There are few types of housing as innately cool and chic and desirable as the loft apartment. With their unusually flexible layout and architectural perks, the loft is both classic and laid-back; sophisticated and relaxed. If you currently live in a loft, you know what we’re talking about. If you are looking to move toward living in a loft apartment, this article might prove helpful for you.
WHAT IS A LOFT?
Technically, a loft can be the topmost story (such as an attic) in a building, directly under the roof. For the purposes of this article, however, we’re going to look at loft apartments as large adaptable open spaces that have been converted for residential use. Loft apartments typically originate in former industrial, or commercial, buildings, although they can also come from other types of construction as well.
LOFT APARTMENT BENEFITS:
As remodeled commercial buildings, loft apartments typically have vaulted ceilings – often in the 10’ to 15’ range. This makes even the smallest lofts feel spacious and provides plenty of decorating opportunities.
Great Natural Light.
Along with vaulted ceilings are, typically, huge windows. These let in an inordinate amount of natural light, freshening and brightening the entire space easily.
Open, Flexible Layout.
Many people consider the lack of walls in a loft apartment the perfect foundation for showcasing their design style. It’s rather like a blank canvas, where you have free reign to arrange and create to suit your needs and preferences.
Industrial Style Details.
One of the charming characteristics of a typical loft apartment is the inherent industrial-type details in the architecture. Exposed brick walls, for example, or ductwork are not uncommon in loft apartments…nor are they unwanted, as these help to create an ultrachic, relaxed vibe within the space.
LOFT APARTMENT DISADVANTAGES:
Loud and Echo-y Acoustics.
Those vaulted ceilings with few (or none at all) walls don’t come without a tradeoff, and unfortunately that tradeoff is the enhancement of soundwaves. The smallest noise from one end of a loft apartment can often be heard across the entire space. This disadvantage, however, is easily counteracted with strategic decorating (discussed below).
Built-in walls in traditional housing settings typically provide built-in storage options. A closet here, some cupboards there. Where a loft apartment lacks these walls, it also lacks much of the accompanying storage. Living in a loft certainly requires creativity in storing one’s possessions.
Potentially Expensive Utilities.
Huge windows and old construction can add up to major heating and cooling costs if the temperatures in your city fluctuate with the seasons.
LOFT APARTMENT STYLING TIPS:
Use Plenty of Textiles.
Not only do they soften the acoustic edges of a loft space (remember how sound bounces all over the place in a large area?), but textiles help to mute much of a space’s inherent sharpness. Think rugs, throw blankets, pillows, upholstered and even wood furnishings.
Hang Art, Art, and More Art.
Those high ceilings and tall walls are just screaming to be covered in cool artwork. What’s more, with all the natural light coming through those windows, the art is much less likely to overwhelm the space than other housing options.
Embrace Eclectic Style.
Due to the loft apartment’s inherent nature of combining contemporary, classic, and industrial architectural design, you’ll have leave to combine whatever design styles suit your tastes bet in a chic, eclectic combination.