One of the most influential home style trends for this season and certainly for the foreseeable future is industrial. When interior designers refer to industrial styling they are talking about homes almost in their “raw” state. Think exposed brickwork and piping, almost warehouse in look. It’s about utilising practical, durable materials in such a way that they become eye-catching features.
There’s no doubt that industrial home styling is very popular for city dwellers and is often used in loft style apartments as well as very modern houses. Essentially this theme makes the ideal bachelor’s pad. It’s also the type of styling you might see in an artist’s studio with stark tones, lots of metallic shading and plenty of exposed surfaces.
When incorporating this design into your home you need to think about stainless steel, metal, distressed wood and picking furniture in its raw state. It’s a utilitarian feel – great for very empty spaces and for places with lots of bright, natural light. There’s no room for traditional styling with this look so if you want to add some industrial chic into your modern home or rooftop studio apartment read on for 20 tips to style it to perfection.
1. Use Metal Chairs
There’s nothing which says industrial more than some metal finish chairs. Think the type of chairs you might see on a pavement café, made out of nickel finish or stainless steel – even those painted black or white will work perfectly. Use them in your kitchen around your table or dot them in your living room to give that cool, working vibe. Add some simple metal shelving to plain white or dove grey painted walls to tie in the look.
2. Paint Your Walls White Or Grey
Make sure you paint your walls pale grey or white because these are right shades for your industrial home! Keep it light though; don’t be tempted to go any darker because you need to create the illusion of light, air and space.
3. Get Some Wheels!
A coffee table with wheels is the ultimate in industrial sleek chic! It’s urban, it’s smart and it fits in well with the look you want to achieve. This is a great way of mixing up different trends too; a rich wooden table with large black casters at the base is every inch the industrial theme.
4. Update Your Towels
It’s the simple things that make a difference. Slate grey and neutrals are the epitome of industrial chic so switch your bath towels and bath mat for brand new slate grey or pale grey tones to give your bathroom the utilitarian look you want.
5. Dangle Some Lights!
We’re talking about stainless steel, iron or bronze pendant lights. Hang them in threes above a simple dining table. Look for pendants with exposed screws and a mechanical influence – it’s all about simple “naked” styling. Think long stems and galvanised metal finishes.
6. Update Your Plant Pots
Get rid of your ceramic pots and replace them with metal. You could use black as well and certainly introduce some bronze or other metallic shades but keep it simple, no bright colours or designs. This is another accessory which works well in its raw state, think galvanised and group a couple together or place a large pot in a corner. Steer away from colourful flowers cacti work perfectly in an industrial themed home.
7. Buy A Distressed Wooden Dining Table
The more battered the better! Remember, the look is raw and unfinished so if you come across a wooden table which is scratched and worn it will be totally industrial – even better if it has metal legs. Place the dangling iron pendant lights above and add the metal chairs for a complete utilitarian look in your kitchen or dining room.
8. Use A Metal Office Cabinet
Store all your bits and pieces away in an industrial style workplace cabinet – these are easy to source and are very inexpensive to purchase plus they fit in perfectly. Metal is essential in creating a utilitarian theme in the home and a steel grey cabinet couldn’t be more fitting.
9. Change Your Bedding
It’s easy to update your bedroom to industrial chic just by switching your bedding. Cool grey, khaki or plain white is the ideal update. Don’t be tempted to add anything else except for a throw at the end of the bed. The rule is keep it simple, keep it clean and use raw textures. Go one step further and buy a metal bedframe with a co-ordinating headboard for an almost mechanical finish. We recommend this grey and white stripe bedlinen to match and in 100% flax linen it’s the ideal material because it has that raw look that you want to achieve.
Industrial style homes are clean, sleek, unfinished and definitely uncluttered so pack away all of those objects you don’t need, tidy up the magazines and photographs – sweep your surfaces clear to make way for utilitarian chic. Never be tempted to over-accessorise because this look is about minimal furniture and simple pieces in urban colours.
11. Avoid Too Many Bright Shades
The rule for industrial living is to steer away from bright colours and stick to a very neutral palette especially taking note of greys, muted silver, white and some black. This doesn’t mean you should avoid colour altogether, you can introduce some warmer shades such as coppery tones, bronze and burnt orange for example. One or two strategically placed pieces of furniture or a bright accessory will add some life to this interior and will do no harm.
12. Introduce Plenty Of Rustic Texture
Industrial styling is about texture in its raw state so if you have a flaky painted wall don’t be tempted to repair it, instead make it a feature! Even better, if you can, strip it right back to the brickwork so long as you still have insulation because you don’t want to be cold during winter. You want a used element in your home; it should be rough, raw and worn. If you have some painted furniture, strip it down but leave some of the paint on so it looks well-used.
13. Add A Throw
There’s nothing wrong with adding softness to your industrial styled home and you can do this using the right colours. Grey, brown, taupe and white are all perfect for a comfy, cosy thrown to place across an armchair – even better if your sofa is a little worn out, this only adds to the utilitarian atmosphere you’re trying to create!
14. Metal Splashbacks
Forget tiling in your kitchen – add metal splashbacks behind your sink and also behind your HOB. Nothing says industrial more than a sheet of metal and this is very easy to achieve and won’t make a hole in your pocket!
15. Don’t Let Your Home Become Too Severe
Industrial styling is very stark and minimal and you still want your home to look like a home. Add in some reclaimed wood, a softer colour palette too including cream and light beige to make sure it doesn’t become too hard looking. Don’t be frightened to include some ceramic pieces, certainly as accessories but don’t be tempted to include more than is absolutely necessary. Remember, less is more.
16. Expose Your Wooden Beams
If you have wooden beams then why not expose them? This completes an industrial themed room to perfection! Timber, exposed brick, metal and piping is the epitome of factory chic so if you’ve got it – flaunt it!
17. Use Concrete On Your Floors
Consider concrete floors to complete your look but make sure it doesn’t make your room look too cold. You can stain it and polish it and why not add in a white or creamy coloured sheepskin rug to warm it up and make it a more cosy place to enjoy?
18. Change Your Tapware
Lookout for retro or vintage looking stainless steel taps with white ceramic centres. This is the perfect pairing for an industrial styled home. Use them in your bathroom and kitchen for utilitarian chic.
19. Use Wicker Baskets
This is a great way of adding in different materials and textures into your industrial style home. Wicker and rattan baskets are both warm toned and excellent as added storage – use them for your magazines, newspapers and books and place them in your living area but don’t use more than is absolutely necessary, one or two different sized baskets will be all that you need without over-cluttering.
20. Embrace Imperfection!
Finally – if your home has its own unique imperfections embrace them all because this is the perfect foundation for industrial styling. Don’t worry about chips, knocks, cracks or scratches – it’s these flaws that interior designers fall in love with!