Industrial Chic has moved from the salvage yards to major home interior design firms. Wire baskets, metal shelving, molds, desks, steel containers and more are being promoted by trendy decorators who creatively blend vintage machine age factory finds with contemporary lifestyles.
Classy Industrial Junk
You will now find lots of vendors of "classy industrial junk" also known as Urban Chic, at flea markets, shows and antique malls. But collectors beware because factory style antiques and furnishings are also being replicated by manufacturers everywhere. Even "rust" is now reproduced along with newly made wire baskets, factory style chairs, metal work benches and other furnishing which look amazingly authentic.
Quirky Combinations of Old and New
Show goers and shoppers in multi-dealer stores will also notice that "antique dealers" are also creating more creative and artistic booths resembling SoHo galleries and designer studios. At The Seymour Antiques Center in Seymour. CT you will find many displays which look like three dimensional still lifes or assemblage art. Old metal tables or wire and mesh baskets become supports for a variety of eye catching vignettes which set the stage for quirky combinations of old and new objects d'art.
The Seymour Antique Center was one of the first group shops to fully embrace industrial antiques. Now other dealers are catching on to this popular decor trend. For example, one highly creative gal I met at The Farmington Polo Grounds Show in Farmington, CT positioned colorful 1940's rubber balls atop a perforated metal factory table. The display was very effective and unique. This same dealer has also used brightly colored Bocce balls in a similar way.
Laura, owner of The Bleu Willow in Simsbury, CT shows off her favorite new acquisition, a ball made out of old barbed wire. This "collectible" now sits atop a cement planter on the front steps of Laura's whimsical shop . The wire "sculpture" was a gift from her "industrial chic picker" who created this "barb ball" just for her. How lovely!
Collectible Metal Bins, Drums, Sinks
At a recent New England Antique show, I stopped into a booth of factory salvage and was surrounded by metal bins, tin sinks and industrial drums, some of which held pretty plants or decorative objects. With my camera in hand, I stepped outside this booth and noted a steel trash can stamped with the show promoter's name. I chuckled and snapped a photograph and wondered if indeed this metal can could pass as "industrial chic"!
C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of Iantiqueonline.com an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro café.
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