The Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago (our home base) is known for it's unique loft apartments. We're getting a lot of inspiration from this photo series from "A House & Garden Book: Decorating with Plants
Ceilings high enough for lofts, probably no kitchen though. (I know this is a loft apartment, but I'm thinking more for having this type of a room in an actual house.
Cable railing for split level. North Bend House by Johnston Architects / North Bend, Washington, USA