouses and I am in love with it. I'm across the river and your homes are the only ones that leave me feeling like I wish I lived in Amherst! You've done great things with your space.

Just wondering if GreenKey has anything to do with where you went to school...

posted by AmySRQ on April 25, 2011 at 9:05am
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Thanks again for all the great comments everyone!
@lifeabundant: No, my bookshelves are not anchored to the walls. You're making me think that perhaps they ought to be, but so far, no mishaps!
@AmySRQ: No, GreenKey doesn't have anything to do with school. I dreamt it up many years ago and have used it in various ways over the years. I'm not the only one - I've seen it in a bunch of places online.

posted by GreenKey on April 25, 2011 at 10:03am
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I love the open beams and the kitchen. The entire place looks very comfortable and functional. It reminds me of homes in the rocky mountains that I love.

posted by Miko Love on April 26, 2011 at 5:22pm
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Wonderful home, such a nice feel and comfort to it! I love how beautifully it is decorated and your sweet kitty makes it complete!

posted by lizryan on April 30, 2011 at 4:58pm
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I marked this as a favorite the first day I saw it. I only wish I could vote for it again and again. Brilliant use of space and the decorating just feels very warm and homey yet modern and uncluttered.

posted by Ms. Vickie on May 2, 2011 at 12:26am
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