Do you love exposed brick? What about concrete floors or stainless steel counter tops? If you are drawn to these elements then industrial style may be your jam. Industrial style is all about metals, stone, and texture. It is a masculine style, but can be made to feel more feminine by using different textures to soften the look.
Industrial style by itself is a foundation style. You may like characteristics of other design styles that can be mixed with this foundation style and that is okay. Later in this series we will be talking about “speciality” styles that build on a foundation style, but for today we are only going to focus on how to decorate in industrial style.
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What is industrial style?
Industrial style is a throwback to the industrial revolution by using exposed brick and piping and rough woods to define your space. Think converted warehouse or loft. Often considered cold, sterile, and functional, the furnishings you choose and decor you pick will make this design style homey and inviting.
You don’t have to live in a converted warehouse or loft to have this style in your home. With some careful thought and ingenuity you can transform any space into an industrial looking space.
Cool, neutral grays. Blue grays. Green grays. These all make me think industrial. Starting with the right color on the wall is the foundation to building your industrial space, but don’t think you have to use just gray! Soft whites and darker charcoals will really make your space pop depending on wether or not you have a lot of natural light. Choose lighter colors if you are natural light poor.
Reclaimed wood, concrete, or brick are the best choices of flooring for industrial style. Concrete can be polished or stained for a more finished look, reclaimed wood or brick will add warmth and character to the space.
Concrete is very utilitarian and cold. Warm it up by adding a stain or with some cozy area rugs. Reclaimed wood floors will add instant character to your industrial space. Don’t be afraid to let them be imperfect, it will add to the charm. Brick floors will also add tons of character to your space, but perhaps just in a kitchen, bathroom, or entryway. Lay them in a unique pattern to up the quirky factor.
Industrial Style Furniture
Warming up an industrial space is as simple as adding texture. This begins with the right furniture choices. You will want to choose leather couches or low profile fabric couches with metal accents. The same thing applies for chairs. Think comfy and full of character.
Metal framed book shelves, and tables with rough warm wood tones make great accent pieces. You may feel that metal framed furniture is cold and uninviting, but it is what you put on it that will help warm up the space.
Now that you have your foundation pieces, it is time to add in accessories. Incorporate soft textures to create a homey feel. This is also the time to add some color to liven it up! Brass and copper accents are a great way to add warmth into the space too.
Books on the book shelves, plants (real or faux), soft plush throws and textured pillows will have your space feeling inviting in no time! Decorating book shelves can be a challenge, but in THIS POST I show you how to style them to make them a focal point in your space.
We have talked about how to warm up an industrial space, but what if you don’t want to warm it up? Industrial style is fundamentally minimalist and utilitarian and if that is the look you want, then I say go for it! Minimalism is making a comeback and less stuff means less fuss.
You don’t have to live in a loft in New York City to have industrial design, any space can be decorated in industrial style. Its all about beginning with the foundation elements and adding to them.
Is industrial design for you? What do you like most about industrial style? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below.
Don’t know what your design style is? Take my Design Style Quiz and let’s get you on your way to creating a home you love.
Until next time,