What Is a Loft Apartment?

When you think of a loft apartment it’s no doubt as the backdrop for a hip, urban lifestyle. A loft conjures up ideas of minimalism and […]
August 10, 2022
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When you think of a loft apartment it’s no doubt as the backdrop for a hip, urban lifestyle. A loft conjures up ideas of minimalism and industrial-style features, as well as high ceilings and a feeling of openness.

But what is a loft apartment?

You might be surprised to learn the specific characteristics that define a loft compared to a standard rental apartment.

Read on to learn more about the distinctions that make a home a loft.

We have included some useful tips and definitions for renters. You will also learn how to tailor your apartment search to find a loft.

Blueground offers fully-furnished, equipped and serviced apartments in some of the world's most sought after cities.

The characteristics of a loft apartment

In general, a loft has an open layout. Many – but not all! – have been converted from commercial or industrial space to housing stock.

Historically, lofts were defined by high ceilings. That makes sense, as the name is shorthand for “lofty ceiling.”

Nowadays, a loft apartment may or may not have a standard than a higher ceiling.

The key defining characteristic of a loft is a lack of walls between rooms.

an apartment with furniture

Here are some common characteristics of lofts.

  • Open-plan layout
  • High ceilings
  • Industrial fixtures
  • Concrete floors
  • Exposed brickwork
  • Exposed pipes

What is the difference between a loft and a standard rental apartment?

Many people wonder what distinguishes a loft from a standard apartment.

If an apartment has an open-plan layout, it is generally considered a loft, regardless of how many bedrooms there are.

Most lofts will have some of the features listed above, in addition to open layouts.

Another common difference between a loft and a standard rental apartment is the height of the ceilings. In most cases, a loft will have a high ceiling.

Loft apartments vs studios

Try this riddle on for size. Almost all studios are lofts, but not all lofts are studios.

A studio apartment is defined primarily by an open layout, after all.

Most studios have enclosed bathrooms but do not feature walls between the bedroom and living space, or the living space and the kitchen.

However, larger open-plan spaces are lofts without being studios. These homes have enough space to carve out room for several beds in addition to desks, tables, and sofas.

Open plan layouts let renters get creative about how to use their space, so it’s no wonder that most studios are lofts.

But remember – a studio will probably not have high ceilings like many lofts do.

Hard vs soft loft apartments

Another common question about lofts has to do with “soft” and “hard” loft apartments.

A hard loft has an industrial feel. Common features of a hard loft are concrete floors, exposed pipes, and industrial fixtures.

This is because this style of loft is generally found in converted buildings.

Many hard lofts have been transformed from commercial or industrial use into residential space.

If you are looking to create a minimalist, edgy decoration style in your home, a hard loft is an excellent fit for you.

a hard loft

A soft loft has the key characteristic of an open layout, but may not be an “authentic” loft.

Many soft lofts are traditional apartments that have been retrofitted with some of the aesthetic features of lofts.

For example, these spaces may have exposed brickwork. In other cases, landlords may knock down walls between the kitchen and the living area to create on open flow.

A soft loft can be a great compromise between a more industrial-style hard loft and a traditional-style rental.

The pros and cons of renting a loft

Lofts are undoubtedly cool. However, there are cons to a loft apartment as well as pros.

Here are some of the pros and cons of renting a loft apartment.

Pros

  • Open floor plans offer more flexibility for layout and design than traditional apartments
  • Industrial-style spaces are on-trend
  • Lofts can feel more spacious due to a lack of walls
  • High ceilings make lofts feel airy and bright

In general, a loft is a good fit for urban, design-conscious renters. However, there are some downsides to consider.

Cons

  • Hard lofts can be expensive to heat and cool. This is because the electric, water, and gas systems may have been designed for industrial use.
  • Open-plan, loft style apartments often lack closets and other storage spaces
  • High ceilings and exposed fixtures can make loft apartments noisier than standard apartments
  • Loft apartments – especially hard lofts – often lack amenities like gyms, roof decks, and lounges that are found in traditional residential housing stock

Depending on what you are looking for in a rental apartment, the cons of a loft flat may outweigh the advantages.

an open plan layout loft apartment

How to find a loft apartment

There is no single marketplace that specializes in loft apartments, but it’s easy to find one if you follow these simple tips.

Many apartment search websites have filtered searches for certain amenities.

Apartments.com lets renters search for lofts by checking a box under the Amenities tab on their website.

Similarly, when you search for an apartment on StreetEasy you can filter for loft apartments under the Unit Amenities menu.

Even if you are using a website that doesn’t have a lofts filter, you can still find lofts by doing a text search for them, or for terms like “open layout” or “open plan.”

Are you not quite sure whether a loft is right for you?

Renting a loft from a short-term housing provider like Blueground is a great way to test the waters. (We also have family-sized traditional apartments and pet-friendly accommodations.)

a raw loft style apartment

Forget a year-long lease!

When you opt for a flexible rental over a traditional apartment you can in your new home for exactly as long as you like.

Blueground has apartments in cities across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America. Many of our flexible-term rental apartments are lofts.

Whether you choose a loft or a more traditional layout, you can count on Blueground’s contemporary furnishings and high-end appliances to elevate your living experience.

The search for a rental apartment is never easy!

Now that you understand what a loft style apartment is you can make a more informed decision.

Whether you end up choosing a loft, a studio, or a standard apartment, a short-term rental puts you in the driver’s seat.

Finding the right apartment for you means doing your research. You also need to weigh the pros of a loft compared to the downsides.

Now you are ready to begin your housing search. Good luck!

Blueground offers fully-furnished, equipped and serviced apartments in some of the world's most sought after cities.

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