Types of Industrial Interior Design

Rose Morrison

Dec 3, 2020


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Industrial interior design offers multiple advantages. It’s functional and provides a place for everything. It’s also simplistic — you don’t need a degree or artistic talent to achieve a chic pad. 

What are the types of industrial interior design? Several elements come together to complete the look. Here’s an overview of this style and how you can incorporate such a theme into your decor. 

Industrial Interior Design Defined

Industrial interior design draws inspiration from urban lofts and combines modern chic with a cozy, lived-in look. It’s ideal for today’s eco-friendly lifestyle enthusiasts because it incorporates salvaged and recycled materials along with exposed metal and brick. 

However, please don’t assume that you can’t embrace this style if you live in a rural farmhouse instead of a downtown studio. Once you embrace industrial design’s critical components, you can make the look work anywhere you want a functional yet comfortable space. 

8 Components of Industrial Interior Design 

Like other interior design types, industrial decor consists of numerous principal components. Here are eight of the elements to emulate when bringing this style into your home. 

1. Exposed Pipes

industrial exposed white pipes

If you spring a leak, you’ll know it with industrial interior design. Instead of utilizing architectural elements such as drop ceilings to conceal your home’s inner workings, they bring them out and let them shine. 

However, exposed doesn’t mean looking all nasty. What if you live in a cold climate? You don’t want your pipes to freeze in the winter. 

Good news — keeping them exposed helps to prevent damage. Experts often recommend keeping cabinet doors open in the cold season to stave off pipe freezing. As long as you keep the heat on in your pad, your plumbing will stay cozy.

However, if you are on such a strict power budget that you wear gloves in your house, you can wrap them. You’ll need to go the extra mile to find attractive coverings. 

2. Metal on Doors and Walls

a blue steel door with vines growing around it

Are you into heavy metal? You don’t necessarily need to bang your head to get into industrial interior design. You do, however, need to let this material shine on your doors and walls. 

Think about a warehouse — you often see walls lined with metal shelves for holding goods. You want to emulate the same with your look, although your versions might display favorite books or your diecast car collection. 

Do you have a steel entry door? Then you can put your paintbrush away. Leaving it au natural will work seamlessly with industrial design. 

3. Neutral Color Palette 

neutral industrial interior design features

While you will find occasional splashes of vibrant hues in industrial interior design, most of your palette should consist of neutral tones. In keeping with the warehouse motif, you’ll see plenty of grays and beiges.

One characteristic that differentiates industrial interior design from modern is that you’ll seldom see an all black-and-white palette. However, that isn’t to say you can’t use these tones for accents. While you don’t typically worry about trim with this design style, your tables and chairs might feature black legs. 

4. Functional Furniture

an industrial bedroom with a black stool and white bed

In the workplace, you marry form and function, and so does industrial design. Instead of a pricey leather office chair, you might sit on a metal stool like an architect or assembly line worker.

Part of the charm of industrial interior design is its utility. Expect to find end tables that double as storage bins and beds with built-in drawers for stashing your Superman underwear collection. 

5. Clean Lines

a black and white industrial bedroom with clean lines in the decor

As with other minimalist styles like Scandinavian, you’ll find smooth, clean lines in industrial architecture. However, think slightly boxy and machine-like instead of softer, rounded versions inspired by nature. 

Here, too, you’ll find metallic inspirations. You might find an old-fashioned teacher desk at a rummage sale — it fits perfectly with this decorating style. 

6. Vintage Touches

An industrial setting with a vintage record player and record

Remember — industrial design features recycled and repurposed items, so you will see the occasional vintage touch. An old-fashioned well pump handle instead of a traditional faucet? Yes, please. 

Remember, too, that splashes of color can break up the monochromatic warehouse-esque landscape. You could refinish a vintage Radio Flyer wagon and use it as a stylish storage bin. 

7. Bright Lighting

an industrial accented bedroom with large bright windows and dangling lights

You need to see what you’re working on, so expect plenty of bright lights in industrial design. True to the pragmatic nature of this style, you’ll find single bulbs dangling from long stems. You’ll also see refurbished lamps from yesteryear. 

You also want to make the most of natural light. You won’t find dark window coverings — single-pull blind reign supreme if you use interior fixtures at all. You’ll also find features like metal exterior shutters in some lofts.

8. Copper Tone Accents

an industrial living room with copper and red accents

Early industrial design often features a nearly monochromatic grey look. However, copper — as in pipes — now makes an appearance. 

However, you won’t see elaborate stamped copper ceilings — the color serves as an accent. You may find it around kitchen sinks. 

9. Minimalist Flooring and Textiles

industrial living room with a concrete floor and a rug

Finally, you won’t need to spend a fortune on flooring with this interior design type. You might do little more than epoxy the concrete and add the occasional throw rug for variety. 

Other flooring choices include hardwood and tile, in keeping with the warehouse theme. You’ll rarely see carpeting or vinyl — sharp objects would damage such floor coverings in a shop setting. 

Getting Started With Industrial Interior Design

If you want to embrace industrial interior design, here are five steps that you can take to incorporate this style. 

  • Show Your Pipes: If you have a drop ceiling, consider removing it — especially if doing so exposes your plumbing. 
  • Paint Your Cabinets: While you can leave cabinetry plain with only a varnish coat as in Scandinavian design, you can add a coat of paint. Remember, think warehouse — look for soft gray hues. 
  • Scour Secondhand Stores: If you are savvy with repurposing, you will adore industrial interior design. Start scouring your favorite thrift shops for vintage treasures to enhance your look. 
  • Seek Going Out of Business Sales: Remember, this style draws inspiration from urban warehouses and business centers. You might furnish everything except maybe your bedroom from a single fire sale. 
  • Make Your Abode More Rugged: Industrial design embraces functional style. Feel free to bring your bike indoors and use it as a work of art. 

Incorporate These Types of Industrial Interior Design in Your Next Remodel

Industrial interior design offers the ideal blend of functionality and practicality. Embrace this type of style today and transform your living space.

Interested in learning about other types of design styles? Check out our list of the top interior design styles here!

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