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Industrial Home Decor Style
While I love my modern home, I still admire the authentic design an industrial home decor style offers.
Yes, modern is beautiful. It’s simple. It’s clean. But there is something magnetizing about the raw character of minimalist industrial design.
Accepting the truth of the building. Allowing the exposed brick walls, the imperfect concrete flooring, and the distressed leather to make their statement. And equally balancing it with a modern touch.
Industrial chic equally makes a statement. In the, “I’m not perfect, just trying to be real,” kind of way.
Thankfully, there are many interior designers sharing their tips and inspirations for how to best design an industrial-style home.
What is Industrial Interior Design?
If you’re like me (and 98% of America), and enjoy a caffeine-filled latte from the local coffee shop, then chances are you’ve seen industrial interior design in all its glory.
Most coffee shops love to use the casual vibes that accompany the industrial home decor style. This style also prevails in gastro pubs and breweries.
Showing off their overhead pipes and ductwork and not trying to hide their flawed walls.
It’s no surprise, the main characteristic of industrial style is how it highlights the architectural elements of its space.
Other interior design styles can hide everything behind covered walls. Industrial design, on the other hand, accepts these elements. Making the building’s structure a part of the aesthetic.
The design is both functional and minimalist.
Origins of Industrial Home Decor Style
The practical and comforting industrial style came about from a cultural change.
In the late 19th century, industrial interior design as a concept did not exist. The “design” was simply a way manufacturing companies set up their warehouses. It was completed all in the name of functionality.
Builders used concrete, brick, iron, and steel in their construction to withstand years of hard labor.
The business owners used an open floor plan and limited furniture as a way to fit more workers into the building at the same time.
But change inevitably struck, and our communities needed fewer factories. So, we got creative.
Eventually, artists and designers looking for cheaper rent found these abandoned factories and transformed them into stunning homes. It’s the shift that created the industrial home decor style.
There are two main ways of decorating this style. Through minimalist industrial design and industrial chic.
Minimalist Industrial Design
The minimalist style is one of the more popular trends in interior design right now. It mixes well with the industrial style, too.
It’s the perfect combination for those who value function, simplicity, and aesthetics.
Industrial minimalist homes have fewer pieces of furniture and decor. This maximizes the space. It also provides a restful atmosphere and allows for an abundance of natural light.
Not directly in opposition to minimalist industrial design, industrial chic is a somewhat lateral approach many choose to style their homes.
When done effectively, industrial chic can offer a touch of elegance to an industrialized space. Classing up the space in simple ways.
The industrial characteristics supply an appealing yet relaxed atmosphere. A sense of sophistication comes from the cozy furnishings and exposed pipes.
Then, you add in some of the chic traits with an eye-catching chandelier and splashes of color. The space will start to have more personality as you throw in purple, red, blue, or green accents.
Essential Elements of Industrial Home Decor Style
While remodeling a home can feel overwhelming, there are a few easy steps we can follow to get started.
Industrial interior design follows a few essential principles and then allows plenty of space for individuality.
For starters, we need to make sure we have the right foundation in place.
The foundation of an industrially designed space employs raw elements first and foremost. The most basic elements are the exposed beams, reclaimed wood, metal, brick, and concrete available.
Then, once we’ve designed the core architectural components into the space, we can begin working on the layout.
Like the warehouses they were modeled after, the layout of the space should be open and tidy. They should also include a combination of straight and rounded lines.
Aside from a few other elements and guidelines, the industrial style will then allow for more individualization.
Let’s take a look at all of the elements of industrial style.
Embrace the Architecture
As we touched on, honoring the structure’s industrial past is fundamental to industrial design. This includes not making drastic changes to the floors, walls, and pipes.
It’s long overdue, but it’s time to strip the carpet! Yes, all of it. Instead, you should opt for tile, concrete, or wood as they are the most common types of flooring used. Carpet makes a room feel less open and airy.
Don’t run completely away from area rugs though. These provide a great option for bringing personality to a room.
One of the more notable ways to identify an industrial space is by looking at the pipes and ducts. In industrial interior design, they won’t be hidden behind thick walls. The mechanical parts are left on display, adding to its industrial charm.
Typically, you will find the exposed pipes and the ceiling painted a dark color, commonly black.
If you don’t have many pipes showing in your home, you can always add some yourself. Get a DIY project going using iron pipes like these from Amazon and some wooden planks to make industrial shelves.
Take advantage of your brick walls. They are a staple in the industrial interior design book. If you don’t have brick walls, you can always consider brick wall wallpaper (I found some on Amazon).
When factories were being built back in the day, builders had no need to cover up the brick walls. The design stuck because it provided a casual vibe to the space.
Consider me one of the crowd, because it’s one of my favorite elements of the industrial home.
Keep an Open Floor Plan
Try to make your home layout as open as you can. An open floor plan will make the room look bigger and like it was built during the industrial era.
Remember, industrial design did start in large open warehouses.
Open layouts offer more freedom to move and adapt because there are fewer barriers. Your kitchen, dining, and living areas can be merged into one seamless space.
Equally, you don’t want to fill the space up, but allow the openness to be a part of the design. This leads to the next essential element: minimalism.
With the building’s architecture providing some personality and the open concept allowing for plenty of breathing room, it’s important not to add clutter. Let the space speak for itself.
To practice minimalism, remember to stay true to the roots of industrial design. Focusing on functionality.
If you are throwing in industrial home decor for the sake of more decor, you may be doing too much.
Use Bold Lines
If you scroll through Pinterest, you will notice straight lines are frequently used in an industrial-style home, but you can go curved too. You can incorporate bold lines on your windows, the exposed beams, in the staircase, and countless other areas. Get creative!
Opt for a Neutral Color Palette
Industrial style often uses neutral colors like black, gray, white, and brown. This makes the area feel more earthy and real.
Keep in mind, if you already have an exposed brick wall, the brown element is taken care of. In that case, you can focus on the other colors in the space.
Bring in the Wood and Metal
As noted earlier, both wood and metal are necessary pieces in an industrial home decor style. When you are designing and styling your industrial home, make sure these are some of the main elements included.
Fortunately, you can find these pieces mixed in with almost any style of furniture. Like this bookshelf from Amazon, it is the exact blend of wood and metal that is perfect for an industrial home.
Incorporate Natural Light
Large black-paned windows are a staple in the industrial style. Along with high arches and large doors, these features allow the home to be covered in natural light throughout the day. You almost never have to use artificial lighting.
If you are looking to remodel your home for an industrial look, consider adding floor-to-ceiling windows. This will allow natural light to flood into the room.
Use Edison Bulbs
Edison lights are a relic of the industrial age and a key part of industrial-styled homes today. These lights are great whether used on their own, with wire cage lamps, or in a chandelier.
They offer more of that raw, unfinished look we so love about the industrial style. Here are some good Edison bulbs I found on Amazon.
Add Vintage and Refurbished Items
Given the unfinished appeal of industrial design, it’s no shock designers often recycle used furniture. Designers often distress the furniture or construct a new piece entirely from repurposed materials.
Reusing old pieces of furniture to decorate your home is not only sensible but also financially savvy.
Second-hand items add to the aesthetic, too. So, check out your local thrift store and see what simple neutral pieces you can find.
By following a few simple guidelines, we can all have the industrial-style home we dream of. All we have to do is stick to the basics of embracing the building’s architecture, using neutral colors, and keeping it simple. This design style even works in smaller settings like apartments. There are great tips out there for industrial home decor for apartments.