October 25, 2019

Love Industrial Design? Meet Brooklyn

By Leigh Spicher, National Director of Design Studios 

I recently read an insightful article on Realtor.com via LinkedIn regarding design styles we love, by state. It caught my eye because I have a theory that people look like their homes (and cars and even pets). The LinkedIn article further illustrates this theory, but what I found remarkable about the article was the rise of Industrial Design, The data in the article offers that Industrial Design is by far the leading design style in the U.S. Why? That’s an easy answer.

We are tired of perfection.

As we push 20 years into the “new” Millenia, we’re through with bland, cold design. We want raw, mixed up materials because that’s what life has become. Its open, honest and we’ve ushered in a new trend of “take me as is or leave me”. That’s industrial design. It’s unfinished, maybe old (or looks old) and is still telling a story. It’s not dead but very much alive, with stories to tell. It’s got that, “if walls could talk vibe”, without feeling creepy of course. We eased into this mindset, thanks to the beloved farmhouse style but now we’re willing to be even more bold layering thick textures, color and finishes.

My friend, super Mom (to twins…ah!) and gifted designer Allision Van Ee created her own story and interpretation of industrial design and has dubbed it “Brooklyn”. She’s brought the style and vibe of industrial design to life….

Meet the story of Brooklyn:

Set a record on the turntable and enjoy a cold-brew coffee at the kitchen island. This is the rich character of urban living captured in hand-selected new materials. Where upscale design meets downtown style. Take a seat in the living area and absorb the time-worn tones and vintage pieces that help this home feel broken in from day one. An environment that is meant to be lived in, to be appreciated by all, but to be loved by the ones that share this space. This is what it feels like to be in town and in the know.

I LOVE this story. How cool is it that turntables and what once was old is new again? Industrial Design isn’t about old stuff, but it is about cherishing special things through time. It’s about putting phones aside (temporarily) and living in the moment, paying homage to generations before us. The term industry conjures up the notion of hard work, and today’s generation reveres the hard work of previous generations. The city of Brooklyn is home to big industry and check this out…even home to the piano industry (turntables, pianos…both super cool).

Source: Brownstoner.com

Here are some of mine (and Allison’s) fav examples of Brooklyn:

Ashton Woods Lake Shore at Town Lake, Houston TX

Ashton Woods Montgomery Ridge in Allen, TX

Ashton Woods Nexton in Charleston, SC

Ashton Woods Verwood at Mercer Crossing in Farmers Branch, TX

Ashton Woods Sable on the Marsh in Charleston, SC

Want to incorporate Brooklyn into your home? Here are 3 quick tips:

  1. Abandon preconceived notions about design style. Brooklyn is wide open to anything you love. It’s about coming home to comfort after a hard day’s work. Feel free to mix textiles like fur (faux of course), canvas, velvet and leather (or pleather…you choose).

  2. A signature of Brooklyn is a basic design principle…harmony. Harmony is a blend of natural materials. This can be achieved by simply allowing sunlight to penetrate large windows or fire in the fireplace. My go-to design tip for harmony (for any style) …just add flowers (no faux flowers please, that’s the antithesis of harmony).

  3. Brick, Iron, Wood. Go get ya some. You don’t have to move to Brooklyn or into an abandoned factory to achieve Industrial design (and I’d advise against it). Low profile brick is readily available today for lighter, easier application to accent walls. You can paint it too! Moen has some of the coolest matte black faucets that will add a “Brooklyn” vibe to your kitchen or bath.

Source: Moen

My fav…engineered, hand scraped wood. Shaw makes large, raw looking planks with the added benefit of materials that make it more durable.

Source: Shaw Floors


Where We Build

We build all across the country, and our homes are inspired by the places that surround them. Select the area below to find a community near where you want to live to get started.