Industrial Chic was the first book I ordered when we moved into our warehouse home. It takes pride of place on our coffee table and is such a joy to flick through. There’s nothing I love more than finding a beautiful interior design book, pouring through the pictures, getting tips and ideas for our home. If you’re as passionate as we are about industrial style furniture and lighting, you will love this book.
Brigitte Durieux is one of the most respected experts on industrial style. In “Industrial Chic”, she relates the story behind some of the most iconic design pieces – furniture, lighting and accessories that have come to characterise this style and have made the transition over the last century from the factory floor to the modern home. Today, industrial-style pieces such as lockers, jointed lamps and bistro chairs are not only on-trend but highly collectable. This beautiful hard-backed coffee table book, featuring over 250 pictures, unlocks the heritage of icons like the Tolix Model A chair, the Singer stool and the Gras lamp and proves the enduring appeal of industrial chic. Here are just a few of our favourite stories and shots from the book – we’ll leave you to enjoy the rest when your copy arrives!
Industrial Chic, by Brigitte Durieux and Laziz Hamani, Thames & Hudson, Amazon
During the mid-nineteenth century, the Singer Company became world-famous with its invention, the sewing machine. In 1910, the company launched a range of professional furniture for the textile industry, the centrepiece of the collection a stool with a cast-iron base and wooden seat. Fifteen years later, the stool had been adapted with a spring and backrest and become an adjustable chair. Over the next half century, further chairs, stools and cutting tables would also be produced for factory use, together with a Bakelite lamp for precise light on the manufacturing floor.
In 1944 the Pennsylvania-based company Emeco designed a chair that consisted of 80 percent recycled aluminium. It was called the Navy 1006. Ultra-light, rustproof, resilient and anti-magnetic it was developed specifically for the American military fleet. The Cold War marked the end of the Navy Chair’s production during the 1970s. But in 1998 Emeco was purchased and, with new creative input from designer Philippe Starck, production tripled.
The origin of the inspection lamp is unknown, but for decades it’s proved indispensable on farms and in factories and garages. The first inspection lamps didn’t come without their risks to the user – they were poorly insulated and could short circuit. Over time, the materials improved but the basic components and no-nonsense design remain the same.
If you like the inimitable style of the Singer Company’s pieces, you are sure to love this Vintage Singer table with wooden top, by Ines Cole from Rockett St George. If the sleek form of the Navy Chair appeals, then take a look at our feature on the Navy 111 Chair from The Conran Shop – it’s a special collaboration between Emeco and Coca-Cola, manufactured from 111 plastic coca-cola bottles. Its distribution, from The Conran Shop in particular, means that over 3 million bottles per year are recycled. We have also written about the Tolix classic A chair. And be sure to visit our Lighting section to see inspection lamp inspired cage lighting we think you’ll like.
You can also head over to Pinterest, where we have wall-to-wall inspiration for your home!
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