Tag Archives: industrial

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The Charms of a Minimalist Decor

Minimalism is the process of eliminating clutter. The decorative accessories are thrown out. Only the key pieces are salvaged. Everything is stripped to the bare essentials: colours, materials, and furniture. This gives greater depth to the decor, which is, to be frank, quite refreshing.

Minimalism is at the centre of the contemporary style, but it can also be expressed through other styles, like the rustic, lounge, industrial (loft, among others) decors or the shaker design, which is probably the barest look of all.

The simplicity of minimalism resides more in the shape and number of pieces than in the style itself. Sometimes, a room is so bare that only one expression comes to mind to describe it: it is naked.

The monochrome design is one of the secrets of minimalism. Usually, the colours are neutral. More often than not, everything is white, from the ceilings to the floors, as is the furniture. If not, you will find two colours, seldom three. Oftentimes, it’s the same colour that fades out into different shades. Featured somewhere: a concrete floor painted in turquoise with a sofa of the same colour. Continue reading

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Rich and Versatile Like Brick

Brick is just as useful as it is beautiful. You can use bricks for pretty much everything: exterior siding, interior decorating, and backyard landscaping, whether it is a recreational space or a garden. Plus, this material offers such a broad range of colours and it offers so many visual effects!

There’s the crude brick, used especially for exterior siding, but there is also the decorative brick used for interior decorating. The range of colours and shades is impressive. It also comes in many different shapes since brick is a material that can be carved.

You could paint brick. What makes it special is its texture. A white-painted brick wall has so much more to offer than a white-painted sleek wall. The white colour is not as white, but it stands out because of its rugged design. The same is true of a black-painted brick wall. It looks nothing like a black-painted sleek wall. It’s not as black, but it stands out more. Same goes for every other colour.

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There is a downside to this, however. If you paint a brick wall, you will shorten its lifetime because you’re preventing the brick and the mortar from breathing. You will have to check it regularly and make the necessary corrections if you want to avoid going through the whole process again. Otherwise, you could follow the guidelines of Écohabitation experts.

The brick doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth. A brick with jagged sides and overflowing mortar offers a different look. You could also distress the brick to make it imperfect. Some people even marble the brick to make it look more rugged. Continue reading

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Tamed Red

It is disruptive, bothersome, eccentric. Yet, there is a way to use red, the colour of love and joie de vivre, without overpowering a room. Let’s take a closer look.

Some rooms we’ve seen are entirely red, from top to bottom, including the furniture. They are, how can we put it, festive and flamboyant, but still bearable. Why? Because, different shades of softer and more subdued reds, like brick red or cherry red, came to tone down the fire-engine red, which dominated the rooms.

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Red has a striking elegance but can show restraint if used properly. A single wall painted in red, or even half a wall, can add a healthy dose of cheerfulness to a room without being overpowering. Red is so rich and upbeat. Why go without it?

A single touch of red can liven up a room, such as the back of an unglazed bookcase, the back of a dining room cabinet, the kitchen island or the backsplash under the cupboards in the kitchen, the steps of the staircase, the window curtains or bed curtains, the wall rug or area rug.

Red can also emphasize an object we are proud to own. For example, a bright red pillow placed on a prestigious sofa or armchair, a red base under a valuable trinket or a red fabric flowing down a magnificent wicker basket. Continue reading

Loft paradise

Often created in decommissioned industrial buildings, lofts offer an immense open space to decorate, a single room whose dimensions are around 500 square metres, with ceilings of up to three metres and more.

Few doors, few walls, often nothing at all. A wave of natural light from the long vertical windows along the wall floods the central space. Added to these windows you sometimes find a windowed façade, skylights or windows on the ceiling.

Wood or steel beams, concrete, brick and metal surfaces are everywhere. And the abandoned vestiges of the building’s past: pulleys, wooden cases, platforms, giant washbasins, air conditioning conduits, steel tables, oversized chimney.

What do you do with this unrefined decor? Make it your home.

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Once the cleaning work is done, the real work starts. Most owners keep traces of the building’s former vocation for decorative purposes. That’s what makes a loft a loft. That’s what separates it from a penthouse.

If partitions are needed for a certain intimacy, they should be as discreet as possible in order to maintain the continuity of the space and let the light flood in. That is why complete walls are rare. Or areas are combined, such as the living room and dining room. Or low walls, mobile screens, opaque or trans lucid panels are added.  

A loft is a paradise for colour. Owners often use colour to divide the space into areas: one dominant colour per area, or one dominant colour on the ground floor and a second on the upper floor, which is usually a mezzanine. Continue reading

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I want a loft

Initially, a real loft was a dwelling outfitted in an abandoned industrial building. At some point, interior design professionals had the idea of using the loft lifestyle in houses or traditional apartments. Easy to understand why: there isn’t an abundance of abandoned industrial buildings. Yet, people were looking for a loft.

And that’s how the loft lifestyle saw the light of day. Are you interested in it?

You can easily convert your living space to adapt the loft style. Again you have to know how to deal with the restrictions, the first one being that the structure of the traditional dwelling does not have the strength or solidity of an industrial building. There are also the ceilings and walls, not to mention a lack of an open central space.

It would be a good idea to get advice from a building professional or architect. Otherwise, make sure you have plenty of patience before you start.

Do you like playing with volumes? You’re going to have a lot of fun. First, you have to create a central open space, which means removing a maximum number of doors and walls according to industry standards. The loft style reduces barriers. It favours light, air, space.

How do you divide the rooms? Go by block: mezzanine for a floor, different floor covering for each room, small walls, retracting partitions, stretched canvas, sliding panels to replace walls, bedroom on a platform.

Install sliding doors and vertical windows. Add a skylight? Great idea.

A metal stairway highlights the loft effect. Placing it in the centre of the room would not be a bad idea. Leave out the risers: they’re an unneeded barrier. A ladder leading to the mezzanine is also a very loft thing while having the benefit of being movable, which saves space. A bridge connecting the two rooms on the mezzanine level is a loft whim.

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Concrete, wood, brick, steel and stone are the favourite materials of loft disciples. Pick freely from them for the various coverings. Loft fanatics really like recycled materials. Keep that in mind.

Slate and polyurethane flooring are solutions for changing the previous materials. There is also wallpaper that imitates these materials perfectly if you find them too noisy or too heavy. Tiles do the same thing.

Favour glass in order to not disturb the natural light that flows in generously through your new windows. And to enhance the space: small wall of glass slabs or transparent panels, glass guardrail along the mezzanine, patio door. And why not use glass for the mezzanine floor?

The heart of the loft style being the height provided by an industrial building, create ways to get visitors to look up: add poles or columns, install a long vertical mirror, sculpture or tall plant, low tables, tripod lamp or old lamppost.

Recess to the maximum: lighting and heating fixtures, sliding partition on rails recessed in the ground. Even the kitchen table can slide on rails.

Other ways to gain space: storage modules on rollers, folding furniture, mobile screens that function as walls, furniture equipped with wood bases on wheels to move as needed.

Lofts were originally designed for people who lived alone. Today, even small families cram into loft style lodgings.

We recommend the following references to guide you in the work. Everything is clear and detailed.

References:
Lofts et agencements contemporains, Marie-Pierre Dubois Petroff, éditions Massin, 2015, 191 pages

Rénover et transformer dans l’ancien, Marie-Pierre Dubois Petroff, éditions Massin, 2015, 191 pages

Transformer l’espace, Nonie Niesewand, Gründ, 1999, 219 pages

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