Use authentic building materials to celebrate the glory of artisans gone by while still adding modern practicalities
Use authentic building materials to celebrate the glory of artisans gone by while still adding modern practicalities Industrial chic seems to have started with the cafes of the inner-city. For a while, it seems as though every new café was embracing a raw and textured feel.
Inspired by the movement towards raw materials as well as New York loft apartments, this style is capturing the imagination of architects, designers and latte-drinkers everywhere.
Sometimes these cafes are new builds, but the relaxed appearance of industrial chic manages to make it seem as though the building has always been there. The aesthetic creates a comfortable, lived-in look that instantly makes customers feel at home.
Exposed brick walls, copper piping and concrete floors are some of the key elements of this style. Indeed, a lot of its appeal is that it lets these raw materials shine through.
So popular is the look that it has also started to move into people’s homes. It particularly has appeal for families wanting to add a rustic appearance and touch of authenticity to their new homes.
It’s also pretty forgiving of the wear and tear of normal family life. A few scrapes of paint, a scratch on the floor… these all add to the look, rather than take away from the style.
Architect Andrew Benn of Benn + Penna Architecture has created the look for a number of his clients and says that the challenge is to mix materials commonly associated with the industry, such as bricks, concrete and steel, with softer finishes, to make it “still feel comfortable and domestic”.
“We often get clients come to us with quite a small space and wanting to give it an industrial look and that involves finding ways to give it a kind of a big scale,” he says.
Benn says that some of the methods he uses to add an industrial feeling include adding larger elements to a build, such as exposing a beam, adding a brick feature wall, or removing floors to create a double height space... “Something that’s a little less domestic”.
Inspired by the architecture of New York districts Tribeca and Chelsea, the Manhattan Collection delivers this rustic style to form a statement interior wall, an external entertaining space, or an architecturally designed, contemporary home
The Manhattan Collection bricks highlight imperfections such as knots, scratches and nicks, creating a defined detail as well as mixed textures and colour variations. The result is a finished product that’s rich in character to perfectly complement the modern, sleek finishes that complete the eclectic industrial look.
By Lynne Testoni