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Understated drapes may be just what you need to soften a loft

These hemp linen curtains might be just what you need to soften an industrial space.

Loft style dwellings are popular in many urban areas, where buildings that previously served an industrial purpose are often converted into residences as neighborhoods change over time. This type of architecture often lends itself to a desirable home, since such buildings usually have high ceilings and large windows that let in lots of natural light. 

There's no denying, however, that a factory-style building can often lack some of the comforts of home. If you're enamored with charming details such as moldings and built-in shelving, a converted loft can feel somewhat bare depending on the way that it's decorated. The good news is that mixing traditional elements in with a more industrial setting often creates a unique aesthetic that's very appealing for many people to look at. 

Linen is a wonderful textile to employ for these purposes, since it is at once textured and luxurious. By using this fabric in light neutral hues such as white, cream or grey, you can create visual interest that is at once very nice and still in line with the desired aesthetic that you have for the apartment. This will be most effective if you choose linen on traditional style furniture such as a tufted sofa or a wing-backed chair. These iconic shapes are familiar to just about everyone, which will help to make your space stand out even more. 

If you have small children, it's better to choose a rich grey or brown in favor of a white or cream, since these light colors are practically invitations to become marked up in no time at all. Particularly in a loft setting where there isn't much space to begin with, designating one living room as a more formal space where kids aren't allowed is simply not practical. Picking darker colors for your durable linen will ensure that the whole family can make use of this space without too much trouble. 

Use linen drapes in a complementary hue to filter the light from the windows. Doing this will help to tame the space further, partially covering what are likely to be harsh metal window frames. Since you probably have large windows in this kind of space, make the most of them by treating the sills as shelving the same way you would a fireplace mantel. This is a great spot for books, vases, candles or small artwork. Even better, it's a practical solution if your house is low on storage space. 

A classic oriental rug is another wonderful way to tie the entire room together. This will help you to designate the area that you will be using for a living area, and has the added bonus of bringing another formal element into the loft space. Many people aren't sure how big of a rug they should use, but larger is almost always better. Rather than making furniture crowded together to fit on your limited square footage, get the largest rug you can afford and enjoy how big this makes the room feel. 

Many people who have more traditional tastes shy away from living in a converted loft because they worry that they will miss the intricate details that make a more typical dwelling special. But if you make sure to mix your personal aesthetic in while keeping your architecture in mind, the results can be particularly fantastic.