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So many facets of our everyday lives have been dramatically revolutionized in the last 20 years, yet when it comes to the layout of our homes almost nothing has changed. Traditionally, most two-story houses follow the same pattern of having the kitchen and living area on the ground floor with bedrooms on the upper level. But is this always the most ideal flow for a home? 


We thought it was about time someone in Atlanta flipped conventional living upside down. With the introduction of top-floor living™ at our 4Forty4 townhome community in Old Fourth Ward and Crosby in West Midtown (both sold out) Empire has completely reversed the floor plan as we know it to position the most utilized areas of the home on the highest floor while allocating sleeping space to lower floors. 


“Top-floor living™ is unique, but more than that, it better reflects how we use and live in our homes today,” says Courtney Rogers, Director of Design at Empire Communities. “We tend to spend most of our time in the kitchen and living room, and this style of living allows you to really capitalize on those spaces. High ceilings, tons of natural light, extended views and more privacy… the benefits go on and on.”


The “reverse story” or “upside-down living” trend originated in Scandinavia before making its way to Australia, the UK and more recently, the USA. Perfectly suited to many aspects of urban family life and environment, there’s nothing quite like it and here are a few reasons why.  

Enjoy the View

Life from the top has never looked so good. The biggest benefit of top-floor living™ is a home that takes full advantage of the surrounding neighborhood view and environment. Having the main living space upstairs means a higher vantage point to enjoy beautiful urban scenery throughout the day. There’s no need to contend with trees, fences, roads or neighboring houses, or close the curtains for privacy. 


The panoramic views from this elevated position will bathe your kitchen, living and dining spaces in as much natural light as possible during the hours when you’ll be in these spaces the most, reducing the need for artificial light and electricity consumption. With large operable windows and balcony doors, letting in a cool breeze will be a welcome respite in summer months and help lessen dependency on air conditioning. What’s more is that the downstairs bedrooms will be darker, cooler and better situated for sleep.

Zoned Spaces 

The thought of zoned living can be quite appealing for urban dwellers looking to own a home in a highly sought-after neighborhood. Having the most utilized areas of the home up top ensures a great place to unwind, entertain, cook, read, or just be. The sophisticated design of Empire’s urban top-floor plans have been purposefully created to maximize usable space and be much more open and airy than a traditional home layout.

Utilizing the bottom floor of the home as a flex space, followed by bedrooms on the second floor and living areas on the top floor means there is plenty of freedom and options to segment the spaces in a way that suits your individual needs. The ground floor is ripe with opportunity to become a stand-alone space for whatever you choose, whether that be a place to work on your side hustle or blossoming business, break a sweat, or work from home in the optional flex room with a neighboring bath. Living quarters on the second floor consist of two bedrooms and two bathrooms — meaning there’s ample privacy and space for yourself, a roommate or a weekend guest. Up top, you and your guests will be awed by the ‘wow’ factor and sense of grandeur that comes from elevated open plan living.

Functional Details

Building innovation and functionality are matched with purposeful features in Empire’s top-floor living™ floor plans. Details like frameless and oversized cabinetry in the kitchen and bathrooms will maximize storage and provide a more seamless look without compromising on style. The 10-foot long kitchen island finished with a quartz top will be the central hub for weeknight meal prep and weekend cocktails as you enjoy the top-floor views.

You’ll be able to select flooring from a range of luxury vinyl plank flooring that looks like the real deal without the maintenance of wood and have the option to extend it into bedrooms and bathrooms for a seamless look. Space saving solutions like the laundry room sliding barn door are both decorative and functional, and standard extras like dusk to dawn lighting at the garage are intuitive and power-saving. 

Ready to depart from the norm? Top-floor living™ makes a great deal of sense for urban Atlantans looking to buy a home Intown and suits a wide range of lifestyles. 


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