Hello my friends, today I will be talking about the Industrial Style. The Industrial style today has become a trend and very sought after style because of the fuzz-free and no-nonsense decor and it’s environmentally friendly because it encourages the use of recycled and salvage materials. If you look at Pinterest you will see a plethora of up-cycled furniture and accessories made of salvaged materials, using wood, metal, pipes, etc from old buildings.
Little is known when the industrial style in interiors began, but it’s widely assumed that started in the early 20th century after the end of the 2nd industrial revolution and globalization became a thing and factories in the US, especially around New York, started to shut down and move their operations to another country and their buildings became abandoned.
As cities started to become more populated again the result on the shortage of housing turned these vacant industrial buildings into residential dwellings and with the insight of architects, homeowners were the firsts to convert those industrial building plans into an ongoing celebration of the bare wall, pipes, beams, steel, concrete and all the building system into a trending lifestyle to this day.
What we love about Industrial style is the easiness to put together, without much design knowledge or high budget because of the simplicity and minimal details and the contrast created by modern and timeworn pieces when put together the design style creates by itself.
What are the key elements of the industrial style?
To ensure that you pull this look with ease make sure to include these characteristics that are the basic elements for a true industrial style.
Materials: Aged wood, iron, aluminum, tin, exposed brick, concrete, stone, copper, brass, steel beams. All the materials that were used on the construction of the old factories are key to an industrial style. When it comes to soft furnishings chose utilitarian and hardwearing fabrics and when sourcing furnishings chose those that you can give a second life.
Colour: A neutral colour scheme is a base for an industrial style. Always start by laying down the basic furniture, e.g. a sofa in the living room, with a neutral shade, white, black, or grey then add a touch of moody darker tones by creating layering with accessories. To soften this otherwise masculine design style add some vibrant art or some soft tones in an accessory or two. Don’t go too overboard with this because the industrial rustic feel has to prevail.
Shapes: When choosing furniture stick with the ones that have square lines block shapes to maintain the cohesiveness of the industrial utilitarian feel to the overall look of your home. But like in colour, break down a bit of the masculine feel by adding some organic shapes, but keep it to a minimum so we can preserve the industrial feel.
Accessories: For the ultimate in Industrial style keep your home clutter-free and minimal in accessories around the house. It’s best to keep accessories that are both utilitarian and beautiful. If you need items to keep the clutter contained add vintage wood crates, antique trunks and suitcases, industrial style wire baskets, wood boxes, etc. Those items add to the style and also serve as a storage solution. To style your space with a unique and personal touch add a large abstract art, metal structures and other interesting object salvaged from a reclamation yard. Especially items from machinery, car, airplane, ships, etc. Also, vintage black and white photography and distressed leather items can give the final touch and serve as a conversation-starter.
Lighting: Ensure your lighting has the industrial feel to it. Most industrial style lighting is made of metal and you can use a combination of pendant, table and floor lamp. If you have the budget, you can also use original vintage factory pendants that are very popular in vintage shops and online sources. Some have been already re-wired and are ready to use but others are just the shades and you will have to pay for new wire. But you can find amazing new lamps and pendants with a vintage industrial look and they are already certified and ready to use opposed to some vintage pendants that you might need to pay for an electrician to wire them for you.
Space: When comes to space, the industrial style is famous for the large open space of the factories with no partitions which created the loft-style. Try to recreate the same feeling of openness by keeping your space as open as possible then arranging groups of furniture that will break down the open space and create a modern layout. Open spaces are very common now with the kitchen, living and dining rooms combined, so to create the industrial feel, you just have to use furniture and accessories that are on-theme with the industrial style that will bring the factory setting.
Building System: If you live in an apartment or loft that has been converted from an old factory you are in advantage when it comes to showing the structure of the building. But not all of us have this opportunity and we need to work with what we have and bring in the feel and look of the exposed pipes, steel beams, exposed brick and concrete to our space. If you have the option to chose, pick concrete or aged wood flooring for the best industrial feel. Highlight ducts and pipes instead of concealing because this is a key element in warehouses. If you are doing an extension or renovating your home opt for oversized black metal window and door frames for a factory feel. And for the ultimate in industrial style and a no-brainer is the combination of wood and metal, old and new. To best achieve this contrast is to mix different types of wood and metal.
Industrial-chic Soho penthouse
- Exposed pipes and HVAC system
- Exposed brick
- Large windows
- Steel beams and columns
- Neutral colour scheme
- Block square furniture
- Aged wood and minimal accessories
The Industrial style takes on many forms to recreate the warehouse feel to your home, but to pull it off with confidence is to bring in the personal touch by adding salvaged materials that are unique and mostly exclusive because usually salvaged items will not come in large quantity and even when the sources have more than one, in the case of pendant factory lamps, each one will have their one uniqueness with the ageing, wear and tear of the surface. This style gives you the opportunity to customize your home by using furniture and decor that are unique to you and nobody else.
You just have to keep your eyes open when out and about or sourcing online. When you see a vintage item that you like, just buy it because you probably won’t have the opportunity again. Vintage, antique, salvaged are unique and that’s what makes them so special. In one of my online searches for vintage and antique, I have found a great selection of vintage and antique suitcase and trunks on Facebook Marketplace and if you search there for other vintage items it’s most likely that you will find them and the best part? the prices are very accessible.
I will stop here today and let you know that if you are interested in having a curated Pre-Styled mood board and shopping list with the best and current items for the Industrial Style, please head to my eStore and place your order. We have already available 2 styles to purchase, Industrial and Farmhouse. If you missed the post last week about the Farmhouse style, please read it here.
If you need help with space planning for your room to complement this Pre-Styled mood board, I have the Space planning service and also custom Interior e-Design service that you can find out more about it on our website.
Next week I will come back with the Boho Chic Style and the key elements to creating this laidback, carefree and nature love style.
Images credit: Brooklyn Loft from Established California and Apartment Therapy – Soho Penthouse from Curbed NY