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Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Get the Look: Loft Living

Born out of necessity in the urban jungle, loft living has metamorphosed into a chic style of its own and can be found in the city, the suburbs and even in rural Australia. What's the appeal of the loft? How can you achieve the loft look in your home?

What is a Loft?

Loft living was born in the SoHo district of New York, where artists chose lofts to use as combined studios and dwellings. Cheap and spacious, offering great natural light through large blocks of windows, lofts were ideal for "starving artists" who couldn't afford the luxury of an apartment and a studio.

As a trendy interior design concept, loft living was popularised in films. Set designers furnished the lofts of charismatic heroes and heroines in tastefully eclectic styles of furniture. Whilst the loft lifestyle may have been romanticised in films, it became more generally sought after when we moved away from compartmentalised living spaces to open plan living.

Some of the hallmarks of loft living spaces include:

·         Exposed pipes and ducting.
·         Timber or concrete floors.
·         Brick or concrete walls.
·         High ceilings.
·         Minimal window treatments or a complete absence of window coverings.
·         Exposed metallic surfaces.

Creating the Loft Look

The elements of an industrial environment are a distinguishing feature of the loft look. Whilst installing exposed pipes and ducting may be taking the loft look to extremes, track lighting can create a similar effect. Some other ways to achieve the loft look include:

·         Large window areas with aluminium window frames, either natural or grey powder coated.
·         Aluminium window blinds rather than curtains.
·         Steel or open timber and steel stairs leading to an upper level balcony and/or bedrooms and bathrooms. Have a look at some of the photos of stairs in our gallery and you'll see many that suit the loft look to a tee.
·         Industrial shades of grey as a predominant colour scheme.
·         Concrete or timber flooring. Slate, too, is a good choice because of its grey colour. Choose a slate that is uniform in colour rather than variegated.
·         White or brushed metallic-look laminate door and drawer fronts in the kitchen.

Instead of walls, loft spaces are separated by the positioning of the furniture. The back of a sofa, for example, may separate the dining from the living area. A steel shelving unit purchased from a warehouse supply company can serve as a wall between the living and sleeping areas. For a touch of industrial urban chic, consider covering a feature wall with distressed brick veneer or you may even want to use photorealistic wallpapering with a black and white photograph of an urban skyline. 

Think urban, industrial and open and you're on the right track, but don't forget to let nature into your loft either. Pot plants or an indoor vertical garden can transform a space that may otherwise be too harsh and industrial looking into an oasis.

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