The industrial look in residential design.
Photo: Drew Kelly for The Wall Street Journal

Open floorplans, exposed ductwork, concrete floors and other elements of industrial design are increasingly found in suburbia.

Now that commercial design ideas--ranging from hospitality venues to office spaces to retail--have gained currency in residential design vernaculars, residential architects are pushing the edge further in materials use toward ever more industrial form and function in homes.

Wall Street Journal staffer Stefanos Chen takes a look at one of residential design's heating-up trends:

Exposed ductwork, polished concrete floors and steel girders—once the exclusive vernacular of urban warehouse and factory conversions—are increasingly incorporated into new construction. The demand for open floor plans and the popularity of industrial elements like overhead doors and oversize gears have buyers and builders taking bigger design risks.

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