The loft life… who hasn’t dreamed of living in a wide-open space with beautiful architectural details, high ceilings, huge windows and a long history? Lofts and studios are becoming more and more common and can make for an amazingly green living space. A renovated building in a well-developed urban environment is an ideal situation for many professionals. Whether large or small, lofts and studios share some surprising challenges; the biggest tends to be storage. We’ve got some tips for successfully, and sustainably, making a functional, and beautiful loft living space.
In a wide-open living space, it’s important that all of your colors work together. That doesn’t mean you have to go monochromatic, or use the same colors throughout the space. It just means that all colors, from the front door to the back wall need to be in harmony to create a cleaner, unified look.
Using area rugs to create a room within a room is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it works. Aim for rugs that are large enough that the entire furniture arrangement for each area will sit on top of it.
Divide and conquer
Another option for defining space is to use open-back shelving or folding screens to create the sense of a “room” in an otherwise open area. This trick isn’t just for large rooms either, it can be equally as effective used in a small space to create privacy for a bed. The trick is to ensure that whatever you use looks good from both sides, especially on shelves. Be safe – if you have children or pets, anchor those shelves to the wall or floor!
At windows, or around areas where you want a sense of privacy, curtains create a sense of softness and define a space without hard lines. Framing a sitting area with curtains makes the space feel more intimate, a useful tool in a large room.
Since closets tend to be lacking in lofts and studios, storage can be at a premium. Use furniture with built-in storage and get creative with decorative boxes on shelves or under tables. Consider building a closet along one wall, or in an odd niche.
If you’ve got high ceilings, install a loft bed, or lounge space. You’ll create a sense of privacy, get the bed out of view, and gain additional floor, or storage, space underneath. Stairs eat up floor space, but can be ideal for storage, or opt for a ladder instead.
From furniture to accessories, make sure you’re picking pieces that work. In a small space, choose the largest pieces you can and still allow room to move around. Going too small feels fussy and uncomfortable. In large spaces, opt for pieces that feel grand, but still comfortable. Make sure your décor is scaled as well – got a big expanse of wall? Pick a wall clock with some presence.
Many lofts and studios are blessed with large expanses of wall, which can be daunting. Make a style statement and create a gallery wall filled with framed photos and interesting art you love. Don’t think you have to do it all at once, let it grow over time.