TV shows, movies, and celebrity lifestyle magazines love to show off the wide-open spaces that many of the rich and famous call home. Over the last several years, loft living has become incredibly popular, with everyone searching for exposed brick, high ceilings, and big windows. While the appeal is undeniable, lofts can have their challenges, so how do you know if loft living is for you?
While living in a loft used to be restricted to artists in abandoned factories or on the outskirts of town, the appeal of the open floor plan design has seen many new construction apartment and condo buildings adopting the loft style. Some of these even incorporate authentic elements, such as wood columns and exposed piping, which can give you the experience of a loft no matter where you are.
One of the biggest appeals of lofts is that they keep spaces light and bright by avoiding unnecessary walls. While you may prefer (and most loft livers do) to construct a permanent or temporary bedroom with walls, the beauty of a well-designed loft is that there are no confined spaces (unless you want them!) You may have experienced finding the perfect house or apartment, only to realize that the kitchen was placed smack in the middle of the space, with no window or natural light. While there are many options to convert existing spaces to loft-like open floor plans, the abundance of available loft options today make finding a new home a viable option.
The truth is, loft life is not for everyone. When you’re young, the appeal of wall-less spaces and big open windows can be exciting. However, circumstances change, and there are times when a parent would like to be able to close a door (or two). Similarly, while exposed bricks and wood columns may look aesthetically cool, they may be a source of danger for a new baby, or an impediment for an elderly person.
To decide if loft living is right for you, it’s important to figure out your needs. A loft can give you big windows – but do you live somewhere cold and pay for your heat? You may want to consider the extra cost required to heat a big open space rather than a small room (the same goes for cooling in the summer). Do you have children or will you have children? While lofts can provide options for adding and/or removing walls, make sure both you and your children will have enough options for time away from each other.
Asking yourself important questions can help you decide if a loft is the right layout for you and your family’s needs. The good news is, since this style has become so popular, there are a number of options available from full, raw artist’s lofts, to “loft-style” apartments (with plenty of walls and doors!) so you never have to compromise on your dreams if a loft is what you want.