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After the Industrial Revolution, abandoned production mills and warehouses were reimagined into homes. These industrial spaces looked and felt different from traditional dwellings, and industrial interior design was born.
Over the years, loft-style living gained popularity well outside of factory sites, and today its unique edge and open format isn’t just readily available, but highly sought after.
Of course, not every house reflects the interior of an old warehouse, but if you’re inspired by the industrial aesthetic, fear not. Regardless of your home’s location or architectural style, there are a few key ways to create a modern industrial house of your own:
Put functionality on display
Seek raw & distressed materials
Opt for a dark, neutral color palette
Mimic natural light
Use minimalist silhouettes
Include industrial-era details
Where a more conventional design would tuck away the pipes and ductwork within the walls, ceilings, and fixtures, industrial style puts these elements proudly on display. Luckily, this can be mimicked in the pieces you add to your space.
This could include bringing in a console sink with exposed pipes beneath the countertop such as our Cierra Console Sink with Brass Stand, selecting a faucet with an exposed hose like our Levi Kitchen Faucet with Pull-Down Spring Spout, or featuring a sliding door with our Hal Barn Door Hardware Kit.
The purpose behind this? Nothing to do with laziness, this deliberate choice highlights the functionality and inner workings of hardworking fixtures instead of concealing them.
In addition to exposed ductwork and pipes, industrial design incorporates a lot of utilitarian building materials, such as exposed brick, unvarnished wood, and bare steel. You can easily bring this type of character into your space with your furniture items and accents, as seen in our Celebration Vanity Mirror constructed of acacia wood.
The significance of using these materials draws parallels to the wabi-sabi lifestyle, which celebrates the beauty of aging and imperfection.
To stay within this design principle, furnishings and fabrics with any signs of wear or distress are encouraged. Look for materials that develop a natural patina over time like teak wood or copper, such as our Raksha Hammered Copper Japanese Soaking Tub.
Though this style shares similarities with farmhouse design, it is largely separated by its color palette. While both lean on neutrals and the tones of natural materials, an industrial space should evoke a dimensional edge using high contrast and dark shades like greys, browns, and blacks.
Consider a dark wood vanity with matte black accents as seen in our Morris Console Vanity. In your finishes, opt for intriguing gunmetal with fixtures like our Greyfield Widespread Bathroom Faucet. A dark color palette combined with striking finishes will fill any room with stunning visual depth.
For that airy, open concept seen in industrial spaces, often courtesy of large windows and soaring ceilings, anyone can achieve this look with the right lighting. Start with a statement chandelier such as our Hillpoint 6-Light Linear Chandelier, which boasts linked chains, exposed bulbs, and a caged steel frame.
To simulate natural light, you’ll need to supplement your overhead lighting with plenty of accent illumination. This can be achieved with pendant lights, sconces, or lamps depending on the type and layout of the room. An option with exposed light bulbs such as our Mooretown Vanity Sconce adds an undeniable industrial look.
When considering your furnishings, take on a minimalist perspective. Focus on simple, well-made pieces that feature long, exaggerated lines for a sleek, open look. A hardware collection such as our Greyfield Collection is a perfect example, striking the perfect balance between sleek and utilitarian.
In addition to the silhouette of your pieces, the quantity of them should be kept minimal, too. Let your fixtures speak for themselves, as industrial décor shouldn’t add unnecessary clutter. These techniques will create the illusion of more space, contributing to a vast, open feel.
Tie in the function-forward element of industrial design with your smallest details. While keeping things simple and sleek, bring the whole look together with hardware inspired by steam pipes, nuts and bolts, and factory boiler rooms. If overdone, your space could veer into themed territory, so use these details subtly and tastefully.
Options such as our Andrex Knurled Cabinet Knob and Marta Cast Iron Cabinet Knob are perfect for cabinetry while our Watts Towel Bar with Shelf Bracket and Gibson Iron Pipe Shelf Brackets offer an industrial-inspired yet sophisticated touch wherever storage is desired.
When putting your industrial living room together, concentrate on finding raw, utilitarian materials for your furniture pieces. Complement these with serviceable fabrics like leather, denim, or canvas in your upholstery for an authentic industrial look.
Industrial bedrooms present the perfect opportunity to go bold with a dark, moody color palette. This will create an ultra-cozy and industrial-approved atmosphere. Complete the ambiance with plenty of accent lighting.
Since this room is quite fixture forward, you’ll want to be particular about silhouette in your industrial kitchen. From cabinetry to furniture to lighting, opt for long, clean lines and contrast these with any natural character from exposed beams to rustic flooring.
The key to achieving a luxurious industrial bathroom is by playing with texture. Explore interesting materials and finishes in your statement pieces such as hammered copper for a tub. Bring in plenty of exposed fixtures from sinks to shower systems. When in doubt, highlight utility.
Now that you have a solid foundation of industrial décor ideas, are you ready to bring it into your space? From a functional focus to the use of raw materials, find these details in durably constructed pieces for an industrial style home that stands the test of time.