Industrial interiors were born in the 19th century when barns, warehouse and factories were converted into living spaces. Fast forward to the 21st century and it is now considered one of the coolest interior design styles around.
Industrial style is often associated with raw or exposed building materials. Exposed brick, concrete flooring and ceiling rafters are typical features of industrial style. However, you don’t need to live in an abandoned warehouse or a New York loft to achieve an industrial interior.
Here are 5 tips to help you create an industrial look, no matter what the bones of your abode:
- Keep your colour palette neutral
When it comes to industrial spaces, it can be easy to jump to 50 shades of grey, but there is so much more to consider if you want to create a timeless and chic aesthetic. Industrial styes use mostly natural hues, so keeping your colours neutral, earthy and natural is key.
Think about the material used in the structure of the home and use these to define your colour palette. Concrete, wood, steel, copper and leather are a good base to define your pallet.
If you want to add a pop of colour, keep to earthy tones. Terracotta and lemon work well to soften what can be a quite cold interior style. An indoor plant will also bring a nice energy to an industrial room. When considering plants, bigger is better as small plants can get lost in large industrial spaces.
When you think of industrial lighting, chances are you think of metal domed lamp shades but there are loads of other ways to use lighting to sculpt an industrial aesthetic.
Fisherman ceiling lights with exposed light bulbs over a breakfast bar or dining table will instantly add an industrial feel. Low hanging chain pendants with a mesh cage are the perfect answer to an industrial chandelier and will definitely be a talking point at your dinner party.
Natural light is ideal but this is not always available so a couple of wall lights will help illuminate areas that do not get natural light. Brass wall lights with frosted glass and an Edison bulb will work perfectly in bedrooms and bathrooms. You can get some pretty cool industrial desk lamps but if you are looking for something a little more edgy for your office try a wall hanging light bulb. Wrap the cord around a wall mounted peg for a laid-back industrial look. Floor lamps are another great way to make an industrial statement through lighting.
Lighting is one of the most versatile ways to create an industrial feel but the key to nailing it is to not go overboard. Pick one statement piece per room and work in smaller pieces around it.
- Keep it clean
Clutter is not your friend if you are wanting to achieve an industrial look. The industrial style looks best with an open floor plan and the right furniture layout and placement is crucial. Be careful not to over furnish and keep minimalism on your mind when shopping. Try to limit the use of accessories and keep surfaces clutter free. Instead decorate with large paintings, abstract sculptures, or even hang your Brooklyn bike on the wall to create an urban industrial look.
Exposed bookcases and shelving are a great storage option and when it comes to storage for small accessories you can’t go wrong with wire baskets. Mesh wall units, coat hooks and wire memo board work perfectly for office storage.
- Don’t put industrial style in a box
While there are some basic rules to adhere to, not all industrial styles are the same.
You can create a sleek, modern industrial design by incorporating clean lines and polished metal finishes. However, if you like the industrial style but are looking for a slightly more relaxed atmosphere, then a rustic industrial style may be for you.
Low furniture such as modular sofas will complement a contemporary industrial aesthetic. While leather chesterfields and reclaimed furniture will work perfectly to achieve a more laid-back rustic feel. Repurposed pipes can be used in many ways from shelving to bar stools to light fittings and are a nice way to add a rustic factory touch.
Stainless steel hardware will blend perfectly with a cool, concrete contemporary tone, while copper hardware will suit a warmer, rustic vibe.
- Furnishing and industrial space
When furnishing an industrial space, you should select pieces with utilitarian materials that reflect the architecture. Steel, concrete, wood and leather are your go-to, however there is more to consider than just the material as you also need to make sure that the silhouette of your chosen pieces complements the industrial style. Industrial furniture tends to have straight, clean lines and can often look quite boxy and structured.
We know wood is a key material of industrial design but which style of wood you select is also very important. Distressed wood work really well and don’t worry if your wooden pieces are not the perfect match. In fact, using different varieties of wood can create a more authentic industrial look than everything looking like it came out of the same catalogue. Reclaimed wooden tables with metal legs paired with leather hair-pinned dining chairs are a perfect industrial combination.
Metal breakfast bar stools are a quick and cost-effective way to instantly give a space a more industrial feel. Black, brown or grey leather sofas are a great option too. If you are after a more rustic industrial feel go for a worn leather, and if you prefer modern industrial keep it structured.
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