Turning a Loft into a Living Room

Lofts are one of the best ways to add living space to your home. These spaces have incredible flexibility with it comes to its design aesthetic and function. Ranging from bedroom lofts to home library designs, loft space ideas cover a wide range of possibilities.
Optimized-loft conversion basics
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Loft Conversion Basics

Lofts vs. Additions The most common way homeowners add living space to their homes is by building a brand new addition. While this may be standard, there are several reasons a loft may be a better solution for your home. The most obvious difference is one is exterior construction and the other is an interior project. An addition to your home will require you to break ground and lay a new foundation outside of the existing structure. Building or renovating a loft will be a completely indoor project. If you already have a loft, it will be a renovation. Even if you decide to build a new loft, it’s a matter of adding things to the interior of your home. With the difference between an addition and a loft comes lots of differences in the project. The largest consideration is the difference in cost. Your loft will be considerably cheaper than a full addition because of the simplicity of the project. By building a loft, you take out all of the extra steps of breaking ground and pouring a foundation. The base structure of the surrounding room is already in place. With a smaller budget comes a simpler project and a shorter timeline. This smaller scale project gives you the same result of a brand new living space. You are able to use and enjoy your space much quicker than if you were to build a completely new section of the house. An addition will also require several more permits. It’s altering the exterior of your home and will therefore be subject to more regulations laid out by your local municipality. If you live in a community with a Homeowner’s Association, you will also have to clear any major construction projects with them. Cost of a Living Room Loft The cost of a loft conversion will depend on the size of your project and whether or not you plan on hiring a contractor. The starting cost for a loft renovation is around $1,000. A few different aspects can raise or lower your price. One way to keep your budget as low as possible is to treat this is a DIY project rather than hire a contractor. While this is a great option if you’re confident in your DIY abilities or it’s a simple floor installation, building a brand new loft and installing windows will require the help of a contractor. Optimized-Converting the Loft

Converting the Loft

After the budgeting and planning is complete, you can start the actual conversion or building of your loft. Depending upon your space before the conversion, this can be a very simple process. If you plan on building a completely new living room loft, these are some of the most important considerations to take into account. Railings & Walls The most important part of building a new loft space in your home is making sure that it’s safe for you and your family to use. Installing a barrier between your loft and the floor below adds a unique design element creates a safer environment. You can choose to completely close off your space with a full wall. This is more common in bedroom designs as it provides more privacy. An open railing design is much more common in general living spaces. Loft railing has a wide range of flexibility in materials and design styles. One popular design to incorporate into your new loft is to have matching railing at the face of your loft and on your loft stair. This can be ornate forged iron scroll railing or chic and modern cable railing. As minimalist design styles become more popular in residential spaces, glass half walls are used to give the security of the closed in space while keeping it seamless and undetectable. It allows the maximum amount of light to pass through your loft space and down to your main living area. This helps your home to feel bigger and highlight the high ceilings. For the other three walls of your loft, they are just as flexible as your railing. Depending on the design aesthetic of the rest of your house, you can choose to keep it consistent in your loft design or treat this extra space as a canvas for creativity. Accent walls are popular in lofts because of their dynamic designs. Using wall treatments rather than paint is a great way to make the most of your new space. Ship lap has becoming increasingly popular. It’s a simply DIY project for any wall in your home and adds a unique rustic charm. You can use reclaimed wood or pick up a set from your local home improvement store. Optimized-IMG_7484And2moreEnhancer Stairs Whether you are building a brand new loft or renovating an existing structure, you are going to need a safe way to access your loft. Your chosen stair design needs to hold up to heavy foot traffic and not take away the extra space that you created with the loft. Loft ladders are popular designs because of their virtually nonexistent footprint. There’s a large range of prices and design aesthetics available to fit every homeowner’s needs. If you can’t find the right design already made for you, it’s an easy DIY project because of its simple frame. Ladders also have the benefit of mobility. They can be moved out of the way when not in use and to other parts of the house as you need them. However, there are quite a few drawbacks to loft ladder designs. All of their benefits, the small footprint and mobility, tend to make the design unstable. If you choose to bolt the ladder to the wall to secure it, the minimal frame still proves to be some risk. The small rungs aren’t meant for heavy foot traffic and regular use. If you’ve created a beautiful space in your loft, you want to be able to enjoy it without too much hassle. Traditional stairs are another loft stair option. They are the most common stair design found in homes. The frames extend out in a large rectangle from the entrance point and features full steps and handrails. Traditional stairs are the exact opposite of a loft ladder when it comes to the benefits and drawbacks. There is no question about the stability of a traditional stair, but it takes up a very large space in your home. The large footprint takes up a lot of the space that you had created by building a loft in your home. Spiral stairs are the perfect answer to both of these designs problems. With spiral staircases becoming more popular is residential spaces, more homeowners are finding that they fill their design needs. Because the spiral design builds on top of itself, a spiral stairs footprint is kept to a small circle in the corner of your home. It maximizes the amount of space available underneath your loft. Spiral staircases also feature full steps like those you would find on a traditional staircase. It keeps these stable and safe steps in a small footprint, like that of a ladder. Spiral staircases are flexible in both design and access points. Because it requires so little space, you have the flexibility of accessing your loft from almost any point, whether it’s through a hole in the floor or at the face of the loft. The design is also completely customizable with the base designs of a Classic Steel, Forged Iron, or All Wood spiral stair. Windows Natural light can elevate any home design style, particularly in the unique space of a loft living room. Turning your loft into a living room creates a dynamic design in your home. The right windows and natural light can help enhance your overall home design. Skylights are a popular option for lofts with slanted ceilings. Not only do they provide a little extra head room, they also add visual interest to your loft’s ceiling. The natural light comes into the space at an angle and fills the space more efficiently than a standard window. If your loft is below another room and you cannot install skylights, Dormer windows are another popular window option. These windows extend out from the home and create small nooks in your loft that adds to the overall square footage. These little space are the perfect place for a small side table or a storage bench. Floors Most living room lofts typically start with an all wood frame and you can build on top of it. There are several ways to finish the floors when turning your loft into a living room. The easiest flooring option for a living room loft is the finish the wood frame and keep the hardwood floors. This cuts down on your project time by keeping the original floor in place. You simple need to finish the wood flooring planks. Area rugs can be used throughout the space for a softer surface. You can also choose to install carpet in your living room loft to give it a cozier feel. However, you will have to install subflooring and the carpet which can take a little longer than finishing the wooden planks. This will also make your floor a little thicker. Keep this in mind when you’re planning other aspects of your loft design, like your railing and loft stairs.
decorating your loft
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Decorating your Living Room Loft

Once you’re done building or renovating the space, adding décor is the last step of turning your loft into a living room. Because lofts are typically a smaller space, you want home décor that will maximize your space. Built in pieces are a great way to use all of your wall space without taking up too much of your square footage. Entertainment cents are the perfect piece to incorporate as a built in focal point in your new living room. A main console with bookshelves on either side provides storage and a one of a kind piece. For the built in look without the built in cost, use the budget friendly home décor material that is crown molding. By attaching it to the top of your entertainment center or shelving units, you can add height and create a one of a kind piece for your new loft. Lots of comfortable seating is an important part of any living room design, whether it’s a traditional room or a loft. Sectionals are a great way to provide a lot of seating without taking up your entire space. This may seem counterintuitive, but one larger piece of furniture anchors the room and helps it to feel larger rather than several smaller pieces. To truly make the most of your loft, multifunctional furniture is the perfect solution. Combining seating options with storage creates space in your home. Storage benches and ottomans can be used as seating when needed, but they also free up space in other places that would otherwise be housing storage. Put the finishing touches on your living room loft with the addition of smaller accent pieces, like light fixtures and coffee tables. These can define the design style you’re looking to use in your space. A clean and simple light fixture paired with a clear acrylic coffee table creates a minimalist space, while a reclaimed wood coffee table creates a rustic style room. Turning your loft into a living room is a great way to add to the general living space in your home. You are able to add lots of value to your home without the high cost of a full addition. This second living room is the perfect solution for families with lots of different interests as well. Everyone can have their own space. If you want to start your project by replacing an old loft ladder, call one of our consultative designers to start designing your spiral stair today.

