Industrial style is an interior design trend that harks back to a golden age of factories and industrial spaces.
Whilst its been around for a while now, it's certainly a style that isn't going away any time soon. Much of its appeal lies in its practicality, with sturdy materials and hard surfaces creating a living space that is easy to maintain and effortlessly stylish.
An industrial style living space
This style owes much to the regeneration of old industrial warehousing during the 1980s. Instead of rebuilding from new, many of these buildings were sympathetically repurposed into living spaces, designed to accentuate their original features rather than conceal them. This type of housing became synonymous with the "yuppie", the youthful, upwardly mobile sector who had plenty of cash to burn, and, as a result, the look became fashionable and something to aspire to.
The look has certainly become more refined over time and is set to be major trend this summer, but you don't have to own an arty Brooklyn loft space to create your very own industrial-inspired home. With the right living furniture, fittings and accessories, you can really make industrial style work for you.
One of the key elements in achieving this style is the use of weathered surfaces such as wood, to create a proper lived-in feel. Your wood should preferably be on the rough and worn side, and will bring some warmth to a design that could otherwise look cold and utilitarian. However, other weathered materials can be used to achieve the same desired affect, such as copper piping or cast iron radiators.
If real wood flooring proves too expensive, you can easily fake it, with wood-effect vinyl flooring that comes in a range of finishes.
If you're lucky enough to live in a home with traditional masonry, you can ask a builder to knock off the plasterwork and reveal the brickwork in all its glory (it may need repointing to tidy it up, and will definitely need sealing to make it stable and waterproof).
Exposed brickwork or plain painted walls in either white or grey are ideal. You don't want any fussy patterns or designs that will attract the eye away from the metal or wood elements.
Exposed brickwork can be simply left in its natural state or painted to suit your room decor
When it comes to adding items of furniture, the emphasis is firmly on reclaimed and crafted items. Chests of drawers and wheeled furniture can really add focus to your room, whilst providing some much needed storage space. Keep your soft furnishings simple, suave and sophisticated, rather than overly opulent.
The Sawyer storage rack features reclaimed gas pipes and timber for an authentically repurposed style
Lighting and colours
When it comes to lighting your home in an industrial style, you can really go to town. Chrome fittings and halogen lamps will fit the look perfectly, along with copper or other metal designs.
A tonal colour scheme will certainly help to enhance the atmosphere. White and grey paints are ideal for surfaces, whilst lighter woods are better than darker finishes, to keep things feeling inviting rather than oppressive.
When accessorising your look, it's all too easy to go overboard. So keep it simple. A thoughtful display of urban prints or a mid-century desk lamp may be more impactful than a whole collection of random objects.
A hallway bench, like the one above, can be so much more than seating, providing a handy place to hang coats and store shoes.
If you love the industrial style, why not discover how you can create a Soft Industrial bathroom?