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The end of industrial chic?


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Exposed ductwork, Edison lightbulbs and barn wood tables, as shown in Seattle’s Eureka, are a few design trends that may have peaked.

You’ve seen it in your favorite restaurant, as well as the upscale grocery store around the corner. It’s lurking in Arby’s and Panera, but also surrounding you at breweries and tap houses: industrial chic. This design aesthetic that took over the world since the dawn of warehouse conversions (and Chipotle) appears to be on its way out.

If you’re dreaming up a new look for your restaurant, it may be time to look beyond mixing metal and glass with distressed, barn-like wood. If it’s a large-scale redesign covering several/many units, you should be even more on top of these shifting winds, as a design lasting five to 15-plus years needs to be as timeless as possible. What’s ahead: Clean lines and authentic materials aren’t going anywhere, with sleek stone, handmade brick and a more restrained use of metal replacing barnyard chic. Also hot: the return of plastic, and wallpaper, if you can believe it.

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