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Something old, something new

Many style-conscious urban dwellers are thirsting for not only the coolloft look to live in, but also the time-worn industrial look.

Many style-conscious urban dwellers are thirsting for not only the cool loft look to live in, but also the time-worn industrial look. Not only does it add charm to a space, it also adds what I call 'stories' to chat about -- an old factory table or machinery-inspired picture frame can add much needed interest to a boring, boxy apartment or condo.

Many factory-made furniture and accessories can be easily had for not a lot of money. A quick cruise through the online classifieds (like Craigslist or Kijiji) and you're bound to find things like vintage office desks, cabinets and work tables. Here's a few new pieces from some favorite retailers:

Let It Shine
Vintage army, postal and hospital furniture is all the rage when the paint is stripped down and the metal is laquered to a shiny metal finish. Although not inexpensive, their durability means you'll have a piece that lasts another lifetime. Search for pre and post war metal furnishings online at classifieds like Kijiji and Craigslist.

Industrial Art
A collection of vintage and reproduction industrial clocks hung on a wall creates an immediate focal point in a small foyer or going up a stairwell wall. Oversized printing blocks, signs or black and white factory photographs will help to create an industrial feel on the walls. Old gears and machine parts become spectacular artwork when shadow boxed in a simple black frame against a white linen backdrop. It's best to hang this type of art in singles, since large grouping looks mass-produced and will cheapen the effect.

Give It New Life
Small furniture pieces that may have had a place in a mail room or hospital now take a stand in a bathroom or bedroom as a side tables and chairs. An old dental table can be brought back to life by giving it a spray of your favorite paint colour; think bright yellow or fuschia for impact in a room.

Shine On
Unique vintage lighting can be difficult, often needed to be re-wired and requiring bulb types that are no longer available or not home safe. It's best to stick to the reproduction light fixtures, a pendant would look very alternative hanging over a dining table or even used as a swag light hung low over a coffee table.Remember that when light bulbs are exposed, then the fixture needs to be on a dimmer switch to soften the glow of the bulb.

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