Turning a Loft into a Library

When you think of large expensive houses, you probably see a den or home library tucked somewhere into the floor plan. However, these elegant designs aren’t limited to large mansions. This extra space is the perfect place to put a bonus room that you may not otherwise have room for. Turning a loft into a library is a great addition to any home that adds value and enhances your home’s overall design. Whether you decide to use it as an extensions of a current home office or use the loft as a separate area, you’ll find value in the space.

Table of Contents

Library Loft Railings & Walls Accessing Your Library Loft Library Loft Wow Factors Library Loft Bookshelves Library Loft Furniture

Building Your Library Loft

The actual renovation process is similar to turning a loft into a home office. You want the focus to be on the function of the room and keep the small space open and use the right staircase to maximize your space. However, they differ in the materials used and the actual design of your space, such as the walls and different wow factors you can incorporate into your design. Optimized-library loft railings & walls Railings & Walls The most important renovation step when turning your loft into a library is to close off the space to ensure the safety of anyone using the space. This can either be done by using a solid wall or an open railing at the face of the loft. Open railings are often a better fit for small spaces because they keep the loft open and feeling larger. For an added design element, you can match your loft railing to the staircase railing that leads up to the loft. This creates a cohesive and one of a kind design. For the other three walls of your library loft, you have some flexibility. You may want to simply have wall to wall bookshelves that won’t allow for much, if any at all, extra design. If you have open spaces on the wall, there are plenty of unique designs that you can use. Using wood in your wall treatments helps the space to feel warm and adds elegance that’s reminiscent of historic homes and their dens. If you want a library that features dark rich tones, use dark stains that can help you achieve the warm look. There are several different designs readily available for your wood paneling. If you can’t find wood panels with the right color story, you can always stain them. Using red undertones will create a warm color scheme and add to the luxurious nature of a home library that most homeowner’s are looking for. If you want a more budget friendly home décor solution to your wood paneling, crown molding can help you achieve the expensive look for a low cost. Install your crown molding in the middle of your wall to create a built in paneling effect. You can either keep it standard with an even line around the room for a chair rail or use the molding to create more ornate designs and panels. Your walls and panels aren’t limited to wood stains either. If you want add some color to your library loft, you can either paint a standard wall, or paint over the newly installed panels. This can help create visual interest on your walls without the space becoming too busy. The same rich tones can be applied in paint colors as well. Jewel tones, such as deep blues and purples, can help promote an intellectual mood and round out the opulent feeling of a home library. Deep forest green is another popular wall color option when you’re turning your loft into a library. It’s calming and gives the room a peaceful mood. Even though these dark and lavish designs are most common for home libraries, you can apply minimalist design aesthetics to the space as well. Use bright and clean colors for your walls, such as whites and light greys. You don’t have to give up any wood paneling for these light and airy spaces. Choose wood panels that are light in color or lean towards light stains. You can also paint over them, just like you did with the darker paints in the other design styles. Optimized-1 CB Accessing Your Loft Any loft renovation is going to require you to look at your means of access. If you’re turning your loft into a library, you want a safe and stable loft stair design that will allow you to carry books and boxes from one level to the next. There are three major designs that are usually considered in loft renovations. Traditional staircases are the first thought that any homeowner has when they need a new means of access. They are the most common stair design in homes and usually have no problems with safety and stability. You can easily carry things up and down them. However, the design also comes with a very large footprint, meaning it will take up a lot of room in your floorplan. If you decided to use your loft as a library to not take away from your main living space, a traditional staircase can eliminate some of the extra square footage that you created. Loft ladders are popular in library lofts. They are reminiscent of old libraries that used them to reach the high shelves and keeps with the theme of a classic reading room. However, in a home library, it may not be the safest option. While they have a small footprint that you won’t find with a traditional staircase, they also give up some of the stability of a full staircase. Ladders are usually not an ideal choice for frequent use. Another drawback to this minimal design is the fact that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to carry things to and from your new library loft. A happy medium between the stability of a traditional staircase and the small footprint of a ladder is a spiral staircase. Spiral stairs feature full steps and a structurally sound frame without the large rectangular footprint of a traditional stair. The spiral design means that the stair builds on top of itself and keeps the footprint to a small circle in your floorplan. A spiral stair design is highly customizable with three different product lines at the base: Classic Steel, Forged Iron, and All Wood. Classic Steel spiral stairs often feature simple designs that complement existing spaces. Forged Iron spiral stairs are known for their ornate details in the spindles and handrail caps. Both of these metal frames can be paired with wood treads and handrails to create a classic library design. The All Wood spiral stair is a great option for those looking for a truly traditional library design. We have a wide range of wood species available to fit your home library design.
Optimized-library loft wow factors
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Wow Factors As if turning your loft into a library wasn’t enough of a wow factor in your home design, you can incorporate some design elements to truly amaze your guests and take your home library design to the next level. One of the easiest ways to add an extra element to your home design is to take the same idea of paneling your walls and apply it to your ceiling. Most lofts have high ceilings, making it possible to build a loft. Take advantage of these unique architectural features by incorporating design elements into the ceiling as well. Fireplaces are another cozy addition to a home library. It brings a literal warmth to your newly renovated loft. Just like wood paneling, they are commonly found in old historical homes and their personal libraries. For a truly awe inspiring home design, consider installing a multilevel window. The window base starts on the bottom floor of your home and extends up through to the top of your loft. This accentuates the high ceilings that are necessary for a library loft.

Decorating Your Library Loft

Once the space is created, the real fun is furnishing your new home library. With so many design styles available, you can create a one of a kind space in your newly renovated loft.
Optimized-library loft book shelves
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Bookshelves An entire section dedicated to designing your bookshelves may seem a bit much, but they’re the keys to turning your loft into a library. Without the right bookshelves filling your space, you’ll simply have a seating area in your loft. There are plenty of unique designs of bookshelves that fit into different design styles. The have a large range in materials, costs, and even DIY projects. Most traditional bookshelves are made from wood that you can either buy pretreated or stain them to match your home library’s design. Other modern or minimalist designs may consist of both metal and all wood frames and have open grid like frame. The clean lines and geometric shapes are defining features of minimalist designs. These can be painted to match your wall colors to blend seamlessly with the room. One of the most classic ways to use bookshelves in your home library design is to install built in shelving units. While these are gorgeous, they can quickly become expensive. The floor to ceiling units, especially all wood designs, are usually custom made meaning a high price. However, you can create the look of a built in by using crown molding. Installing crown molding at the top of your bookshelves fills the gap between the top of your bookshelf and the ceiling. Stain or paint the molding to match the walls and bookshelves and you’ve made faux built in shelving units. Once your bookshelves are in place, you then have the task of organizing your books and trinkets on the shelves. While you may want to keep it eclectic and mix different book styles and genres together throughout the shelves, it’s becoming quite trendy to have grouped items on your bookshelves. A popular way to group your books and other items is by color. This particular type of organization is perfect for minimalist style home library designs that are looking for small pops of color.
Optimized-library loft furniture
Photo by: One Kin Design
Furniture If you have a good book, you’ll want a comfortable place to sit and read while you enjoy your new library loft. Overstuffed armchairs are commonplace in bookshops and cafes because they give readers comfort while they’re lost in their books. Mismatched chairs paired with small side tables gives your library loft the eclectic style that many old reading rooms have. Jewel tone fabrics paired with a quilted chair or couch back creates elegant pieces that pair well with rich wood tones. Another popular material choice is dark leather. The richness in the color of the leather is the perfect complement to warm undertones in dark wood stains. It also pairs well with the quilted back and adds a touch of luxury to your home library. This can be a single arm chair and ottoman or a full couch design. The addition of a large wooden desk can also take you’re your library design to the next level. Match the wood tones to the ones you’ve used in your wall panels and bookshelves to create a cohesive design that takes you into a classic den design. The last piece that will help define your home library design is your light fixtures. Many homeowners decide to incorporate small table lamps for a cozier feel. They incorporate jewel tone accents in the glass of the lamp and place them on desks and side tables throughout the space. For another more extravagant design, you can incorporate a chandelier or hanging pendant lights. Turning a loft into a library is a great way to make the most of your extra space and add value to your home. You can incorporate unique pieces in every step of the renovation process. If a custom spiral staircase fits into your loft space ideas, call one of our consultative designers to start your project!

