Loft living is in a class by itself. These units have the qualities of their past, when they weren’t dwellings at all. Today’s loft apartments were originally warehouse or industrial spaces — typically a single large room, often with a high ceiling, and features like exposed pipes, brick walls, etc. The open space is exciting, especially if you’vebeen used to small or studio apartments. But this same space has its own problems, because it’s undefined. Renting a loft is a stimulating challenge because you’re faced with the necessity of creating your living layout from scratch.
First note the few defining features the loft does have: the bathroom and kitchen facilities, and of the windows. These are anchors as you decide which parts of your big room will become the dining area, the living area, the bedroom, etc. Use painter’s tape on the floor to demarcate the spaces. It’s easy to pull up and re-position. After allotting space to your satisfaction, you can make a master sketch.
Many lofts have great windows. Orient your general living area toward these; a cityscape is wonderful at night, and natural light is excellent for working or reading. Private spaces like sleeping areas would be situated back from windows, in an alcove for a sense of cozy intimacy. We begin to see the potential of furnishings for sculpting functional rooms within the loft. Custom furniture, in the sense of furniture that is configured specifically for your space, is a smart solution.
Dual-purpose furniture is ideal for lofts. An obvious (often customized) example is the room divider/storage wall. Build your own, or have a reputable furniture services firm make it to the needed size and shape. If you locate a custom furnishings company that also sells modular units, it’s an economical way to put together such a divider. Other clever items that can be built for lofts are low-profile room dividers, which may double as useful counter space; elevated loft beds (or entire upper-level sleeping areas) and platform beds with workspace or storage beneath; freestanding pieces such as coffee tables or custom ottomans with concealed storage.
The scale of loft apartments suits big furnishings, like the opulent sofas designed for open plan houses. If you yearn for a couch that goes on forever, or a monumental china cabinet or wardrobe, your loft has the space for it, and it can function beautifully there. Just remember: it has to get in, and (unless you plan to stay in your loft indefinitely) it will someday have to go out. Will it fit the outer entry, the freight elevator, your doorway?
If not, the same folks who can build room dividers are likely to be experienced at furniture disassembly and reassembly. Issues with moving massive new furniture have become commonplace in many localities, and companies that began as providers of furniture repairs, reupholstery and the like, have risen to the challenge by becoming experts at de-constructing furniture to be safely moved through tight spaces. It’s another way a good furniture services company can be a new loft-dweller’s best friend.