Loft living took hold in urban areas during the 1960s, and it’s never really lost favor since. In the last decade, it has come into its own with full fledged residential urban loft districts devoted to the lifestyle. Rightly so, because there’s much that you can do with the space. But sometimes the very thing that you love presents problems.
1. Create defined zones
2. Choose multi-purpose furniture
3. Remember the walls
One of the best qualities of an open-plan living space is also one of its biggest challenges. You’re not hindered by a lot of walls, which helps make a loft look more spacious. At least potentially. But with no dividing walls, it can also look jumbled as furnishings blend together in one large room.
Carve out spaces or zones, as House Beautiful calls them, and you could experience the opposite effect.
Punctuate the entry with a small entryway storage system, and that part of the loft gets its own identity. Do the same throughout the space. Instead of a sofa that flows to a table that flows to your bed, define or cluster each space and the loft will feel less like a single chamber.
When space is limited, your furnishings should be what you love or what serves you well. That doesn’t mean you only need the bare minimum, and it especially doesn’t mean you should use small-scale pieces. It only means that furniture should be functional, preferably with more than one function.
A smart way to have the bed that you want without taking a large chunk of the loft is with a custom bed. Custom beds are available in several different styles. Some lower from a bookcase, and some pull out from a full-size entertainment center. Some even move out automatically from a storage system with a remote control.
A window seat is another multi-purpose piece. With a short row of low cabinets for seating and a cushion on top, you get a great spot to read and storage underneath.
There’s a lot of real estate on your walls, and it’s waiting for you to claim it. For an open and airy look, you could go easy with paint color, such as a soft neutral, and use a few important pieces of art. You could use walls for storage. Or you could do both.
Your wall space is as important as floor space. And with storage, such as book cases and wardrobes, you can use every inch up to the ceiling if you like. Higher areas can hold belongings that you don’t use often, such as out of season clothing and extra blankets. The more you can store vertically, the more floor space you get to keep, and Forbes says the less cramped it feels.
When you move most of your storage to the perimeter of the loft, you can use larger furnishings elsewhere. That’s important, because smaller furnishings don’t always look space-appropriate. According to House Beautiful, it’s more often that a few full-size pieces of furniture make a smaller room look proportionate and balanced than lots of smaller furnishings.
The open-concept loft is fast becoming a staple of urban life, and it’s not just found in the major metropolitan areas where it has its roots. Most towns have industrial districts where some buildings have been converted. And in some areas, new buildings are designed with loft spaces from the outset. What was once a fringe idea is now embraced for everything that it has to offer.
The tricky part is making your loft feel like a home. That takes some creativity, and shedding decor ideas that apply to a more traditional space. From custom beds to storage along the walls, using space isn’t especially difficult in a loft. It’s just a bit different, but The Closet Works can help. Download our ebook: Transcendental Organization and learn about more ways to make your loft more efficient and comfortable.
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