Industrial Revolution

by Jennifer Bump

I recently went to a screening of Linotype: The Film.  This well-crafted, informative, and amusing documentary educates viewers about the machine that revolutionized printing beginning in the late 1800s.  The Linotype came on the heels of the Industrial Revolution when machinery changed the way the world worked and lived.  Industry made things easier and more accessible, but it represented hard work and innovation at the same time.  And stylistically it’s interesting.  Have you seen some of these old industrial machines?  The designs are pretty impressive.  And that’s how I’m going to segue from the Industrial Revolution to furniture…by design and style.  I bet you were wondering, weren’t you, how I was going to pull that off.  Well, peruse the following photos and see a modern take on industry’s influence on furniture style.

Industrial looking furniture tends to be more streamlined.  Woods mixed with metals, clean lines, and sometimes moving parts are all markers of an industrial look in furniture.  Take a look at these options for a living room:  


Hooker Menlo Park Collection

image     image

Hekman Collage Urban Loft Round Coffee Table  / Charleston Forge Warehouse Étagère


Park Hill Reclaimed Wood with Metal Coffee Table


                       Park Hill Ice Tea Table

Hooker Furniture named it’s collection after Menlo Park, the home of Thomas Edison’s experimental activities.  Genius! (See what I did there?  He’s a genius and they’re geniuses for paying homage to him…yes, it’s a bad pun, but I enjoyed it.)  And seriously smart to name an industrial-esque furniture group after a man who was and is renowned for his innovation and life-changing inventions.  Plus they’ve shown us how you can put industrial-looking furniture in a room and make it feel warm and not too sterile.  Nicely done.

I love the other pieces too, especially the Hekman Round Coffee table and the Park Hill Ice Tea Table.  I think the wheels on the Hekman piece are what sells it to me.  I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve wished for wheels on my coffee table when I’m vacuuming.  Am I right?  How convenient would that be?  Plus it looks cool.

Here are some home office options:


Hooker Drafting Table


Pennsylvania House Console Desk  /  Universal Paula Deen Saw Horse Desk

The thing that I love most about the Hooker drafting table is that you can actually tilt it down so it is perfectly horizontal.  Two words: movable parts.  Win and win.

And for your dining room:


Pennsylvania House Forecast Dining Room


Hekman Collage Urban Loft Credenza Buffet

I really think what Pennsylvania House pulled together for a dining room is sharp.  The stools are incredible!  I know that they would have been very handy in my house growing up when we were playing rowdy games of spoons.  Sometimes you need a little more elbow room, that’s all I’m saying.

Maybe you are uncomfortable with such straight lines and would prefer just a wink and a nod to the industrial era.  Well here are some accessories to consider:


Uttermost Tustin Floor Lamp


Uttermost Spare Parts Clock


Park Hill Clip

Put the lamp in the corner, the clock above an entryway table, or the clip on the mantel.  Make it your own, be innovative.  Because ultimately, that’s what the Industrial Revolution was all about.

And see this film: