soft loft
n. A loft that includes some elements of traditional house design.
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Before the loft," Lyons observes, "condos tended to be fairly predictable. The loft gave the experience of design and character. Architects and developers couldn't help but notice how successful lofts were.

"Now we're seeing new lofts - some people call them 'soft lofts' - with nine-foot ceilings, different configurations of rooms and hardwood flooring instead of broadloom. So far, the market's willing to pay for these extras.
—Christopher Hume, “Toronto mondo condo,” The Toronto Star, November 15, 1997
Amenities loom larger to empty nesters, who tend to have a higher income and even more sophisticated tastes, said Tripi Kasal, another sales agent at Beliard, Gordon….They also prefer "soft lofts" — with separate, walled-off bedrooms — over traditional lofts, which tend to be one large room.
—Brian Jackson, “Selling the new breed of home buyers,” The Chicago Sun-Times, October 24, 1997
1988 (earliest)
Shipka began with rehabbed lofts, but now is creating a hybrid type of city dwelling, one that combines the wide open spaces of lofts with the finished look and outdoor green spaces of townhouses.

Shipka coined the terms "soft lofts" or "lofthomes" to describe this concept. The Cornelia project, called Cornelia Lane, at 1111 and 1133 Cornelia Ave., brings the "soft loft" concept into sharp focus, Shipka said.
—Larry Lupas, “'Mr. Redo' dares to build differently,” Chicago Tribune, March 20, 1988
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