10 Keys to Decorating With Industrial Style

Industrial style is characterized by reflecting an urban, timeless, and sober aesthetic. Learn how to successfully achieve this style at home in this article!
10 Keys to Decorating With Industrial Style

Last update: 08 July, 2021

As its name suggests, industrial style is inspired by factories. It’s a style with simple architecture and the use of materials with few details and ornaments. Just the same, it’ll give your home a youthful, fresh touch that’s full of character. In this article, we’ll tell you about 10 keys to decorating with industrial style and not failing in the attempt!

A publication called The industrial style adapted to contemporary style in interior design explains that, during the 1950s, several factories in New York closed and eventually became homes. As a result, the famous industrial style–also known as urban or loft-style–was born.

It’s a favorite for decorating restaurants, cafes, and apartments in cities. Because of the use of rough materials such as cement, bricks, and steel, and dark, metallic, and cold colors, this style’s been associated with masculinity.

However, its adaptation and current use allow the industrial style to be mixed with softer, lighter, and more feminine materials, textures, and colors. Nevertheless, this style has a rocker, modern and sophisticated touch.

Characteristics of industrial style

Plastic water bottles moving down a factory line.
This style is based on the look of some old factories.

The industrial style is characterized by being timeless. After more than 50 years since its initial boom, it’s still current and fresh. Open spaces with exposed brick and concrete walls and floors; large windows; and furniture that combines wood and metal combine to give an urban look, inspired by factories but adapted to homes and trends.

Likewise, it’s an eclectic style, or in other words, it allows combinations of different types of styles and elements. Thus, elements of rustic, vintage, Scandinavian and minimalist styles can be included.

One of its main characteristics is that, as it was originally used in factories, it’s usually used in loft-type spaces. That is, in homes or places that have few walls or divisions.

10 keys to getting it right with industrial style decoration

The industrial style is ideal for use in open spaces in which there are large windows and high ceilings, with a simple architecture and a tendency to minimalism.

However, if your house isn’t a loft, don’t worry! You can still adapt this style to your home. Here are some tips on how to use it.

Use natural wood

If you want to have an industrial style, it’s best to leave your wooden furniture in its natural state. Don’t apply varnish, gloss, or paint.

Allow the wood grain to show in its natural state. You can even allow nails or other finishes to show through. There’s no need to hide them.

Leave the materials bare

While many decorative styles try to hide taps, nails, and bricks in order to have very polished finishes, the industrial style seeks the opposite. There’s no problem with leaving pipes and structures exposed.

Likewise, concrete, wood, cement, leather, and bricks should be left in the most natural state possible.

Iron, brass, and steel are your best allies

These types of materials are indispensable if you’re looking to decorate with an industrial style. Leave aside plastics and ceramics and replace them with stainless steel, brass, or iron. You can replace plastic garbage cans and organizer boxes with metal baskets.

The same goes for chairs and tables. Include some that have metal legs or that are completely made of metal. Decorative elements such as small statues and kitchen implements should also possess these materials.

Choose furniture that combines wood and metal

When decorating with an industrial style, you should play with elements that look new and old. One of the best ways to have this effect in a balanced way is to use furniture that combines wood and metal.

The metal, with its shine, will give that modern look. On the other hand, Wood gives a more rustic touch, especially when no varnish is used.

Reuse and make your own decorative objects

This style is inspired by factories, so you can reuse industrial elements to turn them into useful objects. Pallet tables or chairs work very well. Similarly, you can look for lamps or decorations made with reused metal objects.

Also, you can use tin boxes or amber glass bottles to turn them into vases or containers. IYoucan put your electric guitars or instruments on display with metal bases. if you’re a music lover

Use furniture and objects with a worn look

Since the industrial style’s inspired by factories and the urban environment, items that have a worn look are ideal. But beware, worn isn’t synonymous with damage. Rather, it’s about finding fabrics and textures that reflect the passing of time.

You can even get items such as clocks, lamps, or metal signs that intentionally have a little peeling paint.

Also, you can apply a style of paint that achieves the worn effect where some bricks are left in sight and there are touches of paint that aren’t uniform.

You must look for a painter that specializes in these types of finishes or look for inspiration with images that you can imitate. It’s not about randomly splashing paint.

Incorporate retro elements for a unique industrial style

As the industrial style was born in the 50s, you can put some vintage or retro elements such as old coke signs, rock and roll band pictures, decorative tin plates, or pop style paintings, such as works by Andy Warhol’s. You can even dust off some antiques and family heirlooms such as clocks or metal objects.

Choose a color palette in keeping with the industrial style

When decorating with an industrial style, it’s important to use a color palette that matches this style. Bright colors aren’t usually used. On the contrary, neutral colors predominate with different shades of gray, beige, bronze, grayish blue, and accents in white and black tones.

The greatest warmth will be offered by the tone of the wood you choose, the bricks that are left in view, and some leather accessories.

Choose textiles and prints to match

The industrial style was very popular in British men’s clubs. Hence, plaid fabrics are a classic of this style. However, fabrics made of natural fibers and in light colors such as linen or cotton also combine very well and provide warmth.

At the same time, leather’s a perfect material for your furniture. The Chester sofa in brown tones is an iconic piece for the industrial style.

Use large lamps and spotlights

Lighting’s essential for decorating in the industrial style. Use lamps with metal caps or leave the bulbs exposed. Lamps with a similar style to film or photography lamps work very well and those that are pendants.

Adapt the industrial style to your space

A woman hugging a bouquet of yellow tulips.
Think about what makes you happy before you decide to design your space!

The industrial style has special characteristics in its origin that are adapted to spaces with few and large divisions. However, it’s possible to adapt it to other types of spaces.

Even in interior design, the term neo-industrial or industrial chic has been used to refer to the industrial style that includes other elements that soften it, add more color, and allow it to be in smaller spaces.

For example, you can add some plants or cushions in bright colors to give life and add color to the spaces. Also, you can adapt industrial decor for a small space or a certain area of your home only, such as a recreation room, the study, or your teenager’s room.

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