Guest Blogger: Cary England-Backes
"My goal is to give people access to style & design."
Since 1988, Cary has immersed herself in the art world creating designs utilizing several different mediums such as interior decorating services, specialty wall finishes, custom art, furniture, and graphic design. Her design goal is to create an atmosphere which reflects a beautiful sense of well being.
Showroom location: 1301 Pomona St., Crockett, CA 94525
Contact Cary at: (510) 787-4751
Visit her web site at:
Industrial Chic in San Francisco
By: Cary England-Backes
In today’s world, anything and everything goes. That applies especially well to the blending of “chic” with “industrial” styles.
I recently had a chance to partner these two seemingly incongruent elements when I was invited to create a dining room vignette for a Grange showroom display using their pieces: a dining room table, benches, chairs, sideboard and chandelier as my “blank canvas.”
To this foundation I added my original artwork, mosaic mirrored screen, and custom walnut and nickel-cast side table.
I was immediately drawn to the contrasting textures of the cold, industrialized metal legs of the dining room table with the warm, natural wood on the tabletop. I like to mix raw, organic elements with unconventional, eclectic pieces that surprise the eye and Grange’s pieces really blend beautifully with my style sense.
When I saw this chandelier in the Grange San Francisco showroom, I knew it would be an excellent way to pull everything around it together by balancing feminine with masculine, so I asked if I could use it over the table.
A mosaic-mirrored screen of three salvaged doors is painted in metallic silver and reflects backlight and adds another feminine/masculine element. My abstract painting connotes an interplay with light and metal and also serves as a screen in this vignette.
I added an old cement-cast basin to provide another industrial element and it makes a bold statement as an eclectic table centerpiece. The plants and flowers serve to balance and soften the table atmosphere, while the beads in the basin emulate a water feature. The cascading led lights mirror the shape of the chandelier and the overall effect is of water and movement.
When setting a table, I like to mix and match my table wear with vintage or retro pieces. Here I incorporated some Grange pieces with other tableware I have acquired at antique stores or thrift shops. The gold-striped glasses look vintage, but are actually retro. Don’t be afraid to mix designs, styles or even eras!
Industry can be romantic! Here, masculine meets feminine with a glittery peace symbol and a plain plaster-casted heart that adds a focal interest point, but could also serve a function as place card holders.
Hardwood benches are softened with pillows. Below is a close up of my bench pillows, which mirror the industrial theme and also add a masculine feel.
Below, one of my original pieces of art also translates nicely as an image for a pillow.
I paired my walnut side table with one of Grange’s mahogany chairs and added a mosaic-mirrored screen of aged silver gilded doors as a backdrop. The texture of the chair fabric balances nicely with the natural, Irish linen pillow fabric.
Below is a closer look at my customized wooden side/coffee table. A natural, walnut slab sits atop solid nickel-cast legs and works as a nice pairing with Grange’s dining room table.
It was such an honor to be asked to design a vignette for the Grange showroom. I always know when I design with Grange that the selection will be varied, unique and will fit my design aesthetic!