Loft apartments sound like a cityscape dream. Exposed brick and high ceilings in the middle of downtown may sound enticing, but is it worth the money?
You may even be asking yourself, “What is a loft apartment?”
Read on to find out, and to discover some tips for when it comes to renting or buying a loft apartment.
What is a Loft Apartment?
According to this article by Edina Realty, lofts are “large, open, adaptable spaces that have been converted for residential use.”
They often have exposed fixtures, high ceilings, and natural light sources. Similar to studio apartments, they’re open spaces with minimal walls. They’re very easy to organize and make your own.
Lofts, however, are characteristically larger than studio apartments. They’re usually adapted industrial spaces that have been converted into apartment-sized spaces.
Studios are usually built for efficiency. Lofts are built for the character.
There are Pros
The charm that comes with them is a major pro.
Since they’re usually adapted from factory workspaces, there are plenty of exposed beams and brick walls—a major trend right now.
Furniture can be easily adapted to match this aesthetic, or you can put your own twist on decorating.
Apartments are not always known for the extra room they provide their dwellers, but loft apartments are. Loft apartments are often spacious and have high ceilings. They have open-concept layouts that allow room for plenty of distinct areas to be created.
It’s easy to customize specific areas of the space to match your lifestyle. You’re not confined to the layout that a typical apartment grants, nor are you confined to the limits they bring to decorating and organization.
Lofts allow room to grow if you’re just starting out. If you’re not, it’s easy to create separate spaces for kids to play, you to work, or pets to sleep.
Pets may even appreciate the open concept of your loft apartment. No doors mean no problems!
There are Cons
All that extra space may come with a heftier price tag.
The fact that they’re adapted from older work buildings may add charm, but they may also lack updated utilities. High ceilings and big windows also allow more natural elements into the loft depending on the time of year, and this can rack utility bills up as well.
They also lack a traditional storage space. This can be great if you’re looking to create custom storage solutions for your home. But this can also be a major con if you prefer apartments that have plenty of readily available storage solutions.
Loft buildings can also lack traditional apartment amenities that normal complexes may offer. The repurposed buildings make space for gyms, pools, and other communal spaces hard to come by, and many opt to leave them out altogether.
If you live with roommates, loft apartments definitely aren’t ideal. Separate, quiet spaces can be hard to create in such an open space. However, if you don’t mind the openness that a loft brings then this wouldn’t be a problem for you.
In Toronto, Be Mindful
According to an article by Toronto Storeys, not all lofts are genuine.
There are “hard lofts” and “soft lofts.”
Hard lofts are the thing we’ve been talking about throughout this entire article. Buildings that have been repurposed from manufacturing or industrial warehouses. They’re usually “what comes to mind when you picture an industrial loft.”
Soft lofts are recently built condominiums that seek to recreate the historical loft style. These buildings often “boast taller ceilings than the norm and at times feature exposed piping and vents,” but they lack the ingenuity that comes with a hard loft.
Both often come with condo fees, and some have monthly maintenance fees, which are both factors to take into consideration when creating your budget.
According to Toronto Storeys, most hard lofts stand below 15 stories. If you’re looking for an apartment with a view, this can cause problems.
However, if this isn’t on your list of must-haves, then it can work in your favour. Especially if you’re afraid of heights.
Having your heart set on a loft apartment may also limit your neighbourhood choices in Toronto.
According to Toronto Storeys, most loft apartments sit on the east and west ends of the city, often away from the convenience of living next to a subway line. They’re situated in old warehouse districts of the city, where industrial workers once had to commute away from the suburbs to work for the day.
Know How to Decorate Your Toronto Loft
Light blocking curtains can help regulate temperatures inside your apartment.
Using large, dramatic rugs and one-of-a-kind art pieces can help distinguish areas inside your home. A large rug underneath the couch by the television helps mark off the living room. A piece of art hung beside the dining room table marks the dining room.
Placing large bookshelves beside your bed, or blocking off an area of your loft apartment with room dividers helps create privacy for a bedroom.
Adding plants can bring life into an otherwise industrial space. Large mirrors and oversized pillows placed on the floor create vanity areas or just a place for children to sit and place in a comfortable space.
Now that we’ve answered, “What is a loft apartment?” it’s up to you to decide whether one is worth seeking out.
Whether you opt for a downtown loft, a house in the suburbs, or a newly-built apartment with all those amenities you’ve been seeking, we can help.