Who would ever have thought that old, dilapidated factory premises and warehouses would become highly coveted residential properties? The large-scale relocation of our manufacturing industry to other continents has been rendering an ever-increasing number of industrial buildings obsolete. These vacant premises are being converted into living space, while retaining their rough, unfinished edges. Exposed concrete, visible pipes and ducts and rough brick walls are put in the spotlight instead of being covered up. Robust, rough and authentic are the absolute keywords for this trend. The industrial trend is closely linked to the trend that embraces imperfection: we want an interior that is unpolished; a home that exudes character and has a unique history. Vacant industrial premises are an interesting option because they also offer a solution for the housing shortage, particularly in big cities.

These buildings are becoming increasingly comfortable to live in thanks to the many alternative heating and insulation solutions available today.

Everything but cold

An industrial interior doesn’t necessarily have to seem cold; with the right furnishing you can create the cosiest of homes in a former warehouse. An accent wall and the addition of some vintage or brightly coloured pieces of furniture will easily warm up the cool atmosphere of an old industrial building. A red brick wall is an additional bonus feature regularly encountered in industrial buildings. Walls like these, with their authentic character, are enjoying a huge comeback and will immediately exude a warm atmosphere. Neutral and natural shades work best in an industrial interior, while a neutral palette of colours acts as a perfect complement to industrial elements. Black and white are good options, but softer grey is more typical to this trend: it emphasises the steel look of an industrial interior. Finish it with accessories such as copper lamps or a vintage railway station clock, or go all the way with a concrete lampshade or side table to create the atmosphere of a genuine New York loft.

Concrete flooring

The past two years have seen an immense upgrade in the architectural application of concrete, from a building material to a highly desirable finish. Its robust appeal fits in perfectly with the industrial style. Where a concrete floor was formerly considered a necessary evil, people are now consciously having concrete floors installed. In other words, concrete is now being applied as an aesthetic element rather than a mere foundation. Designers and architects have also come to recognise the beauty of concrete and are using it more and more frequently. Its typically grey colour lends a space a minimalist ambiance, but there are many other options. Enhancing concrete with fragments or specks of stone, for instance, gives it a unique allure. Of course, we have seen many concrete floors in the past, but nowadays concrete is being used in ways that were previously highly unusual. On the wall, on the ceiling, in kitchen counters or washbasins: concrete can be poured in just about any shape. Quick-Step has responded to this with a floor in an industrial concrete look that nevertheless exudes the warm appeal of wood, once again succeeding in combining the best of both worlds. The pine texture of the Concrete Wood Light Grey pattern in the Impressive laminate collection is not only visible to the eye; you can feel it, too. The ‘wood’ appears to have been treated with a concrete finish for that highly desirable rough edge. This floor looks marvellous when combined with vintage furniture and fluorescent colours. Of course, Quick-Step has a smart solution for a full-scale concrete look on your floor, too. The Polished Concrete Natural and Polished Concrete Dark laminate tiles in the Arte collection create a smoother, more neutral effect, giving your interior a spacious and bright atmosphere. Are you interested in finding out which look fits your interior best? Upload your interior to the Quick-Step website’s ‘Floor Advisor’ and try out a wide a range of floors!