About the industrial style
Let us first look back to how this style came about. Old industrial buildings, such as factories and warehouses, would be transformed into residential places. This created big open spaces with exposed face brick, beams and pipes – the original lofts. Artists favoured these residences and used them as studios because of the great light and space, as well as the low prices.
The bohemian association with the industrial look stuck. Now, the industrial look is purposefully designed and planned.
So how can you achieve this look in the kitchen?
The industrial style looks wonderful mixed with some modern touches. The retro and contemporary styles complement each other. The rustic feel of exposed pipes and beams, contrasted against new, stainless appliances, gives the kitchen an eclectic, lived in look.
The factories that were turned into lofts used steel beams, pipes, columns and trusses. At the time it wasn’t thought necessary to cover them up as one normally would have. Today, we don’t want them covered up because we’ve grown to like the look. It might not be easy to change your infrastructure to include exposed metal, but you can still create this look with steel kitchen appliances and furnishings.
Other metals like bronze and copper look good and give a warm touch, so be out on the look for any vintage-style pots or taps.
Openness is an important current in the industrial look. For instance, rather than closed cabinet space, go for open shelving. This also gives the impression of extended space. Because your wares will be exposed, try to maintain the industrial theme with steel dishes and vintage items rescued from flea markets.
An open plan kitchen will also greatly contribute to the industrial feel. Think open lofts without rigid floor plans.
Do you have fired clay brick buried beneath your drywall? It used to be standard to cover it with smooth drywall and neatly paint over it. The industrial wall is stripped of such polished touches to reveal the rustic texture beneath. Even just one exposed face brick section will look great. You can make it a focal point.
If you don’t have fired clay brick beneath your drywall, brick veneer can simply be added.
Old warehouse floors and furnishings would naturally suffer some wear and tear over the years. Eventually, what you would end up with was a patina that developed on the wood. A patina on wood shows depth and grain and helps indicate its age.
To benefit from this rich, nostalgic effect, hit your local salvage yard, flea market or second-hand store, to find weathered pieces of wood to get the look without the time.
Incorporating the industrial theme in your kitchen provides a lot of room for creativity. One more word of advice: Don’t worry about sticking too closely to the theme. Mix it up and play around with the look. That way you won’t risk overdoing it and ending up with a kitchen that looks messy and badly maintained, rather than trendy and vintage.