Industrial style is about functional spaces, raw materials, and gritty decor. Industrial design fuses sleek modern decor with a lived-in and more rugged aesthetic. Most people associate it with black metal accents, unfinished woods, exposed bricks, and factory-like elements. But, this complete guide to industrial design is about to show you that there’s so much more to this aesthetic than you believe
What is Industrial Style?
Industrial style draws inspiration from warehouses and industrial factories. Focusing on their open space. This aesthetic offers a stripped-back architecture that lets detailing shine. So yes, you’ll see exposed bricks, fused metals, woods, and recycled materials. But, you’ll also see luxurious fabrics, sumptuous finishes, and fine-art highlighted across the room.
Comfort is king and the key element of industrial style homes. Instead of focusing on ornate finishes, expect neutral colors, natural textures, and sleek designs. Industrial design is humble enough to merge with other movements like rustic, farmhouse, and even modern styles. Even if you don’t feel connected to industrial aesthetics, you can still manage to incorporate some of its key elements in your home’s design.
The Key Elements of Industrial Style
Notably, industrial style is flexible by design. Focusing on neutral hues and striking materials, it’s an effortless style to pull off and curate over time. Certainly, the celebration of open spaces lets you shift and rearrange as needed. Its approach to design promotes salvaged or recycled materials. Give a second life to your favorite items and drop the need for cosmetic tricks to make everything look good.
Industrial style is:
- Utilitarian and functional with plenty of use of heavy-duty materials like steel and stable woods for furniture.
- Salvaged and environmentally-friendly, making something old look new.
- Raw and almost unfinished with bare bricks, cinder block, and wooden beams becoming part of the decor.
Industrial style is not:
- Delicate or straightforward, don’t expect to find fussy delicates in this design aesthetic.
- Perfect or polished finishes, instead, it celebrates the opposite, leaving unfinished walls, furnishings, and architectural details shine.
- Traditional or formal focusing on comforts and luxury.
Colors & Texture
The emphasis is on the architecture and different textures rather than color. Out of functionality, color palettes gravitate towards crisp and clean whites, letting exposed brick walls take center stage. However, when color does appear, it’s in a single bold hue, usually in artwork or accessories. Some expected color palettes include:
- Soft neutrals: espresso, slate grays, putty, and dove gray.
- Classics: architectural white and black.
- Bold color: teal, royal blue, engine red, fiery oranges, and chartreuse.
Metal, woods, cement, bricks, and other materials take the spotlight over color. Think stainless steel accents, brass, and powder-coated finishes paired with raw lumber and patinated finishes that create a rustic vibe.
Walls & Doors
More than any other interior design style, the industrial aesthetic incorporates walls and doors in the decor. At the risk of sounding like a broken record. We must emphasize featuring raw materials like cement and brick walls. Doors usually follow the same idea, with large wooden or metal doors doubling as a decorative accent. Consider that many designers will go to the length of sourcing wall facades to create the same look. Some might even consider using textured wallpapers to achieve the look and feel of these exposed walls.
Furniture is what makes industrial design what it is. Industrial furniture is stripped down and highlights its structure and materials. Look for steel, iron, and reclaimed wood finishes. Although odd at first, think of furniture you would spot at a lab, warehouse, or an old school. Items like rolling chairs, lockers, and library ladders are all vital elements of industrial style decor.
Upholstered pieces follow more modern shapes but still remain true to industrialists with leather or solid fabrics. One thing about industrial interiors is their open plan design with plenty of space. This directly impacts the size of furniture pieces, so don’t hesitate to source oversized chairs or long dining tables. Everything can be strategically placed to break up the different areas.
Although minimal, decorations and accessories are the perfect finishing touches. Instead of seeing sculptures and decorative objects, you’ll see decor almost built-in into the design. The filament-bulb light fixtures, exposed pipes, and potted plants are the go-to accessories.
Factory parts, machinery, vintage items, photographs, maps, and other decorative elements add much-needed layers to create depth. Accessorize with large abstract wall art, metal structures, and other salvaged objects.
One element of decor that’s distinctive industrial design is the showcase of architectural decor. Beyond the bare bricks and unfinished walls, you’ll see details like exposed pipes, air ducts, stand-alone columns, and bare floors let out and merged into the decor.
The Industrial Style House
As architects found themselves converting industrial style plans into homes, their choice was to celebrate old-time buildings’ industrial feel and architectural details. This is the origin of industrial design and the basics of this style aesthetic. All of these elements are adapted to the modern home while remaining true to its roots.
Since industrial style takes its inspiration from lofts and warehouses, the house follows this open space layout. From the moment you step inside, you can see a straight line to the end of the house. This can make it challenging to designate areas and spaces, notably the entryway. To capture the essence of this movement, entrances are straightforward and with no fuss. A console table, perhaps a mirror, and some decor are all it takes. Sometimes even a floor lamp and a side table will suffice.
Industrial Living Room
As you start planning out the living room, things are bound to feel challenging. Placing the furniture in an open space can be daunting without the right guidance. Beginning with the rug and significant furniture pieces, you can create a framework for the room. Usually, industrial living rooms are not centered around a focal point like most traditional designs. Instead, furniture flows with the space, and you can see how organic shapes almost fit with one another like a puzzle.
Out of all spaces, it is in the living room where you’ll notice the pairing of different materials. Metals and woods are placed side by side to emphasize the contrast. Furniture lines are sleek with rounded corners and asymmetrical shapes. But out of all, it is lighting fixtures, often in sleek metals, that become the highlight of this design style.
Industrial Dining Room & Kitchen
Most likely, your industrial dining room will be part of the kitchen. Usually, an oversized kitchen isle doubles as the dining room table, while metal or wood bar stools become the added furniture.
Thanks to the open space layout, the kitchen and dining room often share the same space. An industrial kitchen is about functionality and restaurant-caliber appliances. These kitchens are ready to tackle the longest cooking marathons, whether you use them or not. You’ll see kitchens featuring all metal surfaces for a more modern take on industrial style. Others will focus on natural woods, letting the appliances shine on their own. Like other rustic styles, industrial design also taps into open shelving to display cookware and keep everything at a close distance.
It might seem like an industrial-style bedroom, and a relaxing space don’t go together. But, an industrial style bedroom can feel luxurious and comfortable. The key here is to keep everything clutter-free and clean. Industrial bedroom furniture with sleek lines is perfect for maintaining everything simple. Maintain a muted or neutral color palette to balance out the dark metals and heavy-duty finishes.
The bedroom is a great place to be creative, particularly in open space layouts. You’ll see repurposed items like stringer palettes doubling as a bed frame. Here, metal lighting fixtures are another way industrial design makes its way through the bedroom without looking rough. On occasions, art and accessories in bold colors will break with the muted color palette to add a spur of personality and an unexpected layer to the design.
Ready to See How Industrial Style Looks In Your Home?
Industrial style is timeless and forgiving. If your personality resonated with this aesthetic, with the idea of using items that are given a second chance, then start a project today. Collaborate with our online interior designers to find out what industrial style looks like in your home. Using our powerful 3D technology, you’ll be able to collaborate with our designers and see in real-life what your designed home will look like. From there, you can rearrange, swap items, and shop, all within one platform — and without ever leaving your house.