Loft Apartments: The Pros and Cons

When you think about living in a loft, you may picture an apartment with a large, open floor plan located in the heart of a bustling city like New York. The loft apartment is airy with tall ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and exposed hardware.

It sounds urban and cool, but are loft apartments only something seen in movies? Not so! Loft apartments are increasingly more popular and available to the renter interested in living in a loft.

What is a loft apartment?

So, what exactly is a loft apartment?

A loft apartment, like a studio apartment, is an open-concept living area with no interior walls, except for a private bathroom. Lofts are very large (think 1,000+ square feet) and have typically been converted from an industrial or commercial warehouse to a living space.

Converted from old warehouse spaces, loft rooms often feature exposed piping and brick and large windows.

How is a loft apartment different from a regular apartment?

Loft rooms differ from traditional one or two-bedroom apartments because no interior walls divide up space. Lofts are open-areas with no defined bedroom, living room and kitchen. A regular apartment will have a clearly-defined bedroom, closet, kitchen and living room. Both have a private bathroom, though.

When looking at the floor plan for a regular apartment, you’ll see the walls that clearly define each room.

floorplan of a loft apartmentfloorplan of a loft apartment

Source: Apartment Guide

Compare the previous floor plan to this loft apartment and you’ll clearly see the main difference (i.e. no walls!)

loft apartment with exposed brick and light fixtures, large open spaceloft apartment with exposed brick and light fixtures, large open space

Source: Apartment Guide

Pros of living in a loft apartment

Now that we’ve covered what a loft apartment is, let’s go over some of the pros and cons of living in a loft so you can decide if renting a loft room is right for you.

Pro #1: Trendy, urban vibes

Lofts are inherently cool.

First, the buildings usually have an interesting history tied to whether it previously was a factory, warehouse or commercial building. Second, the exposed interior — piping, brick or windows — adds charm and detail that traditional apartments often lack. Third, the layout of the open-living concept feels spacious, airy and light. You’ll walk into a loft apartment and have ample room to settle in.

Plus, lofts are usually found in larger, metro cities so you’ll have a fun time living in an urban area, too.

Pro #2: Design flexibility

Because loft rooms are so open and big, look at your loft apartment like a blank canvas.

Are you into a modern style? Get a large piece of modern art and hang it on the wall. Do you like a minimalist feel? Then you can add the essential pieces of furniture to the space and let the rest of the room speak for itself. Do you want a cozy loft? Add lots of furniture, pillows, blankets and art to make the place a comfortable loft to snuggle up in.

Lofts give renters plenty of freedom to design the place how they like.

Pro #3: Lots of space

One of the main reasons people rent loft apartments is for the space. You’ll usually get 1,000+ square feet out of a loft so you won’t feel cramped.

Lofts have lots of light so you’ll always have natural sunlight pouring in and can roam freely without feeling too confined.

loft apartmentloft apartment

Cons of living in a loft apartment

As with everything in life, there is also a downside to loft apartments. For all the cool perks and features, lofts can also have some features that aren’t so hot. Here are some of the main cons to loft rooms.

Con #1: Costly utilities

While a pro of living in a loft is the space, it can also mean pricier utilities. There is simply more space to heat or cool down.

Also, lofts are typically located in older and refurbished commercial buildings, so consider old piping or thin windows impacting future utilities. If you choose to rent a loft, make sure to budget for utilities being a bit more.

Con #2: Insufficient storage

While lofts are open and spacious, they also lack traditional storage space like closets and pantries. You have all the space you need in an open floor plan, but actually finding places to put your belongings requires thinking outside the box.

Get creative with where to hang clothes and where to store your stuff.

Con #3: Lack of privacy

Great for singles or couples, lofts aren’t ideal for roommates. You might feel like you lack privacy in a loft apartment because there are no separate rooms or walls. If privacy is important to you, a loft apartment will not check that box.

loft apartment roomsloft apartment rooms

How to create rooms in a loft apartment

Because lofts lack rooms, you may need to craft your own at times. Here are a few ways to create rooms in a loft apartment for privacy and aesthetics.

1. Use furniture to divide the space

Make your furniture dual-purpose. Use a bookshelf to break up the room as a faux wall. For example, a bookshelf can separate the TV space from the kitchen while storing books.

2. Hang room divider curtains

Although the walls are often high in a loft, you can hang curtain rods and curtains from the walls to create a bedroom, for example. Use curtains to divide the room and visually break up the space.

3. Install sliding doors

Sliding barn doors are trendy and useful. If you need a room sectioned off in your loft apartment, consider installing a set of sliding doors.

Renting a loft apartment

Have you settled on renting a loft apartment as your next home? Well then, decide which city you want to live in and start the search for your perfect, trendy and spacious loft.




The Ultimate Guide to Different Apartment Types

apartment with second story open conceptApartment? Loft? Flat? Condo? Duplex? What do all those terms mean anyway? And you said rent is HOW MUCH? Bring on the face palm emoji. 

