Designing a Loft Apartment

Over the past few years, developers and builders have begun converting old warehouses and factories into loft apartments.  Mostly in large metro areas, these lofts radiate a chic and urban lifestyle with a splash of “cool” added to the mix.  When decorating these lofts, it is important to keep the feel and history of the space but give it that punch it needs to take it to the next level with an updated and modern look.   Therefore, here are some important points to consider when designing a loft apartment.

Space.  More often than not, a loft apartment is usually one large room on a floor with a bathroom off to the side.  With these lofts, the biggest decision is double-fold…define the space then divide it up.

The best way to do this is to take time and sit in the loft, move around the space and get an idea of what living areas should go in what part of the loft.  When thinking about the main living area, look at the windows (usually large floor to ceiling windows) and decide where the best natural light shines – that is your main living area.  From there, look at the space between your living area and kitchen to figure out if a dining area would naturally go there.   And, logically, your bedroom area needs to be near your bathroom.

Once the space is defined, it is time to divide it up to create “rooms.”   There are so many ideas for ways to divide the space.  In fact last week’s blog featured some ideas.   But don’t panic.  You cannot decide what types of dividers you want until you determine your interior style.  Once you have that nailed down, then you can begin to incorporate the types of dividers you like.

Decorating.  Now comes the fun part.  With an urban loft, pretty much any style goes but you must keep the look consistent throughout the space as it is one big open space.  In reality, that is the case for any interior decorating project.  The décor in a home or apartment needs to flow from room to room or area to area.  Many mistakes are made by creating a hodge-podge that is just a big mess.

Another tip is to use the elements that are already in place in the loft as they give the loft character and reflect the original history.  Exposed pipes and brick walls are usually a mainstay in most lofts so if you have them, incorporate them.

In terms of styles, contemporary décor looks fantastic in lofts with their strong lines and definition in the space.  Plus, lots of contemporary looks feature chrome, steel and iron which were dominant in warehouses and factories.  On the flip side, going the rustic route is always a safe possibility especially with exposed brick walls.  In an effort not to be too traditional, it is easy to add strong contemporary accents that are not over the top.

Windows and Walls.  Remember that with a loft apartment, your windows are, more than likely, going to be huge.  Don’t be afraid of them, instead use them.   Decide how the furniture lay out will work best using the natural light to your advantage.  As for walls, big walls require large paintings and pictures as well as large mirrors.  Using large mirrors with the natural light does wonders for lighting a loft (not to mention lowering the electric bill).  You can also create a collage of different sized pictures with complementing frames to look like big picture and be a conversation starter.

Designing your new loft is exciting and so much fun throughout the process.  The end product is a gorgeous, updated city loft that has the comfortable, relaxed atmosphere to call home.