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One of the beautiful things about working in a historic mill building is the gorgeous exposed piping and ductwork. Combined with the brick walls and the high ceilings, it’s one of the selling points of the space. When I was coming up with some creative ways to accessorize the space, I found some visually striking examples of designs that integrated pipes along the ceiling or in accent pieces. If you love this look and aren’t currently calling a loft home, there’s some creative designer and DYI pieces on the market that you can use – from shelving to lighting fixtures.

Exposed Duct Works, Redux
Exposed ductwork is a hot look in a lot of urban apartment and office buildings right now, especially the ones that used to be factories, mills, or big commercial facilities.  These lofts go for big bucks, and have tremendous character that you can work with. Lots of natural light, exposed bright, and rich woods permeate the space.

Piping Hot Design Trends

But not all exposed ductwork is urban. This beautiful country example of an exposed duct takes a really practical turn as place to hang pots and pans!
Piping Hot Design Trends
Photo Credit: Trilogy Builds

A colorful paint job makes this design a standout for a fun take on exposed pipes in a kids’ bathroom.
Piping Hot Design Trends
Photo Credit: Houzz

Hanging Storage Solutions
Who doesn’t love a creative storage solution? DIY crafters are rock stars at recycling and upcycling, and these pipe shelves are a great way of using steel pipes and even a bellowsflex hose to create unique shelves and bookcases that can adapt to almost any arrangement.

Here pipes double as both the supports and the mechanism for attaching the shelves to the wall.
Piping Hot Design Trends
Photo Credit: Interior Result

With pipes’ structural integrity, it’s really possible to combine shelves into ultra-creative configurations.
Piping Hot Design Trends
Photo Credit: Yellow Pelow

Hanging bookshelves in particular are a hot item, where shelves can double as both the supports and the bookends. This lighted version is great to illuminate a reading nook.
Piping Hot Design Trends
Photo Credit: Gear Culture

Industrial fittings are used in this one to give it even more character.
Piping Hot Design Trends

Pipe Shelves Scaled
If you love the pipe shelf look but need more than just a foot or so of shelf space provided by the hanging shelves, there are some great examples of floor shelves constructed of pipe. The key qualities translate over: a very artistic and modern industrial look with a highly configurable potential design.

Pipe and wood combine to a really unusual shape in this one – this would be a great idea for working with specific display needs or around an oddly shaped wall feature.
Piping Hot Design Trends

The pipes on this corner shelving unit help anchor the whole thing, while allowing it to fit into a tight space between window and door. Look at all the room you get for books, knickknacks and more.
Piping Hot Design Trends
Photo Credit: Modern Meals for Two

Funky Furniture
There’s also some really fun pipe and hose furniture. This vintage wheel cart combines pipes and antique box wood.
Piping Hot Design Trends

This pipe and wood wine rack is absolutely to die for.
Piping Hot Design Trends
Photo Credit: Manhattan Cleanline

It also makes a sturdy, minimalist bedframe.
Piping Hot Design Trends
Photo Credit: Design Fabulous

A lot of these items are commercially available, but they are all very doable as custom commissions or DIY projects. I think it’s time to sign my husband up for a welding class!

Written By Liz Alton