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So Your Design Is: Industrial

What it is: It used to be that industrial was not even a fashion — it was a fact of workaday life. But somewhere along the waywe started to appreciate its lack of pretension and the visual appeal that lies within pragmatic surfaces, stripped-back architecture and salvaged objects. It burst into a trend that shows no signs of waning, and these days, you are as likely to come across industrial décor within the walls of a multimillion-dollar mansion as in a converted loft in a gritty part of town.

Why it works: There’s a hardworking, proletarian quality about industrial style that contrasts, and since it observes small materials, it is often as affordable as you need it to be. Pared back to the essentials, it showcases the gorgeous interplay between pure form and function. It is unassuming, comfortable in its own skin and even more chic for this.

You will enjoy it if… You’re allergic to big-box furniture shops. Your favourite shop is the salvage yard. Your classmates wore neon and Keds; you paired steel-toed boots using vintage dresses. You watched Factory Girl because of its name alone. You had cinder-block shelving well outside of your student days.

Much more’So Your Design Is’:
Conventional | Arts & Crafts | Hollywood Regency | Rustic | Old World | Cottage | French Country
Art Deco | Transitional | Contemporary | Midcentury Modern | Eclectic | Coastal | Preppy

Yvonne McFadden LLC

Style Secret: Functional Furnishings

Industrial furnishings are minimal and no-nonsense, with strong, clean lines and without a hint of surplus. Mix new bits with ones that are recovered — search thrift shops, flea markets and garage sales, and don’t be shy about investigating curbside castaways. Repurposing is central for this style: wooden crates turned into tables, old lockers utilized as storage, battered ladders turned into shelving.

Smart approach: Although homey, cushy furnishings can feel out of place, you don’t have to perch on metal stools and sleep on cots, either. Padded pieces should be simple and free of frills — nothing breaks the tension of industrial décor like an overstuffed wing seat or a tufted ottoman. Choose solid upholstery in organic textures and neutral colors.

The Lettered Cottage

Style Secret: The Art of Salvage

Industrial style erases the line between trash and treasure and also shows beauty in regular flotsam. Singular finds with emphatic lines and forms, from old parking meters and typewriter tables to overscale bolts and gears, give the appearance its characteristic strength. And if they seem somewhat shopworn, so much the better.

Smart approach: Honestly, it’s difficult to go wrong here. If a striking object or a selection of bits speaks to youpersonally, display it with pride. You are able to create greater effect by grouping like objects collectively or turning finds into furniture.

ROMABIO / Interior & Exterior Mineral Based Paints

Design Secret: Open Space

Industrial style had its genesis in large, cavernous buildings — warehouses, garages, packing plants — therefore it just makes sense that an open floor plan is a hallmark of the appearance. High ceilings cover expansive rooms that frequently serve numerous purposes, like a kitchen, dining area and living room all combined into one.

Smart approach: Split a long expanse of room with well-placed furniture. An island and double pendant lamps visually separate this kitchen in the space beyond. You will also need to pay special attention to creating visual echoes and a unified look throughout to prevent a jarring stop-start-stop effect.

Style Secret: Edgy Art

Can it feel awkward at a traditional home or a sweet, feminine cabin? Then it’ll probably be the life of the party in a commercial area. Old street signs, giant abstract functions, mixed-media sculptures — risk taking gives this style its swagger. Found objects, for example pulley wheels and giant faucet handles, can be mounted onto the walls or massed on shelving for a highly effective graphic punch.

Smart strategy: When in doubt, you cannot go wrong with black and white photos. Keep mats wide and frames ultrasimple. The grid on the wall, bound by a custom made rail-style therapy, is magnificent because of its spareness.

CWB Architects

Style Secret: Cool Colors

If you consider an industrial color scheme, you likely envision gray, gray and gray, with a little white and black thrown in for kicks. And while it’s a fact that the assortment of colors in this fashion will be thinner than in others, there’s wiggle room at the palette — so long as you don’t overdo it.

Start with a history of neutrals that have cool undertones, after which you can bring in a measured dose of citron, tangerine, fuchsia or another saturated hue. Or move dark and moody, as in this toilet: indigo, plum, moss.

Smart approach: Even if you decide to stick mainly with grays, vary the shades — some light, some deep, some in the middle — to keep the space from feeling one-dimensional. Because of the emphasis on materials like concrete, corrugated metal and perhaps a smidgen of rust, industrial style usually has built-in feel to break up the monochromatic palette. But if a room feels flat, look at adding a few more tactile components to lend thickness.

PLACE architect ltd..

Design Secret: Heavy Metal

If there’s a go-to industrial substance, it’s metal. Tin, steel, aluminum and iron produce a clean, cool, practical sensibility and lend just the right touch of sleekness without feeling too upscale. Anything that can be forged or welded is fair game: exposed ductwork, stairwells, countertops, divider walls.

Smart approach: Choose”chilly” metals (not gold or brass) that have a matte finish or a kiss of patina. Industrial style is not about shine and glow — save that for your own jewelry. And split up all of the metal with different materials, like stone or wood, to keep from feeling as though you live in a factory (unless, obviously, that is exactly what you need ).

Envision living

Design Secret: Architecture on Screen

Architecturally speaking, a living area leaves nothing to the imagination. The infrastructure can be on full display, right down to the ductwork. Unfinished walls, bare windows and exposed beams show the structural skeleton that holds the room together. It is rough around the edges, at the greatest way possible.

Smart strategy: Adopt the rawness. Do not cover cinder block or brick walls with plaster, or conceal ducts and pipes behind a ceiling. If solitude’s a concern, consider a frosted therapy or film for windows, but obscuring them with blinds and curtains can detract from their austere appeal.

Pangaea Interior Design, Portland, OR

Design Secret: Basic Flooring

The rise of industrial style may be the single most significant reason that concrete floors entered the mainstream. Whether they are honed or polished, then they telegraph industrial chic like few different materials can. But wood (preferably showing its age), epoxy, simple tiles, as well as rubber could be pitch perfect. Here is a test: Can you place it in a warehouse? If the solution is yes, then you are good to go.

Smart approach: Rugs and carpets dilute industrial’s tough edge. If your tootsies are numb with cold or your knees from unyielding surfaces, consider splurging on glowing heating beneath the ground, or put money into portable cushioned mats for regions in which you stand for long periods (including the kitchen).

Much more’So Your Design Is’:
Conventional | Contemporary | Transitional | Cottage | Eclectic | Coastal | Arts & Crafts | Hollywood Regency

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