Loft apartments seem to have become a rage these days, especially among millennials and artsy folks looking for something a bit out-of-the-box. After all, picture this: high ceilings, exposed brick walls and an abundance of natural light streaming in through large windows – who wouldn’t like this! You cannot deny the special appeal of lofts, blending history with modern living. They’re incredibly versatile spaces with endless possibilities for personalization and interior design to create that ultimate work-live-play environment every modern dweller desires.
A blast from the past: How did the concept of loft apartments emerge?
Back in the day in the bustling industrial cities, lofts or loft apartments were simply large, open industrial spaces and warehouses. Loft living began in the 1950s and 1960s when artists and bohemians in London and New York started converting abandoned factories and warehouses into affordable and funky live-work spaces. These large, open spaces offered the perfect canvas for their creativity, allowing them to work on large-scale projects and host events.
The trend soon grew beyond the artist community. Professionals and urban dwellers began appreciating the unique and attractive character of these spaces and their potential for customization, and the concept of loft living started gaining popularity.
Loft living has become so common over the last two decades that a new style of apartments called ‘soft lofts’ has emerged. Yes, they’re apartments specifically designed like true lofts for residential use! They come with open spaces, high ceilings and large windows but without some of the industrial elements like exposed ducts and pipes.
What’s the big deal about loft apartments?
Unique, awe-inspiring architectural features
Most of the attraction for loft apartments comes from their distinct, jaw-dropping architectural features. The massive windows that once provided light to factory workers now flood the living space with natural light, creating a bright, airy atmosphere that’s a welcome contrast to the tiny, sequestered traditional apartments. Add to that the exposed brick walls, concrete floors and visible ductwork, and you have a home that’s as far from cookie-cutter as it gets.
Expansive and flexible open floor plans
A loft apartment comes with few walls dividing the space – it’s basically all one big, open, boundary-free playground. A lot of people find this appealing as it allows for a free-flowing, creative environment where they can move around easily from one area to another. It’s simply perfect for those city dwellers who crave large, expansive, spacious living quarters while still living in the heart of the city.
Versatility and creative potential
The open-plan concept offers a blank canvas for residents to express their creativity and personalize their space according to their needs and tastes. With few walls and even fewer structural constraints, you have freedom to design your living space as you fancy - be it as a sprawling art studio, a cozy reading nook or a swanky entertainment area. Loft living is a dream come true for anyone who values individuality and who loves putting their own unique spin on their surroundings.
Should you get a loft apartment?
Consider the following factors if you’re thinking about getting a loft apartment:
Is the loft lifestyle your cup of tea?
Loft living isn’t all about exposed beams and funky furniture – there are lifestyle considerations you need to take into account! Lofts are great if you’re someone who craves an open, flexible space that screams creativity and self-expression. If you’re an urbanite who loves the city’s pulse and the convenience of having shopping, dining and cultural hotspots at your doorstep, loft living is right up your alley. But if you’re more of a private, traditional, compartmentalized-living-spaces kind of person, you might want to think twice.
No walls also means no privacy
Open floor plans are great for showcasing your individuality, but they can be a challenge if you’re sharing the space with a roommate, partner or a family. Lack of space division can also sometimes feel chaotic with your living space flowing into your work space and sleeping zone. But hey, that’s where DIY temporary walls and loft room dividers come to the rescue!
Noise control can be an challenge
Lofts, while gorgeous, arent’ the best at soundproofing. The lack of insulation means you might be privy to your neighbors late-night guitar jamming, or the street traffic, or even the echo of your own voice in the open layout. Plus, it doesn’t help that they’re usually located in bustling areas of the city, so ‘peaceful’ might not be the first word to come to mind.
Issues with light and temperature regulation
The oodles of natural light flooding in makes loft apartments attractive, but it could be a bit too bright when you’re trying to catch some shut-eye or if you desire a more subdued atmosphere. And let’s not forget the issue with temperature regulation. High ceilings mean large volumes of space to heat or cool, potentially inflating your utility bills.
Maintenance can be demanding
Loft apartments might look effortlessly cool, but they require some elbow grease too. As attractive as the high ceiling, tall windows and exposed brick walls may seem, they also demand extra maintenance efforts, or even specialized cleaning techniques.