Turn Your Garage into an Apartment

As homes grow smaller, families are getting larger. With in-law suites becoming a popular feature in new homes and children moving back home after college, the need for more bedrooms is becoming a common problem. Other homeowners may want another source of income and have unused space. If family members are moving in, it gives them their own space while staying close. If you plan to rent out the space, it’s separated from the main house and gives the tenant and you both privacy.
Optimized-planning garage apartment
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Planning

You may want to jump straight into your conversion, but planning is a necessary step when it comes to any home renovation. Without the proper considerations, your project can quickly become more complicated than you originally thought. We outlined the three biggest things to think about when planning a garage conversion. Attached vs. Detached Garages Many homeowners go back and forth about the benefits and drawbacks of attached and detached garages. While they have the same basic shape, the plans for your garage will develop very differently. Attached garages are more commonly found in areas that have all four seasons or have a lot of rain. It keeps the homeowner from having to walk outside in poor weather. When looking to turn you garage loft into an apartment, an attached garage may be easier. Because it’s considered part of the main house, it’s not going to require extensive rewiring or plumbing to bring it up to a livable standard. This may also mean a cheaper renovation. Detached garages are popular in regions that have moderate to warm climates all year around. It creates more of a standalone living space. Keeping the garage detached from the house is a better option for homeowners who are looking to rent out their garage apartment for extra income. Create a Floorplan The right floorplan will help you maximize square footage and still create a comfortable living space. When building a garage loft apartment, you’ll have less available square footage than you would have in a full house renovation. This simply means you’ll have to be a little more creative when it comes to your apartment’s layout. One of the most popular ways to maximize your loft style home is to utilize an open floorplan. Not only will this highlight unique architectural elements, but it also eliminates interior walls that take up space. The openness makes can make your loft feel much larger than it actually is. Building Code & Permits When deciding to pursue any kind of construction or alterations to a current structure, you will need to visit your local municipality to ensure that everything in the project is safe and legal. Bring the full plans for your new loft apartment so they know the full extent of your project. This ensure that you are completely covered and won’t have surprise fines later. Not only does your proposed renovation need to meet local standards, but you will also want to design the apartment to meet building code. Building code consists of a large number of safety standards that apply to almost every category of construction. Meeting building code is particularly important if you plan to rent out your garage loft apartment. Legally, you won’t be able to rent out the apartment over the garage unless it meets building code and passes inspection. Meeting building code is also very important if you plan to sell the house later. Optimized-007

Building

Creating a new space in your home can be an intimidating project. Taking the building and renovation process step by step simplifies it. These three larger categories help you break down what task needs to be tackled next to create a brand new apartment over your garage. Structural Changes The walls of your new apartment over the garage will define your space. If you want to add more privacy to some rooms of your loft apartment, you can add additional interior walls. If your garage loft is on the smaller side, an open floor plan with a private bathroom may be the way to go. You can build your wall with a simple wood frame that is secured into place with a floor plate and ceiling plate. Leave the frame open until you have installed all of your insulation. You can then finish it with drywall. Your windows can help take your new space from a bare bones garage loft to a beautiful living space. This is particularly important for smaller loft apartments that are limited in space. Large windows that fill your loft with natural light with minimal obstruction from interior walls will make your garage apartment feel much larger than it actually is. For a little extra room, you can replace any current windows with dormer window designs. These windows extend out vertically from a sloped roof creating small unique design features both inside the loft and from the outside. Your ceiling slope may become a problem if it’s too steep. In order to meet building code, your garage loft apartment will need to have a certain amount of head room available. If you find that you need more head room in your loft, there are two solutions. You can either lower the floor of your loft and cut off some of the space in the garage below, or raise your ceiling and roofline. Both of these projects can be extensive and will require a high skill level. You want to ensure either of these changes are made safely and be structurally sound. The last decision you have to make is whether you want an interior entrance to loft above or keep it as an exterior entrance. A lot of this will depend on personal preference and how you plan to use the space. If the apartment over your garage is going to be for a family member and it’s already an attached garage, an interior entrance seems to make the most sense. However, if you plan to rent the apartment out, an exterior entrance may be a better fit for you. Your tenants will be able to come and go as they please without disrupting the main house. Livability A common problem that garage apartments have is temperature control. Because garages typically house cars, they are not built with effective insulation in mind. During the renovation process, you will need to add substantial insulation to your walls, floors, and ceiling. Spray foam insulation is a great way to control the temperature in the apartment above your garage. Not only does fill almost any crevice, but it also works as a sound proofing agent. This is ideal for apartments that are over garages that are still being used to house cars. Proper insulation and temperature control can significantly reduce the cost of your heating and cooling bills. If you’re building a completely new loft above your garage, you’ll need to ensure that basic utilities are in order. This will most likely be the most expensive part of building the apartment above your garage. An attached garage will have a little bit of an advantage when it comes to electric wiring and plumbing. Attached garages will already be on the same grid and system as the main house. This makes laying any new wiring or pipes for plumbing much easier and budget friendly. This will cut down on the installation cost, as well as the utility itself. Detached garages will pose a little more of a challenge when it comes to the installation of wires and pipes. They’ll have to be run underground to the garage running up the cost as well. To cut down on the high costs of installation, try to design your new apartment above your garage Access Your Space Garage loft apartments have the extensive benefits of create square footage out of nothing. They keep your parking spot open for your car and still provide additional living space. With these raised space, you will always need some sort of staircase to access the apartment above your garage. The first stair design that any homeowner thinks of is a traditional straight staircase. These are typically found indoors in traditional style homes. They are typically all wood designs that have some customization in the spindles and decorations on the individual steps. You won’t have to worry about meeting building code with a traditional stair. They are usually designed to meet the safety standards. However, these building code compliant designs also have very large footprints that take up a lot of space. While this may work well indoors in a full size home, it may not be best for an apartment over a garage. If you want to have an exterior entrance to the apartment, you may find yourself replacing your all wood traditional staircase every few years. Just like an outdoor deck stair, all wood designs will have to go through a restoration process to ensure that they’re structurally sound. Spiral staircases are another popular option for a structurally sound means of access that will meet building code. Usually chosen for their small footprint, a spiral stair will only take up a small circle in or next to your garage. The diameter, or width of your stair, is what will determine the footprint of your stair. The minimum diameter of your stair to meet building code is 5’. This means that a stair that is building code compliant will only take up a 60” x 60” circle or square on the floor below. Your spiral staircase will hold up whether you plan to install it in the garage or as an exterior entrance. The interior options have a large range of materials available with a Classic Steel spiral stair, a Forged Iron spiral stair, and an All Wood design. The outdoor spiral stair lines are made to last with weather proof finish on our Exterior Galvanized and the maintenance free Powder Coated Aluminum spiral stair. Your spiral stair also has a larger flexibility when it comes to the access point in your loft apartment. A traditional staircase extends out in a straight line which can limit your access points. They are difficult to maneuver into a corner entrance. A spiral stair builds on top of itself making it easy to fit into a corner and out of the way of the rest of your garage or yard. Building an apartment over your garage has many benefits. Whether you’re looking to add extra income by renting it out or adding a new place for a family member in your home, you can definitely put this space to good use. If you’ve found that a spiral stair is the perfect way to finish your new loft apartment, have a quick phone call with one of our consultative designers for pricing in five minutes or less.

