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Photo by Cory Klein
Photo by Cory Klein
Photo by Cory Klein
Photo by Cory Klein
Photo by Cory Klein

Industrial Revolution

How to turn storage into stunning

The relationship between client and builder can take on many different shapes, but in the case of Bri DeRolph and Compton Construction, theirs was a collaboration fused by function and creativity.
Creativity isn’t something the owner was lacking. DeRolph had already designed a spiral staircase, as well as her own bathroom tub and countertops fashioned from reclaimed belts.
As for filling out the entire space—an old electrician’s storage warehouse that would become a new two-story home/office—Blake Compton and his team took it the rest of the way, turning blueprint into bona fide reality.

Up on the roof:
[DeRolph] was going out on her own after a storied career in retail and commercial environment design and needed a place to sleep and work. She wanted a simple, open bedroom connected to her work studio and the ability to go out on the roof to take breaks as she needed.

Adding on:
Its prior use was a one-story, garage-like building. It wasn’t set up to live in at all, and had to have all its utilities upgraded to service the live/work space that it was adapted to. The second floor was added and was the most difficult part of the project.

Creative spiral:
Local craftsmen Shawn Walburn helped design and build the metal details and Bri helped bring in the wood treads. It was the focal point of the design.

Modern + Industrial:
That was very intentional. [DeRolph] wanted us to provide her with a basic finish throughout the space initially. The convergence of modern and industrial speaks to her design aesthetic that she brings forward for her clients and her other passion projects in her life. In essence, what you see in her space is her.

Simple and Open:
That is important. It also can create challenges when you are trying to find storage. Luckily, half the building remained a warehouse/workshop, which allowed the space to stay focused from room to room.

Challenges:
Structural steel for the second floor addition was so large that we had logistical issues with getting the freight truck down the street and making the turn onto the property. We spent weeks working with residents to clear the street and get the right angle to install the beam. That was a major delay in the project and unfortunately one of the first scopes of work that needed to be complete.

Found Inspiration:
Found items can be their own inspiration. Many of the pulleys and track molds you see in the space came from Land-Grant Brewing Co.’s building during that project’s demo phase. When we were working on the demolition, I thought of Bri and called her to come check out all the scrap material. It was like inviting a kid to a candy store! She utilized many pieces in her space, including her headboard—which is made of molds used by a printing company years ago.

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