Originally utilized by artists needing low-cost shelter, lofts have become chic urban dwellings occupied by people of various professions and income levels. The appeal of lofts is usually the open floor plan, with no or little specific rooms. Decorating a loft apartment requires an imaginative approach; furniture groupings, paint and wallpaper allow individual spaces to be created. Lofts give you the freedom to define your space in any manner that you like.
Decide where you want the various spaces to be, such as the living room, bedroom and home office. The benefit of a loft apartment is that you are able to designate spaces specific to your liking or lifestyle. If one area of the loft welcomes in natural sunlight in the mornings, it might make a positive area for a home office. Or you may want to claim the area that has an amazing city view as the living room, allowing you to enjoy the scenery as you relax on the sofa.
Choose color schemes, paint and wallpaper to define each area as its own. Though the various colors and prints should work together, because one area flows into the next, paint and wallpaper can help to create definition throughout the loft. Accent specific smaller areas, such as the bathroom or foyer, with bold print wallpaper or bright colors to create contrast. If you prefer one color group, use different shades from one room to the next. For example, paint the bedroom aubergine, the living room violet and the dining room lavender.
Create room separation through the use of bookcases, stand-alone folding screens and curtains. While there’s no need to lose the natural open-air feel of a loft, using structures to slightly separate one area from the next can help to identify specific spaces.
Install French doors to encase the bedroom. Though you might enjoy an open floor plan, the bedroom might be one place where you seek privacy. Choose a corner of the loft as your bedroom space, to work with the two walls already there, and install French doors to create the other two walls. French doors come in a variety of styles and allow you to avoid the closed-in feeling that concrete walls can elicit.
Soften the industrial feel of the loft with a contrasting decor. Furnish the individual spaces with unique antique and vintage pieces. Layer sheer curtains on the windows rather than installing heavy window dressing, which can add to the harshness of the space. Use plenty of pillows and throws to make the space feel more cozy and comfortable.
Beth Rifkin has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2005. Her bylines include "Tennis Life," "Ms. Fitness," "Triathlon Magazine," "Inside Tennis" and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University.