Published : 8 July 2015
When renovating a property the building itself can very much dictate the style you choose. A professional designer will always look at the fabric of the building, significant features and surroundings to create the look.
With an old property, they might also consider lies beneath years and years and layers and layers of paint and plaster, wall paper, carpet and so on.
An increasingly popular style for renovations is industrial, which works best when the building concerned was originally a commercial-type build - for example, a warehouse, an old factory, a barn.
A property like this lends itself to an open plan design, with perhaps a mezzanine bedroom level. But this style of living doesn't suit everyone so think very carefully before heading down that path.
If you do decide it's for you, you are opening yourself up to a world of opportunity where the sky's the limit and you can challenge traditional design rules.
Use what you've got
So, going back to working with what you've got - does the building have exposed brick? Concrete floors? Beams and exposed trusses? Steel? These can all be worked into a striking, industrial interior.
For example, exposed brick delivers texture, and can be white-washed to lighten it up and create that warehouse feel. Steel supports can be painted with special metal paints, or simply just sealed to retain that rough, industrial look.
What's on the floor? Concrete can easily be polished to create an attractive and durable finish that can then be dressed up with strategically placed rugs. Floorboards can be painted, lime-washed or sanded back and varnished for a natural look.
If you're really lucky the building will already have some interesting architectural features, such as large windows, high ceilings, or fireplaces. Don't be tempted to demolish these - instead incorporate these cherished features into your design.
Indulge the creative
Once building work is complete you really can indulge your creative skills, choosing furniture and fittings that reflect the style and add that all-important finishing touch. And don't be afraid to think outside the square! For example, for lighting - choose industrial lights or use unusual items as 'shades', such as upside down colanders!
Do away with your flimsy, white pedestal fans and search those old, metal ones - they actually work better, too!
Don't over-clutter a space like this - choose some standout items and then design around them. Maybe a huge leather lounge, metal bench tops in the kitchen, old farm tools on the wall, an antique trestle sewing machine made into a table.
The ideas are endless - so start scouring markets, garage and farm sales, junk yards and op shops for goodies and create your very own, unique style.