The History and Perks of Loft Living

“The Times They are A Changin’,” so said prophet and musician of the 1960s, Bob Dylan.  Changes in lifestyle are apparent in the way today’s active professionals define their living space - walls are coming down, space is being simplified, ceilings are being raised in conventional homes, and industrial complexes are being renovated into desirable loft living spaces.

 In the 1900s, manufacturing was booming. But by the end the century, many of the buildings were empty. Artists and musicians saw the opportunity to establish studios in these buildings and eventually some of them chose to live there as well. As the population increased, and real estate prices sky rocketed, these buildings morphed into chic, trendy residential living options and their demand increased.

Loft living is now the rage, and definitely has its advantages. Most industrial spaces are in urban settings and are perfect for professionals and others who embrace a creative urban lifestyle. Those who are drawn to loft living often enjoy trendy restaurants, art galleries, museums, cafes, high end shopping and a bustling artistic and professional environment.

The original industrial or warehouse layout encourages an open floor plan that is often well lit with large windows and high ceilings. Interesting and unique architectural details are evident throughout these last century factory and industrial spaces which complements bold furnishings. Modern, well-designed and reasonably priced furniture from places like IKEA are an ideal fit with their sleek lines and vibrant fabrics.

 The high ceilings and generous wall space also encourage the hanging of contemporary art - large daring pieces accenting the industrial architecture. The vibe continues with kitchens that are often open to the living room and dining area which promotes communal entertaining and where drinks and appetizers segue easily into dinner. A #Dope Moment in loft living -  hosts preparing dinner for their guests and enjoying each other’s company along with a glass of Prosecco or an IPA beer and a spectacular city skyline.Some of the hippest loft living areas are in New York and Los Angeles but the prices can be exorbitant. Check out the fringes of these cities for better prices. Other more reasonably priced loft hot spots throughout the US include Providence, Rhode Island, St. Louis, Missouri, Buffalo and Syracuse, New York and San Antonio, Texas. In essence, check out any former US manufacturing center.

There can be disadvantages to loft living as well. Utilities are sometimes high due to the open spaces and high ceilings plus brick, cement, and metal building materials. It’s best to investigate before buying or renting. These same stunning spaces can also be acoustically harsh but that can be combated with wood furniture and lots of textiles including rugs, curtains, pillows, and fabric upholstery. Heavy fabric curtains will not only soften the acoustics but also help reduce heating bills in cold wintery climates. A plus is that these spaces stay cool in the summer and in year round warmer weather. If you like country living, industrial spaces may not be for you, although there are converted barns that will give you a large open living area feeling with fewer acoustic drawbacks due to the wooden building materials.

For most urban professionals, the perks outweigh the disadvantages and loft living has definitely drawn many to establish themselves in this hip environment. Loft dwellers enjoy the open living area, access to many amenities and to an active and often professionally productive lifestyle. So when heading out of your trendy loft penthouse to attend a café get together or gallery opening,  just make sure to wear your fabulous EyeDope vision stylewear™ before stepping out onto the sunny bustling streets below.


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