Hey! Today I will tell you how to create one of the most popular modern styles, it is especially popular among men. Let’s talk about loft. First, a small clarification, in general, to be precise, the loft is not the name of the style. This is simply a definition of space when a non-residential premises is converted into a residential one. Like, for example, there is no penthouse style – it’s just the definition of an apartment on the top floor with access to the roof. All over the world, the style we call a loft is called industrial. But, if I called the article differently, for example, how to create an industrial style in the interior, then I would be understood, judging by the Yandex query statistics, only 305 (!!!) people, and 16,000 people are interested in the loft (do you feel the difference?). Although, in fact, it means the same thing.
Traditionally, a loft is a large (compared to most apartments, just huge), maximally free space with high ceilings and open communications. And if earlier the style was used only for converted factories, now it can be found literally everywhere. Visually industrial chic combines utilitarian industrial design, worn textures and the warmth of wood species. You can often find old items rescued from some landfill and ready to go there: some kind of dilapidated sideboards (what a blessing that they don’t even need to be carefully put in order, they fit smartly in this form), library cabinets, antique nightstands, tables, metal boxes with traces of corrosion.
The main materials used in the loft are brick, glass, steel and concrete. The color palette of the style is often calm: white, beige, brown, black, but bright accents can also be added. Depth is achieved primarily through strongly pronounced textures: wood is best with traces of time, metal with traces of rust, oxidation, peeling paint… The more patinas, the better. A combination of any seemingly incongruous things is welcome. But with all this, the loft does not look outdated, it is rather glamorous. All the things “rescued” from the landfill do not look like trash used because of poverty, but give off a casual, bohemian-brutal chic. Like it or not, the industrial style was invented and brought into fashion by the New York bohemia, and this party spirit is its elusive zest. It doesn’t look like a workers’ house from the neighborhood, it’s too sexy for that :))))
Logically, a loft can only be arranged in a suitable space (a former factory, plant or warehouse) and it is not available to residents of a small sizeed apartment in a monolithic house. Well, where do the high ceilings, panoramic windows and the second light source come from in a standard apartment? And from open communications there is only a radiator under the window. This is not the right place to begin with. Even dismantling the partition between the living room and the kitchen will not make drastic changes, it is still too small when compared with the areas of some warehouses. But, if we proceed from the fact that the loft is just a space, and we are primarily interested in the industrial style, then everything more or less falls into place. Its most characteristic features can be embodied in an apartment, you just need to know them and use them correctly. For the impatient readers, I will list them immediately, and then more about each.
- Brick or concrete wall
- Metal shelves or racks
- A lamp with or without a metal shade
- Metal chairs
- Natural wood
- Anything leather
As I wrote earlier, historically, the loft originated in the middle of the twentieth century in New York, when “owner of stocks, newspapers, steamers, and real-estate block”, due to rising rental prices in the center of the city, decided to move their production to the outskirts. The vacated space attracted creative bohemia, rental prices were still lower than renting apartments, and there was more space, it was possible to live and have your workshops in the same place. The artists did not particularly bother with the repair, the walls and floor, most often, remained in their original state (brick or concrete) and simply added the minimum necessary set of furniture sufficient to live. Gradually, almost all creative people moved into lofts, making them very fashionable and popular. But, rent in the center cannot always be inexpensive, eventually it became too expensive for the artists to live in the center and they were replaced by wealthy people. So lofts from places for hangouts of creative bohemia, who sometimes barely were making ends meet, have become elite housing. Tenants and owners have changed, but the style itself has remained recognizable, retaining all the main features.
Its most important and characteristic feature was brick or concrete walls. This seems to be clear, but, in fact, not everything is so simple. I have a separate large article devoted to the walls in the loft. In short, the worst thing you can do is to lay out the walls with fresh clinker tiles under the brick. Even the “aged” tiles will not help, for some reason it is also immediately obvious that this is a remake. If you don’t believe me, follow the link above. Remember what I said, in the loft, the more patina, the better, the less remake, the better. Ideally, you have the opportunity to clean the walls and expose the original brickwork, but more often than not, this is not possible. Therefore, the solution is a painted brick wall, it is almost impossible to determine the age of it. Wallpaper with imitation of a brick is also better to choose carefully, the less noticeable that it is a fake, the better.
