I frequently work with clients who want to marry nostalgia and modernistic elements when it comes to the pursuit of a new living space.
So arrives the exciting prospect of letting the old and the new, the loaded with meaning and the strictly stern, the sleek and the functional, merge with depth, yet remain trendy.
The design style pandering to this ideal, hails from that which others previously have had to make do with from necessity or predicament, such as living on the top floor of their factory or some other unconventional space, converting crates to shelving, not being able to obscure piping and ducting and which has now become elevated and adopted as a sought after interior design-style: Industrial Interior Design.
By definition, “industrial” denotes that which has to do with the business of manufacturing products and so anything associated with manufacturing processes and mechanization, can be adopted into an Industrial Interior Design project.
Imagine instead of obscuring that un-plastered wall, raw cement floors, exposed ducting and recycled building materials, you proudly display it as the backdrop to a sophisticated space with designer furniture, fine art, plush carpets, state of the appliances inside an award winning architecturally designed home, even employ some of these “ugly” elements to better showcase the pieces of art and beautiful furniture in use in the space.
Employ the following to produce an industrial looking space:
- Color: use warm, neutral tones rather than bright daring colors. Industrial grays and browns work well contrasted with white to add sophistication.
- The building: exposed bricks, steel beams or columns, raw or polished concrete, unfinished wood, and simplistic steel window frames in black or grays denote an industrial space
- Floor: polished concrete, interior brick paving, recycled or un-varnished wooden floors bring large industrial elements into a room or space.
- Decor: bare windows and lean to mirrors and art works present a “storage” feel to an interior space, while touches of polished metal add a bit of glamor or industrial touches.
- Furniture: I like to juxtapose the cooler industrial elements in the interior with furniture that include elements of luxury and familiar comfort found with wood, leather, corduroys and other plush textures. A signature designer piece can add edge and humor, but that is dependant on available budget and taste and open shelving enhances the industrial feel of interiors.
- Lighting: bare hanging bulbs, billboard style lighting, free standing lamps, recycled stage lighting or lamps appearing too arbitrarily be lying on the floor unplaced add to the industrial feel.
People who long for the industrial look may employ industrial elements through furniture pieces. For example, this industrial looking Shelf System feature metal joints, tubes and hooks, but finished in polished effect to present an unusual accessory that is simultaneously nostalgic, quirky and functional in new ways than those originally intended for the various parts of it.
Rethinking the application of industrial elements to add to the creation of an unique and new interior that surprises and delights with originality, yet gives a feeling of warmth and lived in familiarity, is the objective of industrial design.