Utilitarian or Industrial style in interiors was born in the loft apartments carved out of old warehouses in New York in the 1970s. These cavernous spaces made no concession to the comforts of residential living. These were industrial interiors, with steel beams, brick walls, concrete floors, and metal-framed windows. Rather than strip out these elements, the new inhabitants – many of them artists, musicians, writers and designers worked with these features, incorporating them into their new homes. The key elements of utilitarian style are function, edginess and unpretentiousness. Key materials are metal, concrete, wood, iron and brick. Fabrics are natural – cotton, hessian, linen, wool, leather and silk.
So why is it so popular? Well it just suits so many house styles, it can be kept really strictly utilitarian for your loft apartment in Manchester that ‘twas once a mill, or softened to a more Scandinavian feel in the suburbs with the use of more tactile finishes such as cork or wood and the introduction of more “soft” elements like throws and rugs. The look is also low maintenance – floors are wood, tile, concrete or poured resin so they’re easy to keep clean and therefore family friendly.
The elements that the trend has brought is the confident use of black- which I’m all in favour of. Black steel window frames are a thing of beauty and black kitchens are now becoming the norm rather than the exception – as long as you’re clever with your other materials it’s a chic not claustrophobic option. Glossy tiles, the use of glazing in upper cupboards or open shelving and lighter woods and surfaces keep the look fresh.
Check out a few of my Pinterest boards where the industrial trend features..
Love Angela xx