Cool, sleek, clean, modern – those are just a few of the words you might use to describe interior industrial design. While you may love the look, implementing it into your space can be more difficult than you might think. That’s true whether you have the luxury of building from the ground up or if you’re renovating for aesthetic purposes.
The good news is that interior industrial design is often built around a guiding set of principles you can use to bring this style to life. Use this guide to learn more about how to transform your space into an industrial masterpiece that’s calming, comfortable and practical.
Opt for an Open Floor Plan
Visit any actual industrial space and you’ll likely find a large, open floor plan with exposed beams and piping. Open floor plans that remove walls and cut down on sight lines are a big part of getting the industrial look you’re after.
If you have the chance to build your space from the ground up or you can take on larger renovations, working toward this open floor plan design is definitely the way to go. You’ll also want to include lots of straight lines in your buildout instead of going for more organic curves. Industrial spaces tend to be harder, more streamlined and less concerned with the visual appeal of organic curvature.
An open floor plan also allows you to do a range of things when it comes to your décor that will make your space feel authentic. One of those is using large swaths of extra-large plank flooring to give every room a real sense of space. Lots of looks are available that fit an industrial aesthetic, including concrete-look styles and more rugged, weathered wood options.
Don’t Shy Away from Raw Materials
A big part of creating convincing industrial spaces is taking advantage of common industrial décor themes like those you might find in an actual warehouse or factory building. That may often mean utilizing raw materials without any finishes at all.
Brick walls, concrete floors and metal piping are just a few examples of the raw materials you’ll encounter in true industrial settings. They serve a purpose in these spaces, like offering sound insulation or being easy to clean. They’ll offer you the same benefits, but it’s really more about the look in a residential space.
If you can, work with the raw materials that your space is providing to you. If they’re not available, creating your own with elements like concrete-look tiles can help aid in your efforts for a more industrial-chic space.
While some raw materials can work to your liking, too many may make you feel like you’re in a space that’s too uncomfortable. Minor changes, like adding a coat of white paint to your brick walls, can help you find the space between truly industrial and livable.
Utilize a Neutral Color Palette
Exposed raw materials are a common element in industrial living spaces. What isn’t common is the glut of color you’ll see in a lot of homes. For a true industrial look, you want to design with a natural, neutral color palette.
While that does mean neutral colors on walls are best, it also applies to upholstery, window treatments and other decorative items like art and accessories. In an industrial space, colors like taupe, tan, gray and brown are your best bet. Design themes that juxtapose black and white for a monochromatic work can also create the industrial look and feel you’re after.
Steer Clear of Bright Colors
Utilizing a neutral color palette that’s rich in off-white, gray, taupe and tan can help give your space a more natural industrial feel that’s not too cold and hard. Mixing in some colors like black and navy blue can give your space more depth and make it feel a little more lively as well. What you probably shouldn’t do is mix in a bunch of bright colors that stand out from your overarching industrial design concept.
What does that mean in practice? Try monochromatic art pieces like black and white photography. Opt for textured throw pillows in a houndstooth pattern instead of florals. For the most part, small touches like this will go a long way toward a convincing interior industrial design.
Of course, we all know that rules are made to be broken. Want to hang an oversized colorful abstract painting above your mantle or in the entry area? Need a few fresh flowers to make your space livable?
Don’t worry – these things can all work, especially if you do everything else in a way that’s fitting for a true interior industrial design.
Use Reclaimed Materials for Natural Juxtaposition
Reclaimed wood is a particularly popular material today, and in industrial spaces, it offers a unique sense of visual depth that can provide the juxtaposition you need for a convincing design. This is especially true when you pair reclaimed wood with other materials like stainless or oxidized steel.
Another way to get this look into your space is to use materials that have a faux-finish that looks weathered. Porcelain tile with a cast iron metallic finish is a good example of a way to bring weathered looking flooring that’s new and very durable into your space. Flooring planks that look like reclaimed wood can provide a similar style with a little more warmth that you may prefer for your living room, den or kitchen in town.
Keep Your Design Minimal
Designing your space and making it functional will require you to add items like sofas, chairs and dining tables. While original industrial spaces may not have featured these elements, you can’t very well live in a home designed to look like an empty factory.
Minimalism is still your friend when it comes to furniture and accessories though. Instead of an ornate wood table with plush dining chairs, consider a steel and glass design with molded fiberglass seating instead. Both will serve their purpose, but one will make a lot more sense in an industrial-themed space.
A minimal design aesthetic also has the added benefit of allowing your unique building materials like concrete-tint porcelain tile and black oak style vinyl flooring to really shine. You can still use rugs in minimalist spaces, but avoid the large, highly-decorative styles that you would see in most home and go for natural fiber rugs instead.
Looking for a place to break the rules and create a space that’s really comfortable? It’s probably your bedroom. In that part of your home, you may want softer materials and creature comforts that allow you to relax a little more. Keep a minimal color scheme and blend in elements like vintage metal side tables and nobody will bat an eye or think your industrial home is any less authentic.
Choose the Right Accessories
Putting the finishing touches on your interior industrial design can be a little tricky. You know you need to stay away from saturated, ultra-bright colors, but what can you use? Even more important, what looks like it might actually belong in an industrial space?
Here are a few options for choosing the right accessories for your interior industrial design:
- Make exposed pipes, plumbing and support beams part of your décor. You can paint them white or another minimalist color or opt to leave them how they are without any dressing up at all.
- Utilize light fixtures with exposed filament bulbs. Often referred to as Edison bulbs, these elegant bulbs will cast a warm glow over your space, providing an industrial look that’s also very pleasant and comforting.
- Opt for distressed leather or faux leather pieces that show some signs of wear. Too much perfect, brand new looking stuff will make your industrial theme feel a bit too manicured.
- Go for used or salvage accessories instead of brand new items. Vintage repurposed wall frames for art pieces, bar stools from a former doctor’s office or specialty lab equipment that’s fallen out-of-date can make unique essential items and decorative objects in their own right.
Ready to build your new industrial-minded space or renovate your current home to your liking? Bring your interior industrial design vision today with help from our trained representatives. We can help you learn more about the basics of industrial design and find materials that meet your needs.
Contact us today so we can help you get your project started on the right foot. We’ll ship your preferred materials directly to your home so you can get to work ASAP.