How to Get the Industrial Style

How to Get the Industrial Style

There’s something undeniably sexy and bold about the unfinished look of industrial interiors. But trying to pin down the industrial style can be tricky. What makes this style so edgy is its raw masculinity and the honesty of its design. It takes a lot of courage to proudly display what lies underneath the surface, and industrial chic does not hold anything back. Instead of covering the structural elements of the room, industrial interiors are turning them into showpieces and letting them take centre stage.

Marrying the very best of yesteryear industrial charm and modern-day sleekness, the new aesthetic offers a perfect compromise between form and function. This exciting twist on the usual design practices has led the industrial style to become one of the most popular interior decorating styles of today.

Read on below and explore how to get the industrial style you crave for your home.

A short history of industrial style

How to Get the Industrial Style - Vinterior

Image Source: Quattro Studio

In comparison to Hollywood Regency, the origin of the industrial style is not very glamorous. On the outskirts of cities, the second industrial revolution left many plants and warehouses abandoned to suffer from neglect. However, the increasing pressure on urban spaces forced city authorities to take a second look at these vacant buildings and decide upon their fate. It turned out that the once industrial spaces were actually perfectly suited to be reinvented as residential neighbourhoods.

Truth be told, bringing this idea to life was a challenge. High ceilings, large windows, exposed pipes, bare walls, and weathered concrete floors were not precisely the most desirable features of a home. However, the roof-high price of covering everything up forced architects to be creative. Since the eye-catching industrial structures were not going anywhere, unless their destiny was to become the elephant in the room, they needed to be brought into the spotlight. Instead of shying away from the building’s former use, the industrial style chooses to embrace its history and pays a well-deserved tribute to its charm.

Today, the modern industrial style is without any doubt one of the most sought-after aesthetics for loft apartments and commercial spaces worldwide but can also be successfully applied to just about any interior space.

Features of industrial style and design

industrial machinist chair
Mid-century industrial machinist chairs | Magpies Vintage

The key is in the nod to the industrial revolution and perfectly balanced juxtaposition of raw and refined, vintage and modern, unfinished and sleek. We may even call it a minimalist style kissed by drama.

Industrial chic usually comes with an open plan layout, high ceilings and plenty of negative space to emphasise what’s truly important – the simplicity. Industrial interiors are zero fuss, so don’t expect to find any clutter or excess decor. The focus is on practicality and function, so there needs to be enough space to travel around the room easily. Both physically and visually.


Image source: Decoholic

The relationship between metal and wood plays a significant role in achieving this unfinished warehouse look, but not any wood will do the job. It needs to be bare and to bring about a weathered flair into the space. Look for reclaimed wood, or at least make it seem distressed as if it comes with a story to tell. On the other hand, metal can take many forms and still perfectly fit into the build. From brushed to polished, metallic accents are there to set the tone for the overall aesthetic and decide if the space is going to reflect a vintage or a modern vibe.

industrial shelving unit
1970s Industrial Shelving Unit | Barnaby’s of Battle

To maintain the clean look, the colour palette is restricted and relies exclusively on the neutrals. There are no harsh colour contrasts or pops of colour whatsoever. Greys, whites and beige provide the mood, while warm neutrals such as browns and tans layer in the much-needed warmth into the room.

To stay true to its origins, walls and floors are often left in a raw condition as if they were unfinished. Other than the polished concrete floors that are present in a majority of interiors, timber and stone are used to give the space a gentle push towards a cosier look. Rugs are not common, but when you spot them, they will always make a high visual impact.

Exposed brick walls, ducts and pipes as trademarks of the style are complimented with a variety of metallic lighting fixtures featuring Edison bulbs and exposed cables. Task pendant lights are very much present and used deliberately to create ambience while blending perfectly with bare structural elements.

industrial wall clock
1950s Industrial Wall Clock from a Siemens Factory | Industrial Antik

Industrial-style furniture is minimal and designed with a purpose in mind. The chairs are often reclaimed and feature the distinguishable combination of metal and wood. Imperfections and signs of wear and tear are most welcome, even if found on comfy leather sofas. There is nothing extravagant or colourful about its old factory look, but you will still find yourself looking at the vintage industrial furniture with admiring eyes. 

Pull off the industrial style at home and create a homage to factories of the past. With your newfound knowledge, source characterful, one-off pieces to give your interior a more authentic industrial look.

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2 thoughts on “How to Get the Industrial Style

  1. Sarah

    Great ideas! Thanks!

    1. hazelmeadvinterior
      hazelmeadvinterior says:

      So glad it’s inspired you!

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