I have always been fascinated by loft living. I’ve never owned or rented a loft and likely never will, but they’re part of my imagined alternate life! Of course, I would have no interest in a new construction with drywall and white condo-like expanses. A real loft needs:
- To be renovated from industrial or commercial space
- To give the illusion it’s funky and real, and hasn’t always been chic real estate
- Industrial elements such as concrete floors or a garage door
- A row of windows at least as tall as you are
- Exposed brick on at least one wall
- Wooden beams, and/or plumbing/heating pipes overhead, or commercial ceiling fans
- Salvaged materials such as glass block or bathroom tile
- Open floor plan – except for bathroom, I hope
- Huge scale custom-built furniture such as bookcases or dining table
- Room to hang massive artworks
- Ladders or a metal spiral staircase (if there is an upper level, i.e. an actual “loft”)
- Pendulum lighting
- Mid-century modern furniture (e.g. 1950s/60s/70s retro)
- View of a fire escape and the wall of the next building
- Obligatory sounds of traffic and sirens, and ever-present light from street
Naturally, a renovated Brooklyn brownstone would also suffice.
The romance of a loft is that you are completely immersed in city life to the point that you don’t need amenities like green space, parking, quiet, or interior walls. And you have room to tackle projects on a grand scale like a Jackson Pollock-style painting or a cast bronze sculpture. Or you can work as an editor at a little imprint of a literary publishing house and have your co-workers over for a glass of wine before you go to the new exhibit opening at the gallery.
I have a ridiculous amount of freedom to do what I like with my spare time, and somehow I am not choosing to do these things, and not feeling the urge to land in TriBeCa or Williamsburg any time soon. But I still have little flights of fancy that everything I need is within 10 blocks and I can just claim my little refuge in the middle of the bustling city.
Oh, and if any of these designers would like to donate their time to doing up my loft, be my guest!
My actual living space: