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Industrial touches

The industrial style might look somewhat contemporary, truth is: it has been around for more than ten decades! The style – characterized by its exposed beams, brick, metal and other construction elements – evolved from the massive factories of the 19th century, which were eventually abandoned and remodeled into havens for artists, architects and other creative professionals, who enjoy the interesting architecture, open space and acoustics.

But you don’t have to live in a loft to enjoy certain industrial touches in your home. Whether you have a more modern or vintage approach, industrial elements can add an edge your home. We’ve summarized the basic elements of this style and show how you can incorporate it into your home...

Visible structural elements

HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems were often left exposed in these old industrial factories. Since the spaces were purely functional, there was little need to hide the building's structural elements. Unfortunately, ductwork and plumbing don’t pair well with all of today’s interiors. (Although admittedly: it would be cool to save some time during those ever-lasting home renovations, no?) However, you can introduce cool industrial elements in subtler ways, such as incorporating an exposed piece of duct in the kitchen, or using galvanized pipe as DIY table legs or a way to hang your lights bulbs on – like Astrid and Andrew did. Get creative!

Exposed brick

Fired clay brick has been used as a building material for hundreds of years in the United States. This carefully crafted structural element is known for its durability and longevity, so it adorned many of the country's first factories. We’re not all this lucky to have an architectural gem hiding behind our existing drywall, but bricks or brick veneer can always be added. If you’re not up for covering an entire wall in your home in bricks, try covering just your kitchen backsplash or the wall behind your headboard.

Repurposed furnishings

Mechanical devices, work pieces, tile, hardware and lighting are just a few of the nonstructural elements salvaged from old factories. Their robust construction makes for incredible, creative furnishing opportunities. Salvaged industrial elements and old factory pieces look great when mixed with other design styles or just on their own. Top an old Singer sewing machine table with a piece of wood for an impromptu side table or desk, or do like Isabelle, and have your husband bring home amazing industrial lighting from his work at the port of Antwerp.

Photography by Hannelore Veelaert and Stephanie Duval.