A style as manly as the name implies. Influenced by the environments where it originated from, workshops, factories, warehousing and anywhere else raw, harsh and heavy materials are used to mould manufacturing and propel production. Think New York, Brooklyn loft. This is ideal for the Modern Gentleman who appreciates the complexities of engineering and the brutal forms and shapes of structure, coupled with sleek and considered design. Industrial embraces the rough nature of the material. The planning is predominantly open, due to the nature of its influencers (factories and warehouses) having minimal columns to create the largest amount of uninterrupted floor space possible.
Structure and services, these are the working parts of the building. The industrial look leaves nothing to the imagination; it lets the structure ‘hang out’ and bears its bones. Walls and columns, both brickwork and concrete, are left exposed, raw and rough. They can, however, be painted for a cleaner look, while still creating a texture. In some cases even plastered and painted for a softer look. Services, such as the air-conditioning ducts, electrical conduits (preferably galvanised steel), water pipes (copper) etc. can be left visible and unfinished or accentuated with brightly coloured paint, to create a feature. Steel beams, bracing and columns are left tarnished, painted with standard red oxide primer or painted a dark colour, for the cleaner look.
It is important to chose the pallet wisely and to ensure you stick to a certain few. If not the result can look slapped together.
In keeping with the exposed and rough nature of the industrial style, the floors follow on from the structure. Power floated and polished concrete illustrating the stresses and cracks that harsh factory conditions force. Hard wood or parquet floor coverings are a great addition to any industrial style space. A mixture of the two can be employed to break up spaces and denote rooms.
Neutral, warm, earthy tones are a great fit for brickwork and timber. Shades of grey always work well with concrete and steel. Black can be used to make service and structure stand out .White can be used in all cases for a cleaner look. In some cases you may use a bright, vibrant colour to highlight certain elements. Possibly painting the steel a certain colour or, perhaps, exposing air-con ducts, painting them a single bright colour and painting the exposed concrete slabs black, to make them appears as if they are floating.
Shelving, racking, cupboards, light fitting etc. can be made from steel or copper piping, for the added industrial touch. Standard steel lockers and industrial shelving are a great addition and can be used to cut costs.
Appliances and fittings (even entire kitchens) look great in stainless steel, to continue the industrial theme. Timber cabinets/countertops and copper sinks and extractors are a great addition to change a space and add class. As kitchens are the areas for preparing food, a sleeker and cleaner choice of materials can be used.
Much like kitchens bathrooms can have stainless steel fitting, but then run the risk of looking like a public convenience. Traditional style porcelain fittings, with rectangular herringbone patterned tiles can really complement industrial bathrooms. Timber and copper, much like in the kitchen, add a touch of class.
Stark coloured fabrics (whites or greys) stand out and add a sense of modernity. A contemporary touch brings the space into a more modern time and fits well juxtaposed against the industrials style. Again the theme can be carried through with steel and timber stools, tables and chairs. However a comfortable couch makes a massive impact and offsets the harshness of the rough materials and creates an inviting homey environment.
The Industrial is perfect for the Gentleman who appreciates how stuff works, repurposing the old to create something new and longs for the New York loft lifestyle. A style as rough as a beard and as sleek as a suit, it has to rank as a perfect style for the Modern Gentleman.
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