An alternative to brick is concrete or plaster on the walls. If the interior is old, then the original ones are better, if you are lucky and the wall is quite ancient, so much so that the pieces fall off, then it’s even cooler. In the whole space, perhaps, it is not worth leaving the walls in this form, but as an extra feature, if you have the courage, some part can be left untouched and left as an unusual decor.
Also, with a new building, various decorative plasters for concrete come to the rescue. Their choice is huge and it is simply impossible to list all the possibilities of the finish coating. For example, imitation of concrete with rust streaks is possible. Looks like the original, but much more practical.
Use shelving and metal shelves. Probably, some time ago they forgot to take some of the racks from some warehouse or they were installed tightly and now a loft without a rack is not a loft :))) They look especially brutal when self welded from old pipes, but you can buy ready-made ones. In the same Ikea there are options from painted or galvanized steel. Various metal underframes, drawers, cabinets and carts are also welcome.
A special role in the loft is given to light. Ordinary classic chandeliers are not suitable, here you need fixtures that look like lighting fixtures somewhere in a production or on a stage. They can be either with a metal lampshade, or with glass shades, and most often just without everything: a cord, a cartridge and a light bulb. In general, the lamps look very utilitarian and minimalistic, the forms are the simplest, without any additional embellishments. It seems that they were either assembled independently from improvised means (wire, pieces of pipe) or they really hung before in some workshop.
Metal chairs look perfect in lofts. The most chic is if the legs are already with traces of corrosion and peeling paint. Of course, it’s almost impossible to buy such ones in a store, but you can try your luck and ask your friends if they have some lying around in the garage. One will be enough. In general, I advise you to look at the chairs in the sections of garden furniture or for catering. They look like we need, nothing superfluous, everything is practical and reliable. The Tolix metal chair and its replicas are popular. The only thing is that we need to somehow solve the problem with the seats (a completely solvable task), because bistro chairs are designed so that people do not sit too long)))) But we plan to operate them at home and are in no hurry.
An obligatory component of any loft is something made of natural wood. It is it that balances the “cold” of stone and steel, brings warmth, making the interior cozy. Moreover, it is better if it looks like it has been in operation for at least 20 years, and was not brought just yesterday from a carpentry workshop. The more natural chips, cracks, scratches, the better. Some vintage and even antique items are ideal: library cabinets, chests of drawers, sideboards, chests, drawers, benches, tables. Everything that can be given a second life without much bringing back to its original form. It is enough that the object retains and fulfills its original function, and not be decorative.
But even if you couldn’t find something old, or for some personal reasons you only like new things, then everything is quite simple with wood – just treat the surface with a suitable wax, oil or stain and it already seems older.
By the way, with apartments everything is even a little easier than with real lofts, because here the flooring is usually either already wooden or well-imitated wood. It is enough to choose unbleached rocks for finishing or something with the prefix “antique” …
As I said above, the expressiveness of the industrial style lies in the richness of textures. And the maximum effect is obtained if you add something leather to the interior. This is already more than the required minimum, this is chic, as a cherry on the cake. It is the leather, in my opinion, that makes the loft one of the sexiest interior styles. It is good, that it is not at all necessary that the surface is in perfect condition, any cracked specimens will do, which most will consider rubbish that should be thrown away.
First of all, let your bugdet guide you, it is not at all necessary to fork out for a full-fledged sofa (but it would be great)))), enough leather seat upholstery or a small pouffe, banquettes.
In general, a loft is, perhaps, not at all about interiors, but rather about a way of life. This is the spirit of creativity, asceticism, freedom from stereotypes, materialism and living by your own rules.
In this regard, I just remembered the cliché that the loft is an exclusively masculine style. Perhaps bricks and fittings really resonate with the stronger half of humanity more often, but women also like them. It’s just that in women’s lofts more often the walls are painted with white paint and in general the whole palette is lighter. But all principles are the same.