Give your home, restaurant or office an industrial look

A modern decor style – and an exciting one at that for its uniqueness – is the industrial look. This style takes elements from industrial settings like factories and warehouses and inserts them into living, dining and workspaces, often to great effect.

A few of the most prominent aspects of this décor style are (1) the happy embrace of architectural details, (2) industrial lighting, and (3) the repurposing of industrial items.

Embrace architectural details

Industrial-styled interiors embrace the framework of a room, making a feature of exposed beams, brick face and piping, among other things. It stems from industrial settings where nobody could be bothered to hide such elements since factories and the like are not about prettiness. Bolts and screws are not hidden, but rather become accessories or accents.

Light it like an industrialist

Perhaps one of the most striking elements of the industrial look is its lighting. The insertion of lights that were previously the exclusive domain of industrialised setting into intimate spaces like homes, restaurants or small offices tends to be arresting.

Common types of lighting are naked light bulbs (on their own or in clusters), oversized steel or brass lampshades, long-arm desk lamps, long exposed cords, and more. 

Code Black Coffee / Zwei Interiors Architecture

Repurpose industrial items

Repurposing items is a big part of industrial décor. You’ll find upturned barrels used as coffee tables, truck springs as stools, and old pipes as door handles, towel rails or free-standing clothes racks.

The room for creativity in this regard is fantastic. Designers have used factory windows as shower walls, crates as floating shelves, and old filing cabinets as sideboards.

Other features of the style

Here are some other common features of the industrial look:

  • Industrial materials like galvanized steel, concrete, glass and reclaimed wood
  • Rough, unfinished floors and unpainted brick face walls
  • Very large windows and factory windows
  • Neutral or dark tones and minimalist colour
  • Vintage pieces (e.g. electric metal fans, iron bedsteads)

You’ll also often find sliding doors, metal-leg stools, swivel casters, and backless consoles, among other things. Artwork tends to be modern.  

Industrial-style bathrooms are usually minimalist, with pared-down items like metal sink consoles and glass shower doors. 

Industrial chic and rustic industrial

Industrial décor is unfussy, free from frills and prints. Traditionally the domain of lofts and spacious studio apartments, it is increasingly being incorporated into suburban homes and other less obvious spaces.

Because of the bare-bones nature of the industrial look, interiors designed in this style can at times feel austere, which in some cases is what’s wanted, but there are also ways of lessening that austerity by mixing the style with another.

For example, industrial chic is a great hybrid style that will often bring more colour and panache into a space. So instead of just plain metal chairs at the kitchen table, for instance, you might paint those chairs a bright warm yellow. And you might opt for a more delicate overhead light like a modern chandelier.

Arguably the most popular hybrid style is rustic industrial. The main element introduced by the rustic look is wood, with reclaimed or distressed wood furniture and floors very common. Rustic industrial interiors are warmer and more homely than their pure industrial counterparts.

If you decide to go industrial in your home décor – good luck, and let us know how it goes!


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