Turning a Loft into a Home Office

As a homeowner, you are probably always looking for more space in your home. You may have considered renovating a basement or create a completely new room with an addition. However, both of these options can be costly and time consuming. If you already have a loft space in your home, use it to your advantage! This renovation is almost all completely interior and can add value to your home without a high cost. Turning a loft into a home office has become increasingly popular. More and more homeowners are working from home and need an office. This guide will take you through each step of your loft renovation and help take the stress out of it.
before the renovation
Photo by: ubcisa

Before the Renovation

Planning When turning your loft into a home office, planning is a very important part of your loft conversion. Not only will this help you form an accurate budget, but you’ll also be prepared should anything come up unexpectedly. It also helps you break down the project into sections. The full love renovation may not seem as complicated when broken down into steps. This also allows you to pick and choose where you plan to use a contractor, if at all. Building Code & Permits With any home renovation, you will want to make sure that your space is safe and you are legally allowed to do any construction. Building code is a set of construction and safety standards that all buildings must meet to pass inspection. This is particularly important if you plan to sell your home in the future. It also ensures that your loft is safe and stable for everyday use. Before you begin any construction on the loft renovation, check with your local municipalities on permit requirements. Most places require permits for alterations to weight bearing walls and changes to electrical wiring. Both of these are common when it comes to interior renovations. By consulting your local municipality, you are ensuring that you won’t be hit with surprise fines later. Define the Space Every loft is unique when it comes to size and shape. A lot of the space is defined by the building that it’s in. When you decide to convert an existing loft into a home office, it won’t naturally require nearly as much space as loft bedroom designs. This makes it easier to keep construction to a minimum and simplify the overall project. A simpler project will also result in a smaller budget. If you want to create more of a standalone room for your home office rather than a small platform, you can extend your loft out into your home. This will require a larger budget and possibly the help of a contractor. Some experienced DIY-ers may be able to extend the frame depending on the location of the loft. If you’re unsure about a project, hiring a contractor is the best way to get the project done and eliminate questions about stability. This is particularly important for lofts that will be used on a daily basis and stand up to heavy foot traffic. IMG_20151123_104347761

During the Renovation

Loft Enclosure Enclosing your loft is one of the most important parts of your loft design. Because it’s an elevated surface, you will need to create some sort of barrier at the face of the loft to keep anyone using the loft safe. While more private rooms, like bedrooms may require a full wall, loft railing would be the better option for a home office. It gives you the benefits of the free flow of air and light to create a more comfortable space that will then promote productivity. A loft railing can add a lot to your space depending on the material and design that you choose. You want it to be secure enough to hold up to people leaning on it, but also beautiful because it will be on full display in your home’s living space. There are plenty of designs available to fit any design style that you decide on. From steel cable rail for a modern home to a traditional all wood railing, it can help define your space’s design style. Windows Windows may not be the first thing you think of when you plan on turning your loft into a home office, but they can completely transform your space. Natural light is an important thing to have in any home office. It helps you to feel more productive and fills the space with soft light. This is a welcome alternative to the harsh lights that you would typically find in office buildings. It also helps your loft to feel larger and extends the space. A popular window design that homeowners incorporate into their loft design is a dormer window. Dormer windows are windows that extend vertically out of a sloped roofline. If your loft has a pitched ceiling and you want to create small nooks to extend the square footage, dormer windows can help achieve this unique design. Installing these windows would require building permits as they affect the exterior walls and roofline of your home. Skylights are another way to fill your new home office with natural light. While you would still need the building permit to install them into your home’s roof, it will not alter the roofline that’s already in place. Skylights also have a larger ability to fill the space below the loft with light as well. Their angle makes it easier for light to pass over and through the railing. _DSC4278

Loft Stairs

Turning your loft into a home office means installing a means of access that is safe and secure. You will be accessing the loft much more often than you had previously and will need a set of loft stairs that will hold up to the heavy foot traffic. The three most common loft stairs designs are loft ladders, traditional stairs, and spiral stairs. They all bring different benefits to your loft design. Loft Ladders A ladder is almost always one of the first things that pops into homeowners’ minds when they’re looking for a way to access their loft. Its minuscule footprint makes it an obvious choice and very popular among loft owners. If you choose to take advantage of your ladder’s mobility, you can move it out of the way when it’s not in use. This simple design is particularly common in tiny homes. There’s a large range of ladder designs that also comes in a wide price range. However, there are some drawbacks to loft ladders. The largest problem is the lack of stability that you’ll find in a loft ladder design. Because of the very simple frame, you lose the large flat surface of individual steps that you would typically use. If you plan on taking advantage of the mobility of a ladder, you will create a major safety concern. The ladder will not be secured to anything and will be a major safety concern. If your loft is in a full size home, there’s not need to limit your footprint to something as small as a ladder. Traditional Stairs Traditional stairs are at the other end of the spectrum. This is the most common stair design in any application. These designs are typically all wood and found in Traditional style homes. Because they steps are wood, there is a large range of customization options. They can easily be painted or stained to match different aesthetics and are a blank canvas for your creativity. Many homeowners install a carpeted runner down the steps to add comfort and eliminate any potentially slippery surfaces. While traditional stairs are popular, they may not be the best choice for your home loft. The full steps provide a lot more stability than you would find in a ladder, but this also means that there is a much larger footprint. Ladders can be flat against the wall with their minimal rungs, but a traditional staircase extends out into your floorplan with a very large footprint. These heavy frames take away from any light flow through the house. The large footprint takes away some of the square footage that you created by renovating your loft. Due to the straight frame of traditional stairs, they also lack a flexibility in their access points. They are difficult to maneuver to reach spaces that are tucked into corners of your home. Spiral Stairs Spiral stairs are the happy medium to these two seemingly extreme loft stair designs. Spiral stairs are typically used because of their small footprints. The spiral design keeps the footprint of the staircase to a small circle in your floor plan. It’s determined by the width, or diameter, of your stair. However, your spiral stair’s small footprint doesn’t sacrifice any stability that you would find in a traditional staircase. Unlike a ladder, it has full steps and provides a solid flat surface to walk on when using the staircase. Spiral stairs also come with a large flexibility of design. Depending on the materials you choose, you can create very different staircases to fit into different design styles. The three most popular interior spiral stair options are the Classic Steel spiral stair, the Forged Iron spiral stair, and the All Wood spiral stair. All of these stair designs come with customizable pieces, such as the stair covers and spindles, to give your stair a truly unique design. A spiral staircase also has flexibility when it comes to access points. Much like a ladder, your spiral stair can access your loft through a hole in the floor or at the face of your loft against your loft railing. However, what sets the spiral stair apart is the fact that it will also have a landing platform. This even further increases the stability and safety of a spiral staircase. You have a secure access point no matter where you choose to install the stair.
industrial-home-office
Photo by: Houzz

After The Renovation

Your furnishings are what’s going to define your home office. Filling your space with the right furnishings is the last step to turning your loft into a home office. There are some pieces of furniture that are necessary when filling an office space. The major variations will come into play when you decide on the design aesthetic. A recently popular trend in home design is a minimalist aesthetic. This means simple and clean lines with a black and white color pallet. Acrylic desks fit well into this design aesthetic. The clear material allows light to pass through and keeps the open look and feel of a minimalist design. Your chair should be a simple design that doesn’t have ornate detail in the frame. Pull in pops of color in through an area rug or a small pillow on your desk chair. Industrial home offices are trendy and embrace a mixture of materials. Faux brick walls are a popular addition to these spaces as well. Use a mixture of repurposed pipes and old reclaimed wood to make your own desk for a one of a kind industrial piece. Edison light bulbs are the perfect accent to these spaces and provide light. For a truly traditional home office, think lots of wood and ornate carvings. Rich tones of the wood pair well with jewel tones and create a warm space. Forest greens and maroons are typical office colors, as they promote productivity and achievement. The addition of built in bookshelves can add a touch of luxury to your loft. For a quick update to bookshelves you already have, use crown molding at the top. This can create the look of a built in without the high cost. Having a loft space in your home gives your interior a dynamic design that has unlimited possibilities. With working from home becoming more popular, the need for a home office is also growing. Turning a loft into a home office is the perfect solution to have a separate work space that is still connected to the rest of your home. Continue the dynamicity of your loft design by installing a unique spiral stair to reach the space. A call to one of our consultative designers can get you pricing on your stair in five minutes or less! They will take you through every aspect of the design, including the matching loft railing, to ensure that the design fits into your ideal loft space.

How to Use Small Lofts to Maximize Space

You can never have enough space in your home. Whether you want more living space or an extra storage spot, added room is always welcome. Many homeowners run into the problem of wanting to add more space but don’t have the time or budget for an addition. Lofts are the perfect solution for small homes looking for more space. They are a completely interior project and add square footage to your home. You can choose to convert an existing loft or building a brand new frame and platform.

