Field Trip – Carbon Industrial Design

I love to decorate my home. But I don’t ever buy anything just because I like the way it looks. What always hooks me is the story. Where something came from, why it was made, how it got here, its history and how that history connects to my own. I kept running into Carter Anderson at flea markets and admiring the amazing goods he was selling. When he invited me to visit his showroom and studio, I learned there was more to the history of those items than I had realized. It made me really see why they kept catching my attention.

When I walked into to Carbon Industrial’s Showroom, it was like walking into a room full of stories – every single thing had a life before it got here. Anderson and his business partner Glen Stone and the other amazing folks at Carbon bring things back to life, take the best and save them, remake others into new and better versions of what they were.




Jet propulsion gears become mirrors, bowling lanes and factory machine legs become tables, industrial metal baskets become light fixtures. Signs get saved, factory furniture gets cleaned and upgraded and made new again (just new enough, never too new).

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The heart and soul and creativity of the folks at Carbon is evident everywhere you turn. By hand, they take down barns and factories and save the pieces, preserving history and breathing new life into it all at the same time. Their custom work is seen in the showroom and in bars and restaurants and homes around the metro area. They are one amazing Design Find.


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Although I wanted many things I saw, I only brought one home with me. Believe it or not, this beautiful thing is slag – a leftover from the glass making process. It looks fantastic in my kitchen – like a giant gem.



Carbon Industrial Design

128 S. Royal Street, Alexandria VA

4 thoughts on “Field Trip – Carbon Industrial Design

  1. Oh my gosh LOVE everything and I am wildly jealous of that “jewel” if you ever get tired if it I know another kitchen that could display it quite well! I love the history of items well, that’s why I have such a hard time letting go, as you know, I can let go of some things easily but the things in my house with history will probably never leave. Great post as always!

  2. If you loved the store on S. Royal Street wait until you see our new location at 1050 N. Fayette St. We leased a large warehouse that we are setting up as a our new retail location. More space, more great pieces!

  3. I saw an article on the web about how you were able to salvage items from a company called Dillon Machine Company in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The owner Irwin Peter Dillon was my great grandfather and I’ve been trying to find pictures of him, his family, and of Dillon Machine Company for about 12 years with no luck. When you salvaged the building did you happen to take any pictures of the building or find any pictures of the employees or family members. The original place was on Salem and Carver in Lawrence, Mass. Then moved years later to Osgood street in Lawrence. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,
    John Murray
    Cell phone: 310-528-0187

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