From mid-century modern to farmhouse, the world of interior design is constantly changing in terms of the latest, hottest trends. One extremely popular option for many homeowners is industrial design, which offers a versatile look and the use of durable materials for today’s contemporary homes. If you’re interested in updating your own space in a bold new way, the industrial style is certainly one to consider.
Key Elements of Industrial Design
Even though the industrial style is quite trendy today, these interior design trends aren’t new. In fact, the industrial décor movement got its start in Western Europe toward the end of the second Industrial Revolution. Many large factories and empty buildings were left behind, and those spaces were eventually turned into residential homes. The style incorporates heavy-duty materials like iron, steel, and wood into a home to give it a factory-inspired look and feel.
If industrial design is something you might want to try, these are some of its key elements in terms of layout and materials.
Open layout. Ideally, an industrial home will have an open layout. Loft condos and apartments are an iconic choice if you’re aiming to recreate a quintessential industrial look.
Strong materials. The material used in industrial interior design is rugged and strong. Metals like iron and steel are common in building materials and furniture, and walls that showcase exposed brick and other construction materials are common in industrial design.
The right wood. Thick wood in dark finishes can enhance an industrial home. Use furniture crafted of reclaimed wood or install some wood beams on the ceiling to give your home extra industrial flair.
Colors. While an industrial home doesn’t have to be completely dark, colors like black and deep brown are common. You can lighten things up by adding brighter metals in a finish of silver, brass, or gold. the general industrial-inspired palette should be warm and dark or have a neutral base.
Glass. Glass is another key element used to create an industrial touch. Try a pendant light featuring a black wrought iron frame with a clear glass shade, or use a piece of glass as a room divider in a loft to allow for natural light.
Textures. Textures can be smooth, rough, or combine a bit of both to create a more utilitarian look and feel. For example, a coffee table with a steel frame and glass tabletop perfectly blend two different textures together.
Surprises. Add a piece of bright artwork or a faux cowhide rug to the room if you want to incorporate a pop of color or gentle textures to soften the space.
Decorating Tips for Every Room to Create Trendy Industrial Style
If you’re feeling inspired, here are some ways you can incorporate the industrial trend into every room of your own home.
Kitchen. A raw exposed brick wall can instantly add an industrial vibe to your kitchen. If you don’t have any brick in the kitchen, consider installing a brick veneer or even a fun brick-patterned wallpaper. Use open shelving, such as tall black metal racks, to give your kitchen a touch of industrial appeal. Matte black pendant lights hung over a kitchen island are another good choice. Swap out your marble or granite countertops for concrete to give the kitchen an authentic industrial element. Trough or farmhouse sinks made of bright stainless steel will round out the look.
Living Room. Use furniture made of reclaimed wood in this space, or try something crafted of metal and glass, like a coffee or end table. Exposed wood or metal beams on the ceiling will really add a “wow” factor to your living room. Keep the floors natural if they’re made of hardwood, and avoid using carpet. Soften things up with rugs made of woven jute rope for added texture. You can bring in a bit of color with modern artwork or some decorative pillows. A leather couch is a perfect choice for industrial living rooms.
Dining Room. Your dining room table should be sturdy and made of materials like wood or metal. Distressed detailing on the table will really give this room a bold industrial-inspired touch. Add stools or a bench with a wooden seat and metal legs to complete your dining set. Keep colors neutral, and use pendant lights with a metal or glass shade to brighten things up without being too glam.
Bedroom. Mix and match different textures and materials in the bedroom for an industrial feel. Keep the patterns on your bedding simple by choosing sheets and comforters in a solid color or subtle stripe. Add metal décor like a sculpture or picture frame crafted of iron to your dresser or end table. Place a cowhide rug under your bed to provide you with a soft surface in the morning while keeping in line with the industrial vibe.
Studio/Office/Work Area. Dress up your home office or studio in industrial style with a large drafting table or an oversized desk made of thick wood. A metal chair with wheels is perfect for working, studying, or sketching in this space. Bring in some industrial-inspired task lighting, like a table or floor lamp made in a vintage design — think an Edison Bulb and a glass or metal shade. Finishes like brass and matte black are perfect for these rooms.
Kids/Teen’s Rooms. Give your child or teenager an industrial-style room by changing the paint color to a warm gray or tan. A bed with a metal headboard is a good option, and you can hang metal mesh wall shelves for storage. Bring in a cool floor lamp or a pair of industrial-style table lamps for a functional finishing touch.
Soften Up Your Industrial Décor
Many people steer away from the industrial design style due to its heavy use of “cold” materials like metal and darker colors. However, there’s an alternative to this style called soft industrial décor. Many people prefer this style over classic industrial design because it’s less harsh and a lot warmer and more inviting. If you want to add some key components of industrial design to your home in a less edgy way, here are some helpful tips to inspire you.
Add more layers of texture and patterns. These will make your home look a bit more lived in. A funky wallpaper, some colorful artwork, or a playful area rug are easy ways you can make your industrial interior a little less edgy. Incorporate items with wavy lines or unusual patterns to remove some of the straight, cold visuals that classic industrial design tends to use.
Use more textiles. Make your home comfortable and cozy with soft rugs, beautiful curtains, and throw blankets. A pair of velvet curtains in a lush jewel tone will keep the room in line with industrial style while adding more softness and color. Try an overstuffed faux leather couch in the living room for a comfy place to sit and relax.
Bring in curvy lines. Bring in décor that has curves and fun shapes to add more flow to a room. Items boasting unusual patterns will help to soften the look of a space and give it a much more casual vibe. Classic industrial interiors tend to be very rigid, so adding curvy, wispy designs or installing funky colorful tiles around a fireplace can really soften things up. Adding some unusual and unique designs to a room will give it a rustic modern touch.
Go for yellower metals. Most industrial furniture, lighting, and décor tend to use metal finishes like black or brushed steel. You can incorporate softer metals by choosing items featured in warm brass, bright rose gold, or classic gold finish.
Bring in some nature. Adding a few natural textures to your home will instantly soften up the look. Try lots of beautiful greenery and houseplants to add a more organic element to your space. The use of raffia, leather, and faux animal hides are other easy ways to bring some natural elements into a room while still keeping everything aligned with a basic industrial style.
Incorporate your personality. Bring in pieces that are personal and sentimental to you if you want to soften things up. A beautifully framed photo collage of friends and loved ones is a great choice. You can also display a few of your favorite collectibles and souvenirs that you’ve amassed over the years. Place them on a tall bookshelf with a metal frame and wood shelves so you have a curated area that doesn’t compromise on industrial aesthetics.
Whether you adore the look of classic industrial interior design or you prefer the softer side, both of these styles are easy to apply to your own home. Update a kitchen, living room, or dining space with industrial elements to completely transform the way your home looks and feels. You can use this style throughout your entire home or just apply it to specific rooms. Whatever you choose, the industrial trend is a versatile one that will continue to be a popular design option for years to come.