Industrial home design: 10 key elements that define the look

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modern industrial home design

If you want a house that makes a bold statement without being too stiff or fancy, then industrial home design is for you. This interior design aesthetic was inspired by the raw and unfinished charm of factories and warehouses. It juxtaposes sleek, stainless steel components with the edgy and grungy look of exposed brick and distressed wood. 

In this article, we’ll lay down the 10 key characteristics that will help you recreate this interior design style in your home. We’ll also share styles that fall under this category.

Let’s get started!

What is modern industrial home design?

Industrial home design was born by chance. During the Industrial Revolution, factories were built in Western Europe and the US to support the manufacturing industry. Designed to last for ages, these facilities were composed mainly of metal, brick, and concrete. They also featured open, expansive layouts to encourage free movement.

As time passed, workplace trends shifted and these old factories were abandoned. Then, as a result of the housing shortage in the early 2000s, these closed-down buildings were converted into residential homes and apartments to give them a new lease on life.

Despite the change, some parts of the original facilities were left exposed, such as the piping, vents, and metal beams. Aside from serving an aesthetic purpose, these serve as reminders of the building’s past.

All of these events led to the rise of a new interior design style: industrial home design. It’s a unique style that makes industrial elements the focal point of a property’s design, resulting in a rugged, practical, yet charming aesthetic.

modern industrial living room

Key characteristics of industrial home design

Industrial home design has several characteristics that set it apart from other interior design styles. Here are some of its most notable features:

1. Pipes, ducts, and metal beams

Industrial home design is all about exposing parts of the house that are typically hidden, such as pipes, ducts, and metal beams. It doesn’t hide anything behind high-end finishes and fancy colours.

Having these left out in the open also adds charm and character to the space. In all-white rooms, for example, the presence of metal piping and beams adds contrast to the brightness of the walls.

industrial living room with concrete floor

2. Large and expansive layouts

Since industrial home design was inspired by warehouses and factories, it’s not uncommon for them to have large and expansive layouts. This layout is great for open-plan living and blending kitchen, dining, and living areas together.

open concept industrial home design

3. Wood and metal elements

Wood surfaces are common in industrial-style interiors, especially since they pair exceptionally well with metal pieces. They’re also great at warming up the space, because industrial interior elements may seem too cold and utilitarian on their own.

If you’re having trouble mixing and matching these items without making your design look haphazard, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional. Superdraft can connect you to thousands of interior design professionals who can help you have a one-of-a-kind and beautifully styled home.

wood and metal accents in industrial home

4. Exposed brick

Factory builders in the 18th century did away with the plaster that traditionally covered brick walls since it posed a fire hazard. That’s how exposed brick became a signature characteristic of industrial design.

In case exposed brick looks too raw for your taste, you can always paint it white to create a more polished look.

industrial home design with white brick

5. Concrete

Concrete flooring is the material of choice for industrial spaces because they’re designed to withstand heavy foot traffic. Not only that, they look amazing contrasted against brick, metal, and wood. 

If concrete flooring looks too cold and utilitarian for you, you can soften up the space by adding rugs and house plants.

modern living room with concrete floor

6. Repurposed materials and furniture

At its core, industrial home design is all about taking something vintage and repurposing it into something fresh and delightful. That’s why repurposed furniture is common in industrial style homes. 

Checking out your local flea market is a great way to find some vintage pieces you can add to your modern industrial home. Wooden carts, for example, can be repurposed and used as a centre table for a living room.

repurposed leather furniture and coffee table

7. Leather or linen furnishings

Using dark, worn-out leather furnishings is an excellent way to add warmth to a stark industrial-style home. These pieces give the space a unique “lived-in” feel and add lots of character.

Aside from leather furnishings, linen rugs and abstract art add warmth and personality to the space, without taking attention away from the industrial elements.

leather chair against white brick

8. Industrial-style lighting

Installing industrial-style lighting fixtures is a great way to keep your house in theme. One great idea is to use caged Edison light bulbs, which were commonly used for industrial spaces in the 19th and 20th centuries. What’s more, Edison bulbs come in various sizes and can be used in any type of room.

industrial lighting fixtures

9. Industrial-style accessories

The industrial elements in a home shouldn’t end with just your floors, walls, and furniture. Copper cookware, brass fixtures, and stainless steel appliances complete the modern industrial theme in the home.

10. Grid-frame windows

Black grid-frame windows are reminiscent of factories and warehouses, which is why they’re perfect for industrial home design. They’re also great at bringing in natural light and brightening up your space.

Industrial home design categories

Once you have the basics right, you can personalize your industrial interior design to fit your personal needs and taste. Here are some categories you can take inspiration from:

Pure industrial home design

Pure industrial design stays true to its roots. It keeps the unpolished look of brick and concrete but includes some comfortable furniture and soft rugs to warm up the space.

The colour palette for this style remains neutral. Use grey, black, brown, or white, then add copper, steel, or chrome finishes. Layer with soft décor like pillows or rugs to create a cosy feel.

pure industrial home design

Mid-century modern industrial home design

This style combines the raw and edgy look of industrial design with the classy and clean look of mid-century modern homes. While the pure industrial style would stick to a neutral palette, you’re free to be more creative when it comes to the mid-century modern industrial style.

Go for bold, bright colours for maximum impact. These hues look amazing contrasted against the muted grey or white colours of polished concrete. To take it even a step further, don’t be shy to add eye-catching modernist art or delightful house plants.

midcentury modern industrial home design

Minimal industrial home design

Industrial styles typically feature clean, straight lines that go impeccably well with modern minimalist designs. To recreate this look, keep walls and floors in their raw, untreated nature while adding some sleek metal accents. As with all iterations of minimalist designs, keep clutter out of sight and ensure that décor is kept at a bare minimum.

minimalist industrial home design

Industrial chic design

Industrial chic is for people who like the raw and edgy look of industrial lofts but want more fanciful finishes. Think warehouse meets wonderland.

To recreate this look, go for new and highly decorative furnishings. Don’t be shy to use a bright and eye-catching colour palette, as well.

industrial chic bedroom

Build your own industrial-style home

Industrial interior design brings a lot of character to one’s home. It highlights basic building materials like brick and cement and then combines them with leather, metal, and textile finishes to create a warm and welcoming interior.

In case you’re interested in building your own industrial-style abode, Superdraft is here to help. We can do the following:

  • Match you with a skilled building designer or draftsman who can bring your vision to life
  • Offer free quotes so you know exactly how much you can expect to spend on your project
  • Provide end-to-end project consultation and management so that the entire design and building process remains stress-free

Sign up for Superdraft now to get started. Designing and building your home is easy with our award-winning platform.

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