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So your style is.......INDUSTRIAL

Posted by on May. 24, 2013 at 2:07 PM
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So Your Style Is: Industrial

With its raw, utilitarian appeal, industrial style gives modern homes a sophisticated edge

Houzz Contributor. Fresh out of journalism school, I fell into decorating... More 

What it is: It used to be that industrial wasn't even a style — it was a fact of workaday life. But somewhere along the way, we began to appreciate its lack of pretension and the visual appeal that lies within utilitarian surfaces, stripped-back architecture and salvaged objects. It exploded into a trend that shows no signs of waning, and these days, you're as likely to find 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 resonates, and because it celebrates humble materials, it can be as affordable as you need it to be. Pared back to the essentials, it showcases the beautiful interplay between pure form and function. It's unassuming, comfortable in its own skin and all the more chic for it. 

You'll love it if... You're allergic to big-box furniture stores. Your favorite shop is the salvage yard. Your classmates wore neon and Keds; you paired steel-toed boots with vintage dresses. You saw Factory Girl for its title alone. You had cinder-block shelving well beyond your student days.

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Style Secret: Functional Furnishings

Industrial furnishings are minimal and no-nonsense, with strong, clean lines and without a hint of excess. Mix new pieces with reclaimed ones — search thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales, and don't be shy about investigating curbside castaways. Repurposing is central to this style: wooden crates turned into tables, old lockers used as storage, battered ladders turned into shelving.

Smart strategy: 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 chair or a tufted ottoman. Choose solid upholstery in natural textures and neutral colors. 

Style Secret: The Art of Salvage

Industrial style erases the line between trash and treasure and reveals beauty in everyday flotsam. Singular finds with emphatic lines and forms, from old parking meters and typewriter tables to overscale bolts and gears, give the look its characteristic strength. And if they look a little shopworn, so much the better. 

Smart strategy:Honestly, it's hard to go wrong here. If a striking object or a collection of pieces speaks to you, display it with pride. You can create greater impact by grouping like objects together or turning salvaged finds into furniture.
Style Secret: Open Space

Industrial style had its genesis in big, cavernous buildings — warehouses, garages, packing plants — so it only makes sense that an open floor plan is a hallmark of the look. High ceilings cap expansive rooms that often serve multiple functions, such as a kitchen, dining room and living area all blended into one. 

Smart strategy: Break up a long expanse of space with well-placed furniture. An island and twin pendant lamps visually separate this kitchen from the space beyond. You'll also want to pay special attention to creating visual echoes and a unified look throughout to avoid a jarring stop-start-stop effect.
Style Secret: Edgy Art

Would it feel awkward in a traditional home or a sweet, feminine cottage? Then it'll probably be the life of the party in an industrial space. Old road signs, giant abstract works, mixed-media sculptures — risk taking gives this style its swagger. Found objects, such as pulley wheels and giant faucet handles, can be mounted on the walls or massed on shelving for a powerful 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 this wall, bound by a custom rail-style treatment, is stunning because of its spareness.
Style Secret: Cool Colors

When you think about an industrial color scheme, you probably envision gray, gray and gray, with a little black and white thrown in for kicks. And while it's true that the range of colors in this style tends to be narrower than in others, there's wiggle room in the palette — as long as you don't overdo it. 

Start with a background of neutrals that have cool undertones, and then you could bring in a measured dose of citron, tangerine, fuchsia or another saturated hue. Or go dark and moody, as in this bathroom: indigo, plum, moss. 

Smart strategy: Even if you decide to stick mostly 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 such as concrete, corrugated metal and perhaps a smidgen of rust, industrial style usually has built-in texture to break up the monochromatic palette. But if a room feels flat, consider adding a few more tactile elements to lend depth.
Style Secret: Heavy Metal

If there's a go-to industrial material, it's metal. Tin, steel, iron and aluminum create a clean, cool, functional sensibility andlend 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 strategy: Choose "cold" metals (not gold or brass) that have a matte finish or a kiss of patina. Industrial style is not about shine and sparkle — save that for your jewelry. And break up all the metal with other materials, such as wood or stone, to keep from feeling as though you live in a factory (unless, of course, that's what you want).
Style Secret: Architecture on Display

Architecturally speaking, an industrial room leaves nothing to the imagination. The infrastructure is often on full display, right down to the ductwork. Unfinished walls, bare windows and exposed beams show the structural skeleton that holds the space together. It's rough around the edges, in the best possible way.

Smart strategy: Embrace the rawness. Don't cover cinder block or brick walls with plaster, or hide ducts and pipes behind a ceiling. If privacy's a concern, consider a frosted treatment or film for windows, but obscuring them with blinds and curtains can detract from their austere appeal.
Style Secret: Basic Flooring

The rise of industrial style may be the single biggest reason that concrete floors entered the mainstream. Whether they're honed or polished, they telegraph industrial chic like few other materials can. But wood (preferably showing its age), epoxy, simple tiles, or even rubber can be pitch perfect. Here's a test: Would you put it in a warehouse? If the answer is yes, you're good to go. 

Smart strategy: Rugs and carpeting dilute industrial's hard edge. If your tootsies are numb with cold or your knees ache from unyielding surfaces, consider splurging on radiant heating beneath the floor, or invest in portable cushioned mats for areas where you stand for long periods (such as the kitchen). 

by on May. 24, 2013 at 2:07 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Member on May. 24, 2013 at 2:38 PM

I like it, my dh loves it.

by Member on May. 24, 2013 at 2:58 PM


by Member on May. 24, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Love the kitchens.

by Member on May. 24, 2013 at 7:26 PM

No, I guess it's not-

by Member on May. 24, 2013 at 7:59 PM

not really my style

by Member on May. 25, 2013 at 9:39 AM

I like a lot of this

by Bronze Member on May. 25, 2013 at 10:47 AM
absolutely not
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by Member on May. 25, 2013 at 5:44 PM

I love the 2nd picture! :)

by on May. 25, 2013 at 10:45 PM

No, not me but it's nice

by Member on May. 26, 2013 at 1:56 AM

Wow I really like this

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