The Who, The Why, and The How

Neil & Stephanie Matthews

Hi there! First and foremost, let us introduce ourselves - we are Neil and Stephanie Matthews and we are the owners of Steel and Grain Co. We are the proud faces behind our family business, based in Leigh-on-Sea Essex. We launched only recently (Dec 2017) and specialise in industrial style handmade furniture and handpicked furnishings.

Why? well the quick answer to that is we just love the look. Warm, masculine, and definitely sexy, industrial chic is a style of decorating that just keeps getting more popular. While it used to be reserved for converted lofts and factories, industrial chic is now being seen in all kinds of buildings – both urban and rural.

So what Is Industrial Chic?

Industrial chic (or urban industrial as it’s sometimes called) combines utilitarian design with worn textures and the warmth of raw, aged woods.

This nod to the industrial revolution is all about mixing raw materials (galvanised metal, glass and reclaimed woods) while keeping the shapes and silhouettes relatively simple. Industrial chic is a no nonsense style that makes use of vintage and salvaged items, and is often favoured by fans of “green” design. It has many things in common with modern farmhouse style, but is much more edgy.

Common Elements

There are a few common elements that tend to be found in urban industrial spaces. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Exposed brick walls

  • Cements floors

  • Raw, unfinished materials

  • Sleek, metal and glass lighting

  • Exposed beams

  • Stainless steel accents - inside we are socials gorgeous office in New York city

The less common elements are items such as cushions, thick pile rugs or fur throws etc. They actually work really well mixed with common elements and offer a softer industrial look - so even though they are beautiful, you do not need to invest in a loft apartment for this look to work.

Leather couch an soft furnishings - Pinterest images
Soft Furnishings - Pinterest Image

How can I get the look?

It’s about proudly displaying the building materials that many try to conceal. It’s about adding a raw, unfinished look to the most thoughtfully designed homes. It’s about selecting pieces that are as much about function as style. Used in loft apartments, modern homes and commercial spaces around the world, industrial design showcases neutral tones, utilitarian objects, and wood and metal surfaces.

A signature element of industrial interior design is the presence of features that people typically try and conceal, such as pipes and ducts. You can imagine that this concept boomed when warehouse apartments began gaining popularity! Converting former industrial spaces (such as factories) to residential living may have been a challenge, but leaving a few raw elements exposed reminded residents of the buildings’ original purpose and stopped any further construction.​ Win win!

A few key tips we would suggest are:

- Start with a neutral colour palette (grey, white, black beige), then layer in some warm wood tones. Look for woods that have some wear and tear. Scratches, knots, and nicks will just add to the authenticity of the look - reclaimed pallet wood or scaffolding boards look amazing.

- If you have exposed beams, pipes or brick in your space leave them as is. Industrial chic spaces are often wide, open rooms that feature these elements. If you dont, dont worry, you can add subtle accents to achieve the look.

- For a fun and elegant juxtaposition, add a feminine pieces such as cushions, throws or even a crystal chandelier to an urban industrial space.

- If a whole room isn’t for you try incorporating a few pieces. A reclaimed wood coffee table, or a set of galvanised metal dining chairs can add an element of industrial chic.

- Be sure to also add plenty of metal. Whether it’s metal windows and railings, or metal furniture and lighting, galvanised metals and steel will combine brilliantly with the wood.

Steel & Grain Co Pipe Shelves
Industrial style lounge - Pinterest Image
Black & White Framed Artwork - Pinterest image

Here at Steel and Grain Co we offer a wide variety of furniture, lighting and accessories to compliment the industrial style, although are best known for our bespoke handmade furniture - so if you have some ideas, or want to discuss your space and what may look great, please get in touch and we would be thrilled to speak with you - we are Steel and Grain Co.

Lovely to meet you all!

Neil & Stephanie Matthews,

Owners, Steel and Grain Co

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