Ten Open, Industrial Lofts That Feel Like Home

Embracing history but dropping the cold, utilitarian feel, these homeowners have created gorgeously livable lofts.
I'm one of those people who can't help but drool over a loft. The industrial exposed ductwork, brick walls and banged-up hardwood floors? Swoon!

To me, living in a loft is like living in a page out of history. But the fact is, turning a loft into a home is a lot more difficult than it looks. A lack of walls, modern amenities and insulation can make these spaces uncomfortable, despite their beautiful bones. But with the right touches and a little TLC, some people manage to make even the most barren loft shine. 

Take a look at these 10 stunning lofts around the United States and see what a little imagination did to these bright, open and historic spaces.

Industrial and Organic in Brooklyn

Although it was built in the 1890s, this Brooklyn, New York, loft still has its original windows, whitewashed walls and exposed ductwork. An eclectic furniture collection and a working wood-burning stove keep the industrial space from looking and feeling cold — particularly important during New York's snowy winters. The homeowner especially loves her comfy hammock hanging next to the sofa. The trapeze bar hanging right above it is a favorite with visiting kids. 

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A Quick Ride Up in Pittsburgh

The vintage freight elevator — the only means of entry here — sets the tone for the rest of this artistic Pittsburgh loft. The homeowner used sheets of corrugated metal to define living spaces, mixing in his own abstract artwork and reclaimed wood furniture to create a quirky and masculine home. 

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All-White Glam in Montreal

Once a 1920s art deco building that housed a printing company, this Montreal loft now has a distinctly different aesthetic. The owner, an interior designer, once considered using the spacious loft for her showroom. But now the structure is a pristine and elegant home for herself and her daughter, with a crisp, clean and modern palette. 

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Original Architecture and Reclaimed Furniture in Pittsburgh

A 1980s remodel had transformed this onetime bank into a bland, Sheetrock-covered office building. Luckily, a complete gut revealed its beautiful bones: 15-foot-high ceilings, a load-bearing brick wall and original pine flooring. A second bedroom serves as a game room, gym and guest room, thanks to an innovative setup. The homeowner built the 7-foot lofted twin bed shown here out of reclaimed wood, and put a couple of his favorite vintage pinball machines underneath. 

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Antique Furniture With Youthful Touches in New Orleans

Despite a nearly all-antique furniture collection, this loft in New Orleans' French Quarter still feels fresh, funky and current. The building was once an 1890s rice mill, but is now divided into several lofts and apartments. Original brick walls with decades' worth of paint layers bring additional patina to the space. Vintage tin letters spell out the owner's last name, calling attention to her bedroom, lofted above the great room. 

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Vintage and Modern Mix for Character

Ready for a fresh start, this mother with twin toddlers transformed this loft into an open but cozy home with plenty of character. Original beams, columns and windows reveal its century-plus of history. A few modern additions — including a darling sleeping nook for Mom — turned the industrial space into a functional home for this family. 

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Collected and Colorful Gallery Style in Pittsburgh

The tall ceilings and whitewashed bricks in this Pittsburgh apartment seemed to beg for walls filled with art. Luckily, this homeowner could fulfill the need. With every wall covered in personal, found and antique art, the open space shines with personality, color and warmth. 

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DIY Live-Work Loft in Colorado

For this Colorado professional, there's no line between work and play — and that's how she likes it. Her spacious loft in Denver is devoted to living and working, with her own home often functioning as a showroom for her furniture designs. 

Different nooks and crannies are devoted to different activities, such as this cozy and comfortable sitting space, accented with vintage finds and the owner's own pillows made of neckties and scarves. 

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New Walls Break Things Up in Brooklyn

This owner loved the industrial look of his loft — once home to the New York Trolley Museum — but he needed a little separation to make it work for his lifestyle. A few new walls created a separate dining room, two bedrooms and a living space. Leaving the rooms just slightly open to one another maintained the loft's open feel. Reclaimed wood accents and shelves, well-appointed antiques and a few industrial elements give the home an elegant but informal look that suits its history. 

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An Urban Jewel Box

Color, pattern and playful touches divide up this former factory space according to function. A splash of blue, a swath of wallpaper and a dash of black paint visually divide several nooks and short walls into well-styled work, drinking and lounge spaces. 

Refurbished vintage finds, including these dining chairs, add personality without overpowering the colorful space. 

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Categories: Nest