A loft-style apartment or condo usually has an airy open floor plan that gives it character and personality. But while the look of the space definitely ups its cool factor, finding the best way to set up such a wide, open home can be a serious challenge. Unlike a traditional floor plan where you have to maximize the space available, it’s important to make use of all of the open space in your loft and take into account the issues presented when you don’t have walls to separate the “rooms” of your home.
Because there are usually no formal rooms in a loft, it’s important to create distinct areas within the space. Area rugs are an effective way to define a “room” in an open layout – you can place one in the living area and arrange seating options around it, or set one beneath the dining table to separate it from the kitchen. In areas where privacy may be a concern, such as your bedroom, physical boundaries are a better option. Folding screens and curtains work well to block off areas, but you can also use furniture such as a large bookcase or armoire to separate your loft into “rooms” that help define the space.
Keep Furniture Away from Walls
In a traditional, closed-in room, it’s usually best to place furniture against the walls to maximize space. In a loft, you have the luxury of an open layout, so be more creative with your furniture placement. For example, instead of placing your bed against the wall, angle against two walls in a corner of the loft for a more interesting look – or place it away from all walls and surround it with sheer curtains to create drama. Move other items such as your desk, sofa, entertainment center and bookcases away from the walls, too, to take advantage of the wide-open space. Also, consider the scale of your furniture – since a loft usually has high ceilings and an open layout, opt for large or oversized pieces that can fill up the space.
Soundproof the Space
Without walls or carpeting to absorb noise, you may have an issue with echoing inside your loft since sounds are free to bounce around the open space. When setting up your apartment, include items that can help absorb some of the sound, such as large area rugs, upholstered furniture and decorative fabric wall hangings. You can even hang sound-control matting on your walls behind artwork or other items to correct a particularly severe sound issue.
A loft typically lacks closets, so there isn’t much built-in storage room for clothing and other items. But it’s important to keep your apartment clutter-free since the space lacks walls and guests will be able to see any mess that you may have. To combat the lack of storage, look for furniture items that have plenty of space. A large armoire can provide hanging storage just as a closet would, while an oversized chest of drawers can hold anything from clothing to office supplies. Use the space under the bed, too – you can find plastic boxes that fit beneath the bed for easy storage. You can also add shelves to any free walls that you may have for convenient storage throughout the space.
by Jennifer Blair, Demand Media
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