Open-space industrial lofts have always been popular amongst trendy young professionals, artists, entertainers and others with a penchant for contemporary urban living. City-planners, land developers and architects capitalize on this trend by turning old industrial sectors into residential districts to accommodate the tastes of these buyers, converting old warehouses and shop floors into living spaces. The psychological freedom that comes with an expansive floor plan without partitions is the allure for you, the homeowner.
However, with all of that empty space comes a challenge. How are you to enhance and make sense of your living environment without interior walls to break the floor plan down into functional spaces? Thankfully, interior design theory can turn your industrial loft into a highly functioning, comforting, and visually dazzling home.
8 Interior Design Concepts to Enhance the Function & Feel of Your Industrial Loft
1. Manipulate Natural Light to Alter the Mood
Natural light can be your best friend when it comes to managing the feel of your loft. Managing it throughout the day allows you to alter the mood of your environment. In one instance it can turn your loft into a home office or working studio (art/dance, etc.) and in another it can transform it into a cool and comforting place to entertain guests. If drapes are your preference, then layering with sheers and black-out drapery will allow you to manage the level of light that enters the loft. However, if you are looking to truly control natural light, motorized shutters or blinds are the key.
2. Add Artificial Lighting to Highlight Hot Spots
Artificial light will also be essential to managing the psychological feel of a living space. It will help you highlight certain areas while drawing attention away from others. Artificial light can welcome guests to “visit” one part of the loft by focusing in on your entertainment/leisure zones which detracting from personal spaces such as your bedroom. Smart artificial lighting can be added with well-placed floor lamps, hanging lights, or through the installation of systems such as recessed lighting.
3. Use Furnishings as Partitions
Creating functional spaces is the biggest challenge when it comes to industrial loft living. Without partition walls how is one to dictate where one “room” begins and another ends? This is where furniture comes into play. When placed in a well thought out manner furniture can separate the floor plan by living room, office/studio, bedroom, and dining area. Sectional or large sofas will be instrumental in this task, as will long ottomans and tables.
4. Let Rugs Guide the Flow of the Space
When the casual eye assesses the floor plan of any space it tends to look to the floor to help it determine the sectional layout of a room. That’s why rugs are so important to your loft’s interior design. Large area rugs, bookended by furniture, will clearly establish the existence of a “room” within your space. In addition, runner rugs will help guide the eye from the point of entry into your home, dictating the intended path for visiting guests.
5. Place Large Standing Statement Pieces in Strategic Zones
Very large decorative items such as vases and statuesque art pieces will help fill empty spaces and further dictate the existence of a functional area in your warehouse-styled loft. Stand these statement pieces next to the pillars so that the items are not left to standalone, creating a potential hazard that foot traffic may bump into.
6. Install Large Shelving Units to Complement the Backdrop
There is a lot of wall space in industrial lofts, which can make your home feel a little vacant and unwelcoming. Because there are little to no room divides there is a lesser opportunity to decorate to fill the void. Consider installing a large shelving unit, wide and tall enough to encompass the intended side of the loft. The top levels can display decorative pieces while the reachable levels can host your library and other items that you may wish to rotate or show off to guests with a hands-on touch.
7. Hang Large Murals and Other Wall-Hanging Statement Pieces
The bounty of wall space in a warehouse-styled loft allows you the opportunity to have fun with wall hangers. When it comes to paintings and other canvas/framed artwork and the like think big and let your creative personality shine through. If you have a penchant for world travel then hang a massive world map mural. If you like nautical decor hunt down a large antique ship-wheel and proudly display it on your walls. If fashion is your forte then go big (really big) on a hanging wall mirror. The possibilities are endless when you have the wall space to match your effervescent personality.
8. Install a Fireplace for Real and Perceived Warmth
Be it psychological or a fact of structural design, large industrial loft spaces can feel cold. While you may enjoy the aesthetics and freedom of the wide open space you don’t want to feel as if you need to carry around a blanket to feel cozy in your home. By installing a functioning fireplace to match the look of your industrial loft (hanging ceiling fireplaces are perfectly suited to the style) you not only add a useful alternative to heating utilities, you create the perception of warmth in an otherwise cool space.
Even with all of these tips for you to draw upon, managing the interior design of your industrial loft can be a challenge. If you reside in the Greater Vancouver area let us help you. Contact us here or call (604) 986-2080 anytime.