Small Loft Structures

One of the most important features of your loft design is going to be how you decide to enclose the space. Between railings and walls, blocking the open face of your loft ensures the safety of everyone using the room. Walls are always going to be the most obvious choice with any home renovation or construction. They are a completely solid structure and add privacy to your room. This is ideal if you plan to incorporate a loft bedroom design. Walls do have their drawbacks when it comes to small loft designs. Because they’re solid barriers, they block any pass through of light and air throughout your home. This can make your loft feel smaller and take away any illusion of extra space that you created. Walls are also thicker than railing and you’ll lose some square footage. Many small loft designs utilize railing to enclose their space. It leaves your loft feeling open and allows the constant flow of air and light throughout your home. This keeps your loft feeling connected to the rest of your living space below. Different railing designs can create different aesthetics for your loft. With different materials and decorative elements, you can create a one of a kind space that fits into your home’s existing décor. For a cohesive design, you can match your railing to your loft stairs. If you want to completely redesign your space, new windows can transform a small cramped loft into a large spacious area. One of the easiest ways to trick the eye and make a room feel larger is to fill the room with lots of natural light. This can be achieved through new larger windows, skylights, or a combination of both. To truly maximize your loft’s space, switch out standard windows for dormer windows. These windows project out from the house giving your loft small nooks and a few extra square feet. Small Loft Ideas Stairs

Small Loft Stairs

There are a few design options when it comes to loft stairs. Small loft ideas are all about maximizing space. The factors you need to keep in mind when looking for the right stair design is the footprint of the stair, the safety and stability of the design, and how well it fits into your home’s design. The first stair design on any list is going to be a traditional staircase. It’s known for stability and can fit into a number of different home design styles. However, it may not be the best choice for a home that has limited square footage. The big bulky frame can quickly take up a lot of space. When it comes to the loft itself, you may have to sacrifice some of that square footage as well. Traditional stairs typically enter through a large rectangle in the floor. Depending on the placement of your stair, it will interrupt the flow of your space on top of taking away valuable space. When homeowners see that a traditional stair won’t fit into their small loft design, they sometimes go to the opposite end of the spectrum with a ladder that has a virtually nonexistent footprint. This thin frame makes it easy to tuck into a corner and out of the way unless it’s in use. However, these designs also typically sacrifice some stability. The thin rungs in place of full steps can make it dangerous for anyone who may lose their footing. A ladder also makes it impossible to carry items up and down from your loft. Depending upon who will be regularly accessing the loft, a ladder may not be the best option. Any family pets won’t be able to access the space, and elderly family members may have increased difficulty. Spiral stairs are going to be the happy medium between a large and bulky traditional stair and a minimal, but unsafe ladder. The footprint of a spiral stair is kept to a small circle in your home’s floor plan. The footprint is determined by the width, or diameter, of your spiral stair. This small size also gives you flexibility when it comes to placement of your stair. A spiral stair can either be accessed at the face of your loft or through a hole in the floor. This means that you can place the staircase wherever it will best fit both on the bottom floor and your loft. A spiral stair is also completely customizable. There are three major materials used to create a beautiful and unique indoor staircase: All Wood, Classic Steel, and Forged Iron. An All Wood spiral stair has the classic beauty that comes with a wood design. A Classic Steel spiral stair is the most flexible design and can handle wood treads and handrails as well as an all metal design. A Classic Steel spiral stair can also be powder coated to be finished with a custom color. A Forged Iron spiral stair fits well into a Traditional or Victorian style home. It can be quite ornate depending on the design customizations you choose.
bedroom loft design
Photo by: FYI Networki

Small Loft Ideas

Bedroom Loft One of the most common loft ideas is a bedroom loft design. Turning a loft into a bedroom is particularly popular for tiny houses because of the extremely limited amount of space. By lofting your bedroom, you are able to keep the maximum amount of the home open for general living space. If your small loft idea is more like a micro loft, your bed may take up your full loft. This is most commonly found in tiny homes. If this is the case, you need to find new ways to fit other bedroom furniture into the space. Storage is one the most important things to have in a small space. You want a place to keep your items without cluttering up your loft. Multifunctional furniture is one of the best ways to have hidden storage in a small area. While under bed storage isn’t a new concept, it’s been developed and fit into new designs. One of the most interesting ways under bed storage has been interpreted in recent years is by adding hydraulics to your bed frame and create a secret compartment. With this modification, you can lift your mattress to leave a completely open space in the middle of the frame. This innovative design is the perfect way to create storage in a bedroom loft that has limited space.
small loft living room
Photo by: Timberlake Custom Homes
Living Room Loft Another popular small loft idea is to extend the living space by converting the loft into a living room. This separate living room is a great option for families that have older children. By giving them their own space in the loft, they are able to feel like there is some independence. However, if you choose to install a railing, the loft will still be open to the general living space below. By turning a loft into a living room, you can give them their area without taking over the family’s space. When positioning the furniture, your TV becomes the natural focal point. Having a central focus helps the space to feel bigger because there is one communal gathering point. Mirrors are another furnishing that can help your loft to feel larger than it is. The reflection extends the space. Just like most small loft ideas, multifunctional furniture is going to be your friend in this space. Rather than a storage piece, you may want to find pieces of furniture that can provide extra seating when needed. A common piece of double duty furniture used is an ottoman than can break down into six separate stools. If you don’t need the extra seating, the ottoman is kept in a small cube that can fit just about anywhere in your small loft. small loft library Library Loft A home library is a unique room that automatically adds value to your home. If you don’t want to take a full room for your library, a loft is a great option. It can easily be incorporated into an existing home office or as a separate space all together. Turning a loft into a library can be just a matter of using the right furnishings. Obviously, the most important part of any home library is going to be your bookcases. Built in pieces give your loft an expensive look, but can quickly put you over any budget you may have. An easy DIY project of adding crown molding to the top of you bookshelves can create faux built ins. These custom pieces give your library loft a grand and luxurious design. The right choices for your seating options can also add to the luxury of your space. Common choices for your home library are dark leather pieces that play on the rich tones of the wooden bookcases. Quilted leather is a popular choice that is both comfortable and a beautiful design.
small loft office
Photo by: Decoist
Office Loft Working from home has become more and more popular in recent years. Some homes have an extra bedroom, or even a home office, already built into the home design. However, if you don’t have space already available, a loft is the perfect solution. In terms of space, you are creating square footage that you didn’t previously have. An office loft is also the perfect location for a productive work environment at home. A loft is separated from your general living space keeping you away from any extra distractions. If you decide to use a railing rather than a full wall, you are still connected to the rest of your living space. One of the most important things to remember when planning your office loft is your light source. Depending upon the type and amount of light in your loft, it will affect your productivity level. Natural light is always best to promote productivity. Large windows can help the space feel bigger and make it a more effective workspace. Lofts are often associated with trendy urban spaces, but they’ve recently become a fixture in tiny homes. Even the smallest lofts create square footage in a home with limited space. They have flexibility when it comes to function and keeps the space underneath completely open. If you want to keep the footprint small, consider a spiral stair to access the loft. A call to one of our consultative designers can get you pricing on your stair in five minutes or less. Be sure to ask about the matching railing for your loft face, as well!

