Lofts were once an inexpensive housing alternative for artists who couldn’t afford to have both a work studio and a separate living space. As a democratic residence for artists, these converted warehouses gained a reputation for being fashionable and hip-a canvass for originative types and innovative thinkers. Particularly stylish among the young and upwardly mobile, lofts have become very desirable properties around the country. They’re generally located in urban centers, close to shops, restaurants, and local hotspots. With large windows, high ceilings, and open plan living, lofts are a great choice for many buyers. One challenge though is figuring out how to decorate a home that breaks all the traditional rules of interior design.
Both a loft’s vocation card and its stumbling block in terms of decor is the number of industrial components that are visible throughout the apartment. Concrete or wood floors, cementum walls, structural beams, uncovered pipes and ductwork are all typically seen in today’s lofts. These features would make a room seem unfinished and ugly in a traditional detached home, but they’re seen as quintessential parts of the minimalist design and industrial flavor in a loft property.
While the raw materials are a large part of the appeal of loft-style apartments, they can also pose a challenge to buyers who’ve had no experience decorating with such fixtures present.
In addition to the industrial feel, lofts are also known for their large open spaces, little to no storage, and walls located only around the bathroom. The rest of the space is undefined, which can be consuming to a new loft owner.
Before you begin scattering your things around the apartment, make sure you have a solid design plan in place first. This will save you a lot of time, stress, and sweat. By drawing up your plans early on, you can experiment and really figure out the most functional and aesthetic layout for your new living quarters.
Decide how you want to use each area and then start to think about how best to define those areas. One of the easiest and most affordable ways to organize a loft into functional units is to add area rugs. They not only help define different suite but they also add much needed warmth (both literally and visually). A fluffy shag carpet in the bedroom can make the area much cozier, and soften the atmosphere. It also adds as a fantastic contrast to the hard lines and industrial materials throughout the rest of the property.
Another way to add privacy is to use shoji screens. These room dividers are available as sliding doors or fan-like foldouts. They’re available in dark or light wood, and feature plain white rice paper or graceful designs such as cherry blossom trees. What’s great about Japanese screens is that they manage to create boundaries without blocking light. They’re classic and cutting edge at the same time, and ar a perfect addition to a downtown loft.
Large, open-backed bookcases also work well as room dividers. Choose rich colored shelves to warm up the room, and select pieces with interesting designs to add a contemporary touch to the space.
Choose sleek pieces for your furniture, and try to find items that have hidden storage space. Ottomans are perfect for this purpose, as they can act as footstools, coffee tables, and store items like spare blankets and board games.
Plants enliven any space, but they’re particularly helpful in terms of making your new loft feel like home. Plants can clear the air and bring a natural element to the room. This helps contrast the cold, utilitarian structure of the building.
Be sure to also experiment with artwork. Lofts are popular with artists for a very good reason-the high ceilings and open materials offer the perfect canvass for your personal gallery. If you keep your furniture modern and your clutter minimal, you can get away with hanging oversized, bold prints that would overwhelm other spaces. Remember that your new loft is perfect for experimentation, so enjoy the adventure of adding a personal touch to your hip new digs. Soon you’ll have a home like no other.