Loft apartment: buying, renting and living – how old factories become luxurious apartments

Loft apartment – If you are looking for an apartment or want to find out about the market, you will come across a number of terms: loft apartment, attic apartment, maisonette and many more. Here we would like to answer the following question: What exactly is a loft? During the 40’s lofts first appeared in large cities such as New York. This involved converting old warehouses and factories into living space in order to live inexpensively. This definition has nothing to do with what a loft means today. Nowadays lofts are highly sought after, exclusive and very expensive. Nowadays, old industrial buildings continue to be converted, but new buildings are also being built in the loft style. If you want to know more about the advantages and disadvantages or tips about this type of architecture, then you are at the right place.

Loft apartment: What actually is a loft?

A loft apartment has its own unique charm. Knowing that this was an old industrial building makes you appreciate the historical background of the building even more. Not sure if this type of apartment is right for you? Here you can find out the most important facts and features of a loft and decide if it suits you.

Tip! Are you about to buy your first own apartment? Then take a look at our comprehensive article on the subject of buying an apartment. Here, topics such as the process, costs or advantages and disadvantages of buying an apartment are explained.

Are you looking for the right apartment? Here you’ll find definitions, meanings and lots of information on penthouses, granny flats, apartments & co.: Apartment types from A-Z

Important features of a loft: walls and floors with character

First of all, you should know by now that lofts were created from old industrial buildings. In most cases, the loft is not on the ground, offers one to two floors and is a large open space. Typical features are for example floors and ceilings made of concrete, as well as brick or unplastered walls, which already give character to the initially empty space. It is also not uncommon to see openly laid pipes. Imagine a loft like a blank sheet of paper, which you can design and convert as you wish.

Room layout: one room with many possibilities

Because lofts are former factory premises, there is usually only one large and spacious room, rather than several small ones. In addition, this type of construction offers very high ceilings and large window fronts. So you always have plenty of daylight to fill the large space, which makes your apartment feel open and friendly. You also have the possibility to arrange the rooms yourself and to furnish your loft according to your wishes and needs. For example, use high cupboards or shelves to create a specific room layout. This type of architecture offers you the chance to live out your creativity.

Advantages & disadvantages of a loft: free space, flooded with light etc.

Before deciding to buy or rent an apartment, you should find out about the particular type of apartment and consider for yourself whether you could live in it. Especially a loft apartment offers many advantages, but also some disadvantages. For sure, this type of architecture is not for everyone and for that we have compiled a list of the most important facts about lofts for you. Get smart and see for yourself if you could imagine living in such an apartment.

Advantages: a lot of freedom and opportunity for development

Lots of free space and an open ambience. These are probably the biggest advantages of a loft apartment. Especially for young adults, this can be the perfect place to live. It’s not uncommon to create a combination of work and personal life by dividing your apartment accordingly. So, you would have the option of designing your loft in such a way that you demarcate one private area and receive business partners or clients in the other. Due to the extravagant ambience and the charm of the listed building, you can create the perfect space for a variety of purposes. Be creative, flexible and have the possibility to design your loft according to your requirements.

  • Very much free space
  • Extravagant ambience, flexible design
  • Historical background, mostly listed buildings
  • Combination of professional and private life

Disadvantages: high price, a lot of gathering and little privacy

Despite the many advantages and the free space that you get in a loft, there are also some disadvantages that you have to consider. For example, you have to consider that many lofts are already very old and unkempt and therefore in need of renovation. If this is not the case and they are in top condition, the price is usually very high. In addition, one should take into account that there may be high additional costs. Since this type of construction usually only has one large room with high walls, it takes a long time to heat it and the brick walls make the apartment less insulated. Finally, you must always take into account that especially if you do not live alone, retreat and privacy is rather difficult.

  • High prices or in need of renovation
  • High ancillary costs, difficult to heat
  • Little retreat, no privacy

Source: Loft apartment (

Loft Apartment: For whom is a loft suitable?

