Ideal for modern, open plan living spaces or for adding a contemporary twist, the industrial interior design look is all about clever exposure of raw building materials.
The look works by mixing different styles and textures, and juxtaposing sleek with unfinished.
You can ‘go the whole hog’ with exposed pipework, brick walls and concrete floors, or just add some key industrial-inspired pieces to your existing décor.
Retain original features
If you live in a building that’s been converted from another use, such as a factory or mill, then this look is custom made for you.
If you’ve inherited any original features like heating pipes and ducts, brickwork or original doorways, then showcase them rather than hiding them. This not only helps preserve the building’s identity but creates a unique, clean look that’s perfect for modern living.
That doesn’t mean you have to keep every original element, but retaining a few key features will help to create the look.
Exposed pipes can make a ceiling look fussy, so keep paintwork to a plain, pale colour to help them stand out without dominating.
Source metal doors and windows
Doors and windows with metal fittings will help to create an industrial look.
Look for original office doors at reclamation yards that have metal ‘kick strips’ at the bottom, plain stainless steel handles and push plates; plus windows with metal latches.
If you can’t find anything suitable, keep doors as plain as possible and add your own push plates and handles for a clean look.
Opt for raw industrial floors
The industrial look is all about raw materials, so for floors concentrate on wood, stone, polished concrete or tiles. Keep colours neutral, for example paint concrete floors grey and add colour with bright cotton rugs.
Find industrial style furniture
If you don’t live in an original industrial building, you can still create the look as much or as little as you want to.
For furniture, there are two options, both eco-friendly!
You can ‘re-purpose’ original office and industrial items such as filing cabinets, desks, desk lamps and shelving units.
Look for the best quality you can find, and avoid cheap modern items – vintage office furniture from the 1950s and 1960s is often beautifully made and looks good when mixed with other pieces in a domestic setting.
Alternatively, seek out artisans who make new items from industrial materials.
For example, cushions made from old flour sacks, tables made from cable reels or bookshelves made with old scaffolding poles will all help to create an industrial look and feel.
Many manufacturers also make pieces that are ‘industrial inspired’ – in particular, chairs, tables and bar stools.
Choose functional lighting
Lighting should look functional rather than decorative, so to keep the effect from being too harsh use lamps rather than too much overhead lighting. Original or reproduction enamel hanging lights are ideal for areas where you need more light, such as kitchens.
Get the industrial look in your home
Keen to create the industrial look in your home? There are plenty of places where you can find excellent examples of industrial style furniture and decor.
Here are six ideas to get you started.
1. Industrial metal wall storage, Vincent and Barn
This reproduction industrial style wall unit with a lacquered metal finish looks like it’s straight out of a factory locker room. It’s ideal for a busy family life, as a few knocks and scratches will actually improve it! £110 from Vincent and Barn.
2. Industrial grey coffee table, Alexander & Pearl
An industrial chic coffee table featuring a wooden trestle style base with grey painted rectangular resin table top which would look great in any loft-style setting. Was £325 now £280 from Alexander & Pearl.
3. Industrial pendant light in copper, Furnish.co.uk
Perfect for adding a vintage note, this industrial-style light comes in a choice of nine colours and three sizes. Ideal for installing above a dining table or kitchen counter, it’s handmade from metal and costs from £130 from Furnish.co.uk.
4. Industrial metal storage unit, Primrose & Plum
This industrial style metal wall unit is so versatile. Use it in a study to store your desk essentials and memos, keep it in your hallway as somewhere to pop keys or umbrellas, or use it in your kitchen. It’s only £45 from Primrose & Plum.
5. Concrete design wallpaper, Lime Lace
Want to create authentic looking wall features? Concrete design wallpaper is the perfect option. This one is by Dutch designer Piet Boon and looks very realistic. £199 from Lime Lace.
6. Industrial pipe hook, Industrial By Design
Lovingly made to order, these industrial steel pipe hooks are perfect for hanging coats and scarves on, or using as a nifty jewellery hanger. They can even custom make them to your own specifications. £29 from Industrial By Design.