Loft style in the interior

Андрей Прокопенко



Although the history of its creation dates back 100 years, loft style stays relevant today. It first appeared in the 20s of the XX century in America, when, during the Great Depression, the owners of large factories were forced to leave their premises.

Rent became unaffordable, and buildings in the city center were sold for next to nothing. They were inhabited by ordinary workers and bohemia: artists, poets, actors. Creative people gave the former factory workshops a certain charm with the help of various techniques and peculiar details. And over time, loft style took its roots, and popularity from the U.S. to Europe.

What is loft style in the interior?

Loft style (“loft”, “industrial-urban”) is a kind of direction in interior design that follows the concept of “more space and fresh air — less partitions.” The main thing about loft, is that the room looks like a factory shop, from which the machines were taken out just yesterday: shabby walls, bare brickwork, collapsed plaster, uneven concrete surfaces. But at the same time, it is quite comfortable and homey, often equipped with the latest technology. 

There are three main directions in loft style:

  1. Bohemian. This is the same abandoned factory of the 20-40s, but with expensive furniture and antiques. Furniture for the bohemian loft is made with aged leather. The room is decorated with antique musical instruments and sculptures, avant-garde paintings, and old posters. 
  2. Glamorous. The design has a greater bias towards modernity and is known for bold combinations of color. In addition to neutral whites, grays, and browns, purple, blue, emerald, neon, bright red are used here. The interior skillfully combines antique furniture with technology and elements of high-tech. A lot of green plants in pots are present.
  3. Industrial. The most ‘hard’ version of loft styles, also called the ‘hard loft’. It has the following distinctive features: open ventilation pipes, wiring and plumbing communications, walls without finishing, a ceiling with metal or concrete trusses, minimum of decor, simple furniture, and a lack of bright accents.

Main characteristics of the loft style

The loft interior is easily identified by the following distinctive features: 

  1. Open floor plan. Walls are demolished where possible. Only a toilet, closet, and utility rooms are located separately, sometimes – a bedroom. Space is zoned out with the help of shelving, color schemes, lighting, furniture, modular glass partitions.
  2. Factory windows. It is preferable for them to be large, rectangular, or arched with thin bindings. Heavy drapes and curtains are not welcome on the windows. 
  3. Lack of finishing. On the walls, ceilings, and other surfaces, the finish is still present but creates the effect of its absence or carelessness. You can use brickwork or bare concrete without plaster, peeling paint, or worn metal surfaces.
  4. Exposed communications. All wires and pipes are deliberately exposed. Sometimes the room is decorated with faux wiring, if the real one is hidden in the walls.
  5. High ceilings. The ceilings usually reach three or more meters, like in real factory workshops. Often, a second level is organized to create a sleeping place or working area.
  6. Non-standard elements of decor. Rooms in the loft style are decorated with graffiti, posters, iron barrels and metal structures, vinyl records, suitcases, road signs, hammocks, lamps of unusual shapes. 
  7. Dull colors. In addition to the traditional white, the interior has faded dim shades of brown, blue, gray, black. For bright accents, there are juicy blue, green, red, and terracotta.
  8. Natural materials. When creating interiors in loft style, use aluminum, steel, raw wood, glass, stone. Brick and concrete are generally the basis for an “industrial” repair. 

Advantages and disadvantages of loft style in the interior


  1. Creativity and individuality. The style is characterized by unconventional solutions, creates an unusual atmosphere, and emphasizes the unconventionality of the homeowner. 
  2. Spaciousness and light. Open layouts, high ceilings, and large windows without curtains fill the space with light and air.
  3. Functionality. You can use a room decorated in industrial style for personal dwelling, renting out, holding events and photo shoots, or as a creative studio.
  4. The possibility of using non-standard materials and decor. All your “unique finds” will organically fit into the interior: antique grandmother’s furniture, ultramodern lamps, and even wooden pallets from the nearest construction site.


  1. Coldness and lack of coziness. The interior in loft style may not seem too attractive because of the minimalist decor and shabby walls. And due to the large area of the room, it is very hard to warm up to a comfortable temperature in the winter.
  2. Lack of privacy. Open floor plans and a lack of separate rooms for each family member can create problems with privacy and comfort.
  3. Expensive. Despite the visual simplicity, the repairs often use natural and exclusive materials, as well as costly decorative elements.