Loft apartments, while usually highly sought after, are certainly not for everyone. By being a large, open space, there is little room to retreat, which could be difficult if you have a family of several. Still, this type of architecture would suit a variety of people. We’ve listed a few groups here that would certainly think highly of the extravagant ambiance and could do a lot with it.

Company – space for exchange

You don’t have to use a loft just as a living space. During the last years it has become more and more attractive for companies to rent a loft apartment as office space. You have the possibility to work in an open atmosphere and to live out your creativity. There is less and less emphasis on a sterile, segregated office atmosphere, but rather the focus is on collaboration and, above all, quick exchange. The building structure of a loft also offers charm and is modern, which is particularly in demand with young companies or start-ups.

Yuppies – young, successful adults

Especially for singles or single people a loft is perfect. The target group here is young, successful adults who can afford this kind of apartment. If you have this option, everything is open to you with this type of construction. You have the possibility to give free rein to your creativity, you can create and design rooms and live freely. Since you live alone, you don’t need a specific retreat and even if you receive visitors, the atmosphere is open and friendly due to the architecture. It is also very popular to combine the professional with the private space, for example by changing your furnishings to create a place for customers or business partners.

Seniors – functional and creative

Lofts would also be ideal for retirees to live in. Because there is only one large room, it is at ground level and there are no stairs. So it is extremely practical, because you can reach every room quickly and everything is designed barrier-free. In addition, the large, free space also offers space for new hobbies, as you can give free rein to your creativity and so, in his later years well passes the time.

What you should consider before buying/renting a loft space

Especially with older buildings, you should do thorough research before buying or renting. Something unexpected could always come up and to avoid that, you have to consider a few things. We took the trouble for you and did some research. Here you will find the most important points that you should consider before buying.

In addition to the location and condition of the property, factors such as the process or costs must also be clarified before the purchase. You can find more information on this in our article on the subject of buying an apartment.

Surroundings & location – no city centre, but outskirts of town

You should definitely find out beforehand where your loft apartment is and whether the infrastructure is sufficient for your needs. The old warehouse or industrial buildings are usually not located in the city center, but rather on the outskirts in industrial areas. Of course, it’s not uncommon that trains or buses don’t run every hour. So think about whether such a location would be suitable for you and whether you need to be connected to public transport. If you have a car, you will usually have no problem finding a parking space or getting to the motorway quickly.

Need for renovation – you have to get creative

Another important point is to check the need for renovation of your loft. As you already know, it’s not uncommon for old industrial buildings to be run down and unkempt. Therefore, we recommend you to consult an expert to avoid unnecessary costs. Have the apartment inspected beforehand and compile a list of the costs still to be incurred. Then you can decide for yourself whether the purchase plus the renovation fit into your budget. With the right planning, nothing can go wrong.

You should also look at the walls and insulation. Most lofts have brick walls, which are not well insulated. This is also an important point to avoid higher utility costs. So check this and make the necessary improvements.

How do you furnish a loft? Tips for furnishing & Co.

When you choose a loft, there are no limits to your creativity. Mix between modern and vintage and design your space as you see fit. Take advantage of the generous daylight that is given to you due to the window fronts. Create your own room layout with cabinets, shelves or curtains and keep the charm of the old building by highlighting certain industrial elements. Use your freedom and go wild. Feel free to check out our interior items from Rolf Benz or B&B Italia. The furniture would fit perfectly in a loft.

Tips for the perfect interior

Who wants to furnish his new apartment perfectly, it is not always easy. Who the furnishings and decorating was not laid in the cradle often needs a few tips and inspiration to implement his dreams of living. Here you will find some helpful tips that can help to create a cozy interior and atmosphere.

Tip! All trendy styles such as Skandi style, retro look, industrial style and much more can be found in our comprehensive overview: Furnishing styles XXL.

  • Modern, vintage interior or style mix
  • Use the daylight
  • Create your own room layout
  • Highlight industrial elements