From Dean Dowd on April 24, 2009 in General Remodel
For decades now the loft has represented the apex of urban living and architecture. Old factories and warehouses transformed into wide open, industrial living spaces that offer an unrivaled view and access to the surrounding metropolis. At the same time lofts are unique in their minimalism. Often with essentially one room to work with, however spacious, many designers choose modern, pared down design to accentuate the openness of the loft. Photo Credit: hassan abdel-rahman Now don’t let that imply that loft design choices are too limited. Typically, houses are seen as more flexible than lofts in terms of architecture and design, and rightly so in most cases. Still, for all its limits, a loft can offer a good deal of freedom that a regular home cannot. Below are 10 things that you can do in a loft that just wouldn’t be the same (if not impossible) in a regular home.
- Curtain walls, often made of glass and spanning two stories, are bastions of loft living. They bring daylighting to new heights and provide those skyline views that make urban living so appealing for so many.
- Bricks on the inside of the walls are common loft features that can rarely be pulled off in a traditional home setting. They offer a unique backdrop to interior decor and a rare connectivity to the brick laden buildings populating many loft communities.
- Partitions work great in lofts. Anything from decorative folding screens to framed and finished walls both divide up the space and provide a showcase for artwork. You can even find moveable wall panels, just in case you change your mind later on.
- Suspended lighting may be as much necessity as anything but it is certainly special to lofts with ceilings often 15 to 20 feet high. It also cuts down on the number of individual light fixtures or lamps necessary to light such a large area, often without overhead lighting of any kind.
- Area rugs do fit in with many regular home designs. They can really tie a room together, but they can also take it over. In a loft you get more area and more freedom with rugs. Large rugs, intricate rugs, modern or flamboyant rugs. With so much floor space—often hardwood or concrete—there is plenty of room for rugs that become the focal point of a certain area without darkening or consuming too much space. Photo Credit: BitBoy
- Art and the Artisan. Lofts are historically artistic because they are easily utilized as studio space. At the same time, modern lofts are designed and built by skilled artisans. That creates an artistically built space that perfectly displays art. Large walls, often uniform in color or texture, make fantastic hanging spots for artwork of any size and style. And the artwork itself, because it is not relegated to separate rooms in a regular home, actually creates a decorative theme throughout the loft as well.
- Steel doors are a classic loft feature, and one that you’ll rarely find in any house. Steel doors are a calling card for the industrial mystique that is urban living.
- Commercial appliances are growing in popularity in kitchens around the country. In many homes space becomes an issue that either limits appliance size or the surrounding space. Not so in a loft where large kitchens, where large islands and appliances are a cinch.
- Basketball? It may sound a bit cheesy or bachelor-esque, but some lofts are big enough to house a basketball hoop, usually mounted on a column. It may not be great for full court basketball but it sure beats a Nerf hoop. Just be sure to get to know the neighbors downstairs if necessary.
- A bedroom all its own. Or an office, library or hang-out. Imagine a four-sided, heavily windowed room on stilts in the middle of your apartment, or perhaps acting as an upstairs to the bathroom. It has been done, complete with under-stair storage—valuable space in lofts, which usually sacrifice storage in the name of wide open spaces. The remodeling choices with lofts are themselves more spacious than you might think, why else would so many architects love them?