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What is Loft Living?

By Garry Crystal
Updated May 16, 2024
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In housing terms, loft living is about as open plan as you can get. Once thought of as strictly for artists and bohemian types, loft living is now a sought after lifestyle accessory. Previously, starving artists had to sleep in their studio lofts to avoid paying rent, but now loft living is one of the most sought after type of housing among certain groups of people.

Artists, actors and young business professionals all love the idea of having a loft as their home. It provides maximum space, and improvements can be made if desired. Usually, lofts are found in the commercial areas of a city. Before they were turned into stylish living spaces, the lofts were commercial buildings. Older buildings that have been left empty for years have now been given a new lease on life, thanks to loft living.

Over the past ten years, the idea of loft living has taken a massive leap. The lofts, or as they are sometimes advertised, spaces, are usually located in very large buildings. They also have the benefit of very high ceilings and original wooden floorboards. The windows are also particularly large, providing maximum natural daylight. This excess light is much sought after by artists.

Another bonus of loft living is that the lofts are usually situated in downtown areas. This provides great access to businesses and entertainment areas. In downtown areas, everything is at your doorstep.

Lofts can also be customized to the owner’s specifications. The owner can choose to leave the natural exposed brick wall or cover it with a design of one's choose. One can also place dividers throughout the loft to make separate rooms.

Some of the most coveted loft spaces in the world are situated in Manhattan, New York. Areas such as Soho, Chelsea and Tribecca, where there is an abundance of artistic and creative types, have many lofts. They are also some restrictions to the lofts situated there. For example, one must be a full time artist to live in certain lofts.

In the last ten years, many major cities throughout the world have begun to welcome the idea of loft living. It is a way to generate life into what were previously deserted sections of the inner city. Loft living has come a long way from the romantic days of the starving artists, though for many, it may be seen as a way to bring that idea back to life, albeit for a price.

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Discussion Comments
By cloudel — On Jun 24, 2011

I love my loft! The open floor plan is kind of challenging when you first move in, but I actually had a lot of fun adding my own touch to it. There really are good strategies for creating "rooms" or "spaces" in your loft -- one simple one is just adding rugs, another is by arranging furniture in a certain way.

There are tons of tips on the Internet though, and it's really fun just to experiment and see what works for you.

By StarJo — On Jun 22, 2011

I think loft living is always so romanticized -- I know growing up I always wanted to move to the big city and get a loft.

Well, once I got there I realized that it is pretty cool, but it can also be very noisy -- almost like dorm living. I really enjoyed it when I was younger, but now I'm not so sure I could hack it.

By cloudel — On Jun 21, 2011

I lived at The District at Green Valley Ranch for awhile. All of the homes in The District were loft-style. They had 80 lofts available on the top two floors of The District in the metropolitan area. The street level floors housed unique shops and restaurants.

I miss the convenience of city living. I could literally walk downstairs and into a coffee shop, clothing boutique, or night club. However, being a country girl at heart, I missed being out in nature even more than I loved the vibrant life of the city, so I moved. I would highly recommend loft living to anyone who is easily bored and needs something to do all the time, or especially to someone who does not own their own car.

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