Home decor styles are always changing. That is part of the fun. In recent times of upheaval many people have been re-evaluating their life/work style. There has been a real shift overall from formal interiors to a more relaxed look and for many, a shift to a very rustic type of decor style that is nothing to do with “country”. Rather, many clients have been drawn to a more “industrial” style.
Working in interior design in Oakville, ON and the surrounding GTA for the past 28 years, our firm has created interiors in a wide variety of home styles and sizes. We’ve observed that many older homes are a lot smaller than some of the newer homes built in many areas of the Greater Toronto Area. Some smaller homes almost have a cottage feel when compared to larger ones. The conversion of older industrial buildings to wonderful residential living space has been fascinating in a decor sense. Whether the home is large or small, newer or older, the room designs of these living spaces often resemble each other. The interior design link between these types of homes is the decor aesthetic of the residents.
A cottage-sized home is often able to embody the essence of the cottage lifestyle. Taking a dynamic approach to decor in the smaller home can have spectacular results. Recurring elements become recognizable. A relaxed and overall more casual style is a major factor in this decor style. A feeling of optimism and cheerfulness is likely to be present. Durable but stylish finishes on furnishings also add to the theme.
Industrial style is fun and funky and even if it is not right for your home, you may still appreciate some elements of the style. There is a sense of history that come with it, since it makes use of found objects from old factories. These furnishings are often recreations of the original item, but are charming nonetheless. Often the individual pieces may be larger than life. This is not a timid look. Reclaimed wood, distressed in the extreme, is made into furnishings intended to be used on a daily basis. Furniture may be new but look as if it is very old. It may be made from wood reclaimed from foreign parts. It often has great natural character and is even full of nail holes. Gears and other portions of hard-working machinery of a bygone era are displayed in all their rusticity. Funky accessories with a look of having worked hard are layered into the look. Very oversized vintage look maps and typography elements in sepia tones make part of the statement. We are surprised and delighted by this fun and dynamic decor style.
Graphic abstract artworks work well with this style, especially if they are large, and framing is minimal. Natural elements such as live edge tables look great with this style. The live edge is the profile of the tree as it came from the forest. It is not neatly squared off. The dining table may have a live edge, and industrial style metal chairs. Accessories may be elements of nature such as large vases of branches, a free standing large piece of wood, or a large, rugged pot. Barn doors are also an element of this style. Strong visual impact is the result. The feeling is easy care, a little or a lot worn, often with reclaimed furnishings or accent pieces. It is an interior design look that is connected to nature, time, and comfort. It is also quite beautiful. Previous casual design was a more feminine look and meant to be charming and cozy. This new eclectic style is much more interesting and makes a stronger design statement.
Fifty’s style appliances and now being reproduced in retro colours in today’s kitchens. Unfitted cabinetry pieces lend an air of having been used in a factory. Tumbled stone adds a sense of age and rusticity. Surprisingly, sleek, white surfaces also play well with all these weathered elements. Black is another element that looks wonderful in these interiors. If the interior happens to be a downtown loft, there may be space for very large furnishings. Seating often has sleek styling with striking design details. Square and simple lines tend to be favoured for furnishings. Tufted leather sofas also play well with this style. Overall balance, and keeping a firm grasp on the overall design plan is key.
Reclaimed furniture also looks good in the bathrooms of an industrial style home. A balanced and dynamic art wall can be a nice feature if it’s well done. Once again, balance is key. A modern day standard of comfort can be applied to a charming home built more than a hundred years ago. The homes are still small, but they look very different inside nowadays. Creative space planning can add the element of storage that is so often missing in older homes. Retro style Edison bulbs in creatively styled lighting adds charm and an element of surprise. Even plumbing pipe is used successfully to create fun light fixtures.
The fun of this design style is in the use of utilitarian items with all of the wear and tear that is part of their charm. These items lend a feeling of bygone times, as well as a little nostalgia. Industrial style furniture has made a huge impact on interior design in recent times. Clutter should be kept at bay, in order to maintain a relaxed feel. That is not to say that there is not artwork and accessories. Many of our clients have discovered the charm of abstract artwork. It lends itself to these interesting room designs. Area carpets and geometric motif tiles also lend to this style. Area rugs may be cow hide, geometrics, or abstract artworks, themselves. Casual living is a constantly evolving design phenomenon. Its relationship to our cottaging roots go deep. It’s a fun and exciting way to design living spaces for the home. Call Mulberry Interiors now at (905) 849-6423 to book a consultation. We look forward to working with you to increase your enjoyment of your home.
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