The industrial aesthetic has been a popular design trend for some time now. Industrial Chic, as it’s referred to, is achieved by using authentic building materials to celebrate the glory of artisans gone by while still adding modern practicalities.
The Industrial Chic style seemingly began in the cafes of the inner-city with every new cafe embracing the raw and textured feel. Even in new builds, the industrial look tends to deliver a relaxed vibe as if the building has always been there. This aesthetic creates a comfortable, lived-in look that instantly makes customers feel at home.
This movement towards raw materials has captured the imagination of architects and designers – exposed brick walls, copper piping and concrete floors are some of the key elements of this style. The Industrial Chic style allows these raw materials to shine through, increasing the appeal factor.
An interesting outcome of this trend’s popularity in the commercial interior space is that it has also started to move into people’s homes. The industrial look appeals to families seeking to add a rustic appearance and touch of authenticity to their new homes. It has its advantages too – all the wear and tear of normal family life visible in the form of scratches and scrapes on surfaces adds to the look, rather than take away from the style.
Architect Andrew Benn of Benn + Penna Architecture, who has created the look for a number of his clients, 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.
Some of the methods used by Benn to infuse an industrial vibe into his design include adding larger elements to a build, such as an exposed beam or brick feature wall, or removing floors to create a double height space.
PGH Bricks & Pavers has recently launched the new Manhattan Collection, featuring two new bricks – Tribeca and Chelsea – both designed to capture the edgy, exposed-brick wall look and feel. Inspired by the architecture of the New York districts of 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 combines imperfections such as knots, scratches and nicks with mixed textures and colour variations to perfectly complement the modern, sleek finishes that complete the eclectic industrial look.