10 Decorating Strategies Every Loft Apartment Needs

High ceilings, signs of an industrial past, open spaces—a loft apartment has a lot to love. Play up those unique features with these decorating ideas

Joanna Linberg
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Reach for the Sky

When you’re blessed with soaring ceiling heights, squat furniture just won’t do. Stretch those showy design moments, like accent walls, to the ceiling and mimic the verticality with elongated accessories. Here, a lengthy floor mirror reaches far enough up to give this wall presence.

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Hang a Large Light Fixture

It’s difficult to choose a chandelier-style light fixture that’s too big for a loft. That airy volume begs for something to fill the space. Not only does a large fixture make practical sense—spreading atmospheric light to all corners—it’s practically hanging sculpture, drawing the eye up through the room. This stunner stretches four feet. Go ahead, get two.

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Divvy up Space

A screen or room divider neatly carves out portions of the loft for specific uses—a dressing area, or home office, for example—or it can be used to hide AV equipment, the dog bowl, and anything else that’s better off out of sight.

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Consider the Ceiling

Is the ductwork a statement or just…ductwork? If it’s the latter, paint it all—beams, pipes, ductwork, and anything else up there—in charcoal or black in an eggshell finish (a glossy finish will catch light and draw attention to itself). The hard-working infrastructure will recede from view and put the focus back where you want it.

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Get Strategic with the Sofa

A sofa that looks good from all sides encourages you to pull it away from the wall—a necessity for defining the living area when interior walls aren’t often in place. This curvy number has no bad angles and separates out into three standalone pieces for more intimate seating.

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Soften Edges with a Tapestry

Industrial features like concrete floors, brick walls, metal window casings, and visible pipes lend distinctive character to a loft apartment, but they’re also all hard surfaces. Soften them in an unexpected way by hanging a tapestry. The drape and texture offers a pleasing contrast to rough-and-tumble finishes.

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Denote “Rooms” with Rugs

Large rugs serve two purposes in a loft: delineating where one “room” starts and stops, and cozying up ubiquitous concrete floors. The key is in choosing one that jells with everything in the open space—neutrals are a no-fail choice, and go-with-anything denim is another.

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Cover Walls with a Mural

Large expanses of drywall are the perfect place for murals. We’re not talking about Renaissance-era tableaus with flying cherubs (though if that’s your thing, work it). Today’s murals come in every style from floral to landscape to abstract—just search Etsy to be inspired—and are often sold as digital files so you can size them to a precise fit.

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Swing Big

Those support beams aren’t just for show. Suspend a hanging chair from them and gain a talking point and some savvy seating. This is especially great for turning a loft’s barren corner into a design moment.

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Add Dimension with a Sculpture

Fewer walls give lofts a spacious quality but can also leave you with empty areas that feel pointless or boring. Place a sculpture there and suddenly what was once just a pass-through feels striking and important.