Bringing History into Your Home: Vintage Industrial Style
No doubt you’ve seen elements of the latest design trend in stores, magazines, and perhaps even your own home, but you may not have known exactly what to label it.
When my fiancé and I were hunting for the perfect wedding venue, we trucked to and fro touring many spaces, much to his detriment. We had our, “eureka” moment, much to his relief, in a former factory and immediately snagged the space.
At the Cork Factory Hotel, we were greeted by a sprawling, brick building complete with too many windows to possibly attempt to count and an old factory stack loomed overhead. The history of the building lingered in the air. We were sold. But we had a difficult time explaining the style to our family and friends. It wasn’t a traditional country club, grand hotel, rustic barn or garden party soiree. A style that has no name? Our design team here at dRemodeling had no trouble classifying the style and have been seeing it slowly spread from former factories into everyday homes: Vintage Industrial.
Turns out, the Vintage Industrial style hearkens back to the hustle and bustle of the Industrial Revolution, when the factories were full and efficiency was king. These buildings were constructed with a unique utilitarianism largely dictated by safety concerns and the lack of newfangled technology like electricity. A plethora of uncovered windows flooded the space with abundant natural light, perfect to complete their tasks. The fear of fire led to open floor plans, flat roofs, simple decor and a raw space consisting of exposed brick, ductwork, beams and piping.
Fast forward to the early 20th century when engineers and inventors merged artistic and scientific values. This, “intelligent furniture” was comprised of items from their original resources. These pieces were stripped of everything superfluous, thus only leaving raw elements as the building blocks of furniture, fixtures, and overall design aesthetics. The style then made the jump from warehouse to office space due to its economical practicality.
In more recent times, long-abandoned factories and warehouses were finally given new purposes and new life. Former factories and warehouses in urban areas converted to hip, loft-style condos led to the rise of, “industrial chic” design. It’s no surprise that this no frills, edgy look slowly trickled into both commercial and residential spaces. The look is simple and clean with a focus on function, which is a reflection of the olden workday life and the machinery used.
But how can you incorporate this urban style into your own home? The designers have some quick tips to take your space:
- Unmask The Illusion
Your foundation IS the foundation of this style. To achieve this behind-the-scenes look, consider exposing wood beams, piping, ductwork and brick in your space.
- Reinvent The Wheel
Think outside the box and make creative use of materials. Try using vintage lockers to solve storage problems or old piping and wood scraps to create custom, DIY shelving.
- Go With The Flow
Create an open floor plan. Need more definition? Let industrial pieces define the
purpose of each space.
- Keep It In neutral
Fill the space with subdued and muted tones that let the materials in the space speak for themselves.
- Mix It Up
Combine equal parts cold concrete, textured brick, weathered wood, and lustrous metal. Stir well.
As for me, now that I know more about Vintage Industrial style, I’m thinking about incorporating some elements here and there in our own home. How about you?
In the meantime, check out these great industrial pieces for kitchen and bath: