Industrial interiors – how to get the look

You
don’t have to live in a warehouse or a converted factory to bring this year’s
industrial look into your home, says Emily Jenkinson

Not so long ago disused warehouses and
urban factories found in the less salubrious parts of towns and cities across
Britain were the preserve of squatters and struggling artists. These days, they
are an aspirational living space for all, offering the kind of wide open spaces,
high ceilings, exposed brickwork, rustic wooden beams and industrial gloss of
Britain’s once booming manufacturing trade that most of us can only dream of
for our home.

The industrial look, inspired by the glut of high-end warehouse and factory conversions of recent years, is one of the biggest trends of 2012, characterised by raw metals, concrete, reclaimed wood, unfinished surfaces and exposed fittings, as well as vintage and factory-style furniture and home accessories. The good news is that it can be incorporated into all types of home.  

“From 18 century country cottages and Victorian town houses to modern beach front homes and inner city apartment blocks, the industrial finish is such an easy scheme to incorporate in your home simply because it works so well in a blank modernist setting,” says Richard Morris, managing director of O SC ARS Interiors, an interior design service and online shop specialising in Victorian campaign furniture. “Previously an industrial cast iron cheese press would have been side-lined for the scrap yard. Now, these pieces of industrial machinery can be seen taking centre stage in the modern day home, not as an item compacting cheese but instead acting as a beautiful kitchen shelving unit or perhaps a book case with a twist.”

“Industrial styling has a rawness that resonates with today’s homeowners,” says Peter Bowles, managing director of Davey Lighting, where original designs from its 19th century past as a supplier to the shipbuilding industry can now be bought for use in the home. “Where and how products are made or sourced has become a talking point. There’s a move away from assembly line production towards thing that are made in factories. The focus is on craftsmanship, purpose and tradition and lighting is a particularly easy way to dip into the industrial look. From traditional school lights to factory and ship’s lights, 19 century lighting has a simple, refined elegance that is stripped back, simple and unpretentious. There’s a reason these designs have lasted.”

While lighting may be a good place to start, there are plenty other ways to bring an industrial look into the average home. Mark Holloway of classic and contemporary fixtures and fittings site Holloways of Ludlow suggests incorporating hand-polished, cast-iron radiators (reclaimed or reproduction) to provide “an impressive, steely backdrop” or adding little details such as jelly mould light switches. Contemporary slate wall tiles are another good option, says Sheila Elliott, creative director at British Ceramic Tile.“Ledgestone offers a very modern take on natural stone and can instantly update a kitchen in need of some urban influence,” she explains. “The tiles themselves have a rugged, textured feel and have been designed to mimic the effect of a real brick wall with the contours of the tiles jutting in and out for a dramatic, edgy effect.”

Meanwhile, there’s a lot of fun to be had browsing second hand shops, vintage markets, car boot sales and online stores such as eBay or Etsy, where scratched metal tables from industrial kitchens, scrubbed wooden tables from dairies or old lift-up-lid school desks can be turned into kitchen tables; retro seating, salvaged from factory canteens or school rooms, transformed into dining chairs; or galvanised steel trolleys used as coffee tables.

“Full of provenance and an honest approach to design” these type of products “have broad appeal and work in homes that are happy to embrace a mix of styles,” says Philippa Prinsloo, senior designer at John Lewis Home. “Just beware when using these pieces in non-industrial properties that the look may need to be softened with colour and styled with solid wood pieces and textile accessories.” Otherwise, it’s a trend to be embraced and enjoyed by all – even if you don’t own an edgy East End warehouse.

Emily Jenkinson is interiors writer for the mydeco marketplace, an online shopping experience where you can search hundreds of home furnishings and accessories all in one place.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
News
newsChester Zoo have revealed their newest members
Sport
sportLeague Managers' Association had described Malky Mackay texts as 'friendly banter'
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
tvSpielberg involved in bringing his 2002 film to the small screen
News
peopleCareer spanned 70 years, including work with Holocaust survivors
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Data Insight Manager

£40000 - £43000 Per Annum plus company bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - IT

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Computer Futures has been est...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Hydrographic Survey Manager

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape