reclaimed tiles

Warm Industrial Styling at a Paris Restaurant by Tash South

When I visited Paris last month, I stumbled upon The Place To… along my way to the Arc De Triomphe. I thought the name was a bit odd, but I can kind of see where they’re going with it – they provide a relaxed industrial space for you to meet friends, enjoy delicious food or enjoy a celebration – fill in the blank - it’s up to you.

Situated on Wagram Street, the cosy restaurant also has outside seating where you can watch the ever-stylish Parisians go by – which is exactly what I did!

Outside seating with burlap cushions

I ordered the deliciously fresh Asian basket salad of crunchy vegetables, tuna sesame sashimi, peanuts, lime sauce, honey and fried onions - in my best French (which is very, very bad!)

Food out of the way, I started to explore the interior. I’ve always appreciated Industrial style for its’ stripped back architecture and humble materials. There is a lack of pretension in the pure practicality of the raw materials and salvaged objects.

The under-lit rustic bar with worn leather bar stools

Industrial pieces are usually minimal and no-nonsense. When I’m designing an industrial space, I like to mix new with old or reclaimed pieces. Search charity shops, flea markets and antiques markets for unique and affordable items. And if you happen to be passing a skip, have a quick peek inside, you never know what you might find! Upcycling is usually key for this style, so look for items that can reused or re-purposed. It’s a look that can be affordably achieved.

These three fabulous reclaimed timezone clocks create an eye-catching focal point in the restaurant.

An old bicycle is used to add interest to the plain railings.

A colourful mural painted directly onto the bare brickwork is very effective.

Industrial steel and wood chairs provide robust seating and clean lines. The flooring is kept very basic.

Factory-style pendants provide lighting on the terrace.

Want to get the Warm Industrial look in your home?

Here are some style tips:

Start with space planning: originally, industrial spaces were huge warehouses or factories, so it make sense to start with an open-plan layout that feels spacious.

Architecture: It's all about having the bones of the building on show, leave beams uncovered, brickwork and railings exposed and window frames visible.

Flooring: Poured concrete is usually the industrial flooring of choice, but I think large format tiles or worn wooden floorboards work really well too.

Lighting: It's easy to nail industrial lighting these days, if you can find authentic reclaimed pendants and lamps, that's awesome, but there are so many great reproductions available as well. Think bare or black painted metal and an exposed light source for pendants and extendable and adjustable arms for wall fixtures.

Palette and Materials: It's all about metal! Choose steel and iron and avoid a finish that is too shiny, aim for matt finishes with some patina. Keep your colour palette natural overall - think metals, rust, natural stone and wood. A punch of bright colour can be added with furnishings or artwork, or both. Never forget texture - add elements of well-worn, rustic wood and raw concrete - texture is very important in this style to break up a palette that can become too monocromatic.

Furnishings and Styling: As much as I love the practical style industrial offers, it can often seem quite harsh and cold, so I'm a massive fan of 'warm industrial' styling.
I usually start with the industrial basics above, and then layer with a lush velvet sofa, sheepskins and hides, natural rugs and plants.

Have you done industrial in your home? Please share!  I'd love to see it.


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Discovering Bert & May’s exquisite new collections at their London Showroom by Tash South

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to be a guest at Bert & May’s Supper Club, and I was thrilled!
I have been following their growth as a brand and I absolutely love their ranges - having long been a fan of their handmade tiles and use of raw materials.

The Supper Clubs are great relaxed networking events for people in the industry, and they give us the chance to check out all that Bert & May have to offer in their industrial chic showroom and barge right on the canal in Hackney, with the added bonus of a delicious three-course menu, this time catered by Alice Hart and Georgina Fuggle and served on Bert & May’s striking dinnerware.

On arrival we were offered lush cocktails to have whilst we wandered around to take in the various ranges, including tiles, flooring, dinnerware, natural pigment paints, and of course the new kitchen and bathroom collections. I absolutely adored how tactile everything was. I just wanted to touch everything! But with a camera in one hand and a cocktail in the other, this proved a bit tricky.

bert and may supperclub dinnerware and tiles

The History

Bert & May was founded in Spain in 2004 by former barrister Lee Thornley and the brand quickly established into a bespoke lifestyle brand and specialist supplier of handmade artisan tiles,
engineered wood, natural pigment paints, and most recently, furniture, bathroom products and fittings, and kitchens.

On opening his award-winning Andalusian hotel Casa la Siesta in 2008, Lee realised his talent for discovering and sourcing beautiful old materials. The architectural salvage he sourced from his travels around Spain became much in demand from interior architects and designers.

What started as an online venture selling reclamation, developed further in 2013 when Lee teamed up with artisan tile maker, Juan Menacho, to make their own range of encaustic tiles by using traditional techniques.

Bert and May was born in 2013, the company has gone on to produce a distinctive range of handmade graphic and geometric tiles, as well as engineered wood, made in Yorkshire.

The Kitchens

In June 2016 Bert & May launched their new architecturally-designed bespoke kitchens in collaboration with Red Deer Architects, who also designed some awesome spaces like No. 197 Chiswick Fire Station and Bourne & Hollingsworth in Clerkenwell.

All Bert & May kitchens are designed with the focus on honest materials and simplistic forms and are handmade in Yorkshire using natural materials which deliver character, detail and a finish that improves with age. The three finishes available are a carefully-selected palette of raw materials; birch faced ply, hand-finished reclaimed timber and, wait for it… rich brushed brass (my absolute favourite!)

Thoughtful details include extra deep drawers, sleek kickers, and dovetail construction joints to provide strength and a beautiful finish. A key design feature in each kitchen is a shadow gap in place of handles, to ensure a streamlined finish.

Worktops are available in cast concrete or show-stopping Italian marble. Modern industrial brassware, left unlacquered to develop a natural patina over time, completes the look.

Birch-faced Ply Kitchen

Birch-faced Ply Kitchen

Hand-finished Reclaimed Timber

Hand-finished Reclaimed Timber

Rich Brushed Brass!

Rich Brushed Brass!

The Bathrooms

The new bathroom collection was launched in May 2016 and includes a selection of made to order natural pigment cast concrete basins paired with a collection of modern industrial solid brass bathroom fixtures by Sussex based designers Studio Ore.

The basins are manufactured in the UK and come in two styles: The Rho and The Sienna which is available in 12 different sizes.

The Rho Basin

The Rho Basin

The Sienna Basin

The Sienna Basin

The brassware range includes a selection of wall and deck mounted basin mixers, bath fillers and shower mixers. The Studio Ore collection offers a rich, artisan feel and is the perfect finishing touch to complete a Bert & May bathroom. 

Bathroom Brassware by Studio Ore

Bathroom Brassware by Studio Ore

The Paints

Born out of a love of natural pigments and a dedication to colour, Bert & May’s new eco-­friendly paint range has a total of 55 shades formed from 11 palettes, which are available in a choice of limewash, eco emulsion and eggshell. Taking inspiration from the natural tones found within the Bert & May tile range, the pigments create a depth of colour and deliver a sophisticated, matt chalky finish.  

Pangola Grass, Bluebell and Lemon Balm Paints

Pangola Grass, Bluebell and Lemon Balm Paints

And if you need help bringing all these stunning elements together, why not take advantage of Bert and May’s in-house interior design service.

I found both the new kitchen and bathroom collections positively beautiful - they are made with utmost care and attention to detail, and the natural materials used are exceptional.

Thank you to Bert & May for inviting me as a guest.

If you’re in the industry and would like to attend one of the supper clubs, you can find out more here: Bert & May supper clubs.