When you just want a place to live that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, the different housing terms and buzzwords can start to run together in your mind. But, the type of apartment you rent can make a difference in how much rent you’ll pay, the amount of space you’ll have, and other key living aspects. Learn how these four different types of apartments vary to inform your choices and housing search.

1. Apartment

What is an apartment? An apartment is a residential unit that’s typically in a building with other dwellings—and all of those units are owned by one company. Everyone who lives around you in an apartment pays their rent to the same person or institution, and no one in the community owns their residence.

If you’re looking for an open floor plan, apartments can be hit-or-miss. New or recently renovated apartments may have the coveted open concept that you seek. However, many apartment buildings are designed to make efficient use of small spaces, which means you might not get the luxury of vaulted ceilings and open floor plans.

In a large apartment community with multiple buildings, you’ll likely have some amenities like an online rent payment platform, a maintenance team for repairs and issues in your unit, and even a shared pool and fitness center. Unlike other types of living spaces, some apartments come furnished—which can save you the hassle of purchasing and moving your furniture. Can’t find a furnished apartment but don’t want to buy pricey furniture? No problem—just rent from CORT to turn any apartment into a furnished one.

Oh, and you’ve probably heard the term “flat” used in place of “apartment” before. If you’re not sure what it means, it typically refers to an apartment that has a single story (as opposed to a townhouse, which has multiple levels). Loft apartments—especially luxury ones—are sometimes referred to as flats, too.

2. Loft Apartment

There’s an apartment with an open floor plan, and then there’s the next level of open concept: a loft apartment! Loft apartments are characterized by high ceilings, open spaces, and urban vibes (and breathtaking views, sometimes). Often, industrial buildings are subdivided and repurposed into residential properties. Since such buildings usually have vaulted ceilings, it’s easy to turn them into lofts!

Usually, the only walls you’ll find in a loft apartment will be enclosing the bathroom; the rest of the space is mostly open. The pros of this? You can arrange (and rearrange!) your furniture however you want to create different living areas or zones within the apartment. The cons? Less privacy if you live with a partner or roommates.

How much does it cost to rent a loft apartment? The answer can vary pretty widely. If you want to live in a quiet or older neighborhood, your loft apartment rent may be reasonably cheap. But if the area you want to live is in a city center or an up-and-coming neighborhood experiencing rapid growth, your rent will likely be higher. If you’re looking to move to an in-demand area, do your research to determine the best time to rent an apartment in your ideal neighborhood. Additionally, consider how the hustle-and-bustle of the city will impact noise levels in your loft, knowing that fewer walls + more activity = more noise! And if you do decide to move into an urban loft, check out some soundproofing tips to help you sleep soundly! 

3. Condo

Unlike apartments, condos are residential units within a building that have separate owners. Property ownership is the main difference between apartments and condos. In a condo, your landlord will be the unit’s owner, not a property management company. If you prefer having a one-on-one relationship with your landlord, this can be great. But, you probably won’t have things like dedicated maintenance staff or an online bill payment system. You’ll have to rely on your landlord to handle these things personally.

 Many condos serve as long-term primary residences for unit owners, and because of this, condo communities tend to have more perks and amenities than standard apartments. Think high ceilings, open floor plans, dedicated parking, higher-end pools, shared recreational areas, and, in some places, a doorman or concierge. These amenities come at a price, though. Most condo renters are required to pay homeowner’s association fees while they’re living in the community (yes, even if you are NOT the owner of the unit). But, HOA fees aside, the square footage per dollar of rent you’ll get in an apartment vs. condo is usually comparable.

Another perk of condo vs. apartment living is a uniquely designed space. Apartments within a community usually look very similar to every other unit—the same fixtures, the same flooring and finishes, and the same layout. With condos, owners often make improvements to their units to keep property values high, meaning you could enjoy a more updated, individualized space instead of a cookie-cutter one.

4. Duplex

Like with a condo, you’ll probably pay rent to an individual who owns the property (though, full communities of solely duplexes do exist!). Duplexes are most often in primarily residential zip codes, as opposed to apartments and condos, which are often mixed in with commercial areas. This can mean potentially lower rent and a relaxed neighborhood feel.

Ever been kept up at night when the person who lives above you stomps or blasts their music? That’s not an issue in a duplex! You’ll share only one wall with your neighbors (and there’s no one above you), which means less noise and more privacy.

The amount of space in a duplex can vary, but duplexes can offer something that other types of apartments can’t: multiple levels. If you choose a duplex with multiple floors, you could enjoy the perks of an open floor plan on the first floor and the cozy privacy of bedrooms on an upper level.

Find Different Types of Apartments to Suit Any Lifestyle

Loft or not? Apartment or condo? If you’re not sure what you want, perhaps a little browsing can help you narrow it down. Check out apartment floor plans, compare amenities, and even see rent prices with ApartmentSearch.