What is Industrial Interior Design?
Industrial interior design is the perfect synthesis of form and function. Inspired by the raw framework in factories, this style usually embraces concealed elements like bricks and concrete, wiring, pipes, ducting, etc.
The beauty of industrial design lies in embracing the imperfections, wear and tear, and weathering seen in the materials and finishes. It is the most unpretentious style, laying bare all its rawness for the world to see and celebrate.
It is the perfect medley of minimalism with farmhouse rustic and mid-century contemporary. Common misconceptions of industrial design dictate that industrial interiors tend to be stark and intense. However, with correct lighting and appropriate furnishing, this style spells cozy and intimate like its Scandinavian equivalent.
Read also – 21 Most Popular Types of Interior Design Styles
Origins and History of Industrial Interior Design
Factories in the 19th and 20th century New York witnessed the start of mass production and thus required to be built with robust building materials like steel and concrete. They housed large, grid-paned windows that let in tons of natural light, towering ceilings, open floor plans, spacious lofts, distressed brick walls, and metal pipes. Finally, the housing shortage at the turn of the millennium forced the authorities and designers to turn these dead, old factories into loft apartments.
Finally, the rise of minimalism in the modern century saw the industrial-chic trickling into interior home design, cafes, offices, etc. The retro and rustic looks perfectly fit the sleek, straight lines and pacified the modern, minimalist homeowner. Despite all the frills, the industrial interior design remains at its core utilitarian.
Characterisitcs of Industrial Interior Design
While an industrial design may look austere and uncomplicated to the eyes, it needs to follow a fixed set of rules to look striking. Let’s look at some textbook features of industrial elements in interior design.
Neutral color palette:
Industrial aesthetics uses a wide array of neutral tones of blacks, grays, whites, and browns. This gives the entire space an earthy and grounded feel.
Infuse natural light:
Large windows with black panes, huge archways, and massive entry doors are all trademark elements of industrial design. This means that during the day, an interior is done up in this style and rarely needs to make use of external lighting.
Highlight architectural language:
One of industrial design’s core fundamentals is celebrating the building’s industrial history. Open plans, lofts, and high ceilings are coupled with exposed brick, visible pipework, and concrete floors. Columns and beams are left untreated and allowed to bask in their glory.
As part of the industrial look, designers often repurpose old furniture by either stripping it down to give a distressed look or using reclaimed wood to build new pieces. Reclaimed wooden furniture showcases the old-world charm like no other. Decking the house with repurposed furniture is not just good sense but also saves big bucks. The juxtaposition of natural elements like wood against raw metal is a jarringly handsome one.
An industrial era classic – Edison bulbs are a crowd-pleaser! Used as a single piece, under lampshades, or in groups to form a chandelier, these lights are warm and inviting. Large blown-glass spheres, pendant lights, and floor lamps are common industrial design choices.
Industrial spaces are all about that bold and confident vibe. Black metal is used widely to accentuate this design style‘s straight lines and rigid forms. Unlike art deco, the bold shapes and lines are not glitzy or colorful. This muted and subtle feature, in fact, becomes a solid design statement.
14 Best Industrial Interior Design Ideas
We have enlisted the help of the following few tips and pointers for you to get this edgy, fun style correct on your first try! These are the 14 of the best modern, industrial interior design ideas.
1. Go Neutral
Industrial design famously mixes a soft color palette of neutral shades and tints. Blacks, grays, and browns make up the entire foundation of industrial design. To render a space with a soothing touch, earthly options like brown and tan are used. Similarly, for a more suave look, black is used. It’s largely uncommon to witness white elements in an industrial scene.
Read also – Top 20 Neutral Paint Colors
Image Credit: designboom.com
2. Mix modern and Rustic
The best part about designing industrial-themed spaces is that you have complete creative freedom to pick between modern and rustic or blend them together. There is no pressure to balance the scales. Contemporary elements offset the rustic settings and vice versa to achieve favorable results.
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3. Preserve the open plan
With the new generation leaning towards basic and minimal, urban lofts have come raging back. The main highlight of such urban lofts is their open floor plan. An industrial kitchen with fluted glass reclaimed wood and pots and pans on display is a gorgeous cross between cottage core and contemporary.
An industrial theme feels lacking when you don’t have an island counter made from reclaimed wood connecting the kitchen, the dining room, and the living room.
Image Credit: wsj.com
4. Light it up industrial style
Industrial design has one unique trait that is visibly absent in other design styles. It has the superpower to turn simple elements into statement pieces. The Edison light bulb, with its exposed tungsten filament inside, is iconic industrial lighting. Another practice is leaving the wiring from these light fixtures exposed across the walls and ceilings. However, tick off all the safety checks while undertaking this feat.
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5. Implement loft windows
Huge, Crittall windows and doors with sunlight pouring in are classic industrial interior designs. They have become synonymous with this design trend and décor. The best part about the metal-grid windows is that they open the rooms into the great outdoors.
Read also – 8 Best Window Treatment Ideas
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6. Go green
Plants and greenery go surprisingly well in this roughly hewn design style. Fill the space with a host of indoor plants to animate the interiors. The natural green against an industrial scene creates a one-of-a-kind peaceful, and soothing contrast. Plus, plants coupled with the plentiful natural light create a very effective and clean ecosystem in the living space.
