Industrial design and loft style are the hot trends in interior design’s current state of affairs.
Industrial design, in its essence, is to treat your home as an industrial creation, putting emphasis on functionality and practicality. The aim of this design is to give the idea of home a new definition, that it is a space for work as much as relaxation.
Industrial design main features
The basic materials of Industrial design are metal, concrete and bricks. Decorative materials include wood, leather and fabric.
To heighten the industrial atmosphere, the furniture of choice is full of presence, substantial and sturdy. The palette is a mixture of silvers, dark browns and blacks.
Pipes and beams can be exposed, left in their most original form. This is arguably the most Industrial-like element of the design.
In America, abandoned warehouses, factories and commercial buildings exist in the form of wide, open areas. Therefore, designers often fill the space with furniture with a lot of presence, so as to transform the space into a living environment.
This way, harmony and a homely atmosphere can linger amidst the rough textures and lines.
But since houses and flats in Hong Kong involve a lot of wall partitioning, if you’re channeling an industrial feel in your abode, tearing down walls might be necessary.
Shades of black
Black shades are the characteristic trait of Industrial design. In fact, a lot of cafés and bookstores are decorated in an Industrial style.
To paint all the walls and floors black or grey might not be so suitable for the small apartments in Hong Kong; it might give the interior a claustrophobic feeling.
Nonetheless, black decoration and furniture can be great alternatives.
Industrial design cannot do without metallic materials. Although the metal of choice is usually steel, options are in fact unlimited.
Metal chairs and tables with metal legs are indispensable. Preferably, the furniture should be in a degree of uniformity. Tables with machinery components as decoration look tastefully industrial.
Most furniture items are made with at least a small amount of wood, which contrasts beautifully with metallic elements.
Besides, you can add extra metallic components with storage boxes, food containers and racks.
Arguably the centrepiece of the living room, the leather sofa is a comforting addition to the interior, which neutralises the coldness of metals.
The soft lustre of authentic leather gives the space warmth.
Besides, fabric products can also be used as neutralising ornaments. They include table cloth, cushions and carpets.
One unspoken trait of Industrial design is that it seems to be a thing of the past. Objects with colourful backstories are very much an essence of Industrial design. Second-hand furniture like scratched sofas can perfectly satisfy this stylistic criterion.
Some Industrial-style enthusiasts purchase flawed and weathered furniture from second-hand stores, which saves a large amount of renovation cost.
If you’re keen on hanging prints to decorate the walls, black-and-white photos are the better option over colourful pictures.
Old bricks and rough concrete walls leave an unaffected impression in the beholder. If you plan to bring them into your home, be prepared to spend extra money on renovation cost.
Alternatively, you can find realistically printed wallpaper. Since the technology for wallpaper making has improved a lot in recent years, you can easily find red brick wallpaper with very realistic textures.
Lighting in Industrial design tend to be simplistic. In a space full of presence, strong lighting is a must.
Lampshades can be stripped off to expose the light bulbs. The classic beauty of the incandescent light bulb, or the trending Pasadena lamp above, are both perfect lighting for the Industrial design.
Extra tips: metal lockers
Ever thought of fashioning the wardrobes and shoe organisers into metal lockers you can only find in schools and offices?
They can look very industrial, but are likely involve a lot of DIY efforts. Whether that’s worth the effort, well, it’s for you to decide!
All in all, Industrial designs aims at transforming a home into the environment of a warehouse or a factory. Vice versa, a warehouse into a living environment. A lot of emphasis is put on functionality and simplicity, so that the inherent beauty of each object can compose a contrasting, interesting work of art.