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