Published : 17 March 2016

There's certainly no shortage of real estate-related TV shows on our screen these days! Whether you are building, renovating or just decorating, you can find ideas for every style imaginable, from country cottage charm to uber modern.

One of my favourites is still American Pickers - watching Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz rummage through barns, sheds and attics, uncovering 'rusty gold' as they call it, is fascinating.

Now, that might be America, but the trend towards industrial artefacts as decorating features is just as strong here.

It's not only a way of creating stunning and unique interior design, but also a way of preserving our past - giving old items a new lease of life.


Think industrial

Of course, the extent to which you go has a lot to do with the type of building you are renovating or refurbishing. For example, a warehouse apartment or barn conversion can carry off a full blown industrial look, whereas a modern suburban home would really only suit a couple of choice pieces.

But as the demand for housing increases, we're likely to see many more old buildings turned into homes, so this style could work perfectly.

If you are remodelling an historic building, your first step is to look into the building's past. What was it? What was it used for? What is it made of? These are all things to take into consideration when choosing your decorating style.

'Raw' finishes are increasingly on-trend, largely brought on by the growing use of 'green' building materials, such as mud brick and recycled timber.


Exposed brick and rafters

An old cottage or barn is the perfect palette for exposed brick, rafters and huge, aged doors. While a former factory or retail premises can be made to live a million bucks as a home, using concrete and metal.

have a good look at the building. Are there steel roof trusses that can be exposed? Is there already a concrete floor that could be polished? Are there wooden or steel columns that could become a feature?

Remember, this type of interior decorating is all about recycling and re-using. For example, if there are exposed brick walls but the bricks aren't that pretty, think whitewash. Suddenly those ugly bricks have become super trendy for just a few dollars!

Why not combine modern elements with choice collectibles? For example, for an amazing kitchen, mix modern stainless steel appliances with slate-look tiles and industrial light fittings. Try and source a huge, old wooden table but possibly re-mount it on metal trestle legs. Suddenly, you have the start of a designer kitchen!


Think outside the square

This can actually be quite a low cost form of decorating, if you think outside the square. For example, a restaurant I know bought up a load of old colanders and hung them upside down as lights - they look brilliant!

Have a rummage around a few junk shops and markets and you'll be amazed at the treasure you find, such as old trunks, Singer sewing machine bases that make great tables, rusty farm tools and so on.

So go on, become a picker! Not only is it great fun, but you'll find amazing one-off items and create your own unique interior design style.