3 Characteristics of Loft Style Homes

008 From tiny homes to eco friendly houses, people are looking for homes that can fit their lifestyle in a small footprint. One particular design that is becoming popular are loft style homes. Loft style homes maximize their space by eliminating the majority of interior walls and utilizing an open floor plan. Lofts are traditionally made from renovating old buildings, such as barns and warehouses, and are the homes of young professionals and singles. Loft space ideas don’t have to be limited to a studio apartment with minimal furnishings; you can shape your space with your design choices. 2-salter_hosbrook07

Loft Style Home Structure

Lofts are usually found in renovated buildings and take advantage of the existing architecture. Often times, no two lofts are exactly the same, even within the same building. While they are all different shapes and sizes, there are some characteristics that are found in most loft spaces. Whether they are in a renovated factory or in a newly constructed condominium complex, loft style homes have these standard design features. Open Spaces Large open spaces is the most common characteristic of loft style homes. Because they are typically found in renovated warehouses and barns, high vaulted ceilings are common. The exposed support beams and ventilation systems that come with these buildings add to the typical loft feeling. Some new construction are even adding these in to give the building an old lived in look. While you may think your home would feel cavernous, large open floor plans work well with the high ceilings. It makes your home feel larger and creates a bright and airy space. For organization, you can zone your home using furniture and create natural separations of space. By grouping your furniture into separate spaces within the open floor plan, you’re utilizing small apartment organization to minimize wasted space. Walls There are minimal interior walls in a loft style home. This goes with the open spaces that you want to maximize the square footage of your home. Not only does it allow the free flow of air and light, but it also eliminates wasted space. When it comes to wall materials, there are a few different options depending on the original building’s purpose or your desired aesthetic. Most designers want to keep the original materials in the loft home design and play to the history of the space. Probably the most common material used for loft style homes’ walls is exposed brick. It ties in an industrial aesthetic that is highly sought after in urban areas. For rooms that call for tiles, such as a kitchen backsplash or bathroom, subway tiles are a modern and industrial accent to any home. It can fit well into a number of design styles and doesn’t distract from the overall architecture of the loft home. If you want to incorporate classic drywall into your loft design, stick to lighter shades and neutrals. Because it’s an open floor plan, the walls are long and run the course of the entire loft space. A dark or bright color can easily overwhelm the space and make it feel smaller. Windows and Doors The windows and doors in loft homes can put the final touches of the framework created by a designer. They are the punctuation on any structural design that has been implemented thus far. Because of the open floor plan, large windows will play a major role. Lots of natural light that fills the open space makes loft homes larger and brighter. Windows often span the entire height of the wall from the floor to the ceiling. This lets the light encompass any upper levels of the loft, such as a mezzanine floor. For a completely open floor plan, use open doorways and archways to move from room to room. There are no interruptions to the flow of light in this design. For industrial loft style homes, sliding warehouse and barn doors can add a finishing touch to the design. These large metal sliding doors run on exposed metal tracks and can be left open for air and light flow and closed for privacy. Loft Stairs Often times, loft style homes maximize space with a mezzanine level. This creates square footage and a second floor without altering the lower level at all. However, you will need a safe means of access that will hold up to regular use. While many loft spaces use ladders, their drawbacks can cancel out their benefits. Ladders are typically used for their small footprint. They take up virtually no room, making them very tempting. However, if you plan to regularly access your mezzanine floor, a ladder is unstable and unsafe. Traditional staircases are the obvious choice anytime you need to access a second floor. You know the design is stable and won’t have to worry about safety. Where this stair design falls short is how it fits into the rest of your home. The bulky frame interrupts the open space that you created and can feel clumsy in your otherwise light home. A happy medium to these two options is a spiral stair. While it’s not always the first thing for loft owners, it takes the best elements of the two previous designs. It has a small footprint that won’t extend beyond a small circle in your home. It also features the stability of a traditional stair with full steps.

Loft Style Furniture

Loft furniture as a category is quite different from a regular home’s furnishing. In a regular home, the rooms are usually divided by walls. This gives you the flexibility to create a different look and feel in each room. However, in a loft, the furniture is placed in one open area. Not only must all of the furniture fit together into one design aesthetic, but it must also support the function of each zone. Easy ways to define different spaces within an open floor plan is to use area rugs. This lays out the center of one “room” within your loft space. Another way to zone is to turn your furniture in towards itself. You can create small walls with the backs of the furniture.
Sofa-Bed
Photo by: Modern Home Decor
Multifunctional Furniture Your furnishings can also define how you lay out your space. Multifunctional furniture is popular option for lofts for their space saving designs. The most common design is a couch bed hybrid. This furnishing has come a long way from metal frame futons. There are now sectional designs that have a movable futon. Like the sofa featured here, you can move an end cushion to create a full bed. The piece can easily be moved back to create a full couch that provides ample seating for entertaining. This can turn your living room into a bedroom within seconds. Your bed can also work overtime as a storage space. Under bed storage is a great way to incorporate storage spaces that are out of the way. Using shelves or drawers as your bed frame gives you a new storage space in an area that would’ve gone unused otherwise. While these designs are taking the market by storm, you don’t need to have special furniture to have a multifunctioning space. It can be as simple as having a table that acts as a dining table and a desk when needed. Lighting Lighting can create an ambiance throughout your home. In an open floor plan like a loft, the right light fixture can make all the difference. You want a lighting solution that can fill the space and still provide warm light. Take advantage of the high ceilings and large open area by installing light fixtures at different heights throughout your loft. This can highlight the incredible architecture of your home, as well as add visual interest. Pendant lights and chandeliers that hang from the ceiling produce a warm light that can add a dynamic look to your loft space. For a rustic look and dimmer lights, candles can be used as a design accent around the space. If you have exposed support beams lining your ceiling, draping string lights around them can add a blanket of warm light to your space. All of these light fixtures have a variety of designs that can fit into any design aesthetic. Because many lofts utilize an industrial design aesthetic, Edison bulbs are a popular option. These feature a completely transparent bulb that exposes the inner wiring.
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Photo by: Decoist

Loft Home Storage

Because a loft space is completely open, it can be hard to find storage spaces that are aesthetically pleasing. You don’t have the option to store things out of sight in the basement. This just means that you have to incorporate storage into your design. Closed cabinets can interrupt an open floor plan and stop the flow of light that’s coming into your space. Open shelving is a trendy way to keep the space open and provide a storage space. This is especially popular for storing extra dishes and serving pieces in the kitchen. Interesting stacks of pottery that pull in bright colors and different shapes add a uniqueness to your space. You can find storage in your furniture as well. Coffee tables that have an open top for magazines and remotes are becoming standard designs. You can make the piece a shadow box design with an open window pane table top, or keep it hidden with a solid top. You can also use your ottoman as a storage piece. Most ottomans are designed to have a top that opens to an open space that can store any miscellaneous electronics or cords. If you’re looking for more of a separation between spaces in your loft, use open back bookshelves. These provide a place to store things, separates the rooms, and still allows the pass through of light. If you want to keep some items hidden, but still in open storage, you can use baskets. You can buy designs that come with a fitted lid to keep your storage space contained, but prettier than a standard plastic tub. Loft style homes have unique designs built into their structure. You can enhance these dynamic features with clever interior design decisions. This includes everything from furniture to major structural pieces, like a staircase. If a custom spiral stair is the right addition for your loft style home, call one of our consultative designers today! They can help you create a one of a kind spiral stair design that fits seamlessly into your home.

Turning a Loft into a Bedroom

A common problem for homeowners is a lack of space. As families grow and other family members move back home, a house can become crowded very quickly.  Lofts are often used as an extra playroom or home office, but by converting it into a bedroom, you are increasing your home’s capacity. This post will guide you through your decision making process for your loft conversion.

Before the Renovation

When you’re looking to renovate any room in your house, there are several considerations that need to be taken. Even if you’ve keeping all of the work indoors, it is still a construction project that should have a set plan and budget. Preplanning will help you to be prepared for any hiccups that you may find. Turning a loft into a bedroom can be as simple as installing a staircase or as complicated as building new walls. This section will help you consider all of the different aspects of planning for your new bedroom! bedroom-loft-apartment Does it Qualify? There are a few factors that dictate whether your loft will qualify for a bedroom conversion. Of course, you can renovate your home however you want. However, if you want your new loft bedroom to meet building code and pass inspection, these design factors should be taken into consideration. The most important part of a loft’s livability is the ceiling height. You want anyone sleeping your loft to be comfortable. It’s hard to be relaxed when you’re constantly hunched over trying to avoid bumping your head on the ceiling. Pitched ceilings are a beautiful architectural element in any home. Be sure that you can enjoy the interesting angles by keeping a comfortable height throughout the space. If you find that your ceiling is too short, you can either raise that section of your roof or lower the ceiling of the room below your loft. Building Code & Permits Whenever you’re renovating your home, you should check with your local municipality to see if your project requires building permits. If you live in a neighborhood with a Homeowner’s Association, they should also be consulted. While permit requirements change depending upon your location, building code is pretty standard across the country. Building code is a collection of safety standards and regulations that a structure must meet to pass inspection. Meeting building code is required if you plan to rent your space out or sell your home in the future. By turning a loft into a bedroom, you are adding to the living space of your home. However, if this particular room doesn’t meet code, you cannot list it as another bedroom. Cost As with any construction or home renovation project, your cost will be determined by the scale of your project. If you plan to close off your loft completely and add extra walls, this will obviously be more expensive than adding a new railing. Similarly, if you have to alter your roofline or lower ceilings in other rooms, you will be paying much more as it will be altering your home’s structure. The most expensive loft conversion would be to create a full master’s suite. This would require new plumbing and electric wires to be run to the room. The cost of a standard loft conversion starts at $1,000 and will vary depending upon the room design. Contractor vs. DIY Turning a loft into a bedroom can have varying degrees of complexity depending on your home design and your vision for your new room. Some parts of this project can be done by an experience DIY-er, such as adding drywall and closing off your space. However, some parts of your home renovation should be left to professionals. If you plan to alter your roofline at all or lower ceilings in another part of your home, a contractor is your best choice. Because you are altering your home’s structure, you want to be sure that it is done well and is stable.

