The Olson and Baker Design Guide to an Industrial Design Style

A successful industrial style interior can look great if it’s done correctly. The most important and distinguishable features are the use of stripped back, raw exposed materials. Brick, concrete, steel, copper and brass, these are just a few of many materials that will give you that authentic nod to the turn-of-the-century industrial era. Introduce exposed metal fixings and distressed hardwood surfaces or flooring such as oak and walnut which look great in their raw pre-finished form. Exposed brick walls and steel beams can be great focal points and really sell the overall look.
When selecting colours, keep in mind the raw materials you’ve selected, let them influence the colour palette and build it around them. Copper and brass-tone accents will really pop in an otherwise cold space. Deep reds and browns, along with lighter greys, white and beige can work well – keep it simple and try not to introduce too much.
Remember this is your home; you don’t want to feel like you’re waking up in a factory from the early 1900s. It’s important to keep sight of this and try to create pockets of warmth in your interior space. Carefully layered textiles and texture – art, rugs, curtains and cushions will all help to create a lived-in space. The softer materials will contrast well with the sharper bolder lines that are so common in an industrial setting and create an environment that is more inviting to you and your guests.
Keep the lighting warm, hang the pendants low from those exposed ceilings whilst adding wall lights to the exposed brick walls. You want to create calm, relaxing ambiance with your lighting – in what could easily fall on the side of harsh and uncomforting.
Finally, the furniture – keep to the same logic, distressed wooden table surfaces contrasted with metal chairs can really sell that industrial feel. There’s a lot of variation you can experiment with here, if you keep the colours subtle you’ll find a lot of different styles will work for you. A Scandinavian style sofa and dining table set looks great under those exposed beams and cooper pipes. Be playful here, low rustic coffee table, chesterfield leather sofas, a steel-framed chaise lounge or an exposed hardwood side board will all add to that truly authentic Industrial style.

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