As I'm writing this, I sit in One Shot Cafe in the Northern Liberties area of Philadelphia, which is probably my favorite coffeeshop ever. It's a quaint food + coffee joint mixed with a library area and I could stay here all day! The walls are exposed brick with patches of plaster peeled away, there are tables lined with a variety of quirky chairs, and absolutely stunning industrial pipe and rustic wood shelving for the books. Antique furniture creates a cozy, relaxed environment for young hipsters to bang away on their keyboards and jam out to their earbuds, while sipping on the biweekly specialty lattes. One Shot served as a perfect influence for my Monday Inspiration article, all about that industrial feel.
Here is that metal and wood shelving combo at One Shot, with a beautiful exposed brick backdrop. Industrial is one of my favorite design styles because there is so much variety within the look. It can be mixed with other characteristics, such as rustic or antique furniture, to create a truly eclectic space. Combining industrial features with antique furniture is a genius way to make this room feel more cozy and soft, as industrial can tend to have a "hard" ambience.
Repurposing the Old
Philadelphia is home to a plethora of industrial spaces; old textile factories are often repurposed into new functions, businesses, and homes. Many times one will find original hardwood floors and big metal windows that used to serve a factory and now are features of someone's home. This is one of the reasons I find so much inspiration in Philly; spaces that have characteristics of something old, turned into a new purpose makes me so encouraged to design!
Many homeowners fear concrete and its cold, hard appearance. To me, it can be one of the most beautiful features in a space, not to mention different. Exposing existing concrete walls, using it as kitchen or bathroom countertops, or poured concrete floors are all ways to add an industrial feel into your home. The artistry of concrete is in its imperfections.
Exposing mechanical ductwork has been a popular trend in urban homes as well as modern commercial offices and restaurants. It doesn't get much more industrial than this and can be a neat way to show the bare bones of your space. Ductwork can be painted different colors or left unfinished.
Brighten It Up
Another way to mix up the industrial look is to combine some of these exposed features with light colored paint and furniture. The space pictured above may have been an old converted factory, but the amount of cozy one would feel in here would be undeniable. This is accomplished by adding soft textiles and warm-toned leather furniture with the concrete flooring, exposed wood beams, and huge glass windows. Who else is jealous of that swing in their space?!