Micro Design Trend: Factory Windows

I'm forever spotting things that I think could be the next trend, like decorating with plants, taking a slower approach to living, brick walls painted white, adopting a more laid-back approach to flower arranging, and of course, Nordic design taking over Europe (and it truly has). All of these trends not only arrived but have stuck around, almost becoming a part of the bigger picture, of a more established design. But every now and then, I spot micro trends, and that is how I see factory windows, also referred to simply as black metal-framed doors and windows, -- a micro trend yet a trend indeed. They are making a real comeback in both commercial design but also residential spaces - not just vintage ones but faux versions, too. And I think they're all quite fabulous. original-77305-najamunthe8

Home of fashion fashion designer Naja Munthe via Mad & Bolig

If you follow industrial design, you'll note that concrete floors, soaring ceilings, brick or stone exposure, metal with raw wood furnishings and large bell-shaped pendant lights, also in metal, are hallmarks of industrial style. And of course, black-framed metal windows and doors with their grid-like patterning and squares, or rectangles, of glass. They are a great solution for when a homeowner or office places priority on creating a space with multiple functions without losing natural light.

I like them, not just because they bring a hint of nostalgia, even a bit of "edge", to a space but also because they are practical. How so? First, they act as terrific space definers if you're using them to divide a space. Next, they really let the light in. They're also great for allowing privacy without sacrificing a sense of space - a room divided by glass still feels spacious - a wall wouldn't accomplish that. Finally, paned windows and doors are quite practical because if you break one, you only need to replace a small panel of glass e vs. an entire sheet as in windows without panes. Maybe that's why they were popular in factories years ago? If a metal part flew through the window off of a machine, only a panel needed to be replaced.

Whenever I see factory doors and windows, I think of the homes I've worked in while in Paris for my books. I think of old factories. I think of some of the restaurants I've been to in New York, London, Amsterdam and Copenhagen. I think of vintage schoolhouses. I remember some of the restored lofts in Lowell, MA that we toured back in 2006 (and almost purchased but, being in Lowell, we politely passed). I also think of creative spaces because I imagine lofts in cities that were only used in the flower power era to house artists. I remember seeing them in Sonoma at some of the wineries we toured or in LA at the stunning home of Amy Neunsinger when I worked on my first book.

I've also spotted more modern versions in Denmark when decor8 was invited to visit the home offices of Muuto so I sent my roving reporter, Emilie Gupta, to attend and photograph it for me.

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The Copenhagen home of music producer Jon Oron as photographed by Pernille Vest for Elle Decoration UK

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The Copenhagen home of music producer Jon Oron as photographed by Pernille Vest for Elle Decoration UK

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The Copenhagen home of music producer Jon Oron as photographed by Pernille Vest for Elle Decoration UK

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Heidi Lerkenfeldt for Still Stars, Munich, Germany

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©Renee Arns styling & photography

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©Renee Arns styling & photography

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Fab Showroom Amsterdam by Bricks

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Photography: Armelle Habib

 

I've created a Pinterest board to share examples of rooms globally with black-metal framed doors and windows if you'd like to see it - click here.

What do you think? Do you like this look? Would you like them in your own home or office?

(images: source linked below photos)