Industrial Decorating Ideas: 10 Expert Ways to Introduce This Practical Trend


With their rugged look and celebration of raw materials, industrial decorating ideas are now more popular than ever – and it’s easy to see why this look is so sought after, even now.

Booming in the 1970s, the industrial decorating trend took hold when it became popular to turn warehouses, factories and mills into living spaces. These abandoned spaces have been converted into urban havens.

It’s a look that celebrates practicality, imperfections and wear. Materials such as exposed brick, concrete and tarnished metals have allowed the world’s top interior designers to explore new textures, colors and shapes.

Over the past few decades, the interior design trend has grown in popularity tenfold. Here, we explore the best of the industrial decorating trend — and how to effectively and beautifully use this popular interior design aesthetic in your home.

The industrial look is synonymous with versatility; this is what gives industrial interiors their unmistakable aesthetic. So, when deciding how to decorate your home, the practicality and simplicity of your chosen pieces should always be at the forefront of your mind.

When it comes to decor and furniture ideas, an industrial interior should be practical and simple. Clean lines, minimalist shapes and stark contrasts are a must, but this simplistic approach doesn’t mean you have to compromise on comfort or warmth.

Metal Backsplash Ideas With Tiles

(Image credit: La Cornue)

Glossy finishes and metal backsplash ideas are making a splash in the industrial decorating space, but you don’t have to go for the real deal. Here, metallic-effect porcelain tiles come in designs with full-body glazes that convincingly mimic the shimmer of real metals.

“A metallic effect tiled backsplash is the perfect backdrop for a metal cooker in an industrial-style kitchen,” explains Camille Syren, project manager, La Cornue. “Porcelain kitchen tile ideas are a resilient choice because they don’t require sealing and are easy to clean.”

2. Take an old-and-new approach to decorating

Industrial decorating ideas with marble bathroom

(Image credit: CP Hart)

Classic marble may be centuries old, but this versatile material can look just as relevant in a contemporary or industrial setting. Carved from a solid piece of Carrara marble, the clean, modern lines of Piet Boon’s freestanding bathtub for Cocoon are a case in point. Shown here on a polished concrete floor with a neutral backdrop, the designer’s signature clean lines truly celebrate the soft veining of Carrara.

3. Add interest with tonal and textural elements

A minimalist living room with white walls and a dark gray velvet chair in front of dark wall art

(Image credit: Davide Lovatti/Future)

Industrial and minimalist decor go hand in hand and should be considered when planning an industrial living room. With busy modern lives, homeowners are now more conscious of their furniture choices and aim to strike a balance between streamlined industrialism and luxurious comfort for their living room ideas.

In this apartment, a monochromatic color palette is a good industrial color choice that requires an element of bravery, as it requires careful editing and a strong eye for design.

This type of interior can also appear “flat” if you do not introduce texture and subtle varieties of tones. But put together with care, it’s a designer way to enhance a minimalist living room.

4. Opt for distinctive details

Industrial decor with copper surface

(Image credit: deVOL)

Paying attention to small details when crafting surfaces can have a much bigger impact than you might imagine, not to mention everyday joy. Instead of the standard drain grooves, opt for something a little more unexpected, like this beautiful inset drainboard from deVOL. The aged copper surface is already beautiful, but the simple addition of tiny raised domes, created by hammering the underside of the copper, lifts it beyond the ordinary.

On a practical note, recessed drainboards are much more effective at containing and draining water than channeled grooves and will help keep dishes air-drying safely.

5. Divide and conquer

industrial decor with metro tiles and glass screen

(Image credit: Darren Chung)

A tall, metal-framed screen lends an industrial touch to this powder room idea, while keeping water away from the gorgeous marble vanity. The singularity of this point of separation energizes the design, in particular the combination of fluted glass and plain glass. The first adds an element of privacy, and the second lets in as much light as possible through the window. It’s also a good idea to place the controls a good distance from the showerhead, as this allows the water to reach a comfortable temperature before you step inside.

