By Fiona Evans, Limited Editions
Concrete doesn't have to be ugly!
Who would have thought that concrete, corrugated iron and rusty metalwork could be beautiful, trendy and downright chic? Yet interiors incorporating Industrial Style using such raw elements can be exciting and inspirational. It's a look borne from warehouse and factory life where hard lines, exposed surfaces, function and utility ruled. Stripping the building to its bare bones and leaving nothing to the imagination is the key and philosophy. Hard lines generated from concrete beams and metal posts, reclaimed wooden boards, exposed brickwork juxtaposed with corrugated iron, metal furnishings and salvaged items resurrected from scrapyards create an interior which is fabulous, balanced and atmospheric. Add a neutral backdrop of greys, exposed brickwork and perhaps a few statement punches of colour. A large factory window will illuminate the space with plenty of natural light broken up by shadows created by the window framework. A funky spiral staircase composed of scaffolding and metal steps adds wow factor.
Take industrial elements such as concrete floors or walls, exposed or painted floorboards, metal and glass pendant lighting, cables, exposed painted pipes and chunky Victorian radiators. The style incorporates furnishings such as metal cabinets (factory lockers would be great), up-cycled objects, for instance a sink made from an old cold water tank, salvaged wood units, leather and chrome seating from old cars and large vintage clocks. Inspirational furnishings that were once only functional like vintage shop drawer units or old work benches added to the design creates a cutting edge interior. Industrial Style adds weight to the already popular trend of up-cycling and crosses all budgets. It's a style that wouldn't appeal to all but one which I personally love and could have a lot of fun with, re-using and turning something originally considered utilitarian and boring into one of beauty.
To achieve full on Industrial detail, ideally a suitable building would be required such as a loft space in a disused factory, but here are some ideas you could take to use in your home especially the kitchen and bathroom if you want to take a step or two towards the style :-
- If you were starting from scratch then concrete is a serious option, perhaps a work surface or floor.
- White metro wall tiles.
- Metal shelving with vintage supports instead of wall cupboards.
- An island feature, perhaps a vintage shop unit with lots of drawers or similar (if you're lucky enough to find one).
- Metal chairs or stools around the island.
- Chunky Victorian re-conditioned radiators.
- Metal pendant lights such as lanterns, a feature chandelier or exposed designer bulbs.
- Rustic metal baskets for storage within the island.
- Pale grey painted walls.
- A chalk board.
- Use drainpipes to store wine bottles.
- White metro wall tiles.
- Vintage bevelled mirrors hung on chains.
- Chunky Victorian radiator.
- Wall mounted vintage taps.
- Exposed painted pipes.
- A vintage wooden ladder to hang towels.