Industrial interior design style: from history to design tips
Welcome to the fascinating world of industrial interior design! With its raw and rugged aesthetic, this style effortlessly blends functionality and artistic expression. From its historical roots to practical design tips, this article will take you on a journey through the evolution and intricacies of this trendsetting style. Get ready to discover the secrets behind this design style and embark on a journey of creativity and industrial allure.
Industrial Interior Design History – how it become to be?
Industrial Interior design flourished in the 2000s when the U.S. faced housing crises. Urban areas like New York were short on apartments, so people started looking for creative and fast solutions how to accommodate more people in the area. They realized that there are lots of abandoned factories that have a good build, are not used by manufacturers anymore, and could serve as a housing option.
Renovating old factories
Real Estate companies saw the opportunity and did minor renovations to make the factories suitable for tenants – added some walls and built bathrooms and kitchens but overall left the interior untouched.
It was a totally different look compared to what was available at that moment in the real estate market. The high ceilings, big windows, open floor plans, and exposed raw materials were the main selling points for old factory apartments. And it worked! People were excited about the space, vastness, and fresh minimalism.
Can you achieve industrial Interior design in any home?
Since industrial interior design has some specific elements that you can find just in old factory settings, it can get challenging to implement this particular design style in any home. In that case, the key is to concentrate on achieving the industrial feel and let some of the elements slide. However, there are some apartment styles that will work perfectly with industrial interior design, for example, apartments in new buildings. Also, old houses with exposed brick walls and wood elements will supplement an industrial interior design style very well.
On the contrary, if you have an apartment in, for example, an elegant Art Nouveau-style or Victorian-era house, the industrial interior design will look out of place and clash with the tone of the building.
Run Down of Basic Elements of Industrial Interior Design
Understanding the fundamental elements is crucial to achieving an authentic and captivating look. From exposed brick walls and concrete floors to metal accents and industrial furniture, these key elements come together to create the raw, utilitarian charm that defines industrial design.
Exposed brick walls
Exposed brick walls are a hallmark of industrial design, adding a sense of rugged authenticity and texture to the space. They showcase the building's history and create a visually striking feature that contrasts with other materials.
Concrete or polished cement floors
Concrete or polished cement floors provide a sleek and industrial look, with their smooth surfaces and minimalistic appeal. They offer durability and are often left unfinished or sealed, enhancing the raw and utilitarian atmosphere.
Open ceilings with visible ductwork and pipes
Open ceilings expose the structural elements of a space, including ductwork, pipes, and beams. This design choice embraces the industrial origins of the building and adds a sense of height and spaciousness, while the visible mechanical systems contribute to the overall aesthetic.
Metal accents (steel beams, iron fixtures, vintage industrial lighting)
Metal accents play a significant role in industrial interior design. Steel beams, iron fixtures, and vintage industrial lighting fixtures infuse spaces with an industrial edge, combining functionality with a touch of rugged elegance.
Industrial furniture (distressed wood, metal, leather)
Industrial-style furniture often features distressed wood, metal frames, and leather upholstery. These materials provide a vintage, weathered aesthetic, while maintaining durability and functionality. Pieces like metal-framed chairs, reclaimed wood tables, and leather sofas add character and contribute to the industrial ambiance.
Neutral color palette (shades of gray, black, brown)
The color palette in industrial design typically leans towards neutral tones, including shades of gray, black, and brown. These colors create a subdued backdrop that allows the industrial elements to shine. They provide a sense of simplicity and complement the raw materials and textures prevalent in the style.
Creating a room in an industrial interior design style
The perfect setting for an industrial interior design is an old factory. However, not always it is possible to get a place in the desired area or you are working with an apartment you already own. Let’s explore how to achieve an industrial interior design style in spaces that are not located in old factories or similar settings!
Fake brick wall or other industrial wall decors
A brick wall is one of the main elements of industrial design. If you don’t have an exposed brick wall which is not that common in most spaces, you can go for the next best thing – a good fake brick wall. It can be a wallpaper with a brick print or you can create or buy textured fake brick wall decor.
A brick wall is not the only way how to decorate walls in an industrial design. You can also go for a concrete-type finish or even metal wall coverings. If you are painting, you can create texture with specific tools and paint the walls in gray tones. And as an extra, you can mix and match a matt finish with a more glossy one.
Wallpaper is also a great option for adding an industrial feel to your home. It might be your preference or you have no other choice, for example, you are renting and can only use peel and stick wallpaper. If you are leaning towards using wallpaper to add to your space an industrial feel, check out these options: Gray Stones, Curved Black Lines, Watercolor hexagons, or Classical Patterns.
Black metal finishes
Industrial design is saturated with different metals. However, black metal finishes for furniture and different decors will help you achieve an industrial but sleek design feel. Choose a coffee table with black metal legs and have coherent armchairs. Have exposed decorated black nails used as hooks. Go for a lighting option that includes black metal finishes. Change the knobs of your kitchen cabinets to black metal ones. Look around and find even more options on how you can implement black metal finishes into your home!
Don’t have exposed piping at your place to support the industrial interior design? No worries, create your own! You can get cool-looking pipes at the hardware store and from there create a decorative piece for your home. You can hang the pipes from the ceiling or make it a wall decor piece. If you cannot find pipes in black, copper also will work well. And you can always paint the pipes yourself to fit your style and interior.
If you don’t feel crafty yourself, look for already-created pieces! There are wonderful options created by talented artists from animal statues made from old pipes to functional decor, for example, shelves made from pipes.
Large scale for big room
Everything that is oversized will fit well within an industrial interior design. Especially think about using large pieces if you are working with a big open room. Small details will vanish in a large space or worse, if you use a lot of small pieces, they will make the room feel cluttered.
On the other hand, if you are decorating a room of normal size in an industrial design, don’t choose extra big pieces as they will make the room feel stuffed. But still look for one-piece items and try to use as less elements as possible in the room. To achieve the industrial feel you can have one or two bigger items, for example, an extra large floor lamp or a couch for more people than usual.
Explore minimalism within industrial design
Industrial design is functional, it brings you straight to the point, and it is strict and clear. So a space that is decorated in an industrial style will have some elements of minimalism. The shelves will have some decor but it will not be stacked with figurines, the couch will have a few pillows but not a ton, the coffee table will hold a book and that’s it. Everything has to be clean, clear, and uncluttered.
Compared to Scandinavian minimalism, industrial minimalism is moodier. The overall color scheme is darker and the elements used in the interior are harsher.
Wooden details, textures, and plants
A room designed in an industrial style can get a bit cold. Metals and concrete are not the most welcoming and homey materials. To add a splash of warmth mix in the interior wooden details. Those can be wooden elements in the building itself, for example, wooden beams, or you can choose to have wooden shelves or raw wood tables.
Another way how to dilute the harshness of industrial design is to add different textures. Add a rug that resembles fluffy animal skin or cover the couch with a knitted blanket. Look for ways how to add a bit of softness to the room.
And last but not least, plants always revive a space and make it feel homey. Feel free to use plants in your industrial home as much as you want to. If the space allows it, choose big house plants, if not – go for smaller ones. All plants will look good and will give the room a moment of freshness.
In conclusion, the industrial interior design style offers a captivating blend of functionality, raw aesthetics, and urban charm. By incorporating the tips shared in this article, you can successfully transform your space into a haven that reflects the unique allure of industrial design. Remember to embrace exposed materials, utilize metal accents, and create a balance between simplicity and creativity.