We have finished the initial design of the layout of the loft. (What is the correct architectural term here? spacial program? floor plan? ..) This is a major milestone in the design process I think, and we have taken record time to do this -- meaning getting to such a great solution in such a short time. We achieved the goal of having a big open space (19x20ft) for doing tai chi, swords, etc. We also have a great audio/video/entertaining space that is good for both private listening/viewing and movie nights. The overall loft is extremely open but without being too sterile. Everything seems to be falling into place now.
Meanwhile, for some reason we have to get the building's architect to approve our changes to the interior, and we just got that approved, at least on the rough drawings that we sent them. The next stage is detail engineering drawings to get final approval.