The Complete Guide to Industrial Style

The Complete Guide to Industrial Style

The Complete Guide to Industrial Style

Posted 22 January, 2016 by Benjamin Gardiner in Get that look...

Industrial style dining room

It’s raw, it’s utilitarian and it’s one of the most adaptable modern trends for styling your home. Industrial interior design is not solely reserved for your local coffee shop and the trendy lofts in Manhattan. You can easily recreate this look in your home and make it your own. We’ll show you how…

Quick Links

What is Industrial Style?

History of Industrial Style

Industrial Style Interior Design

Industrial Style Furniture

10 Industrial Style Secrets

Industrial Style in the Dining Room/Kitchen

Industrial Style in the Living Room

Industrial Style in the Bedroom

Industrial Style in the Office

What is Industrial Style?

Industrial style is a showcase for everything related to industry and manufacturing. It’s about being honest about what a space or object is made of - the materials are raw and the construction is proudly part of the design.

The History of Industrial Style

This style was first seen in New York. In the seventies, there was a big housing shortage, so people started converting old warehouses into apartments. Instead of ripping out or covering up the industrial interiors, homeowners incorporated the exposed beams and unpainted brickwork into their new homes, and industrial style was born. Over time it has evolved to incorporate furniture, art and appliances too.

Industrial Style Interior Design

Industrial interior design is about trying to recreate that warehouse loft feeling in your home. The look is achieved by combining stripped-back architecture, salvaged objects, raw materials (such as reclaimed wood), and a generous helping of concrete and metal. It’s an unfinished look and works well when combined with shabby chic, eclectic or Indian style influences. In fact, a pinch of industrial style works well with most interiors, so it’s worth experimenting!

Industrial Style Furniture

Industrial style furniture is made from metal, reclaimed wood and other salvaged materials used in industry and manufacturing. It is all about celebrating the construction of a design, and using materials in unexpected and inventive new ways. Putting wheels on a dining table? Sure. A bookcase made from railway tracks? Yes! No material is taboo, and the great thing about industrial furniture is it always has a rich and interesting story behind it.

Reclaimed Furniture

You’ll find lots of industrial style furniture that has been made from reclaimed wood like the dining table pictured above. Though the table itself is new, the raw used wood shows signs of wear. The grain patterning is unique and beautiful – perfect for the industrial look!

Salvaged Furniture

As the saying goes, one mans trash is another mans treasure. Salvaging materials and turning them into beautiful objects for your home is a fundamental part of the industrial movement.

Repurposed Furniture

You’ll also find furniture made from very unexpected objects like this coffee table made from a road case trunk.

10 Industrial Style Secrets

So, now you understand the history and theory behind it, how do you recreate the industrial look in your home? Here are our top 10 tips for recreating this style…

Raw Architecture

Industrial style was born in the utilitarian lofts of Manhattan with their rough surfaces and exposed beams. If you do not have any of these architectural features in your home, you can still recreate the look by leaving brick bare or partially painted. You can also use laminate or wallpaper to achieve the same effect. If you’re going for the industrial look in the kitchen or bathroom leave pipes exposed too.

Salvaged, Reclaimed & Repurposed Furniture

From a pallet create bookshelf to a propeller glass table and everything in between! You can’t really go wrong here. Pick pieces of furniture that speak to you and don’t be afraid to be bold.

Open Plan Living

When you think about the origins of this style in those vast cavernous warehouses, it only makes sense that open plan living is fundamental to this look. Be brave, knock down a few walls if you can and make rooms multifunctional.

Cool Colours

Sticking to a cool colour palette doesn’t have to mean grey, grey and more grey. Bursts of bright colour suit this style. For example, fuchsia (with blue undertones) and citron.


Metal is found in abundance in industry. Tin, steel, iron and copper add a sleek edge to this style and can be surprisingly glamourous!

Basic Flooring

A polished concrete floor can instantly transform a room, giving it that industrial feel. Thanks to this styles rise in popularity, faux concrete laminates and wallpapers are now widely available. And they look as good as the real thing!

Natural materials

Leather, wool, faux fur – any natural fibres compliment this style and keep rooms from feeling cold.


Declutter rooms and invest in clever storage. This style goes hand-in-hand with minimalism, allowing the architecture and the furniture to take center stage.

Unconventional Artwork

Distressed paintings, old signs, neon letters, even hanging a bike on your wall works! Be creative, but always stick to things you like. When in doubt, bold black and white prints always work well with this style.

Keep it Unfinished

Warehouses don’t get a lick of fresh paint each year. Patina, faded fabrics and raw surfaces keep this look feeling authentic.

Industrial Style in the Dining Room/Kitchen

As we’ve mentioned before, industrial style works well with loads of different interiors. We love how this kitchen/dining room mixes industrial elements, such as the steel chairs and pendant lamps, with French country style rattan armchairs and painted cabinets. Here’s how we’d recreate the look…
Get the look shabby chic and industrial dining room
This industrial style living and kitchen area feels wonderfully bright and open. The patina on the TV stand and the burnt orange lamps add some welcome bursts of colour to a cool palate. Creating a really stylish yet inviting space. Here’s how we’d create the same look…

There is a real sense of sophistication in this industrial style bedroom. The plum curtains feel really luxurious and are a great contrast to the exposed brick wall. Here’s how you can recreate the look in your bedroom…

Industrial style ideas for the bedroom Ideas for a shabby chic bedroom with industrial accessories
Industrial office/library

This style also works really well in a home office. We love the exposed pipe bookshelves used in this office/living room.

Another great example of how well this style works in an office. This unique range of furniture has been made from materials repurposed from old boats and buildings, you can look at the full range here.

Whether you’re after a total revamp or just a little refresh, consider injecting a little industrial style into your home. And, if you’re feeling really inspired make sure you check out our Industrial style section for more industrial decorating inspiration!

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