by Sally O’Brien
In recent years, industrial-inspired architecture has become increasingly prominent within residential designs. This aesthetic of mixing textures and materials can be difficult to achieve without sacrificing a warm, inviting atmosphere. Caitlin Harland, the project and marketing coordinator of Kre8 Constructions, lets readers know how best to attain the effortless blend of materials for a luxe industrial aesthetic whilst maintaining a cosy social setting in the family home.
Industrial looks have become an appealing construct in Western Australia’s home designs. This is due to the current trend of incorporating different vintage materials and textures and Australia’s increasing conscientiousness of sustainability. “Perth is a growing city with new and exciting home trends,” Harland says. “The industrial style is a cost effective, sustainable design.”
Industrial-style homes feature a mix of textured materials including steel, recycled bricks or wooden elements to create a modern feel with notes of the historical character of the industrial age. “An industrial style is all about appreciating natural textures and a minimalistic design,” Harland says.
“[Industrial-inspired architecture involves] creating a beautiful balance of materials such as exposed brick, concrete and timber.” This balance is often crafted by blending muted grey concrete features, marble island benches, and a modern monochromatic palette with exposed red brick feature walls or sustainable timber flooring. Harland explains that the opportunity to incorporate these differing raw textures is what makes industrial designs so appealing to architects and building designers. “An industrial style is so versatile,” Harland says. “We love blending this design with old character homes and creating a seamless flow between the old existing homes and the new additions.”
ACHIEVE INDUSTRIAL ALLURE
“The industrial areas in Western Australia such as Fremantle have been a great inspiration to new home designs,” Harland says. With plenty of exposed beams or pipes to incorporate into a build, industrial-style designs aim to feature the structural elements that a warehouse renovation would generally hide such as beams, rafters, piping, or old brickwork.
This modern style is reminiscent of a renovated warehouse or New York loft-style apartment. Harland suggests blending minimal, simple furnishings with large, open-plan spaces to achieve this specific look. “Keep the design simple and prioritise storage, it is important to use the space wisely,” Harland says. “Incorporate feature walls into the design and select good quality finishes to create the ultimate New York loft-inspired home.”
Industrial elements are best imposed at the design stage with polished concrete flooring or an exposed recycled brick feature wall, but there are simple ways to introduce these texture combinations into an established home.
Industrial homes combine vintage elements with contemporary finishes, so a simple method to recreate an industrial-style home is to visit antique shops and look for furniture or accessories comprised of distressed wood, ageing metal or copper. Place these recycled materials in key positions of the home; on a stone benchtop in a minimally styled kitchen or a bare white bathroom cupboard to emphasize these antique items.
Updating your lighting effortlessly establishes an industrial style in your home. Choose feature pendant lights with metallic finishes such as shiny steel or copper to provide contrast against the cooler-toned and clutter-free furniture.
If you’d like to introduce an industrial aspect into your home’s interior, Harland recommends avoiding clutter and sticking to the basics that populate most modern Perth homes. “Stay minimal,” Harland advises, “It is all about focusing on beautiful materials and natural light.” This includes adhering to a neutral colour palette and emphasising sleek finishes or features comprised of rustic materials.
BRINGING THE HEAT
Homeowners can often shy away from the neutral palette of modern minimalism for fear of appearing cold or clinical, so the best way to cultivate an inviting home is with pops of colour and texture. Contrasting soft furnishings with bright coloured pillows juxtaposes soft comfort with raw building materials. “Timber is a great material for adding warmth into a home,” Harland recommends, “But beautiful textures such as chunky knit throws, cushions and rugs will soften any room.” With clean surfaces being a feature of the industrial trend, make sure your accessories and finishes include brighter tones such as brassy copper or a burnt wood to attract attention.
The rising popularity of an interior style that incorporates vintage components and modern finishes can be partially attributed to an increased awareness of sustainability in home design. “Blending old character homes with an industrial designed addition is fast becoming a popular trend within the residential building industry,” Harland says. “Keeping the character of the home is important for historical value and creating a sustainable and practical open-plan living is paramount to a well-designed family home.”
With all the appeal of rustic charm and a luxe minimalist aesthetic, the industrial style trend is here to stay. If you’d like to incorporate this modern look in your home, choose clean finishes and highlight key textures and older materials. “Create harmony by choosing elements that will bring character to your home whilst still sticking to the industrial design,” Harland recommends. “[Consider a] textured red brick wall, feature timber cabinetry or a window splashback in your kitchen.”
If you’re still struggling to achieve this style, remember that modern industrial design aims for simplicity, peak functionality and high-quality finishes. Limit your furnishings to the essentials and combine this minimalist aesthetic with some eye-catching materials or highlight antique features to create the bold character of an industrial-style abode.
Images courtesy of Kre8 Constructions