Interior decorating tips for industrial design


Simple yet exciting, effortless yet highly functional, industrial design has so much more to offer than meets the eye. Here’s a look at what industrial-style interior design is, how it became a thing, and how to successfully pull off the look.

how it started

In the 17th century, the world was facing the industrial revolution and life has never been the same since. Large factory buildings sprung up all over Europe and America. Each has been built to meet market demands in a simple and efficient way. There was no paint and huge windows were installed to let in as much natural light as possible – the goal was to save money, not spend it.

Two centuries later, the world has seen significant progress in the construction industry. It has become so advanced that people have been able to create better and more efficient structures. As old factories closed and industrial areas moved to the outskirts of the city, the original buildings were left to decay, but not for long.

In the mid-twentieth century, people began to flock to cities, demands for residential buildings began to gradually increase, prompting the government to initiate gentrification. What were once factories became homes, and just like that, the industrial chic look became a thing.

All Exposed


Industrial design is about exposed materials. The brick walls are left as is, without paint or plaster. Even the elements that people usually try to conceal, such as pipes and ducts, remain exposed, becoming a distinguishing feature of the interior design style. While factories in the 1700s did this to save on the building budget, people are now embracing it wholeheartedly as a new trend. This is especially true when the warehouse apartment concept began to gain popularity in urban cities. Exposing raw elements has become a fad which is, in fact, a good thing because it has eliminated the need for additional construction.

Natural and masculine aesthetics

When it comes to color, industrial design sticks to neutral palettes. Remember, when we talk about shades, we’re not referring to stark hues like black and white. Rather than creating a sharp look with blends of these two, industrial interiors preferred a variation of browns and tans to create a warm and harmonious ambiance. Browns have various shades in the interior, so it is not difficult to get creative with colors.


That being said, layers of bold tones in industrial design should not be frowned upon. As long as you keep it to a minimum, details in darker or lighter tones could provide a bold contrast to your otherwise masculine style decor. Remember that browns and tans should remain the dominant colors while all other shades serve as accents.

Mix of wood and metal

A juxtaposition of wood and metal is what defines the industrial design interior. Durable and practical materials such as iron, aluminum, steel, copper and tin are used to create a blend with wooden floors and furniture. There’s no need to think twice to take advantage of aged and distressed rooms because old and new are never mutually exclusive in industrial spaces. For example, combining vintage wooden planks with a steel frame for a table is a surefire move for an industrial-style living room.


Open layout

Today, industrial design is commonly associated with an urban loft with an open concept layout. This is particularly crucial in the industrial style, regardless of the size of the surface available. Even in a cramped environment, an open plan is essential if you really want to recreate an authentic industrial interior. The key is to avoid congestion that could limit lanes. Remember that functionality is required in industrial design.


For kitchens, the kitchen island layout is the perfect solution to fit in with the industrial theme. With scattered counters and tables, it would be easy to separate a large room and make wide aisles to move around. But if your kitchen area isn’t wide enough, provide extra storage space with freestanding metal shelves. Open-faced storage and shelving can also help give a feeling of openness inside narrow kitchens.


How to Succeed in Industrial Design

Achieving an industrial design for your interior is quite easy. First, you just need to leave your bright red brick walls exposed. It could provide a beautiful backdrop to your space while simultaneously saving time and effort. Pair it with deep red-orange woods and black metal detailing for accents.


On the other hand, concrete provides a literal blank slate. Pair it with neutral shades or experiment with bright colors. Are your concrete walls already completely painted? Well, you can always do it right! There are several easy DIY guides to painting a faux concrete wall finish on the internet.


When you are done with the walls, start adding industrial furniture to your home. Industrial beds, recycled wood benches, stone counters, even old vintage lamps which are currently making a comeback. Little trick, opt for the Edison lamp. Filament bulb dating from the 20th century, it gives off a warm orange glow perfect for an industrial style decor.

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