During the Renovation

Now that you’ve planned your entire space, it’s time to start building it! When you start the actual construction, keep your design goals in mind. You’re creating a new space that is acting as a blank canvas. By strategically planning your walls or floors, you are defining the room’s style before you even put furniture in it. These additions can be as simple or ornate as you want. This section takes you through each design choice you make in the construction phase of your loft conversion.
interior windows
Photo by: Iometro
Enclosing Your Loft One of the most defining features of a loft is the fact that it’s open to the rest of the house. However, if you’re turning a loft into a bedroom, you may want some added privacy. You can do this by closing off your loft in a variety of ways. The most obvious design choice is to extend the existing railing or half wall to a full wall. This completely encloses the space and creates a full room, rather than an open balcony. While this provides maximum privacy, it also takes away the unique design of a loft. If you want full walls, but want something to break up the solid space, consider adding interior windows. When the room’s not in use you can open them to keep air flow steady throughout the different parts of the house and keep the floor plan as open as possible. If you want a more flexible option for loft walls, indoor shutters that can fold back against the existing walls gives you the flexibility of an open or closed loft. Ceiling Height This is the most important element of creating a comfortable living space in your loft. As previously mentioned, with a steep roof pitch or ceilings that are too low, you will run into discomfort being unable to stand up straight in your new bedroom. The two options, altering your roof line or lowering your ceiling in the room below, both call for a professional to do the work. Your DIY involvement will probably be kept to clean up. If you choose to raise your roof, that entire section will have to be removed, replaced, and sealed to ensure that it is durable and weather proof. If you choose to lower the ceiling in the room below, you will need to completely remove the floor joists and existing ceiling. After you’ve opened up the floor, the contractor will bolt a steel plate to the wall that will support the new floor joists. This will ensure that your new floor is stable enough for heavy foot traffic. In turn, you will also be lowering any existing railing or half wall that currently blocks off the loft. Windows Windows are a major factor in any home design. They allow natural light into the home which helps the space feel bigger. If you want to add more windows after turning your loft into a bedroom, dormer windows are popular design options. This renovation would require altering exterior walls and permits. This may seem more complicated than its worth, but these large windows let in a lot of light and create the perfect nook for a window seat. They add a unique and interesting design element to any home. If you don’t want to cut off any extra natural light from the rest of your home, the previously mentioned interior windows are a great option. This pass through of light connects the two floors of your home and gives the overall feeling of higher ceilings. loft-bedroom-spiral-stairsStairs If you’re turning a loft into a bedroom, you will need a safe and reliable way to access the space. There are several different loft stair designs that you can use in your home. The three most popular options are loft ladders, traditional stairs, and spiral stairs. Loft ladders are often used for their small footprint. They fit well in homes that have very limited space. However, they’re not the best option for heavy foot traffic. They will often not meet code and can be considered unstable. Traditional stairs are on the opposite end of the stair spectrum. Traditional stairs are almost always going to be stable and are designed to hold up to heavy use. However, with this stability comes a bulky frame that takes up a large footprint. The shape cannot be easily manipulated to fit a loft entrance, which is normally found at the back of the house or in a corner. If you choose a traditional stair with a small footprint, you will end up with steps that are very steep and can be dangerous. In the middle of these two options is a spiral stair. A spiral staircase will give you the small footprint of a ladder and the stability of a traditional stair. Not only does it have the flexibility of entry and exit points, but it also has several customizable design options. They can be designed to meet code and still keep its beautiful design.

Design the Space

Once your space is built, it’s ready for the fun part of home design! Lofts are completely unique spaces that can be filled with décor that defines your home’s style. Because of the separate nature of a loft, you can either design the room to fit into the rest of the home’s design story, or create a completely unique room that has its own personality. Lofts are both beautiful and functional and their furnishings should also fit that category.
decor
Photo by: Houzz
Décor Your loft is a blank canvas that can take on whatever design aesthetic you choose. Industrial lofts are the most popular design. It plays on the urban settings where lofts are most common. Exposed brick walls and metal accents are defining features of the furniture and accent pieces. If you want a more streamlined design aesthetic, a modern style loft fits into a minimalist home perfectly. The furniture and décor can feature clean lines and simple colors, such as black and white. You can add bright pops of color with accent pieces. A whimsical design style plays on the playful nature of a loft in a home. The idea of a small space that is tucked into the corner of a home gives the feeling of a small getaway. Large windows can let in lots of natural light and lighter colors keep the room from feeling heavy. Pastels and lightweight fabrics are the perfect accents to this design style. Furniture It can be said that furniture is the most important part of a bedroom. You want it to be comfortable but beautiful. When you apply this to a loft, you have to add in space constraints as well. This makes multifunctional furniture a no-brainer for your loft. Combining furniture and storage components is common for those who are looking to maximize the space of their loft. Under bed storage can be taken to the next level by building a DIY bedframe with bookshelves and drawers. If you chose to leave your loft open, you can use bookshelves as both storage and a privacy screen. If you want the option to move them around your loft space, you can add wheels to the bottom. A loft bedroom conversion is an interesting project for any homeowner. This home renovation gives you an outlet for your home design creativity. The end result is a beautiful and unique space in your home that is customized for your lifestyle. Turning a loft into a bedroom may seem like a daunting task, but with these design considerations, you are able to take on this project piece by piece. Start with the perfect way to access your space by calling one of our consultative designers and get pricing for your loft spiral stair. Not only can we help you find the best stair, but we have matching railing for your loft face as well!

5 Designs for Your Garage Loft Conversion

Garage renovations are becoming one of the most common updates to homes. Both attached and detached garages gives you the extra space you need. Depending upon how you plan to use the space, you will have different considerations and designs. One popular way to maximize your garage’s space is to create a loft. Lofts offer a blank canvas for any design you want to incorporate into your garage, while leaving the original first floor completely open. Here are some of the most popular garage loft ideas for some renovation inspiration.
Garage Loft Storage
Photo by: Ballantyne Garage Solutions

Garage Loft Storage

Storage is one of the most common uses for your garage. Most of the time, your car is park in the middle and storage is lining the walls. While garage organization goes a long way with perimeter storage, you can create much more space with a storage loft. By lofting the space, you’re leaving your car’s parking spot open and still getting as much storage as possible. Your garage is out of the way from your common living areas, but is still close by. This makes an ideal storage space for seasonal items or simply things that you don’t want to keep in your home at all times. One common spot for your garage storage loft is right above the door. You can use the door track as the beginnings of your loft frame and take advantage of the structure already there. For a large storage loft option, you can create a completely separate loft structure that can be used like an attic. A basic wooden frame is perfect for your storage space and can be completed in about two days with a somewhat experienced DIY-er. These structures don’t have to be elaborate because you’re only using them for storage, and not a living space.

