Minnesota Classics: Loft Living

Loft living is characterized by high ceilings, brick wall, and open floor plans.
Loft living is characterized by high ceilings, brick wall, and open floor plans.

Loft living is characterized by high ceilings and unfinished elements like exposed brick wall and concrete floors. Many of these buildings have a rich history as renovated warehouses. They at one time housed booming factories and sundry industries. The factories have widely disappeared, while an influx of commercial and residential development has helped to revitalize the buildings.

Many Minnesotans associate this architectural style with the Warehouse District and North Loop of Minneapolis, but as demand has remained for these open living spaces, they have expanded to “soft” lofts. These loft -like spaces are usually built as condominiums with high ceilings and modern amenities that are hidden behind the drywall.

Key Elements

  • Open, flexible space. Traditional “hard” lofts usually have a minimum of 1,600 square feet with few interior walls, allowing the floor plan to be custom-designed.
  • Exposed walls, air conditioning ducts, or fire sprinkler lines. The loft’s unfinished look pays homage to its roots in old industrial buildings.
  • High ceilings. Most “hard” lofts have ceilings that are 10 feet or higher.
  • Authentic 19th century materials. The use of concrete or hardwood floors, tin ceilings, brick or thick plaster walls is common.
  • Huge windows. Since old industrial buildings were built before the invention of electric lights, factory windows were expansive to let in as much daylight as possible.

Lofts offer the juxtaposition of modern elements and older raw, industrial materials. Lofts have seen the days of manufacturing, artistic inspiration as studios, and family dinners as metropolitan options for spacious living. These prime real estate options are perfect for the working person with a creative, bohemian soul at heart.

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