There’s nothing like getting back to the basics to do you the world of good – especially in the world of interior design…
We’ve been enjoying stripped-back, exposed brickwork and glossy bare boards as a design theme for quite some time. Initially inspired by loft living, it’s a look that can be adapted to most spaces and always looks stylish.
More recently, this industrial design revolution has really made its mark with the arrival of reclaimed and reused materials being used to create stylish furniture for all areas of the home.
The distressed look of recycled wood works wonderfully well – the materials go through a long process of careful wear before they are artfully reconstructed into keynote pieces.
Among my favourite items at the moment is the San Quentin Whitney sideboard, handcrafted from reclaimed pine for a rustic finish. The surfaces have been lightly sanded and finished with a water-based sealer to preserve that desirable weathered look.
One designer renowned for his use of exquisitely reused wood is Thomas Bina, and his Hendricks Bonnie Queen bed looks fabulous in an industrial inspired setting. Thanks to its simple and beautiful shape, the bed is a unique and unfussy statement piece.
The Forte bench takes weathering to extremes. Cut from trackable forest trees, the planks are bound in steel and left to age for years to slowly dry out in the open air. Eventually, the planks are kiln-finished and gently hand sanded to preserve the knots, splits and grains, ready to create individual elements for home or office.
Deliberately textured surfaces like this are important when creating an industrial interior, where it pays to combine the rough with the smooth. For rough brickwork put a soft rug beneath; combine bare windows with plenty of chunkily-framed mirrors to bounce the light around.
I enjoy the leafy look of the Theon gilt sequinned cushion in this context. Sequins? Industrial? – they provide a fantastic contrast to all that tough stuff, and a small pop of surprise that prevents the décor from becoming too stern.
Colour is naturally important, and walls look wonderful in stone greys which make a great backdrop to exposed beams. Strong neutrals are good, too – Farrow and Ball’s London Stone is a warmer shade that looks amazing against brickwork.
Glass plays an important part in this look, because of its gloss and transparency. The Simplicity vase is a perfect accessory, thanks to its smoked grey finish and appealingly asymmetric shape.
Think leather, too – the Salisbury armchair combines warm, smooth good looks with a shapely profile; it works well with a wooden table or simply standing on its own.
The secret to creating a successful industrial revolution in your living space, then, is contrast – different textures and surfaces working together to create a delicious combination that’s both sturdy and soft.
That’s got to be worth exposing your brickwork for.