Garage Loft Bedrooms

Converted garages aren’t a new concept, but they’re becoming much more popular. By renovating your garage loft into a bedroom or even a full apartment, you can extend your living space and add lots of value to your home. These spaces are also very popular for children moving back from college or elderly family members that want to be close to family. Another option is to rent out this space for a little extra income. No matter how to you plan to use your renovated garage loft, it won’t be your typical loft bedroom design with an open mezzanine style wall. You will want to close off the space from the rest of your garage for the comfort of anyone using the space. If you have limited space, you can still fit a single bedroom loft into your garage. This would mean that whoever is living in the loft would use the main house’s utilities, such as the bathroom and kitchen. Because this can be inconvenient, many homeowners are option for a full garage apartment. Also known as an in-law suite, these garage apartments are fully self-sufficient. This is probably the better option for those planning to rent the space out. It creates a separation between the main home and the garage. With the right access points and clever renovations, you can create these above garage apartments without sacrificing any of your car’s parking space.
Garage Loft Office
Photo by: Houzz

Garage Loft Offices

Working from home has become a normal part of many businesses. Whether you work remotely full time, or just want a structured space to get some extra work done, home offices are becoming a necessary part of your house’s design. Take advantage of unused space. Your garage is the perfect place to put this work space. It’s separate from your common living spaces which can help you focus and eliminate distractions and has lots of natural light to promote productivity. By lofting your office, you’re completely separating the space. You’re still home, but you’re not trying to work in your living room. This separate of garage and office is a great solution for homeowners that have customers or clients come to their home office. With outdoor access to the loft, you take away the feeling of being in a garage. It also keeps them from entering the personal space of your home.

Garage Loft Rec Rooms

Your garage loft doesn’t have to be a basic room. Use this bonus room over your garage as a rec room! Because it’s separated from the rest of your home, you can have a little more flexibility and fun in your interior decorating without interrupting the flow of the main house. The beauty of a rec room is that its purpose can change over time as families grow and kids get older. For instance, it can start as a playroom and evolve over time to become a home theater or a sports bar. One common way people use this extra space is to create a loft with a TV and gaming systems. This is a great place where the kids can hang out and have their own space, while still being nearby. This game room can also double as a home theater. By putting the large screen and sound system over the garage, you are taking some of the excessive noise away from the house where people may be trying to sleep. Man caves have become more popular for this bonus room design as well. This area can be an eyesore for some wives, but elevating the space and giving it real décor makes it a little easier to handle.

garage-spiral-stairs

Garage Loft Stair Considerations

One of the major considerations when building a new garage loft is how you plan to access the space. There are three major categories for your loft stairs: a traditional stair, a ladder, and a spiral stair. A traditional straight staircase is always one of the most popular options because it’s the most common stair design found in homes. However, the large frame, while safe, defeats the purpose of creating a loft. The footprint, or amount of space it takes up, can cover a full wall and create an even tighter space than you had before. Ladders are used for their virtually nonexistent footprint. The minimal frame consists of small rungs attached to two boards on either side of the frame. While space saving stairs are always a good option, ladders can be very unsafe. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to carry things to and from your loft. Spiral stairs are the medium between these two designs. It has the stability of a full stair and the minimal footprint of a ladder. The footprint is kept to a small circle around your staircase. A spiral stair can also be easily fit into the corner of your garage, leaving as much room as possible open. It will be much easier to carry things up and down your spiral stair, rather than a ladder. Salter Spiral Stair also provides stairs that can hold up to the outdoors as well. Some apartments may call for a private entrance. For instance, if you want to rent out the space, an outdoor entrance would be ideal. Our Powder Coated Aluminum stairs are perfect for those looking for a chic and complementary design. The powder coating finish comes in custom colors and coats the already rust prohibitive aluminum in a weather proof finish. The Galvanized Steel spiral stair coats every part of our carbon steel stair frame in a maintenance free finish through a hot dipped galvanizing process. The end result is a durable and industrial silver stair that will hold up to any weather condition. If you’re looking to use your garage loft as a residential area, your spiral stair will most likely need to meet building code. Your spiral staircase dimensions and measurements will be dependent on this need. The minimum width of your stair, or the diameter, will be 5’. This gives you a 26” clear walking path. Your clear walking path is the area of the stair that you walk on while actually using the stair. In order to meet building code, you’re treads must also have a 30 degree rotation. This, combined with your floor to floor height, will determine the rotation of your stair. A garage loft is the perfect way to create more space without interrupting your home with a complete renovation. There are a number of applications for your garage loft, but all of them require a way to access them. Whether you have a garage storage loft or a finished apartment, you want a safe and durable way to reach the space. Salter Spiral Stair has a lifetime warranty on fabrication and can customize the design to fit into your vision. For accurate and fast pricing, give one of our consultative designers a call! They can help you find the right size and design for your garage loft spiral stair.

A Breakdown of Loft Bedroom Designs

By creating a loft, you’re able to add square footage to your living space without an external additions that can be pricey and inconvenient. Your loft can be designed to fit your budget while still providing a trendy living space. One of the most popular ways to use your loft is as an extra bedroom. Loft bedrooms are most commonly found in the city where square footage is at a premium. However, they’ve started to appear more and more in the suburbs as the average home size shrinks. Classic Steel Loft Stair

Means of Access

No matter how you plan to use your loft, you’ll need a safe and stable means of access. While a lot of loft designs feature a ladder, they aren’t suitable for regular use. Ladders are used because of their virtually nonexistent footprint. They can be moved as needed and are usually on the lower end when it comes to budget. However, with all of the benefits comes a few drawbacks. Loft ladders are very difficult to completely stabilize. If you want to take advantage of the mobility of your ladder, you won’t be able to completely secure it to your loft or the wall. The minimal frame also makes it a less than desirable option for homes with pets and elderly family members. Traditional stairs solve all of those problems with their full steps and stable frame. They have their own problems with the large bulky frames that take up all of the space you created with your new loft. Spiral stairs are the happy medium to both of these options. The small footprint takes up no more than a small circle in your home. It also features full steps and is structurally sound throughout the entire design.
Photo by: HGTV
Photo by: HGTV

Under the Bed

With small spaces comes a greater need to find storage. There isn’t room to leave your belongings on display at all times, but that just means you have to channel your inner creativity! Many loft bedroom designs utilize under bed storage. It’s not a new concept, but it’s found a new home in the bed frame itself. Platform beds are a modern alternative to your traditional headboard and footboard bed frame. They also have storage opportunities built into them. Many are designed with drawers in the base, perfect for clothing and shoe storage. A popular DIY option is to create a frame out of bookcases on their sides creating small cubbies lining the base. If you’re particularly ambitious, adding hydraulics to the head of your mattress creates a secret compartment under the bed. By lifting the mattress, you can access the center of the frame between the bookshelves or for a full storage compartment.
Loft Room Divider
HGTV

One Piece, Two Functions

With the emergence of life hacks and tiny homes, it’s rare to find a piece of home décor that has only one purpose. Sofa beds are only the beginning of these innovative designs. There are shelves that house a table and four chairs for a dining set and counters that can transition into a bed or a coffee table. If you don’t want to move your furniture every evening, there are easier ways to create a multipurpose piece. It may seem simple, but bookshelves as walls are a great way to create some privacy. You can still keep your book or DVD collection close at hand, while shielding your bedroom loft from guests’ view. You can also use your dresser as a headboard or a footboard. It gives you a more traditional bed design without losing any storage space. The multipurpose tag isn’t limited to furniture! Your staircase can function as both a storage unit and a means of access. Tiered drawers can make up your staircase to provide extra storage leading up to your loft.

Your Extra Room

Not only does a loft give you a space for your bed that’s not in the middle of your living room, but it also creates square footage that you wouldn’t have had otherwise. The versatility of the space underneath your loft depends on the loft platform. If the platform is suspended, it leaves the space underneath the loft open to several possibilities. Some floor plans utilize the open space as a one wall kitchen, often found in studio apartments. By having it against one wall underneath the loft, it allows for a small dining area in the rest of the open space. If your space is completely open, you can use it as a living room area or a small office space. The loft outline helps to naturally zone your otherwise one room apartment. The other form of a loft is a bed on top of a closed room. With the walls coming all the way down to the floor of your apartment, you can have a closed room for maximum privacy. Most plans use this room as a bathroom. It’s a great option for those who want a full bathroom, but don’t want to lose the square footage for a bedroom. Loft bedroom designs are a great way to create square footage that you didn’t have. By elevating the bedroom, you’re creating room for other things you want in your home. The loft itself is full of endless possibilities. If you’ve found that a spiral stair is the best way to reach your brand new space, call one of our consultative designers. They can work with you every step of the way to create a one of a kind spiral stair for your space.