Deadline Design With Shaynna Blaze

Get the Look: New York Industrial

Get the look from the Port Melbourne home featured on episode four of Deadline Design with Shaynna Blaze.

Globe trotting Helen has downsized her very full life into a small one-bedroom apartment in Melbourne’s former docks area of Port Melbourne. With retirement looming and world travel on her horizon, she now wants to make her petite apartment fit her lifestyle, reflect her personality, and work as a home exchange when she is overseas.

My brief was to create an Industrial look in Helen’s tiny apartment for a tiny budget and on a tiny timeframe.

The industrial style dates back to 1950s and ‘60s New York when old, raw, industrial warehouses and factories were gentrified and converted into residences. The buildings took on all the functions of modern living spaces while retaining – and putting on display – the original elements and inner workings of the old buildings. Think exposed beams, metal columns, exposed brick walls, cogs, pulleys, pipes and ducts, and big slatted doors on rollers.

I chose a black timber laminate finish for the cabinetry in Helen’s kitchen, with blonde timber doors and black metal hinges. The less-than-perfect textured surfaces are divorced from the slick, modern finishes you see in many of today’s kitchens and is in keeping with the raw industrial vibe I was targeting for the apartment.

The sliders on the kitchen shelves are reminiscent of the big rolling doors you often see in factories, the exposed industrial brackets representing the big wheels you often see at the top of sliding warehouse doors.

The subway tiles I used in the kitchen (and bathroom) are an iconic industrial style feature and the stainless steel splash back lends a commercial kitchen feel. As does the black tap ware which I had to push Helen to adopt, but which in the end she agreed really added to the industrial feel of the space.

We furnished the open plan kitchen-living room with sleek, mid-century influenced dining chairs whose textured grey fabric works with the simple colour palette, and an aged leather couch whose warm tones added real impact to the finished look.

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