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Lofty Ideas!

Have you always admired the “Lofty Look” but weren’t quite sure how to achieve it? Well, lucky for you!, I have compiled yet another LIST! complete with ideas to send you on your way to designing your very own authentic loft. AND, I have also added pictures for your viewing pleasure as well. Enjoy!

1. Exposed Ductwork in the Ceiling! You’re going to find a common theme in my list and that is the word EXPOSED! Great lofts showcase their bare bones which help to give a space a casual and comfortable feel. Now, this feat may be a little more difficult than it sounds. Is your ductwork mis-matching and not very appealing to the eye?? Then try painting it out black or another dark shade, so although it’s still there, it will blend into the ceiling.

2. Exposed Brick Walls! Here we go again with the word: EXPOSED! Brick walls not only provide an informal atmosphere which loft-admirers love, but they also give a room character and serve the wall with awesome texture and color. Okay okay, so not all spaces are fortunate enough to have a stunning brick wall just hanging out, waiting to be uncovered. If that’s the case, you can always fake it with brick veneer! And here is one (of many) sources for this “faux brick:” El Dorado Stone.

3. Exposed Concrete! Where should the concrete be located, you ask? This could be on your floors, walls, ceiling or even on columns. Surprisingly enough, although it is normally thought of as dull and boring, concrete has quite a bit of color variation and texture to provide a great backdrop for both a modern or transitional design. And if you’re looking for a little more interest, you can always add color to concrete. Just don’t forget to seal it!

4. No Trim! Trim is decorative, extra fluff (at least some of it!), that is not usually seen in lofts. Removing the trim from a space, such as crown molding, will help to develop your “casual atmosphere.” However, trim is sometimes needed for transitions, such as from floors to walls. If that’s the case, aim for discreet, non-decorative trim that blends into the wall (and then paint it to match the wall so we don’t notice it. Remember, we’re going for the exposed, informal, and casual look!

5. Floor-to-Ceiling Windows! Besides the gorgeous view you might incur from floor-to-ceiling windows, this effect also adds to the informal setting and exposed look. AND, tall windows provide the illusion of tall ceilings which brings me to the next item on the list…

6. High Ceilings! Lofts should feel open, airy, and big. And high ceilings in turn will help aid in this. Some spaces may not have tall ceilings, and if that’s the case with your home, then bring on the illusions! Added touches like floor-to-ceiling windows, and taller doors and frames will provide the illusion of higher ceilings.

7. Wood Beams and Columns! If you have existing columns in your space, keep them EXPOSED! and if you have none, then there is always the option to add them in calculated locations that will work with your space arrangement.

8. Open Floor Plan and Minimal Walls! Once again, lofts should feel big, open and airy, and an open floor plan with minimal walls and big openings will evoke these characteristics.

9. Wood or Finished Concrete Floors Throughout! Once again, the wood or finished concrete floors add to the EXPOSED! look we’re going for here. But, by now you’re probably thinking, there are a lot of hard surfaces in this list along with an open floor plan, won’t my space be noisy? Be sure to add rugs, floor-to-ceiling curtains, and lots of great upholstered pieces to help absorb some of the sound. Anndd, surprisingly enough, the layering heights of your exposed ductwork will also help to trap and bounce some of the sound within the ceiling.

10. Track and Industrial-Type Lighting! This type of informal lighting will add to the casual atmosphere. Try hanging pendants and sconces if you’d like to add a little more decorative lighting to your space.

***Last (but maybe the most important!) Tip of the Day!*** Be sustainable! The idea of a loft is to keep all of the natural elements in a space without using excess material to cover up and decorate. Be sure to incorporate as many GREEN elements into your loft as you can, try for bamboo flooring as opposed to wood and use low-VOC paints! Stay tuned for more tips on how to be green!

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