Loft Lifestyle

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Whether the term ‘loft’ is a marketing gimmick for selling real estate at a higher price or simply functional usable space, decorate it for your benefit

Someone recently discovered a bad smell coming from the ceiling. When contractors came to take a look they discovered a dead pigeon and false ceiling hiding a vast amount of attic space. It was a bonus in disguise. Not only did the home owner gain lots of sqft that add to the price of his home he also realised he could enjoy loft living by designing and extending space.

If you’re lucky enough to have an attic or high ceiling space that is untouched, you have options for making better use of it. Converting loft space can not only provide much needed extra space, whether it be an additional living room, home office or bedroom and bathroom, but when done well can provide financial rewards, should you ever sell your property.

The term Loft has shifted meaning over the years. It used to mean one big unfinished or semi-finished volume, converted from former industrial space. Then in the 1990s, developers started building “lofts.” Whether it’s an industrial rehab or new construction, what you get with a newish “loft” depends on where you are, but it’s loosely a way of saying: “This condo is very, very hip.” In many real estate projects across the globe, a loft has taken on meaning as a tall, narrow shoebox with a mezzanine for the bed.

Lofts originally were cheap places for poor artists to live and work. The neglected infrastructure of industrial cities provided basic shelter for artists after World War II. By the beginning of the 1960s, many lofts were finished living spaces rather than substandard artist’s shacks. Today, lofts usually function as both work and living space.

You do not need to divide space into sections with walls. Use clever illusions and props instead. Colours, shelves, sofas, rugs and pots of plants work well in sectioning space.

6 tips for decorating loft space

1 Create a library

Line the bare wall with shelves and add your favourite books, fix some lighting to the ceiling, and get a couble of comfortable chairs and you have a lovely little library.

2 Home office

To save space get a long, slim desk that resembles a carpenter’s bench, and snug it along the wall or stair landing rail. Fix lots of shelves on the walls, and put in adequate lighting and power points for computers, printers, coffee maker and other necessities. Shelves fixed above the desk allow you to save desk space. These shelves can hold stationery, plants and books.

3 Game room

Whether it’s for the kids or for yourself a game room or little theatre is a great place to unwind. Adequate lighting and power points are necessary to make it functioning to your liking. Fix shelves for DVDs and games, consoles, and speakers. Add colour and excitement by hanging posters and art works of movies and animation.

4 Work out space

Yoga or cardio exercise or dance area, extra loft space is ideal for a work out room. Fix heavy duty shelves for weights and gym items. Install a fan for good air circulation. If you’re a dance fan, install high mirrors along the wall as well as a barre. Design around sound systems, yoga mat space or cycling machine and treadmill, depending on your use of space.

5 Storage space

Every home needs lots of storage space. Extra loft area is perfect for packing in invisible wardrobes, closets and storage facilities. Colour these similar to the wall so that they disappear into the background.

6 Sitting area

A small sofa and coffee table will turn any little space into a lounge and living area. You can even fit in a little wine fridge and bar space for drinks and cocktails when entertaining guests. Again lighting, colours and layout should be planned ahead to get the desired function and aesthetics.

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