Monday, December 21, 2015

Decorating an Industrial Design Kitchen: Tips and Tricks

Industrial interior design is all about clean, simple lines, neutral colors, and the use of wood and metal to create an unfinished look to a home.

If your kitchen has exposed structural elements such as beams and ductwork, and unfinished walls, half your job is already done. Without these elements, you can still recreate the look of industrial design in your kitchen by selecting the right kind of home accents, appliances, and furnishing.  

Lighting and fixtures

Industrial design uses metal in cold colors: Think steel and iron, not gold or brass. Choose retro-inspired lighting and smooth steel fixture bodies in modern designs to match your modern industrial kitchen, or aged wood and metal in rustic patinas if you prefer a slightly warmer, more rustic look. Oxidized steel cage ceiling lamps lend a utilitarian air to your kitchen while square bronze wall lamps add light to dark corners.  
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Concrete floors, polished to a high sheen, are the norm in industrial design. Other great flooring options for industrial kitchens are timber, preferably aged, and stone.

 Counters and counter islands

For counter-tops, choose those made from stainless steel, polished concrete, or wood. Avoid matte or rough materials for counter-tops. While matte ones look nice, they stain more easily.

A burgeoning trend is mobile counter islands. No longer just for restaurant kitchens, wheeled counter islands can be moved to make space when necessary and, depending on their style, can add to a kitchen's industrial look or feel.


Stainless steel and paneled appliances do double duty as kitchen equipment and decorative accents.

When decorating an industrial design kitchen, remember that less is more. Too many colors, shapes, and textures can make an industrial design kitchen lose its aesthetic edge.

Hello there, I'm Scott Jay Abraham, a California-based interior designer specializing in industrial design. For related articles, please subscribe to my blog.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Future Of Interior Design Is In Versatile Furniture

I have always said that design is a reflection of the sensibilities of the society at the moment. Enthusiasts of the industry will see how each era, be it in fashion, architecture, or infrastructure was heavily influenced by what society dictated to be proper at the time. That said, I want to emphasize the growing popularity of versatile furniture, and why I feel that the future of interior design lies in these pieces.
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Today, we are witnessing a rapid growth of technology and business. There are so many startups, so much software, and all of these things emphasize the need for a "now, now, now" kind of thinking. Office and home spaces reflect this by being relatively smaller – although sleeker. This is to accommodate the influx of people moving to the cities. Real estate managers have shifted their focus on building assets vertically instead of laterally. This leaves homeowners and employees with a space that needs to be maximized to its fullest. Thus, versatile furniture is such an amazing invention. 

Whereas our grandparents bought pieces of furniture with only one purpose in mind (e.g. this couch is meant to be a couch, and we can sit or sleep on it), many furniture makers have now developed pieces that have a variety of functions. It is not unusual for a sofa to now be a storage space or be converted into a bed. Versatile furniture, as the name suggests, optimizes space because of its versatility. 

This is why I believe the future of design would be based on these types of furniture. Interior designers cannot expect homeowners to spend so much on typical pieces that would take up too much space in their homes. Furniture that can serve several functions is not only practical but necessary.

I am Scott Jay Abraham, and I work as an independent interior designer. Follow me on Twitter for more design talk.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Wood And Metal: The Twin Elements of an “Industrial” Home

Their unconventional charm, authenticity, and originality have made industrial interiors among the most popular home design trends in the last few years. Converting simple buildings into unpretentious but smart lofts is increasingly the norm for modern home renovations. Why not? The distinct style is revolutionary. Industrial interior design is expected to gain even bigger popularity in the decades to come. 

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Owing to the style’s heavy reliance on metal and wood, earth tones and neutrals have been the popular palettes. Exposed pipes and ducts, wooden tables, metal chairs, stainless steel counters—these are all characteristics of a legitimate industrial home. 

Some residences display machined hood, custom stainless cabinetry, wooden fixtures, and exposed brick walls, which together create the feel of a commercial kitchen. Apart from the rugged aesthetics, the design is also very functional. 

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Industrial design enthusiasts often seek out a metallic feel through the use of colors such as gray and silver. Weathered gray walls enhance the steely look, which adds a unique charisma in the room. The use of wood in most industrial homes, meanwhile, neutralizes the strong visual properties of metallic elements. 

My name is Scott Jay Abraham, an industrial interior designer from San Francisco, California. For more insights on how to make your space even more stunning, follow me on Twitter.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Fight the Fido flab and then some: Fitness tips for dogs (and their masters)

So Shadow and I are packing on the pounds as of late. This may become a problem later, so it's for the best that we do something about it now.

It should come to no surprise to anyone that our animal friends too can become overweight and be susceptible to health problems much like we do when we let ourselves go. This is particularly jarring for dogs as they are, without a doubt, some of the most active creatures on earth. If your dog is packing on the pounds, then it might be high time to ramp up your walking routine or in.

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Dogs are working creatures, first domesticated by people to hunt and gather alongside them. Many dogs were bred specifically as working animals, and the life of a pampered playmate usually goes against this. In addition to making them fat, this sedentary lifestyle has caused many of them no end to mental frustration as their pent-up instincts need to be satisfied in some way. If you've ever had a misbehaving dog, this may be one of the reasons why.

Playtime is one of the best exercises for dogs as it lets them vent their instincts in non-destructive ways. And I'm not just talking about the kind of play dogs do by themselves when you leave them with their favorite toys. Regularly playing with your pooch not only lets your dog blow off steam, but it also reinforces the bond between master and companion and is an excellent exercise in its own right for both.