Read also – Japanese Interior Design Ideas
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7. Get addicted to metal
Industrial design is incomplete without metal. Even amongst metal, black is a must-have. But the choice doesn’t end there. From brass and copper to chrome and iron, the list is endless. From gleaming gold to rusty wrought iron, textures are a significant factor in this style.
Polished metal will help your design look sleek and modern, while brushed, matte, or beaten metal adds a vintage charm to the space. Including metals that patina over time is also an excellent strategy.
Image Credit: thedesignsheppard.com
8. Expose the skeleton
Exposed concrete and brick are the backbones of industrial-inspired interior design. Combining rugged, stripped finishes with the sleek is what this trend is all about. Concrete, in recent times, has come a long way. Gone days when it was considered bulky and ugly. From polished concrete walls to poured concrete floors, the word is urbane! Poured concrete kitchen countertops are the new chic.
Similarly, exposed brick bears witness to the walls’ history and adventures. They bring with them big-character energy into the room. Cracks, stains, and weathering only add to their appeal.
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9. Add faux elements
It’s not always that a historical monument or building comes to be remodeled. But recreating such a structure means mirroring the architectural elements and features too. The easiest approach is to create faux details that equal the real deal. Faux beams and columns, mock lofts, and fabricated imperfections are a few ways to inject industrial magnetism into the interiors.
Image Credit: curatedinterior.com
10. Vents and Ducts
It may sometimes become difficult to fill up or decorate when blessed with an open layout. You can risk the room looking empty and stark. Ductworks that are generally considered ugly get a new life in this interior design style.
They make the ceiling more interesting and can also play a role in your color scheme when painted. It goes without saying that matte black or steel vents have always been a favorite. But some designers prefer to highlight the contrast and paint them in stunning shades of bright red, green, or yellow.
Image Credit: pinterest.com
11. Add finishing touches with decor ideas
No interior design is complete without a set of accessories that further adds character and a sense of belonging. Items like artworks, lamps, decorative pieces, and cushions can further help accentuate the industrial look. They are also instrumental in completing your color palette and help add a personal touch.
You can also choose to mix up the color palette by adding cushions swathed in distressed leather, natural linen, burlap, or hemp in softer shades for rustic visual drama. Picking our Steampunk-inspired accessories and baubles will also seamlessly merge with this style.
The best part about industrial decor is picking out many items at flea markets and vintage sales for nominal prices. You can even refurbish old pipes and fittings into funky new objects like a coat rack or pot-and-pan hanger.
Image Credit: apartmenttherapy.com
12. Focus on the floors
The floor is an architectural element that gets significantly insufficient attention. As we mentioned before, poured concrete on the bottom is a traditional industrial design setting. A very pocket-friendly and practical design choice that automatically grabs eyeballs.
All the flaws of concrete-like its coarseness, patches, and dents, further spur the industrial design sensibility. If you have deep pockets and wish to splurge, you can look into using raw-looking stone or wooden flooring systems. Remember that whatever material you pick has to be naturally robust and resilient. At the very least, it must be a good copy of its natural counterpart.
Image Credit: pinterest.com
13. Repurposed wood
Reclaimed wood is the cheat code when it comes to mimicking industrial design. The raw texture, distinct knots, and rings of repurposed wood are not just industrial-chic but also an ecological stroke of genius!
A slight variation in the color of such wood is natural and encouraged. But if you are not a fan of this quirk, you can easily use wood stains to make them uniform. Ensure that any old wood you bring home is treated and rid of any termites or infestation.
Because the industrial-style interior is popular, a ton of furniture is available for purchase. However, these can easily blow a hole in your pocket! Instead, try modifying a rustic piece of furniture like a coffee table with a distressed effect. There are numerous DIY videos and blogs with instructions. You can also experiment further and cover a wall with distressed wood in a shiplap style to further the industrial aesthetic.
Image Credit: curatedinterior.com
14. Storage solutions
Nothing takes away from this minimal and clean style like clutter. The formerly loved imperfection in textures and finishes will look unkempt and rotting when the space becomes chaotic and messy. Hence, as a designer, you must make provisions for sufficient and efficient storage. Storage can again have unique solutions that club reused materials and good lighting.
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When undertaking a complex and intricate interior design trend like the industrial style, ensure your arsenal is full of ideas and the tools to implement them. Clients are often put off by an industrial home‘s lack of obvious opulence.
However, as a designer, you can convince them to take a leap of faith if you are armed with good concepts and a realistic image of how their home will look on completion. But more often than not, hiring a visualization expert or learning 3D modeling and rendering can be an exhaustive and expensive task.
This is where Foyr Neo‘s powerful rendering software steps in! This software can easily help you visualize the industrial design style and all its glory in fine detail. You can add the appropriate home decor and realistic finishes like exposed brick and concrete from the extensive library at your disposal at Foyr Neo. By signing up for a 14-day free trial, you can get an exact bearing of how powerful and effective this tool can be to an interior designer.