4 Things You Should Never Do If You Live in a Loft

updated Jan 23, 2020
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Loft living is the dream, right? High ceilings, exposed pipes, brick walls—they’re the hallmarks of an ultra-cool space. While lofts can be chic and cozy, they come with a unique set of challenges. Ahead, a few loft experts reveal common mistakes people make when moving into a loft, plus their advice on how to avoid some of the pitfalls of loft life. Here’s what not to do if you live in a loft.

Skip shades

Many lofts have high ceilings, which is ideal for letting in plenty of natural light. But there will come a time when you want a break from the sun—perhaps on a scorching day or when you’re hoping to sleep in. 

According to Gina Castrorao, rental manager REAL New York, blinds are a must when you live in a loft. She suggests investing in some high-quality blackout blinds or shades, which will work better than a sleep mask to allow you to snooze in the early mornings. They’ll also help lower your electric bill in the summer by ensuring the air conditioning doesn’t have to run as often.

Opt for traditional storage methods

Lofts are tight on space, so meticulous organization is the key to maximizing it all. The standard methods and tools might not be a fit for a loft, though. Instead, you’ll have to get creative when it comes to clever storage solutions.

“One frequent mistake that I see with loft living is not maximizing the storage by using store-bought cupboards or shelving, which don’t tend to fit into the nooks and crannies at the top of sloping ceilings,” says David Ewart of UK-based furniture retailer Pavilion Broadway. “It’s worth spending a bit more to either customize standard cupboards or shelving, or to consider building these from scratch to your exact specifications.”

Decide against installing ceiling fans

Because temperature control can be particularly challenging in a loft, a good ceiling fan will become your new best friend.

Craig Ricks Jr. of Louisiana-based Acadian Windows and Siding acknowledges that while ceiling fans can be costly to install, they’ll pay off by keeping your energy bills down over the long term.

He suggests choosing a ceiling fan with a downrod, as the extra space between the fan blades and your lofted ceiling will promote better air circulation. When the super hot weather hits, he recommends running the fan counter-clockwise at its highest setting to push cool air straight down into the loft. (Conversely, running it clockwise on low will gently nudge warm air down when it’s cold outside.)

Fail to put safety first

Lofts often have very steep stairs, so Denise Supplee of Spark Rental suggests putting textured strips on the steps to prevent falls. She also recommends placing the couch underneath the stairs or sleeping nook, since you don’t need a full-height ceiling over it. Be sure to put padding along the edges of the stairs, though, so people don’t bump their heads when standing up.