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Many of us live in new build houses, or in homes without tons of history and heritage. But, a modern home doesn’t have to stay exclusively ‘new’, does it? With industrial, rustic interiors are becoming increasingly popular, plenty of us want to incorporate elements of the industrial style without falling flat on our faces - including my boyfriend, who made over this bedroom (what feels like years ago, now!). Here’s how to nail the industrial look without breaking the bank or making the trend look totally out of place…
Bricks, or brick wallpaper
Unless you're lucky enough to life in a loft apartment with exposed bricks, you're going to have to fake it. But, the good news is that decent wallpaper has a transformative effect. Look for a wallpaper that's not too shiny: you can get a finish that looks realistic and adds tons of texture and visual interest to the room. There are lots of colours and tones to choose from depending on the look you’re trying to achieve, and you might even find that visitors have to touch the wall to check whether the bricks are real or not. Not that I, er, did that...
Lighting is one of the key design elements of any room. Get it right, and you’ll set the mood and literally highlight the best features of your home. Cage ceiling rose lights are all over the place right now (have you noticed how popular they are in cafes and restaurants?), so you'll easily pick them up online. You can also use wall lights to highlight artwork fixed to your walls. The map in the photo above is hand drawn and personalised, so really benefits from being doused with soft lighting to show it off in the evening.
And, a hanging pendant light is a great way of highlighting key work spaces. Go bigger and bolder than you think the room can handle: industrial lighting is functional, fit for scale and designed to shine on areas that need illuminating, such as kitchen islands, dining tables and – in this case – office desks. Just bear in mind that you might need to have these accessories fitted by a qualified electrician (my boyfriend is a qualified electrician, hurray!) - it’s worth the money for the safety, peace of mind and the overall finish.
Shelving is one of the most expensive elements of a rustic, industrial room, but is undoubtedly one of the key parts for lending authenticity and quality. Opt for solid wood shelving if you can afford it, or nip to IKEA to pick up something that better suits your budget. You can use wooden elements such as these shelves to display personal items, fix them to kitchens to use as open-fronted storage for your crockery, or even rework them together to create bigger pieces of furniture such as desk (as you can see in the photo above).
A clock is an easy way to experiment with the industrial style, and if you can find one with exposed mechanical parts, so much the better. I also like this one in the photo above: the large face, pocket watch shape, vintage map background and worn edges make it seem as though the clock in this photograph has been lifted straight out of history. It'd look fab in a hallway or living room, wouldn't it?
Pile up the old suitcases
Finally, accent accessories such as trunks (or vintage suitcases) do a great job of filling up empty corners and also double as extra storage space. You can buy replica suitcases online, or head straight to flea markets, charity shops and antique fairs to snap up the real deal. Stack them slightly off centre and use them in high places to draw your eye upwards towards the full height of the ceiling. What do you think of these rustic, industrial elements? Have you experimented with any of these items, and is there anything you’d like to add to this list of ideas to try?