Tempe's lofty lifestyle
PROJECT: The Orchidhouse.
LOCATION: Sixth Street and Mill Avenue, downtown
SQUARE FOOTAGE: The main 78 units range from 600
to 2,100, some with balconies or patios. There
are five developed penthouses, each about 2,400.
square feet. A sixth penthouse, 3,000, -foot penthouse
remains undeveloped and
is the only unit still
FEATURES: A mix of standard floor plans and to
fully customized construction. Underground parking,
secure entrances and elevators.
DESIGN: The common-area interior architecture
and custom designs of many individual units by
Kristine Woolsey, Woolsey Studio Inc., architects,
(480) 945-3440 or woolseystudio.com . Individual
interior décor by each homeowner.
Three great things from units in the Orchidhouse
Lofts in Tempe...
1) Goran and Deborah Ryden's smart use of space:
When they sold their Sun Lakes home and moved
into this loft, at 916 square feet, the couple
had to seriously downsize. The master bedroom
also does duty as a computer station, TV-watching
area (using a space-saving LCD monitor) and art
gallery. That leaves room in the living room for
a leather sofa and chairs to enjoy the downtown
Tempe view, to play the baby grand piano or to
read or to watch a second LCD TV in a small study
2) Donna Niemann's master bath: A curving wall
of glass block adds architectural interest at
the entry to this 1,070-square-foot loft. On the
other side, it's the backdrop for a full-size
spa tub in the bathroom. The tub surround was
finished in concrete, then stamped with patterns
using old fabric blocks from India. Niemann converted
a decorative CD cabinet to hold extra toiletries,
and sewed a gold curtain to hide her stackable
3) Wally and Liz McClure's kitchen: At 1,492
square feet, this loft is still small compared
with the average detached Valley home. The kitchen,
however, would fit right in with a custom home
five times larger. A split island gives access
in or out of the main cooking area in three directions
- at each side and through the middle. There's
also seating for six around the split granite-topped
island, halogen cable lighting and a pot rack
above, a six-burner professional-style range below,
and two sinks.