Often created in decommissioned industrial buildings, lofts offer an immense open space to decorate, a single room whose dimensions are around 500 square metres, with ceilings of up to three metres and more.
Few doors, few walls, often nothing at all. A wave of natural light from the long vertical windows along the wall floods the central space. Added to these windows you sometimes find a windowed façade, skylights or windows on the ceiling.
Wood or steel beams, concrete, brick and metal surfaces are everywhere. And the abandoned vestiges of the building’s past: pulleys, wooden cases, platforms, giant washbasins, air conditioning conduits, steel tables, oversized chimney.
What do you do with this unrefined decor? Make it your home.
Once the cleaning work is done, the real work starts. Most owners keep traces of the building’s former vocation for decorative purposes. That’s what makes a loft a loft. That’s what separates it from a penthouse.
If partitions are needed for a certain intimacy, they should be as discreet as possible in order to maintain the continuity of the space and let the light flood in. That is why complete walls are rare. Or areas are combined, such as the living room and dining room. Or low walls, mobile screens, opaque or trans lucid panels are added.
A loft is a paradise for colour. Owners often use colour to divide the space into areas: one dominant colour per area, or one dominant colour on the ground floor and a second on the upper floor, which is usually a mezzanine. Continue reading →
Initially, a real loft was a dwelling outfitted in an abandoned industrial building. At some point, interior design professionals had the idea of using the loft lifestyle in houses or traditional apartments. Easy to understand why: there isn’t an abundance of abandoned industrial buildings. Yet, people were looking for a loft.
And that’s how the loft lifestyle saw the light of day. Are you interested in it?
You can easily convert your living space to adapt the loft style. Again you have to know how to deal with the restrictions, the first one being that the structure of the traditional dwelling does not have the strength or solidity of an industrial building. There are also the ceilings and walls, not to mention a lack of an open central space.
It would be a good idea to get advice from a building professional or architect. Otherwise, make sure you have plenty of patience before you start.
Do you like playing with volumes? You’re going to have a lot of fun. First, you have to create a central open space, which means removing a maximum number of doors and walls according to industry standards. The loft style reduces barriers. It favours light, air, space.
How do you divide the rooms? Go by block: mezzanine for a floor, different floor covering for each room, small walls, retracting partitions, stretched canvas, sliding panels to replace walls, bedroom on a platform.
Install sliding doors and vertical windows. Add a skylight? Great idea.
A metal stairway highlights the loft effect. Placing it in the centre of the room would not be a bad idea. Leave out the risers: they’re an unneeded barrier. A ladder leading to the mezzanine is also a very loft thing while having the benefit of being movable, which saves space. A bridge connecting the two rooms on the mezzanine level is a loft whim.
Concrete, wood, brick, steel and stone are the favourite materials of loft disciples. Pick freely from them for the various coverings. Loft fanatics really like recycled materials. Keep that in mind.
Slate and polyurethane flooring are solutions for changing the previous materials. There is also wallpaper that imitates these materials perfectly if you find them too noisy or too heavy. Tiles do the same thing.
Favour glass in order to not disturb the natural light that flows in generously through your new windows. And to enhance the space: small wall of glass slabs or transparent panels, glass guardrail along the mezzanine, patio door. And why not use glass for the mezzanine floor?
The heart of the loft style being the height provided by an industrial building, create ways to get visitors to look up: add poles or columns, install a long vertical mirror, sculpture or tall plant, low tables, tripod lamp or old lamppost.
Recess to the maximum: lighting and heating fixtures, sliding partition on rails recessed in the ground. Even the kitchen table can slide on rails.
Other ways to gain space: storage modules on rollers, folding furniture, mobile screens that function as walls, furniture equipped with wood bases on wheels to move as needed.
Lofts were originally designed for people who lived alone. Today, even small families cram into loft style lodgings.
We recommend the following references to guide you in the work. Everything is clear and detailed.