Wednesday 28 September 2016

Industry insider

Amanda Kavanagh

Published 17/04/2016 | 02:30

Urban cool in an instant? This multi-drawer chest made from reclaimed wood will do the trick; €1,159 from DFS
Urban cool in an instant? This multi-drawer chest made from reclaimed wood will do the trick; €1,159 from DFS

Pared back and simple, the industrial aesthetic has an obvious appeal. In this style, natural materials are fundamental, so wood and steel are championed, while high ceilings, iron piping, steel beams, polished concrete floors and exposed brick are very much at the forefront.

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Vanessa MacInnes, of interiors haven Industry on Dublin's Drury Street, initially discovered industrial design while travelling.

"I've had a passion for interiors from a young age but it wasn't until my early twenties, when I started to explore cities such as London, Berlin and New York, that I really discovered industrial design," she says. "I fell in love with all industrial-style buildings, particularly old converted factories with big metal windows."

She opened up the boutique store with her brother Marcus and Vanessa says they were initially very true to an industrial aesthetic, selling mainly metal and wood vintages pieces.

"Over the years, we have focused less on industrial-style pieces and developed more of an eclectic Scandinavian industrial style."

This is in part because the shop moved to a larger space and that allowed an expansion of their offering, but also to appeal to more customers who wanted to mix and match styles.

"We now have a softer look in the store, with a mix of vintage wooden cabinets, contemporary Danish furniture, lots of beautiful textiles and ceramics, mixed with industrial lighting and home and lifestyle accessories."

Although industrial has been around for some time, Vanessa has noticed a shift in attitudes.

"We are now seeing that people are more open to it and are not afraid to bring small amounts of the style into their existing homes. People are playing with it, taking aspects of the look, along with aspects of other styles and are creating a more unique look and feel for their homes."

For the cautious, she recommends storage solutions as a start. "Add some metal storage baskets into your kitchen to tidy up cluttered counter tops and shelves or add some vintage crates or wooden boxes on top of free-standing furniture or on top of kitchen presses. A vintage pallet-style coffee table or a metal storage unit will add an industrial vibe to your living room."

Those building, renovating or adding an extension will have lots of options to play with. However, Vanessa does have some words of warning for those intent on reproducing the style at home.

"Remember, true industrial style can be a little utilitarian and cold, so add some softness with warm textiles, such as rugs and cushions and don't be afraid to add a little colour."

Amanda Kavanagh is editor of Image Interiors & Living magazine

Sunday Independent

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