Question: I like the idea of loft condominiums although I’ve never understood minimalist art. What is minimalism, anyway, and are all lofts decorated in this style? Isn’t it too “cold” or austere for most people in a home?
Answer: Minimalism means “indeterminacy” meaning not determined. Inexact in its limits. Indefinite, uncertain, vague. Not yet settled, concluded, or known. Doubtful or inconclusive. This generally means removing “fluff” or ornamentation and paring down to the bare essentials. In home design, it generally means a more open floor plan.
True lofts are renovated open warehouse spaces which is why loft condominiums are so strongly associated with minimalism. Beyond that, an open floor plan is not even a part of my key criteria defining a loft. Many of the historic details preserved in some of these homes—arched vaults, timber pillars, networks of low-lying beams—actually are at odds with strict minimalism, which calls for no allusions or references to the outside world whatsoever.
As I have written, my minimum criteria for true lofts are as follows: 1) the exterior walls are either brick or concrete; 2) the unit has ceilings of at least ten feet. Usually the ceilings rise between ten and fourteen feet, and sometimes even higher; and 3) large and ample windows.
Therefore, I would say that a loft owner can “turn up” minimalism or tone it down almost as much as they so desire!
If you think lofts seem “cold” simply because you are not accustomed to them, there are lots of enjoyable and exciting things you can do to test the waters. Purely for enjoyment, read news articles that spotlight Japanese homes. You’ll see that it’s not uncommon to plan for the reality that guests will sit on the floor instead of on chairs. Your first reaction might be “uncomfortable” or “unfinished.” Nevertheless, it can be stimulating to think about. Entire civilizations have found that sitting on the floor can be relaxing because it is so much less constraining!
Meanwhile, pay attention to the children in your life. I’ve noticed that given a choice among many rooms in a house, they often will move their toys to the one that is the least cluttered. Somehow, the simplicity of space frees their minds to give way to imagination. As it turns out, empty nesters and grandparents can be marvelous candidates for loft condos as they transition into new phases of life. If this intrigues you, start by de-junking and paring down one room in your present home, and see if you observe the same result!
For additional reading, I recommend The Big Book of Lofts by Antonio Corcuera and Aitana Lleonart, an oversized book with oversized photos. It covers loft homes from all over the world, including homes built to accommodate children. Just reading through the descriptions will stretch your imagination so you can do justice to the loft condo option.
Twin Cities Realtor and Article Writer Andy Asbury specializes inMinneapolis condos and lofts and welcomes comments to this article. Mill District condos in Minneapolis offer rich options in loft living at nearly any price point. Explore all of them at www.MinnesotaLoftsAndCondos.com today!
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