Lots of us live in industrial spaces that have been reinvented as homes. The big expanse of space, oversized windows and looming blank walls is compelling. The challenge can be in domesticating these steel and concrete caves with their echoing corners and exposed mechanics.
We don't want to change the character of the space that intrigued us in the first place. Respecting the character of the original construction is crucial to making a loft livable. Wood countertops marry perfectly with the materials usually found in a loft. Steel, concrete and sometimes lots of glass need a infusion of organic warmth if they aren't to feel cold and even forbidding.
Light is another basic requirement of a living environment. In spaces that can seem pretty cavernous it can be used not only to provide illumination but also to delineate individual areas and soften the hard edges of the design. The visual weight of concrete and steel can be a little overwhelming. Careful use of light is the answer to that dilemma.
Building walls isn't the only way to designate space. Lighting and "ceiling footprints," are a couple of methods used in this kitchen. The dropped ceiling creates a defined area while the can lights help mitigate the lack of natural light. The blonde wood eat-at bar brings in a warm organic counterpoint to all the stainless steel.
Using a large open area creatively isn't as easy as it sounds. In making a loft into a home clever use of space, appropriate materials and light is a bigger challenge than it is in a "normal," house or apartment. Careful planning and innovative problem solving are key. Don't be afraid to use materials and applications you wouldn't ever turn to in a typical design. Take a chance. In loft renovation fortune really does favor the bold.
It's great that these old, often abandoned, structures are being given a new role. Loft living isn't for everybody, but many wouldn't think of exchanging our cozy nests in old factories and warehouses for a conventional home. Long live these great old buildings in their new role as shelter and security.