You’ve been dreaming of that beautiful loft up the street and now it’s finally yours There’s just one problem: you’ve never lived in a loft before, which means you have no clue how to decorate.
The good news is that decorating a loft is a unique and fun design experience – the perfect space for a creative person to go to town. Here are five of our favorite loft decor ideas and practical planning tips to try.
Plan Your Space
Before you dive into the fun loft decor ideas, you have to plan your space. Lofts, like studio apartments, lack the easy dividing lines offered by internal walls. In most living spaces, these walls will act as a clear partition between one room and the next. But typically in a loft, the only internal wall and door is the one in front of the bathroom.
The first step to making it feel like a home instead of a warehouse or overgrown bedroom is to establish areas common to most houses, like the bedroom, living room, and dining area. For most loft-goers, the easiest way to do this is with large area rugs. The key is to get a rug larger than the seating area to offer a visual delineation of space. Another way to do this is to use the materials you have – your furniture. Keep your furniture away from the walls (this opens up a closed-in space) and instead use your furniture to create different functional areas.
Develop a Color Palette
Because lofts are characterized by an uninterrupted line of sight from one area to the next, you need a color palette that’s cohesive for the entire living space. When it comes to a loft, light, bright, and neutral colors are the right choice. Lofts tend to be smaller and light colors trick the eye into thinking the room is larger.
For those who love color, don’t worry – neutral doesn’t mean boring. Don’t neglect your dark neutrals like charcoal, navy blue, deep gold, and, of course, black. These are colors you should use to anchor the room in a sofa, headboard, or accent wall. If you’re using dark neutrals, make sure to match your undertones, warm colors with warm and cool colors with cool. And make sure to pick the dark neutral first – it will pull double-duty as your biggest splash of color in the room.
Take Advantage of Unique Features
Lofts have a ton of unique architectural features – if you’re not taking advantage of them, you’re missing out on the unique joys of having a loft. Take your loft entrance, for example. Lofts are usually in the highest part of a house, which means they may have ladders instead of stairs. Use this to your advantage – pick up some electric loft ladders to incorporate that spot into your design as if it’s your front door. Also, a loft being the highest room in a house also means it has unique and interesting features like wooden beams and slanted ceilings. Use the character of these features to make your loft unique and functional.
For example, if your loft bathroom has a slanted ceiling, incorporate that into the functionality of the room. Place the shower controls on the shorter end of the room, opposite the showerhead. That way, you don’t have to reach around your shower curtain or hunker down too much. If you have slanted ceilings in the rest of the loft, install skylights. This will dramatically increase the light in the room and make the loft feel that much bigger, even though you haven’t actually expanded the space.
Mind Your Scale
You have to pay attention to scale in any room, but it’s especially important in a loft, where space is limited and the eye can see the whole space at once. The trick with a loft? Those beautiful, soaring ceilings that make the space feel wide open and bright can also make your furniture look like it belongs in a dollhouse. This is one of the few areas where you don’t need to worry about sizing – don’t be afraid to go for large furniture pieces.
That said, make sure to balance out your large pieces. If you get a big couch, balance it with light fixtures and throw pillows to make it feel cozy.
Don’t Forget About Noise
Another unique feature of lofts to be careful of is actually the sound absorption. Because lofts have high ceilings, no walls, and no carpet, you essentially have little to no sound absorption. In plain English, a stroll around the room sounds eerily like a stroll through an airport hangar.
To counteract this effect, introduce fabric into your space. Now is the time to spring for big, plush rugs, the kind so big and soft you could sleep in them like a cat. Look for wall hangings, super-soft bedding, and fabric accents like pillows and tapestries. If you own the loft and plan to stick around for a while (and if the problem is severe), it may be worth springing the extra money to get sound-control matting (the stuff used in recording studios) installed in your floors.
Try out Your Own Loft Decor Ideas
Reading about your dream loft design is fun, but designing your own is a blast. You get to see your dream space come to life. If you’re interested in getting some more tips for decorating your loft or living space, browse the rest of our website for more content like this.