6 Things to Know Before Renting a Loft Apartment

by CSA Staff on March 14th, 2021 in Apartments

By Elise Nelson

When considering an apartment space, we often think in a traditional sense: a multi-room living space, usually within a larger residential building. However, there’s another, sometimes trendier option – a loft apartment. Much like a studio apartment, a loft is one open floor plan, though it’s typically much larger than a studio. There are no separate rooms with internal walls, except for a bathroom. Some lofts have built-in staircases to a higher open area in the space. Because of the large space (often more than 1,000 square feet), lofts can be a great option for a group of several roommates. The loft is a blank canvas for you to design however you’d like, and it can become a really beautiful living space if done right. Of course, there are a few things to keep in mind before renting a loft apartment.


via Pexels

Lofts are often converted from warehouses

Most loft apartments did not actually start out as apartments. These spaces are often converted from old industrial or commercial warehouses. As such, lofts can have a very urban and trendy feel, but their history makes them very different from traditional apartments. Keep in mind that the space will likely have old brick walls and exposed features, like wiring, lighting, and pipes.

Exposed pipes may sound like a bit of a turn-off, but if you want utilities, you’ll have to keep them.  Fortunately, there are ways to highlight or hide them. As Apartment Therapy wrote, you can paint the pipes to either match or contrast your walls and ceiling.

Pre-built storage is limited

Because lofts started out as warehouses, they’re often lacking in traditional storage spaces like closets. You may have to add stand-alone wardrobes, portable closets, and clothing racks to your list of furniture. The good news is that where lofts lack in storage, they make up for it in space. There’s plenty of room to get creative with your storage, even height-wise. Lofts are known to have very tall ceilings, so you can get away with floating shelves and tall bookshelves. Home Guides also suggests looking for furniture items that include storage space, such as a sleigh bed with drawers underneath.

There may not be much privacy

Remember that lofts are usually only one large space and a bathroom, so privacy is limited right out of the gate. If you’re living on your own, this may not be much of a concern. However, roommates will probably want their own spaces. It is possible to build walls in a loft apartment, but this can get very expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to create your own private spaces by, again, getting creative. Room dividers can act as a much cheaper wall, and you can find one to match your apartment’s aesthetic. The same goes for large curtains. If you are living with roommates and you’re concerned about blocking noise from another area, you can even find some soundproof room dividers.

You can also use furniture to build your own pseudo-walls. Those tall bookshelves can come in handy for separating a bedroom from a living room, for example. The same can be done with cabinets.

Utilities can be pricey

A bigger space means that more energy will go into heating and cooling the area. As a result, the utility bills in a loft will be higher than that of a traditional apartment. The actual difference does depend on individual circumstances, so be sure to research costs before committing to the rental and adjust your budget accordingly. As with any apartment, there are ways to reduce your utility bills, such as using ceiling fans to evenly distribute the warm and cold air. In the winter, sunlight can also keep the loft warm, as the building typically has massive windows. This brings us to…

You’ll get a lot of natural light

Those large, thin windows can be a blessing and a curse all at once. If you look at photos of warehouses, you’ll see that they tend to have almost-floor-to-ceiling paneled windows across the entire wall. On one hand, you’ll get plenty of natural light. This may reduce your need for indoor lighting and, in turn, keep electricity costs low.

However, the natural light can become an issue during hot summers. Imagine all that natural sunlight pouring into your home on a 100-degree day. Rental manager Gina Castrorao told Apartment Therapy that blinds and shades are crucial in a loft apartment because you will probably want a break from that natural light. You may need a ton of shades to cover those windows, but it will be worth it.

You can get creative with the space

One of the biggest pros of a loft apartment is the opportunity for creativity that comes with it. Since a loft apartment is one large space, you can design your “rooms” as you please. Although this can seem overwhelming at first, you have the freedom to build the aesthetic space of your dreams. It may be helpful to consult design blogs and Pinterest to get a few ideas for how you want your loft to look.

A lot of work goes into making the most of a loft apartment, but with the right amount of research and TLC, you can turn it into the best home imaginable.

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