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Renovation: Guide to Industrial style

The loft level of this house, reclaimed from a previously concealed storage space beneath the false ceiling, was only discovered after stripping it bare. It added about 200sqf of floor area.

 

You’ve read about it in magazines and seen it in homes big and small recently. Although the industrial style might be all too familiar, everyone seems to be loving it. It had humble beginnings, though — “industrial” was more the lifestyle of common, ordinary folk, rather than a fashion. Its utilitarian, fuss-free look and lack of pretension eventually caught on and evolved to become a trend. The best part is that this style is (supposed to be) affordable as it makes use of simple, basic materials without excess ornamentation.

Here’s what pulls the look together:

 

OPEN-PLAN

It all started in vast, cavernous spaces. Think factories and warehouses that have been converted to become studios, venues and dwellings. Naturally, open-concept multi-purpose spaces with high ceilings resonate with this.

 

OUT ON DISPLAY

Nothing needs to be hidden or made to look perfect. Exposed ducts, pipes, wires and more are embraced; the whole structural skeleton of the building is visible. Unfinished walls, columns and beams need no disguise, while windows are left bare (no curtains or blinds). If privacy is an issue, opt for glass blocks or bricks, textured architectural glass, or frosted films.

 

ROUGH AND RAW

Thanks to this style, concrete screed flooring and brick walls are in. Basically, think of the finishes you would have in a warehouse. You wouldn’t invest in beautiful (and so easily scratched) hardwood flooring. Go for stripped-bare architecture and no frills.

 

COLD METAL

It won’t be industrial without metal, whether it’s steel, aluminium or iron as these were readily manufactured. This basic material, welded and forged into different forms, exudes functional sensibility without being upscale. Just stick to matte finishes and non-glitzy types. Mix with a bit of wood for some warmth if you like.

 

FUNCTIONAL FURNITURE

Go back to basics with furniture that is pared down and focuses on function. These include both old and new pieces, which you can feel free to mix and match.

 

NEW LEASE OF LIFE

As the industrial look is based on using whatever resources are available, turn salvaged objects and pieces into furniture and make the most of unique finds. It capitalises on the beauty of form, regardless of age, so distressed finishes will feel right at home.

 

OFFBEAT DECOR

Anything that would look out of place in a traditional, minimalist or country home would be perfect for this look. Some examples are mixed-media artwork, quirky salvaged objects and old signs.

 

 

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