Bedroom in loft style: key elements of design

The bedroom can be separated from the main room by glass partitions or screens and is often combined with a bathroom.

In the bedroom, there is no room for unnecessary details; it carries a functional bed with storage systems, a bedside table, and an armchair. For personal belongings, a capacious closet is built into a niche.

To make a room cozy, you can use the following techniques:

  1. Acquire a carpet with a soft pile. After waking up, it is not too pleasant to walk on a bare wooden or concrete floor, the carpet will protect your feet from the cold, even on a frosty winter morning.
  2. On the windows, hang roller blinds or airy curtains. They will protect you from bright sunlight or prying eyes.
  3. Hang a large mirror. It reflects light and visually expands the space. 
  4. Add decorative elements. For the bedroom not to look gray and impersonal, one can add arranged vases, lay out motley pillows, hang paintings, install lights and table lamps. A functioning fireplace can be a really nice addition as well.

Loft-style living room: how to create a cozy space

In the loft-style living room, leave as much free space as possible. The ceilings in this room should be high and the windows large. A good solution will be to organize a two-light space when there are no ceilings between two floors. Beams, trusses, metal profiles, and intertwining chains under the ceiling will give the room an additional charm. 

For the furniture in the room, use:

  • a sofa with leather or textile upholstery;
  • a coffee table made of wood, glass, metal, or concrete;
  • low and long or high and narrow shelf on which to install flowers, books, figurines. 

For the rest of the area, arrange a pouf, a bean chair, some elements of decor: a bicycle, an iron barrel, a large vase, a floor lamp with a metal lampshade. On the floor, you can put a small, lint-free rug. Don’t go overboard with soft furniture or fluffy carpets, otherwise, the “loft” of the room will lose its charm. 

When choosing a chandelier for the living room, opt for a high-tech style of glass and metal, with a simple “factory” iron shade and a fan. A bulb with no lampshade at all will be an interesting choice as well.

Loft-style kitchen: functionality and design

Loft kitchen is always equipped with modern built-in stoves, coffee machines, and dishwashers. A frontispiece can be made of glass and metal to add a bit of high-tech, or it can be made of aged wood. Preference is given to antique wooden or metal tables and chairs. Antique furniture, as well as decor in the form of hanging metal dishes and glasses, gives the room its zest.

It is important to install a powerful kitchen hood, as the dining area is not separated from the living room and other dwelling areas.

Much attention is paid to the lighting of the kitchen space, it should be bright. Therefore, the room is full of spotlights, with 3 or 4 pendant lamps above the work surface.

Choosing furniture for a loft-style apartment

Popular loft-style furniture that can be used to furnish an “industrial” dwelling:

  • sofa with aged leather or dense textile upholstery, even options with velvet trim are allowed;
  • cocoon chairs, bean bag chairs;
  • tables, sofas, and shelves made of wooden pallets;
  • storage racks with wood or metal shelves;
  • open storage systems;
  • metal-framed beds;
  • unfinished wood table tops;
  • roughly chopped tables.

The highlights of loft style furniture include chips, scuffs, cracks, and other signs of wear and tear.

Industrial accents in loft style

Key elements that enhance the aesthetics of industrial spaces include:

  • raw brick and concrete walls;
  • exposed ceiling beams, wiring, corrugations, and pipes;
  • industrial decorative elements: tools, machinery, warning signs, wooden shields and crates, iron barrels;
  • bare lamps of standard or unusual shapes, hanging from the ceiling;
  • rough metal or concrete stairs, leading to the second level;
  • rectangular windows with thin bindings, as if in factories and mills;
  • a working fireplace or a potbelly stove.

Examples of houses in the Loft style

Houses in the loft style attract attention for their unconventional interiors and architecture. They have their own characteristic features:

  • flat or single-pitched roof, as well as in the form of a mansard;
  • panoramic windows, sliding glass doors;
  • unplastered brick walls;
  • high ceilings on both the first and second floors;
  • open floor plan;
  • absence of rounded shapes.

Loft style in photos

Update Date:13.06.2024



Author of the article

Andrew Prokopenko
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Update Date: 13.06.2024

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