Turn Your Home Into a New York Loft: 10 Industrial Chic Design Ideas for Your Home in the UAE


It’s like living in a warehouse, but make it ultra chic.

Imagine the hippest, urban place in town, a kind of arts and culture hub – and chances are you’re thinking of a place with unfinished concrete walls or floors, spare light bulbs and furniture in repurposed materials for creatives and cultural provocateurs.

In the United Arab Emirates, Alserkal Avenue, Warehouse 421, Boxpark, parts of Dubai Design District and Last Exit are some amazing examples. This is the style of industrial design, and we’ll show you how you can bring it home too!

It’s much more raw, a kind of concrete style. A main feature is the exposed ceilings, including much of the piping – water pipes, pipes and electric columns, and an unfinished appearance. In terms of furniture and design elements, it is definitely a recycled, restored and refurbished look.

– Tanya Ivin Karam, founder and interior designer of design studio Interior Takeover

Tanya Ivin Karam, founder and interior designer of the design studio Interior Takeover, explains: “It’s much more raw, a kind of concrete style. A main feature is the exposed ceilings, including much of the piping – water pipes, pipes and electric columns, and an unfinished appearance. In terms of furniture and design elements, it really is a recycled, restored and refurbished look.

The style came after the Industrial Revolution, when old and derelict factory spaces began to be redeveloped into housing and studio apartments in the 20th century. Especially in places like Manhattan in New York, USA, whose lofts are well known around the world. Karam says: “Old warehouses were converted into residential lofts – they renovated and left raw columns, exposed brickwork and pipework. Historic buildings also have many restrictions on what needs to be done to preserve the building. »

It became fashionable among celebrities and artists – Andy Warhol, American artist, director and producer, had an industrial-style studio “The Factory” for New York high society of the time.

Industrial chic in the UAE

Box Park’s shipping containers house a chic urban space.
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

In the United Arab Emirates, Boxpark is known for its stylish repurposed shipping containers, while the sleek Alserkal Avenue warehouses are popular with art lovers.

Karam breaks down some of the industrial spaces in the UAE: “Alserkal Avenue is a great hub for industrial interior design. There’s a similar trend where everything is sort of exposed – the ceilings are exposed, they just add the finishing touch to make it a store, but all the raw materials and raw material from the warehouse remain.

“La Mer has also done a fantastic job… the playground looks like it’s recycled, they’ve kept a lot of things exposed, like pipes – they have these two huge pipes that have Arabic calligraphy to make it look more like to a work of art than parts that have been designed.

Make your home an industrial chic hub

At home, it’s a neutral, minimalist space full of raw, unfinished textures of wood, concrete, brick, and even sun-drenched steel. You can also mix and match styles with Industrial – go more rustic with more warm browns and woods, bohemian with more plants and prints, or modern glam with sleek chrome finishes, for example.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to bringing that classic loft-style industrial interior back to the UAE:

1. Start with exposed concrete or wood floors

Industrial interior design style house bedroom

Exposed concrete floors perfectly channel the look of the warehouse.
Image Credit: Unsplash/Frankie

Bare concrete floors are an ideal first step. Karam says, “People liked it so much that they incorporated it into high-end interior design.

“Another way to achieve this is a wooden floor with large pieces of planks – the biggest you can get. The bigger or wider the wood you get, the more industrial it is because it gives a recycled look.

You can also add a rug. Karam adds, “Nowadays you see almost classic rugs like traditional rugs on a concrete floor, so it’s an almost shocking contrast.”

2. Bare architecture and cool neutral walls

Industrial interior design style decoration bedroom house

Leave an unfinished look on furniture and walls, and cool-toned neutral colors for an industrial look.
Image credit: Unsplash/Ramona Balaban

Karam recommends leaving your walls bare or unfinished, or with a rough painted or plastered finish. She says, “An exposed brick wall, painted white or maintained brown is a hallmark of the industrial style. It can be an accent wall – remember Monica’s kitchen in Friends New York’s iconic apartment?

There is a trap you might face here. Karam says, “Many apartments in the UAE have this cream beige design, so flooding the walls with white or gray is a great way to achieve the industrial look. Get rid of anything beige.

Also stay away from wallpaper, unless you’re looking for concrete-like textured walls – which are available as wallpaper. Just buy it and stick it for an instant industrial change.