Industrial decor with metal extractor hood

(Image credit: Artichoke Ltd)

Although generally considered a necessary evil in the UK, the American approach to extractor hoods has long been more festive, with bespoke designs in unusual finishes making strong, defining statements in kitchens across the country. This trend also looks set to take off, especially in eye-catching metallic surfaces.

“Aesthetically, adding a striking extractor canopy to a kitchen scheme is a chance to form and sculpt interrupt all angular lines of cabinetry and panels,” says Bruce Hodgson of Artichoke Ltd., based in Somerset. “This Etched Zinc Extractor Canopy is made using specialist craftsmanship and traditional materials, highlighting our artisanal values ​​as well as a nod to the past.

7. Create a wall of wonders

Industrial decor with living wall

(Image credit: Britt Willoughby)

Living wall ideas used to be the domain of temporary and design installations. Today, pioneering commercial sites, where plant tapestries can be seen adorning the facades of prestigious hotels, boutiques and office buildings, have become the go-to decorative design solution for residential and urban gardens.

Tom Massey Studio worked with Tapestry Vertical Gardens to design this living wall, one of two tall walls covered in vertical greenery for the client’s urban garden in London. “These walls create a sense of enveloping nature,” says lead designer Tom Massey. “Here it creates an inviting focal point for the dining room and includes ambient lighting, perfect for evening entertaining.”

8. Introduce subtle color into an industrial space

Industrial decor with white walls, marble surface and vintage elements

(Image credit: Tamsin Johnson Interiors)

Accent colors are additional shades that often contrast with the primary colors used in the kitchen in an attempt to add drama – just a little. However, accent color can also play a calmer, more complementary role, as American interior designer Tamsin Johnson demonstrates in this industrial, farmhouse kitchen.

In a stronger hue, Gio Ponti’s striking mid-century pendant lamp would have drawn too much attention to the sculptural Arabescato marble island below, which is absolutely the star of the show. But in delicate pale green, the vintage glass fitting plays a balancing role that softens the harsh angles of the island and brings a feminine and harmonious touch.

9. Build with recycled materials

Home extension ideas with rustic materials

(Image credit: Johan Dehlin)

A crumbling barn seems an unlikely starting point for a new home, but architect Will Gamble thought otherwise and his vision created The Parchment Works for his clients who love industrial decorating style and durable materials.

“Originally the owners wanted to demolish the old scroll factory,” says Will, “but I convinced them that the ruins could be celebrated with sympathetic intervention.” Will’s design created “a building within a building”, where two light volumes were inserted into the old walls. ‘I exposed the beams of the hangar, as well as the steelwork in the new parts. The clean lines of the kitchen (above) helped juxtapose the uneven nature of the older structure (top), creating a contemporary intervention in a historic context.

10. Combine industrial decor with classic cabinetry

Metal backsplash

(Image credit: Charlie Kingham)

If you don’t want to turn your entire kitchen into an industrial haven, consider pairing factory-style elements with the classic beauty of traditional kitchen ideas. Here, a neat outline hides the raw edges of this custom-cut backsplash while showcasing the rich brass within.

“Framing the backsplash was about exploring the idea of ​​blending in and standing out,” says kitchen designer Charlie Kingham. “The frame draws attention to the material, which makes it extra special, but also helps soften the transition from the shiny metal to the classically painted Shaker panels that surround it.

How do I give my room an industrial look?

The mainstay of industrial design is simple, practical furniture with flat fronts – it’s a stylish look and one that ages incredibly well. In fact, much of what we think of as modern design dates back to the 1930s. Even the sleek, handleless designs so typical of modern industrial design have been around since the 1960s.

For a while, industrial decor seemed to take on a whole new level. Furniture and kitchen cabinets were clean-lined and invariably glossy white, but it’s a look that may be too clinical for many. Fortunately, the current trend for industrial style and minimalist decoration is much warmer. The clean lines and fuss-free finish are still there but with a soft texture, surface finish and color that adds character and is easy to live with. Simple lines show clever engineering, form and finish, and the latest engineering techniques have helped breathe new life into previously neglected materials.


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