THE INEXORABLE INDUSTRIAL STYLE IS MARCHING TOWARDS OUR HOMES, THANKS TO THE F& B OUTLETS AROUND OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD THAT HAVE EMBRACED IT SO ENTHUSIASTICALLY. BUT HOW DO WE TRANSPOSE THIS STYLE TO OUR HOMES? HOME & DECOR FINDS OUT.
If our memory serves us correctly, the first time we saw an industrial style interior design in the Klang Valley, albeit not a full-fledged one, was at Alexis Bistro & Wine Bar in Bangsar Shopping Centre circa 2006. The restaurant features high concrete ceilings with exposed air-con vents and electrical wirings which are paired with occasional béton brut walls. The rawedged atmosphere is diluted with an ingenious mix of various materials like marble, wood and plastic, and, with a monochrome colour palette, the overall vibe is chic, individual and warm.
The industrial style, however, did not go into full swing until F&B conglomerate The Big Group opened its series of chain stores like Ben’s and Plan B, all of which adopted an unapologetically rugged interior design. Other eateries like Acme Bar & Coffee, La Vie En Rose, PH Pastry House, Namoo On The Park and The Red Bean Bag followed suit and it is safe to say that the industrial style is the most ubiquitous interior design for F&B outlets today.
FORM AND FUNCTION
“The industrial look is classic. It’s probably more of a pragmatic approach than an aesthetic one to use an industrial style in commercial projects,” say Kevin Lunsong and Juwita Jalil of The Great Indoors, who has designed
“HAVING MOSTLY NEUTRAL TONES AND MATERIALS WITH UNIQUE TEXTURES, THE INDUSTRIAL LOOK IS EASY TO MATCH IN THE ASPECTS OF FURNITURE, DECORATIVE PIECES AND LIGHTING.”
a number of restaurants and cafes like Kissaten, Butter & Beans and Coffee Societe, explaining not only does the industrial style look great, it can withstand wear and tear and is, in some ways, eco-friendly. Bryan Loo, owner of bubble tea chain Chatime and Thai restaurant Thai Up agrees, “I believe that many F&B outlets are moving towards the industrial style for the flexibility it offers. Having mostly neutral tones and materials that concentrate on unique textures, the industrial look is easy to match especially in the aspects of furniture, decorative pieces and lighting.”
It may have only achieved popularity on our shores in recent years, the industrial style, in fact, originated in the SoHo section of New York City during the 1960s. Former warehouses, docks, factories were converted into habitable homes and became an instant hit amongst the young creatives. The trend spread to other old industrial neighbourhoods like TriBeca, Chelsea and Greenwich Vilage. What used to be a way of life
above One of the most defining characteristics of an industrial style interior is having a monochrome colour palette, as seen here at Kissaten in Setia City Mall, designed by The Great Indoors. below Stools with metal legs and lamps with metal grilles bring to mind the interior of an old factory.
TOP Coffee Societe in Publika sports a rather toned-down version of the industrial style. ABOVE An industrial style interior is not complete without the archetypal Tolix A chair – in black, no less.