Loft apartments aren’t typically blessed with built-in storage solutions like closets and cabinets that you would find in traditional apartments. This means you might need to channel your inner Marie Kondo or resort to additional furniture and creative storage hacks to keep your things in check.
Tips to convert a Loft into a warm, livable space
If you’re undeterred by the challenges of loft living, and you’re rather smitten by the character and charm of this lifestyle, then go get your loft! Here are some ways to adapt to the space and make a warm, livable home out of it.
Define functional areas
To add some cohesiveness and functionality to your living space, start by separating out zones for different activities like sleeping, dining, working and relaxing. Get creative with your furniture arrangement, area rugs and room dividers to define activities. This will help make your layout more practical and inviting.
Room dividers can be especially useful here. Without taking away from the openness of your space, some minimal division can help keep it organized, create private nooks and orchestrate movement.
For example, a light loft room divider divider like this Polycarbonate 360 Foldable Divider will help you partition your loft into different zones without blocking light or taking away from the beloved openness. What’s also great about this loft room divider is that it comes with fully lockable caster wheel bases that allow for a smooth and easy setup. You can move it around as you need, or fold the panels over each other to stack it in a corner when you want a barrier-free zone!
Create a private room but without walls
Even if you love the charm of loft living, sometimes, you just need that private room for practical purposes. This could be especially the case if you share your loft with others. You may need to cut off from all the distractions to focus on work, meditation, art, or even thinking.
No need to build real walls for that though! If you want to create a private room within your loft, put together a DIY temporary wall like this Modular L, U or T-shaped Wall which you can assemble yourself in just a couple of hours. The best part is, they’re 100% flexible! You can easily take these loft divider walls apart when you want to open up your loft, reposition them or take them with you when you move homes.
Enhance comfort and coziness
While the industrial features of the loft apartment are what make it charming and attractive, the truth is that the very same features can also end up feeling cold and unwelcoming too. To counteract this, incorporate elements that add warmth and coziness to your living space.
A few soft, plush furnishings like oversized sofas, throw pillows and cozy blankets can make a world of a difference. To make the atmosphere more inviting, go with warm colors and textures that create some visual interest. Another great idea is to bring in some plants and greenery to soften those harsh industrial lines and textures, and add some organic elements to your space.
Keep clutter to a minimum
In an open space that has minimal division and storage options, clutter can quickly add up, leaving your loft in a disorganized mess. The whole idea of loft living revolves around sophistication through minimalism and simplicity. So, in the true spirit of loft living, get rid of all the unnecessary things, or find innovative storage options to hide the clutter.
Embrace the unique character of the space
Instead of hiding and covering the quirky industrial elements of the loft, embrace them as a part of your design! The exposed brick wall, concrete floor and exposed ductwork can serve as a charming backdrop to display your personal style while also serving as a reminder of the building’s past. Thoughtfully integrate them into your design to add individuality and one-of-a-kind-ness to it.
For example, add to the industrial, raw theme of your loft interiors with this Refined Industrial Room Divider. Its powder-coated aluminum finish will not only help add more functionality to your space, but also complement the industrial theme without blocking light and air.
The loft life: yay or nay?
Loft living is a unique affair, filled with sunlight, openness, and more than a dash of historical charm. It’s a playground for the creative, a haven for the city-dweller, and an all-you-can-eat buffet of design potential.
But, like that eccentric friend we all have, loft apartments come with their own quirks. Noise, privacy and temperature control can be real head-scratchers, and let’s not forget the upkeep of those eye-catching industrial features. You’ll need to unleash your creativity when it comes to storage too.
In the end, embracing the loft life is about seeing beauty in the unconventional and rising to the challenge of making the space truly yours. If you’re the type who relishes a bit of challenge in your everyday living and loves the idea of a home that’s as unique as you, then a loft apartment might just be your dream home!
Got your loft but not sure about how to adapt it for your use? Do you want to add some functional loft room dividers to make your space more practical? We can help! Reach out to us, or check out our wide range of DIY wall kits and room dividers that can help you convert your loft into your home.