From Dan on April 21st, 2008 in General Remodel
Lofts are often considered artistic for a good reason; they are like an open canvas. When remodeling and, subsequently, decorating your loft, do not restrain your creativity. The wide open floor plan of lofts is part of their charm and style. That being said, there are some tips that will guide your remodel toward a comfortable and fashionable loft.
As you are contemplating your remodel, don’t lose sight of the fact that this is your living space. Therefore, while lofts are all about open spaces, you should set definitive boundaries. You probably do not want to make your dinner while gazing at the bathroom or use your bed as a coffee table. It is reasons such as these that you are remodeling in the first place.
If you live in a two-story loft then be sure the bedroom moves upstairs if it’s not already there. Put the bathroom up there too if you’re in need of space downstairs. Are the stairs running along the wall? Unless it detracts from the unique architecture of your loft (i.e., spiral staircase, etc), try to move the stairs so that they are a straight run along a side wall. This will open up a surprising amount of floor space.
If you live in a single story loft then perhaps you’d prefer partition walls. Because lofts usually have such high ceilings you can have standard full-height walls and still leave the width and breadth of the ceiling open. This way you can partition off the bedroom and bathroom without infringing the loft motif. You can also have plant shelves added as a feature on top of your partition walls. These 12″-16″ wide platforms are great for three-dimensional art displays or, go figure, plants. Just make sure you keep a stool or short ladder handy to get up there and dust these every once in a while.
A kitchen bar or island is a great idea for a loft remodel. Bars are not only endlessly fashionable but create a subtle boundary between your kitchen and living space. They are a great spot for eating, drinking, and talking. They also help solve another dilemma when trying to fit a lot into a rather small area: counter space. I am a huge fan of counter space. It makes for a freer flow when preparing food and flow and freedom are what a great loft remodel is all about. Think floor-to-ceiling cabinets and getting small appliances such as a microwave off the counter.
Many lofts are converted warehouses with high, exposed beam ceilings. Before you cover them up with drywall think about the aesthetic utility of them. Could the beams be refinished? Exposed beam rafters add a real sense of class to any home. If the visible ceiling is not the prettiest but is still in good structural shape, you could always add some wood tongue-and-groove material and molding to finish it off.
The important thing to remember when remodeling a loft is keep it open and flowing, maximize space, and last but not least, be creative.