Industrial Chic: Specifying the Perfect Loft-Style Residence

Warehouse aesthetics can offer a raw elegance that blends textured materials with bold detailing.

Sheila Kim Sheila Kim

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A great look for a workplace, retail shop or hospitality venue, industrial chic can sometimes come off as too rough around the edges or utilitarian for residential clients. When specified well, though, the warehouse style can offer a raw elegance that blends textured materials with bold detailing. A variety of finishes, fixtures and furnishings can help polish spaces while preserving, complementing or instilling industrial character, particularly in adaptive reuse and conversion projects. Loft by Gasparbonta

Case in point, Gasparbonta transformed a painter’s studio in Budapest into a residential loft, retaining some of the existing elements while inserting clear geometry and additional raw materials with refined, sleek finishes such as iron, polished concrete and wood.

Loft by Gasparbonta

A variety of unique lighting solutions pepper the spaces including linear fixtures, a caged suspension luminaire above the dining table and wall grazers on brick walls to highlight the material’s texture.

Wall grazing on existing brick also created a dynamic focal point for one house in the Dutch city of ’s-Hertogenbosch. Originally a 19th-century workshop building, the structure underwent numerous renovations and most recently housed an office. So when Utrecht-based EVA was charged with converting it into a home, its first priority was to bring natural light into the deep, window-starved spaces.

Loft Sixty-Four by EVA, ‘s Hertogenbosch, Netherlands

The architects achieved this by carving out openings in some of the existing walls and floors. The staircase, with black metal grating for treads, is pushed away from the brick feature wall to leave a gap, ensuring more light from the roof skylights can penetrate the lower level and affording sightlines between the floors.

An opening in the floor underneath another skylight creates an atrium-like double-height space onto which the master bath overlooks through a massive glass wall. And surfaces are white to visually expand the spaces as well as reflect light. These are but two industrial chic projects that have caught our eye. Read on to discover a handful of our favorite recent products that can help you craft your own polished industrial setting.

Casa International

A Turkish brand that’s relatively new to the U.S., Casa International produces a number of home furnishings that straddle a line somewhere between industrial chic and midcentury modern. Among them, Filicudi is a family of round side and coffee tables with metal, mirror, back-lacquered glass or marble tops and a striking base offered in four spun-metal finishes.

Ceramiche Refin

Part of the Design Industry collection, Oxyde is a large-format ceramic tile that replicates the appearance and shades of oxidized metals while Raw recreates the look of concrete. Oxyde comes in Dark, Light, Rust or White in sizes ranging from 30 by 60 centimeters to 75 by 150 centimeters. Available in the same formats, Raw comes in Grey, Light, Mix or Warm.

Fantini Rubinetti

Bearing resemblance to the beautiful Vola series by Arne Jacobsen, the AF/21 bath line was designed by Naoto Fukasawa. The minimalist collection includes deck- and wall-mount faucets that can be specified with an integrated joystick control or disk-shaped handles, tub fillers, showerheads, hand showers, matching thermostatic valves and a kitchen faucet. Recently Fantini unveiled new brushed finishes for the line: gunmetal, copper bronze and British gold.


At this year’s Salone (Milan), Italian lighting company Flos unveiled a new outdoor luminaire collection with a decidedly architectural feel. Called Casting, the lamps are fabricated in rough materials including oxidized bronze, cast iron, aluminum and concrete, the latter of which is most notably stunning in a bollard that was designed by Belgian architect Vincent van Duysen. The compact yet sturdy unit is ideal for garden and path lighting, and sports a semi-cylindrical head that lends a playful touch while recalling Le Corbusier’s 1948 concrete table lamp.


Want to install brick but don’t want to sacrifice space? Many tile manufacturers, particularly the Italian and Spanish companies, offer porcelain tile that almost perfectly mimics the material. But another option is face brick or brick veneer. Glen-Gery’s Thin Brick looks like the real thing but has a thickness of only ½-inch to 1 inch, which also makes it easier to cut. It comes in 30 colors and can be installed on walls, floors and even vaulted ceilings.


Barn doors. Need we say more? One of our favorite door hardware fabricators, Krownlab, has introduced a new affordable system that, like many of its existing lines, sports a modern take on traditional barn door hardware. Called Axel, the entry-level product is constructed of ¼-inch-thick carbon steel, engineered to support door slabs of up to 200 pounds. Axel comes in raw or black steel finish and in three common lengths.


Inspired by tightrope walkers, the Grip table was developed with a long central beam and a clamp-like “grip” system that allows for flexible attachment of the legs. The result looks equally at home in a residential dining room or office conference room. The tabletops come in a range of sizes and in wood, glass, laminate or linoleum; the cast-aluminum legs come in nine finishes including color paint.

reSAWN Timber Co.

Well suited to interior wall cladding or exterior siding, the Charred Neutral line is produced using the Japanese technique of shou sugi ban (fire-heat-treating that preserves the timber while also developing a unique appearance). Charred Neutral comes in a range of tones from dark gray and white to red and golden yellow and in different species. Cypress is recommended for both interior and exterior applications while North American black walnut is suitable for interiors only.

Ronda Design

Iron-ic Shelter is a DIY-friendly, modular bookcase that, with its natural iron construction, boasts a cool, sleek and industrial vibe tempered by wavy contours and oak wood accents for optional doors. The wavy modules are assembled and affixed to the wall using a combination of magnets and connection screws. Iron-ic Shelter is also available with a white finish.

Seves Glassblock

An alternative to traditional red clay brick, Vetropieno Glass Brick is a fun interior decorative product that has a similar appeal but also adds color and transparency for transmitting light. The bricks can be installed horizontally or vertically as well as in traditional patterns.

Tech Lighting

The Alva pendant puts a twist on the classic Edison bulb and socket light. Here the pendant features an optic crystal “bulb” that’s been laser-etched with faux filaments. A downward-firing LED, concealed within the metal “socket,” delivers 290 lumens. The socket is available in black or satin nickel while the 6-foot-long, field-cuttable cloth cord comes in white, black, blue, brown, copper, gray, orange, red or black and white.

Viridian Reclaimed Wood

Just like it sounds, Colorburst reclaimed wood paneling offers a pop of vibrant color. The new option is available on two of Viridian’s lines: Granary Plank, which mixes fir and pine sourced from granary beams, and Route 66, which consists of oak from old tractor-trailer truck decking. Milled in variable lengths from 2 to 8 feet, the paneling can be specified in Robin Egg Blue, Viridian Green, Haute Pink and Cascade White.

12th Avenue Iron

Architect Tom Kundig has a reputation for designs that are stripped down to base forms, revealing their function. This extends to his product designs, naturally. His oversized door pull Bongnormous, manufactured by 12th Avenue Iron, is essentially a 2-inch-diameter steel tube that’s been cut to 24 inches in length. While we love the standard blackened wax finish, the handle can also be powder coated in black, white or red.

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