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Hardwood floors find a place in industrial chic design

February 20, 2014

Much like the timeless look in Anderson's Urban Loft wood floors, there's aesthetic value in metal pipes and vintage lighting fixtures that dwellers of city loft spaces learned about years ago. Now, it's call industrial chic, a unique form of vintage decor that finds new home uses for unlikely objects.

You don't have to have exposed brick walls and concrete floors to incorporate industrial-style pieces into your home design. These days, such decor fits as well in a suburban home as it does within a city townhouse.

Metal shelving and countertops may have started life in an early 1900's factory, but they're now in great demand at salvage houses and restoration specialty shops. Making the most of these unique pieces is based largely on personalizing the look to your own taste.

Country Living magazine reported that the owner of a century-old mill worker's cottage in Atlanta featured a high school locker for storage and swivel stools reminiscent of an ice cream counter from an old pharmacy. With an old pipe used as a footrest and overhead hanging lights that once lit a school classroom, the kitchen mixes function with a decorating style that goes as well with rustic wood flooring as it does with stainless steel appliances.

Homeowners who enjoy rummaging through flea markets and antique stores are sure to find some of these elements that they can use to create an interesting combination of vintage and modern room design.

Softening the edges
For those who are concerned that industrial chic won't fit other rooms where sinking into comfortable seating is preferred, they can still have comfort while maintaining the open atmosphere of this revitalized urban look. Accents such as a metal rolling carts that used to transport factory components around industrial spaces can be added to living rooms for end tables or as a corner buffet stand in a dining room.

Leaving wooden elements like wall trims and window valances in a natural wood tone adds an air of rusticity, while painting them white or black gives a room a contemporary feel. Using light neutrals of gray or brown as main colors with bursts of accent shades in pillows or artwork is a good complement to the industrial look.

Introducing glass objects salvaged from commercial sites will bring interesting accessories into the design mix. Rather than seem incongruous, setting a small floor tree or a row of rubber plants along a window sill adds natural color and texture that juxtaposes nicely against the sleek edges of industrial chic furnishings.