The word Loft is often improperly used to indicate just an empty space. In modern architecture though, Loft means an industrial space or work-space that once abandoned is converted in new offices, houses and apartments.
Furniture by Hunting for George con Melbourne design studio Grazia & Co
If you are interested to buy or live in spaces like this, the first thing to do is find the right one with all the characteristics of a proper loft:
Large spaces without walls – excepted for the bathroom
Internal height more than 4 meters
Big and large windows – also on the ceiling
Rough finishes (concrete floorings, exposed bricks)
Outdoor spaces such as gardens and patio
Once you find the right space you will need a good constructor company to help you with the renovation: pay attention to keep alive the original soul of the space, maintain or just fix the original floorings and recover the old windows. Don’t try to cover the exposed brick walls with paint or plaster. Try instead to live the walls as they are, with their beautiful patina.
An ancient mill
An industrial and abandoned space presents clear characteristics and during the renovation your goal should be to keep them alive, emphasising the architectural features. Few and modern pieces of furniture will define the space, using bookcases instead of walls to create different areas but keeping the space more open as possibile, with a lot of natural light coming from the big, wide windows.
Here below some suggestions to decorate your future loft:
Flooring. Where it is possibile, we suggest to maintain or refurbish the original floor. If the old floor is in bad shape, you can opt for a new one: a concrete or an epoxy resin floor will be the perfect choice.
Walls. If you have exposed bricks, with a story to tell, it is better to leave them as they are, with their beautiful and historical patina. Or you can paint them in white to emphasise the natural light of the space adding strong and bold colours only in small quantity.
Double height. By nature, the industrial spaces have really height ceilings. You can built additional mezzanine levels to create bedrooms or extra rooms where privacy is needed.
Furniture of Hunting for George con Melbourne design studio Grazia & Co
Lighting is the key element. In the industrial era the idea was to maximise the use of natural light during the work hours: that’s why all the loft spaces have wide and big windows and they are plenty of light. We would like to suggest you to not cover the windows with curtains or draperies: you will loose all the power that these fascinating spaces can transmit.
But what can you do during the nocturnal hours, when there is no natural light?
Full the space with spot lights, pendant lights and floor lamp. Choose a warm light temperature bulbs, halogen or new LED solution with no more than 3500K output.
This is essential to obtain a cosy and homely environment out of a cold ex industrial space. The combination of high ceiling and cold light temperature doesn’t work with such spaces.
Furniture. Chose materials like wood, steel and glass to maximise the industrial style of your space. A modern and sleek style works well with the “unfinished” soul of the industrial loft. Few design pieces will add the right touch to your space.
The furniture is key to define the areas and the spaces inside your apartments. Use bookcases, freestanding screens and plants to keep the space free from walls, avoiding to close the environment.
Cover image – Antonio Virga for Louis and Sara Bonnard in Paris
This post is also available in: Italian