Style Insight: How to Create
an Industrial Home


If you love the idea of zero pretension and visual appeal that lies within utilitarian surfaces, stripped-back architecture and salvaged objects, this could be the style for you.

How to...
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Amber Moore
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June 16, 2017

Structure

If we’re talking total ideal scenario, the perfect location for industrial décor is a disused building with an industrial background, i.e. a factory. Of course, this is rarely possible, and old factories will require a lot of work (and therefore money) to become habitable. Regardless, you can still incorporate industrial style into your current home in perhaps a less dramatic way.

 

Image via vintageindustrialstyle.com

 

The main aspects of industrial structure include steel and concrete supporting beams and columns, and high ceilings, as would have been found in early factories.

Similarly, most industrial buildings tend to have extremely large windows with metal frames. As well as instilling the industrial feel into your home, these windows allow an excess of natural light into your home.

Avoid hanging curtains or blinds wherever possible as 1) it would be incredibly awkward trying to fit and open/close such massive blinds and 2) there’s no need for blinds or curtains in traditional industrial décor.

 

Image via Lisa Dengler

 

Industrial homes almost always feature exposed brick walls, as they would have been the original décor in these factories when they were in production.

The bare brick look isn’t for everyone, and some people instead prefer to paint over the bricks to achieve the same industrial edge, but with a less rugged appearance.

If the bricks aren’t your cup of tea at all, or it’s not possible to keep the original wall, then instead try graphic statement tiles.

 

Image via tithomedecor.blogspot.co.uk

 

Speaking of maintaining the original décor, you should also try to keep the original flooring. In most factories, this tended to be wooden planking or plain concrete. It might need a bit of a touch up, but the final result is more than worth it.

 

Image via vintageindustrialstyle.com

 

During the era they were built, the factories didn’t waste time on making the wiring and piping look ‘pretty’, so you’ll often see exposed cables and pipes that would be hidden within the walls or trunking in modern buildings. By maintaining this tradition, you add a shabby chic to your home.

 

Image via expensivelife.tumblr.com

 

The perfect focus in an industrial room is a traditional wood burning fireplace, often made from distressed metals. A wood burning fireplace creates rustic warmth in a home whilst staying in keeping with the industrial theme.

 

Image via STUDIO NORDHAVEN

 

Colour schemes

Industrial décor tends to be a haze of greys. The style is almost always monochrome; white walls with black and grey flooring and furniture. It also includes lots of metallic accents to add the mechanical edge.

 

Image via MyHomeRocks.com

 

That said, industrial décor doesn’t have to be strictly monochrome. You can very easily pick an accent colour and seamlessly work it into your décor. The accent colours tend to be a very bright contrasting colour such as orange or yellow so that it really stands out.

 

Image via housetohome.co.uk

 

Furniture

Furniture in an industrial home tends to use minimal detailing and a simple design. Industrial furniture is very much focused on functionality over aesthetics, but this doesn’t mean the furniture has to be ugly. Lots of contrast between polished and distressed metals are featured throughout this style.

 

Image via theROOMedit

 

Upcycling old factory furniture is an easy way of maintaining that industrial feel, as well as saving a few quid! You can take old worn metal chairs and either leave them worn, or respray them for a neater look. Rustic furniture also works well in an industrial home for those who enjoy shabby chic – you can find out more about rustic furniture here.

 

Image via ebay.co.uk

 

For a classic industrial style, you can incorporate traditional furniture such as roll top baths.

 

Image via VictoriaPlum.com

 

Art

For industrial art, you should try to locate some old factory signs. They add a creative flare to a very mechanical home. You can also opt for abstract contemporary art, especially if you can find pieces that incorporate your bright accent colours.

 

Image via RH | Restoration Hardware

 

Another way of expressing your artistic side throughout your home is printing directly onto your wall, almost like graffiti. It is most effective when printed straight onto the exposed brick.

 

Image via freshome.com

 

Lighting

You can introduce the industrial theme to your home through huge statement vintage pendant shades, as would have been present in the factories – the older the better. If you can find some original lighting that’s slightly worn, you’ve hit the jackpot! You can touch them up if need be, but for this style its unnecessary.

 

Image via deVOL Kitchens

 

Another common theme in industrial homes is using exposed light bulbs, or bulbs in metal cages. When combining these with oversized metal floor lamps, you can maintain the industrial workshop feel whilst shaking the dim lighting that tends to come with these old buildings.

 

Image via homedepot.com

 

Accessories

In an industrial home, you want to keep the décor pretty simple – this means don’t overdo the accessories and risk your home looking cluttered.

One way you can accessorise is through throw cushions, which can be adjusted to fit the room. If your room is already full of furniture or accessories that are fighting for your attention, perhaps opt for plain sofa cushions. However, if all of your décor is plain, they are the perfect opportunity to express some creativity with a geometric print.

 

Image via Remodelaholic

 

If you want to add a Scandinavian edge to your industrial home, you can have your cooking pots, pans and utensils on display in the kitchen, especially if they are copper. Another way is to incorporate small house plants to break up the monochrome palette with pops of colour.

 

Image via housetohome.co.uk

 

Hero image: The Rug Seller

Amber Moore

Amber Moore

Amber is a MSci Biology student at University of Southampton. When she's not studying, she spends her time gushing over puppies - or anything fluffy really!