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Industrial style: interiors with an industrial touch | Room Planner Blog

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Industrial style: Interiors with an industrial touch

How to design your apartment in an industrial style? What materials and colors to use? In detail about the style of the industrial style and its differences on the Room Planner blog.

What does industrial style mean?

As the name suggests, the industrial style incorporates elements that would normally only be seen in an industrial setting. That could include:

  • factories;

  • warehouses;

  • commercial kitchens.

Such areas prioritize function before aesthetics, which results in large proportions of bland, neutral colors, predominantly gray. This is often in the form of exposed concrete but can also be the color of the fittings. The red of exposed brick is also a regular feature of industrial-style rooms.

Another common characteristic is the limited number (or lack) of walls and partitions. It is common to find industrial-chic spaces that are just one giant space, with furniture and display pieces used as partitions for different areas. This open plan concept is a welcome asset when the space itself is small.

Industrial interiors utilize silhouettes heavily. This often translates to objects with squared lines and blocky shapes. It imbues a home with cohesive utilitarianism. You can still add curves but keep them few and far between.

Perhaps the most obvious component of industrial style is exposed pipes, ductwork, and beams, as well as silver heat-proofing fabric. Everything is stripped back to reveal only the functional parts of these structures. There are copious amounts of metal, usually stainless steel and iron.

Wood is another material often found in an industrial site. Unfinished and reclaimed wood often makes an appearance. This contrast between the warmth and unevenness of brown wood with the coldness and precision of metal holds the potential of infinite complementary combinations.

How industrial style began

The trend of industrial style and design began more organically manner than most others. In terms of home decor, it was the natural outcome of repurposed buildings. The trend is thought to have originated in Lower Manhattan in the 1960s when fledgling artists rented cheap abandoned buildings as studios.

Tenants moving into these spaces that were previously factories or other commercial properties took a liking to the bare-bones aesthetics. It was also partly an economic decision. Many of these repurposed spaces were in low-income areas; the residents did not have the luxury of redoing the rooms in a more traditional homely style.

To create the illusion of space, walls were knocked down, leaving few (if any) barriers to the internal view. What they did leave were the functional elements such as piping and support beams.

While these artists were living within an industrial setting largely because of the low rent, others began to see an appeal to the minimalist style. It was so starkly different from the usual, polished interiors to which they were accustomed.

In part, the industrial style has gained so much popularity so quickly because it is so counterintuitive. Those looking to be stylish but also different from what everyone else sees as stylish find industrial chic to be the perfect answer.

Industrial color scheme

Imagine a factory setting and images of a bleak gray come instantly to mind. An industrial-style home will also display a range of browns and tans, most commonly through the use of wood. Black and white are natural allies of this neutral palette and can be introduced generously.

A good approach to an industrial color scheme is to set a base layer of the most neutral shade. Add darker tones to areas that are either meant for a quiet retreat or to draw the eye to a particular feature or object there.

Some homeowners find that industrial interior design styles benefit from unexpected infusions of bright color. Others find that it can detract from the overall feel of an otherwise subdued room. There have been designers who use that infusion of color to soften a room that is otherwise overwhelmingly masculine.

As with most decisions to do with style, there is no right or wrong answer, only the happiness that the finished view sparks within you.

Furniture and materials in an industrial style interior

Industrial styles do not vary greatly by room simply because the entire concept revolves around conformity to the central subdued theme.

For example, industrial-style living rooms, an industrial style bedroom, and an industrial style kitchen will largely have the same industrial style furniture and accessories. This can be a very convenient part of industrial design as it allows the occupant to multipurpose almost everything. Better yet, the lack of walls and partitions makes it easier to transfer objects between rooms.

Lighting plays a major role in any interior and industrial style is no different. Many such spaces, particularly those that were former office buildings, originally feature large floor-to-ceiling windows.

All light fittings and accessories that you add must conform to the sleek, frugal look. Try a floor lamp industrial style that is simply for function and that has long straight lines. There are ample stainless steel options for this.

An industrial-style ceiling fan is a pleasing addition, too. In true industrial style, these fans sport massive exposed bolts and connectors. They also tend to feature massive wings, some so large that they can cover several rooms at once. In a space devoid of walls, this is a great way to cut down on additional fittings and individual interior design styles industrial accessories.

A function is at the core of an industrial style interior and the furniture must reflect that closely. Heavy, vintage-style chairs fit in seamlessly here. Do away with ‘convenience’ features such as wheels and excessive adjustment levers. Instead, go for backless seating with its dearth of material.

Coffee tables' industrial style tends to be squat with long, straight lines. Metal is the most common material, but wood can also add to the vibe. Similarly, shelving in industrial decor is prim and prudent. Vintage laboratory-style cabinets with glass fronts are very popular.

Art is an exciting way to spruce up any room but the color and material restrictions typically associated with industrial styles can stymie your sense of expression. One ingenious way to counter this is to play to the theme and introduce factory machinery or components as art.

The presence of an engine block from a car can be especially interesting for a homeowner who loves automobiles. In the same vein, concrete sculptures can be an intriguing element to add.

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