3. Use an earthy monochrome palette with accent colors

Industrial interior design style bedroom house

Warm brown or steel gray are the classic industrial colors.
Image credit: Unsplash/Aaron Huber

Use a monochromatic, earthy color palette in cool tones of gray and steel, or warm brown from wood. Karam says, “Sometimes there will be an accent piece of furniture with a pop of bright color…for example, there’s like a bright orange chair in the corner, but everything else is monochromatic.”

To provide more warmth, you can add more wood – whether in beams, floors or furniture.

4. Less is more

Industrial interior design style bedroom house

Clean, spare furniture is everything.
Image credit: Unsplash/Ramona Balaban

“The most important thing is to declutter, because a big feature is ‘less is more,'” says Karam.

Prioritize bare open spaces in your rooms and choose your furniture carefully for this look.

5. Open-plan living and kitchen islands

Industrial interior design style home kitchen

A classic industrial kitchen island in a loft.
Image credit: Pexels/Max Vakhtbovych

In industrial-style homes, the ceilings are often high and the space designed for open-plan living. Karam says, “It feels like one big room instead of small spaces – there are fewer dividers, fewer walls and more of a big open space.”

A classic example of this is a kitchen “island” – a freestanding kitchen cabinet in a completely open kitchen that fits perfectly into the living room.

6. Bring in modern, upcycled or quirky furniture

Industrial interior design style bedroom

Metal chairs and stools, recycled and raw wood furniture are perfect for a raw industrial style.
Image credit: Unsplash/Anna Sullivan

Karam recommends using modern furniture and decor in a mix of materials such as wood, glass, or a rough-finished marble for more variety. She says, “Nothing too ornate or intricate. These days you also see a lot of curved sofas, in a minimalist way.

But, classic pieces can also be used sparingly. She says, “Sometimes they take an old piece of furniture, completely dismantle it and modernize it.” Some options are metal chairs and stools, reclaimed and raw wood furniture. As for finishes, think iron, copper, brass, glass, and chrome.

7. Grand and large-scale works of art

Industrial interior design style bedroom house
Image credit: Unsplash/Nathan Dumlao

“Instead of using a lot of small paintings that would look messy, the large scale of artwork has really flourished in industrial interior design,” says Karam. “Invest in large-scale modern artwork and it doesn’t have to be expensive – you can now find beautiful, large, affordable prints in many stores across the UAE.” Abstract artwork and vintage photographs are popular options.

8. For fabrics – leather and linen in fewer patterns

Industrial interior design style bedroom

Use bare, block colors in fabrics such as linen, cotton and leather with just a hint of pattern if desired.
Image credit: Unsplash/Anna Sullivan

For upholstery, Karam says fabrics that don’t have patterns such as linen, cotton and (sometimes distressed) leathers are very popular.

There are fewer fabrics and draperies, and curtains are generally not used unless they can be hidden. Karam says, “Curtains that are completely hidden when opened, like blackout blinds or roller shutters that are clean, simple, designless, patternless. It almost looks like part of the wall when closed.

Finally, the pattern should be added sparingly. She adds, “The fewer the patterns, the more industrial style you’ll get – it’s about being a blank canvas finish.”

9. Lots of sunlight and hanging or cage lighting

Industrial Interior Design Cage Lighting Room

Let plenty of sunlight into the home, and cage or pendant lighting is perfect for the bare industrial look.
Image credit: Unsplash/Erol Ahmed

“It’s a lot of mood lighting, not too bright – maybe an accent pendant or a modern chandelier placed somewhere to really make an impact, near the entryway or the dining table, too. large as space allows,” says Karam.

Exposed light bulbs, like those used to cool the Morse code above the stairs in the Oscar-winning film Parasite, are a classic industrial fixture, as are the large windows that let in lots of sunlight.

Your best industrial lighting options include:

  • Hanging Edison bulbs, which show coiled and glowing tungsten inside
  • Domed metal pendant lights
  • Elegant floor lamps
  • Cage lighting – which are lights that have metal bars around the bulb

Accent with tall plants in sturdy pots

Industrial interior design style bedroom

Brighten up bare walls with a nice pop of plant green.
Image credit: Unsplash/Croissant

“It’s always nice to add some greenery, no matter what your interior space is,” says Karam. She recommends plants with large leaves rather than small leaves that could form a splash of color in your space.

The flowers too. Kara says, “As industrial is usually monochromatic, you can add a pop of color through a rose for example. Instead of several kinds of flowers in a bouquet, use one flower – for example, a bouquet of white roses. It must be very clean.

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