Born out of the necessity to create urban living spaces out of converted factories, barns and warehouses, industrial interiors champion mechanical and engineering ingenuity. It’s a style that offers you the opportunity to juxtapose the stripped-back with the sleek and smooth, blending raw industrial accents with refined modern living.
Now more than ever, we’re incorporating this gritty trend in our homes. Wood and metal are now joined on an exposed backdrop of piping and brick to give spaces an open and honest feel – fluffy design is confined to the past, we’re all about a back-to-basic different design style.
Here, Unsuburbia has taken a look into how bringing an industrial interior can evolve your space to keep up with décor trends.
The signature feature of industrial interior design. Exposed brickwork and bare piping partnered with high ceilings and visible beams is the epitome of industrial aesthetics, paying homage to the heritage of the style’s structural appeal.
In a converted space, it’s a combination of creativity and practicality to add an exposed edge to an interior – after all, the features already exist within the building. But incorporating this into your home doesn’t mean you have to barbarically smash the plaster from your walls to showcase bare brick and piping.
Instead, opt for brick-finished tiles to bring that exposed aspect to your industrial style. Offering a soft and subtle brick effect, these tiles can create a raw ambience in any space and work perfectly when contrasted against modern furnishings. Hues of warm terracotta and neutral grey on the walls only accentuate the industrial feel too, yet don’t diminish the homely characteristic we want in our spaces.
The interplay of wood and metal
A common combination across industrial interiors is the mixture of lustrous metals and smooth, grainy woods. This pairing plays on the relationship between the two materials within workshops and factories – the metal driving the machines, whilst wood providing structure and stability.
Yet in the home, it’s the metals that bring the sturdiness to support this interior style whilst woods act as the aesthetic pleaser, bringing accents and finishes to décor. Our kitchens have become the space where we allow for this entwinement to prominently take place, with high-sheen steel and chrome accents chosen alongside cedar, pine and oak to create an industrial look.
Pair a wooden seat with coated-metal legs to bring the best of both worlds to your dining space, or for a mechanical appeal, choose a seating option that’s completely metal. For your dining table, let rich oak join welded steel in harmony – the perfect example of industrial-inspired furniture.
In the wider house, incorporating an industrial interior is effortless. Choose a dark mango wood-topped nest of tables for your living space, complete with a raw iron frame, and for a studious space, opt for a metal-legged industrial desk. Storage too can adapt to this movement – this shelving unit from Swoon Editions is a mechanical-inspired marvel. It’s about creating a minimalist feel that packs heritage and character. Overplay the mix of wood and metal though and your space will look more erratic than industrial.
Stripped back lighting
A key component in building your industrial interior, using the right lighting fixtures and fittings can create that engineering-inspired aesthetic. The idea of material lamp and light shades is non-existent in this style movement – instead, bare bulbs, wiring and piping are the go-to for the décor.
Keeping the industrial edge up high, pendant light fittings will flow down from the ceiling, like the spotlights onto the workshop floors of yesteryear’s factories and warehouses. Tom Raffield’s Kern Hoop Pendant Ceiling Light merges a medieval style with industrial filaments and fittings for a flawless look, whereas Sophus Frandsen’s 1970s-inspired ceiling light oozes industrial appeal.
Floor and side lamps are where you can effortlessly add the small industrial touches to your home. Spotlight lamps can enlighten a room without being over powering, and the wooden tripod legs paired with metal framing are central to the industrial look. Task your wall with lighting your spaces through scissor lamps or for an authentic touch, use a bully cage lighting fixture. The limit to your industrial lighting should know no barriers – a vintage projection lamp would be a unique element to incorporate, whilst an over-hanging chrome lamp will deliver a more modernist take on your industrial interior.