Interior trend: Urban loft living

Interior Trend: Urban LoftInspired by the warehouse conversion projects that swept New York City in the 1990s, urban loft-style apartments are now in demand all over the world. Similar urban regeneration programms have since taken place in cities across North America and Europe, creating numerous penthouses that are ideally suited to this decor. Recognising the appeal of a light, open space and capitalising on the loft conversion’s inherent association with young, fashionable professionals, this cosmopolitan architectural style has become increasingly in demand. Even if you don’t occupy the top floor of your building, you can still draw on the same innovative design elements when decorating your home.

The urban loft aesthetic masterfully combines industrial minimalism with modernist design. It’s a stripped-back look, with exposed brick walls, wooden floors and high, beamed ceilings all common features. However, this is tempered with a sense of opulence and comfort, represented by plush leather couches, wide beds and soft cushions.

Furniture that fits the urban loft style is often minimalist. Look for pieces that have clean lines and are made from industrial materials like glass, steel, and lacquer. The colour palette should be fairly muted, favouring shades of grey and brown. This loft in the centre of Antwerp contrasts the sharp edges of a glass and metal staircase with inviting wooden and leather chairs, with the lack of clutter serving to emphasise the open-plan layout and the large warehouse windows.

Choose one or two accent colours to add life and light to your space, using them sparingly to keep the aesthetic clean and simple. In this Central Antwerp penthouse, the bright red partition walls stand out in an otherwise neutral space, with the same effect replicated on a smaller scale by red flowers in the kitchen. You can use soft furnishings, ornaments or artwork to bring in colour, just remember to ensure that they never become the dominating influence in any room.

In addition to industrial materials, the urban loft style also relies heavily on natural materials such as stone and wood. Therefore, although one or two antique pieces can be used to good effect in bedrooms or kitchens, in general, it’s best to select minimalist furniture when possible. This loft in Antwerp exemplifies how wood can be integrated into a modern loft setting to create a sense of warmth. The floor-to-ceiling windows, typical of loft apartments, also help balance out the severity of the minimalist decor, so avoid covering these with curtains and embrace natural lighting.

Plants can be employed in a similar way, acting both as accent colours and as a gentle reminder of the natural world outside. Much of the decor in this central Antwerp penthouse is monochrome, but the healthy house plants and a bowl of green apples serve to balance and personalise the space, making it a welcoming home rather than a display of impeccable interior design.

If you’re considering purchasing a penthouse of your own to experience urban loft living either in your city or abroad, speak to Engel & Völkers. Our experienced real estate agents will be happy to introduce you to all the finest apartments in your chosen location, offering their expert advice and assistance throughout every step of the process. Furthermore you might want to take a look at our online shop Engel & Völkers Interiors for some exclusive accessories.

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