The industrial chic look has never been more in style. Here is how to add a little urban grit to your life.
Industrial chic – also known as urban industrial and modern industrial – became an interiors trend in the 2000s, but it had its origins decades earlier, when arty New Yorkers started turning the city’s old and abandoned warehouses and factories into living spaces-cum-studios.
Creative but with little money, they worked with what they had: embracing large open spaces with few walls, well-worn timber or concrete floors and industrial remnants such as exposed brick and industrial piping.
Industrial chic evolved when it was adopted in more traditional homes and apartments, with homemakers picking up some of the look’s key elements and adapting them to suit day-to-day family living.
It remains hugely popular today, a sophisticated yet earthy style that suits both traditional and modern spaces.
Here, five key elements to add a little industrial style to your home.
- Exposed brickwork
Kiln-fired bricks, known for their durability and longevity, have been the foundation of factories ever since factories existed, so it’s little surprise that exposed bricks are one of the cornerstones of the industrial look. Once used primarily as feature walls in living or dining spaces, exposed brick walls are now trending in kitchens and bathrooms. You want a brick with a rustic texture: Austral’s San Selmo Reclaimed represents the traditional, while the Industrial range updates that look while retaining an industrial feel.
2. Timber and metal
Shiny new wood is the antithesis of the raw, unfinished look: timber factory floors would have been subjected to years of wear and tear, and that’s the look you want to re-create in your home. Tables and benchtops made from recycled or reclaimed timber, salvaged wood doors and window frames and even weathered photo frames add authenticity to a space. Metal is the perfect complimentary material to timber: choose more rustic styles and use sparingly for the greatest impact.
They might be polar opposites in look and feel, but concrete and timber floors underpin industrial style. Your choice is largely dependent on your tastes: concrete gives a cool modernist feel to a space; timber floors are warmer and slightly more inviting. Climate is an issue, too: concrete floors might offer sweet relief if you live in Darwin, but may be too chilly underfoot for Melbournians. Whatever you choose, keep furniture and accessories streamlined and simple.
4. Industrial-style fixtures
Modern homeowners are unlikely to want exposed ducting and pipes in their living spaces à la the original lofts and warehouses of New York. But you can introduce industrial style in more subtle ways – like lighting. Almost every light manufacturer and retailer has a wide range of industrial-style fittings, ranging from oversized metallic pendant lights to finer pieces using filament bulbs.
5. Colour palette
There are three key colours associated with the clean lines of the urban industrial look – neutrals, black and grey. These easy-on-the-eye hues form the backdrop to furniture and accessories and are the perfect counterpoint to weathered timber. Once you’ve set the basic scheme, don’t be afraid to add colour and texture. That might be in the form of a kilim rug, scatter cushions or floor lamp, but keep the palette subdued: think tones such as burnt orange, khaki and tan.
Wondering what the exterior of your home is going to look like?
Our iVisualise program allows you to visualise your new home, as well as customise your very own colour scheme. Try it here.
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