Recent years, the loft interior design trends spread all over the world. It is possible to find different style of loft apartments that vary according to the city or the region. Nowadays one of the reason why the loft style of interior become a new trend is that the young population started to move to a smaller apartments and trying to have most of it.
What actually is the loft apartment must be the start point before designing a loft apartment. Are you really seeking for a loft apartment or just the feeling of long living?
What is Loft Apartment?
Loft apartments are the large, open spaces that are generally converted from industrial buildings to the residences. Loft apartments don’t have internal walls, except for the bathroom but instead of this they are popular by having high ceilings.
In loft apartments, it is possible to see the exposed piping and the big ventilation tubes in addition to the naked columns and the beams. The characteristic materials that loft apartments are consist of is wood, concrete and the glass which is also showing itself as large windows.
These minimal apartments has only the skin of the building, nothing else. Everything that will be done to keep this skin covered is avoided. The main aim is to keep the open space feeling as a priority.
Where does it came from?
Even if loft style of interiors assumed to born in New York City, also at the certain areas of Manhattan and Brooklyn it is possible to find the original loft apartments that are converted from industrial to residential buildings. As the trend exposed all around the world, it is possible to find loft style designed apartments everywhere.
What is Hard Loft & Soft Loft?
In the central light industrial zones, commercial buildings are converted to the residences at the post war years. These conversion of first, second and third era are referred as “hard lofts” which means that these apartments were actually used for other purposes before.
On the other hand, the residences that are builded in the last two decades to revive the look and the feel of loft style of living are known as “light lofts”.
To capture the look of loft apartment, It is not always possible to live in a loft in the desired area and have all the features together like floor to ceiling windows and these apartments. So most people just considered to catch some of the features of loft style which is mostly described as “loft-like” apartments.
What is Loft living?
The loft living has its own culture. Artists and craftspeople which were seeking free places to live and to work, create their art, began setting their studios in the old factories or warehouses secretly.
As it became more popular, the loft living started to take attention and they imagined how these interiors would be complete with the touch of interior designers.
It was not an easy job to design the interiors of these apartments which requires maximum free space to move. This way, the elements of loft living started to occur: a huge bed, a mammoth dining table, some industrial racks and shelvings that are used as closets, some rolling walls if needed some privacy without interrupting the square footage.
Other meaning of Loft apartment?
The apartments with an open upstairs loft area that is seeing the main living space is also accepted as loft apartments. These mezzanine is generally used as bedroom or in some cases as an office. These apartments are also called as “California Loft Apartments” in 1970s.
The mezzanine has railings that are made from metal or wood to provide more safety. While usually in loft apartments, the open spaces are desired, it became more trendy to use half-walls to increase privacy especially for the bedroom area.
Even sometimes it is possible to find a duplex loft apartment, generally the high ceilings of these industrial apartments provides an opportunity to build a mezzanine. In this case, upstairs area doesn’t have standard ceiling height, that’s another reason why this place is mainly preferred as bedroom.
What are the main features of the loft apartment?
As it refers to the conversion of the industrial buildings, loft apartments are made up of industrial-type of details. The main elements to keep the industrial spirit are:
- Brick Walls
- Big Ventilation Tubes
- Exposed Piping
- Bare Columns
- Visible Beams
- Wood Flooring
How to Style a Loft-Like Apartment?
It is possible to catch the modern, clear felling at the loft style of living, even if you don’t have a “Hard Loft” apartment. The main idea of loft style of interior design is to catch the perfect combination of the bare and rough materials with the flat and clean finishes.
The loft style often confused with the minimal style of interior design. The expose of industrial elements at the loft style interiors is the main feature that separates these two interior trends.
As mentioned above, acoustics is a problem for the loft interiors. The best way to prevent is to prefer sound absorbing materials. In this case, using textile will be life saving. By choosing wood furnitures upholstered with thick textiles, a blanket over the sofa, a small rug on the floor will help you solve the acoustic problem of the interior and provide a bold style.
As the natural texture of the materials are important for the loft style of interiors, the first aim of the lighting should be directed to put the value of material forward. By installing wall sconces that are working as wall washing lighting system, it is possible to highlight the brick walls and keep the interior bright.
In the “Hard Lofts”, natural lighting is not a problem, but for the loft-style of interiors, to give the feeling of open space and to provide the natural flow of light, the lightings should be installed carefully. High lighting the boundaries of the room by corner wall sconces can help for the illusion of larger interior.
The crowded interior with a lot of furnitures is what you need to avoid for the loft style of living. Extending the countertop can be a good solution to determine the boundaries of the kitchen and to have a dining place. Preferring bar stools will help you gain more area. Especially the bar stool version of the ghost chair will be perfect for the stylish loft.
The best way to show the respect to the roots of the loft living is to hang art works to those high walls. The effect of artwork will be enchanting with the natural lights coming from the large windows.
What are the pros and cons of loft-style of living?
Even if the loft style of living became a trend, it is not always convenient for everybody. For some people, loft-living seems stylish and cozy but living in loft standards may not be comfortable as it seems.
The best feature of the loft style apartments are the high ceilings. It is giving the open feeling and the free space that can fit different needs.
Even if the open feeling it provides, high ceilings have some disadvantages. First of all it is not easy to manage the high walls. To design and broke the feeling of the box, a consultation with interior designer will be necessary.
As the separator walls are not there, the existing high walls will be your storage mainly. To make the most of it, you may need to cover the walls with the cupboards: It is also important to keep a ladder in the apartment if needed.
Having a minimal designed open space is one of the main features of the loft apartments. In the loft apartment design, there are no walls used for the separation of the rooms. In some lofts, only foldable separators are used for more privacy. This way the apartment is not separated for different usage and can be changed all the time.
As the walls are used mainly only for the bathroom, the loft apartments are not convenient to be shared. When the apartment is shared, the lack of privacy can create a problem and the loft apartment can be revised with the walls for the bedrooms and converted to the loft-style of apartment.
High windows are the best way to combine interior and exterior world. Having the natural light and heat will provide an healthy living. According to the location of the loft, the view will be nice to enjoy from the large windows.
The high ceilings and the open space with the floor to ceiling windows can make the adjustment of the heat hearder. This condition would cause a significant increase at the expenses in hot and cold months.
What to consider before designing a loft apartment?
The very first thing to consider is storage areas in the loft apartments. As being open space is the main feature of the loft apartments, the lack of walls are creating a problem about storing things. It requires a little bit of creativity to store as much as things in a small area and make it look also beautiful.
Especially in the Hard Loft apartments that were used for the industrial purposes before, it is going to be hard to maintain a good climate. With the large windows, high ceilings and stone cold walls, the heating and the cooling system must be organized well.
While designing a loft style of apartment, the acoustics must be considered carefully. With the high ceilings are open spaces without walls, the sound can easily travel across the entire apartment. For this reason, the interior materials should preferred as sound absorbers and the furnitures should be decorated strategically.
As sound, odor is another problem for the loft apartments. The smell coming from the open kitchen can be absorbed by the textile. The kitchen design in this point has to be done carefully. The ventilation should be designed well to prevent the spread of the odor.
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