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Seek a vet's opinion on what activities you and your dog can do before planning a play schedule. Too much rigorous play and exercise can be bad for some breeds. Here's a quick guide from the ASPCA for more information.

Industrial interior planner and dog lover Scott Jay Abraham here. Catch more updates from me and my canine pal Shadow on Twitter.

Monday, July 20, 2015

A Home For Shadow: Building a Dog-Friendly Yet Aesthetically-Pleasing Home

My canine buddy, Shadow, is one of the most important figures in my life, and since he's my number one roommate, it's my utmost concern that our house is a safe and fun place for the both of us. And, of course, being an interior designer, having an aesthetically-pleasing abode is also a significant matter. So how does one build and maintain an awesome-looking pad that's still perfect for doggie pals like Shadow?
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Accessorize with items that look great even when distressed - Pristine items that get scuffed or broken easily are bad ideas, especially if you have an active, furry friend. Antique or vintage-like furniture that still look awesome even with a few dings and scratches are a way to go.

Install a resilient floor surface - Concrete, hardwood, and tile floors are great for pet-friendly residences. Not only are they easier to clean, they're also generally harder to scuff. Furry dogs will also enjoy tiled floors during the summer because they're cooler.

Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting as they're harder to clean. Instead, go with easy-to-remove tiled carpets or rugs made from durable and stain-resistant materials.

Coordinate your decor with your pet's fur - Constantly having to pick fur out of sofas is a pain, -and if your furry companion is anything like Shadow, he'll love sleeping on the sofa, so choosing upholstery similar to your pet's fur color is great camouflage. That said, it's not an excuse to be a slouch about cleaning the house and grooming your dog.

Dedicate spaces for your dog - While Shadow can go practically anywhere around the house, he also has specific, comfortable spots to sleep and eat. A design trend nowadays is integrating napping niches into shelving and stairs so that separate dog baskets don't take up too much space. Having a regular area for eating makes it easier for clean-up.
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Maintain cleanliness - Sticking to a regular grooming schedule for pets keeps them healthy and clean, controls the shedding around the house, and the shorter nails means keeping scratches, scuffs, and fabric snags to a minimum. 

Following these tips will make living with a furry companion safer, more comfortable, and neater, and that's great for Shadow and me.

As Shadow's best buddy and an interior designer, I, Scott Jay Abraham, am dedicated to making sure that our home is both dog-friendly and great to look at. Read more about my life with this awesome dog by visiting this blog.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Loft Apartments: Adaptive Reuse Meets Industrial Sophistication

As an idea, the repurposing old buildings isn't new. People have reused stable old buildings for various purposes, often refurbishing their interiors to keep them up to modern standards of habitability. Adaptive reuse has grown in popularity in recent years, fuelled both by the demands to preserve a city's notable architectural heritage and a desire to redevelop and revitalize urban areas. And nowhere is this more apparent than what could be the most famous form of adaptive reuse: the loft apartment.

Lofts are hitherto former industrial or commercial spaces repurposed as residential areas, usually consisting of a large open space. These are often called “hard lofts” to distinguish them from newer industrial-themed residential apartments built to resemble lofts.

Abandoned industrial buildings were once the abode of impoverished artists post-World War II, and then turned (initially illegal) to makeshift homes and studios for bohemian communities. As the appeal of the artist community surged among wealthier folk, so did the eclectic style that characterized the lofts, though this came at a less-than-pleasant price, literally speaking, for the artists who already lived there. Today, lofts are a popular choice for the urban professional, especially those in need of space for work purposes.

The roots of modern industrial style owed their existence to apartments reused from industrial buildings, with key elements such as exposed ducts, bare brick and unfinished concrete walls, the extensive use of metal and aged wood, and repurposed structures used as furniture. Even today, loft-styled apartments still use these industrial design cues as part of their overall aesthetic.

Scott Jay Abraham here. Follow me on Twitter for more updates on the aesthetics of industrial design.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Steampunk: The eclectically antique aesthetic of a time that never was

When you say steampunk, the image that frequently comes to mind is that of eccentric machines that seem both sci-fi and old timey and, in recent years, a subculture of people who wear corsets and period suits adorned with homemade mechanical accessories. One does not always encounter a steampunk-themed interior, but the subculture and literary genre has inspired many enthusiasts to combine this fusion of ornate and the industrial in their interiors.

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Evoking the brazen dreams of steampunk—a world where technology goes on a widely different direction—involves creating ornate 19th and early 20th Century detailing interspersed with themes typical of industrial design. “Steampunk” as a whole is rarely recognized as a theme among many designers; creating this look requires striking the right balance between the decorative Victorian flourishes and industrial themes.

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As with most industrial interior designs, steampunk favors the extensive use of metal, found and repurposed objects, and exposed brick. Wrought iron especially works well for the purpose as does copper and brass fixtures and scrollwork.

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Antique-looking furniture is a must. These should be in muted colors that favor browns and other earth tones. In contrast, decorative flourishes should be mechanical in appearance, which can include valves, meters, gears, and other repurposed pieces of salvaged machinery as accents.

The end result is not quite your typical industrial look, being more decorative than utilitarian, and yet not quite antiquated or gothic, while possessing hints of science fiction here and there.

I'm Scott Jay Abraham. I craft industrial-themed interiors for homes and offices. Want more of this? Follow me on Twitter.