The industrial look is perfect in its imperfections. Pared-back floorboards, exposed brick walls and furniture pieces where form meets function all make up this interior style which has exploded in popularity over the past few years. And whilst it’s easy to associate industrial design with sprawling urban jungles and modern city offices, creating an industrial look for your home is easier than you might think.
By giving subtle nods to the materials, colour schemes and accents used in older industrial interior designs, you can bring a taste of the city into any room in the house. Ditch the floral curtains and put away any bright scented candles or pastel prints – this look is about clean lines, metallic shades and eye-catching pieces. The overall finish is striking – a minimal feel which has a maximum impact.
But how exactly do you achieve this industrial style?
When creating that ultimate industrial look, it’s important not to let your walls hide behind layers of plasterboard and perfect paint. Simplicity is key, so keep every wall in your room unfussy and clean. Bare bricks make such a great statement as they look like older city warehouses. Stick to one feature wall if you’re unsure about having an entire room wallpaper-free, or else there are plenty of imitation brick wallpaper options available if you can’t have the real thing.
Metal is the primary component of any industrial-inspired room, and naturally here at Steel Vintage, we believe that steel is the best way to go! Whether you choose to keep any piping exposed and visible on the edges of your walls or pick out steel furniture to become a feature of your room, metal is the biggest way you can add an industrial feel to the room.
When compared with the cool sleekness of steel, wood adds a more natural balance to the interior space. But it’s important not to fill your room with light MDF or cheaper woods – these should be abandoned in favour of solid timber such as oak, walnut or pine, which can have either a distressed finish for an authentic industrial look or smooth if a more refined finish is preferred. Either way by adding real wood you will benefit from the warmth and natural touch that artificial laminated wood cannot compete with.
Choosing an industrial look for your home doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some comfort. At Steel Vintage we choose to avoid leather and other animal skins, however, there are plenty of modern alternatives that can help you get the look without the animal suffering. Along with leather-look fabrics, there are other options such as cotton and hemp which can look great. Seek out unusual pieces, such as reclaimed hessian sacks, to add some softer furnishings into the mix and balance out the sleeker metallic elements of the room. An old leatherette sofa is a great focal point to a living room and a padded dark grey cotton seat works very well with an industrial dressing table.
Gears, Cogs and Wheels
The phrase ‘turning the wheels of industry’ is particularly relevant for decorating your home in the industrial style. Grab inspiration from the metallics of a clock and keep an eye out for pieces that look repurposed and old. Cog and wheel structures look great against an exposed brick wall and make a refreshing change from the usual artwork.
Caged lighting and wired baskets are an excellent way to achieve a minimal look that never gets old. Look for quirky lighting solutions that mimic the old factory lights that workers used in times gone by.
Awareness around eco-friendly interiors is growing by the year, and the vintage look is definitely one that supports this. Head to vintage stores or charity shops and seek out pieces that you won’t find anywhere else. See what you can transform or upcycle to ensure that your home has an interior that you can’t recreate.
When you think back to the history books and stories of the Industrial Revolution, the colours that spring to mind are often dark and dreary. And whilst there are certainly some colours that you should avoid if you want to create this look for your home (neon pink and lime green are definite no-gos), you certainly don’t need to stick to fifty shades of grey! Most industrial designs start with a fairly monochromatic base but have various organic or earthy accents to bring some warmth to the room.
Metal-based tones are going to feature heavily, but don’t be afraid of adding shades of copper, burnt reds and even subtle blues to mix up the look.
Black is also an option and looks great with orange tones, allowing you to be bold with your interior accessories.
No home is complete without the addition of some carefully selected greenery. Not only do plants help to soften a potentially hard industrial look but perhaps, more importantly, they can help to purify the air making you feel healthier. Large industrial style pots and planters can be a great way to show off a hardy tree or a vibrant bunch of flowers.
At Steel Vintage, we can provide you with bespoke industrial style furniture tailored specifically to you.
If you have a bespoke project you would like to discuss with us, please contact us.