For decades now, the industrial look has been the aesthetic of choice for the ultra-hip bars, sleekly stylish kitchens, and gritty urban living rooms of cool kids the world over.

Beginning in the early 2000s, this distinctive look was deliberately developed by designers on a mission to restyle neglected but structurally-sound warehouses and factories in urban centres. Setting out to retain the workmanlike aesthetic of these once-productive buildings while making them desirable to live in, those on the vanguard of this new wave deliberately utilised raw steel, exposed pipes, brickwork, and bare concrete, combining them with dark, striking colours to create a look that was both stylish and functional.

This seismic shift away from the hideous avocado Formica bathrooms of the eighties, not to mention the earnestly rag-rolled walls in the decade that followed, came as a welcome relief to anyone with a modicum of design flair. It was certainly hard to fault the environmentally friendly ethos of recycling old factories and turning them into housing. All in all, it was a win, both for good taste and the planet.

Now that most of the factories have been converted and our ever-increasing urban sprawl means that most new builds are surrounded by pastoral scenery rather than bastions of enterprise, has the industrial look had its day in the sun?

Even New Zealanders, who were enthusiastic early adopters of the industrial aesthetic, are starting to gravitate away from raw steel and exposed brickwork towards the timeless warmth of timber and stone cladding.

Limestone in particular, with its classical, ageless beauty, has seen a striking resurgence in popularity over the last decade. From elegant mantlepieces to rustic feature walls, earthy indoor floor tiles to classic outdoor paving stones, the options for using limestone in your next building project are limited only by your imagination.

Oamaru Stone has now made it even easier to clad your walls with pure, organic, 100% natural limestone. Our revolutionary new product, Lightweight Dry Stack Stone, is ultra lightweight and thin, with a raw, rough- hewn face, and each stone is glued directly to your substrate, no stonemason required. The stones can be laid closely together for no visible pointing, and the product is tailormade for the beautiful rustic “Flintstone look” that defined so many of our early colonial cottages.

Call Dustin at Oamaru Stone on 021577242 or email us at , and we’ll show you how you can incorporate timeless, elegant limestone into your next building project.