Simple but exciting, effortless yet highly functional, industrial design has so much more to it than meets the eye. Here's an overview of what industrial style interior design is, how it became a thing, and how to successfully achieve the look.
How It Began
Back in the 17th century, the world faced industrial revolution, and life has never been the same again ever since. Large factory buildings sprung up everywhere across Europe and America. Every single one was built to fulfil market demands in a simple and effective way. There was no paint whatsoever, and huge windows were installed to let in as much natural light as possible—the goal was to save money, not spend them.
Two centuries later, the world saw significant progress in the construction industry. It became so advanced that people were able to make better and more efficient structures. As old factories shut down and industrial areas moved to the outskirts of the city, the original buildings were left abandoned—but not for long.
In the mid 20th century, people started to flock the towns, demands of residential buildings begun progressively rising, prompting the government to initiate gentrification. What used to be factories now became dwellings, and just like that, industrial chic look became a thing.
Industrial design is all about exposed materials. Brick walls are left just the way they are without paint nor plaster. Even elements that people typically try to conceal such as pipes and ducts are left exposed, thus becoming a signature feature of the interior design style. While factories in the 1700s did it to skimp on construction budget, now people embrace it thoroughly as a new trend. This is especially true when the warehouse apartment concept began to gain popularity in urban cities. Exposing raw elements has become a fad which is, in fact, a good thing since it eliminated the need for further construction.
Natural, Masculine Aesthetics
When it comes to colour, industrial design sticks to neutral palettes. Mind you, when we talk about shades, we do not refer to stark hues like black and white. Rather than creating a sharp look with mixes of these two, industrial interiors favoured a variation of browns and tans instead to spark off a warm and harmonious vibe. Browns have diverse shades within, so it is not difficult to get creative with colours.
That being said, layers of bold tones in industrial design are not to be frowned upon. As long as you keep it at minimum, details of either darker or lighter tones could provide an edgy contrast to your otherwise masculine style décor. Just remember that browns and tans must remain the dominant colours while any other shades serve as accents.
Wood and Metal Medley
A juxtaposition of wood and metal is what defines industrial design interior. Hardworking and practical materials such as iron, aluminium, steel, copper, and tin are used to create a medley with wooden floors and furniture. There's no need to think twice to take advantage of aged, distressed pieces because old and new are never mutually exclusive in industrial spaces. For example, combining vintage wood planks with steel frame for a table is a fail-safe move for an industrial style living room.
Now, industrial design is typically associated with urban loft space with an open concept layout. This is specifically crucial in industrial style, regardless of how large of an area that is available. Even in narrow surroundings, open plan is a must if you want to really want to recreate an authentic industrial interior. The key is to avoid clutters that could limit any pathways. Remember, functionality is requisite in industrial design.
For kitchens, kitchen island layout is the perfect go-to to tie into the industrial theme. With scattered counters and tables, it would be easy to separate a big room and make wide pathways to travel around. But if your kitchen area is not wide enough, provide extra storage with free standing metal racks. Open-faced storage and shelving can also help giving off open feeling inside narrow kitchens.
How to Ace Industrial Design
Achieving industrial design for your interior is rather easy. First, you just need to leave your bright red brick walls exposed. It could provide a gorgeous background to your space while also save time and effort simultaneously. Pair it with deep orange-red woods and black metal details for the accents.
On the other hand, concrete provides a literal blank slate. Match it with neutral shades or experiment with bold colours. Already have your concrete walls fully painted? Well, you can still get it right! There are multiple easy DIY guides to paint a faux concrete wall finish on the internet.
When you have finished with walls, start adding your house with industrial furniture. Industrial beds, recycled wooden bench, stone countertops, to old vintage lamps that are currently making a comeback. Quick tip, opt for the Edison light. A filament bulb dating back to the 20th century, it gives off a warm orange glow that is perfect for an industrial style décor.