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How to Decorate with Industrial Style

Do you love exposed brick? What about concrete floors or stainless steel counter tops?  If you are drawn to these elements then industrial style may be your jam.  Industrial style is all about metals, stone, and texture.  It is a masculine style, but can be made to feel more feminine by using different textures to soften the look.

Industrial style by itself is a foundation style.  You may like characteristics of other design styles that can be mixed with this foundation style and that is okay.  Later in this series we will be talking about “speciality” styles that build on a foundation style, but for today we are only going to focus on how to decorate in industrial style.

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How to decorate any space with industrial style.

What is industrial style?

Industrial style is a throwback to the industrial revolution by using exposed brick and piping and rough woods to define your space. Think converted warehouse or loft.  Often considered cold, sterile, and functional, the furnishings you choose and decor you pick will make this design style homey and inviting.

You don’t have to live in a converted warehouse or loft to have this style in your home.  With some careful thought and ingenuity you can transform any space into an industrial looking space.

Paint

Cool, neutral grays.  Blue grays.  Green grays.  These all make me think industrial.  Starting with the right color on the wall is the foundation to building your industrial space, but don’t think you have to use just gray!  Soft whites and darker charcoals will really make your space pop depending on wether or not you have a lot of natural light.  Choose lighter colors if you are natural light poor.

Industrial design, what you need to know to design your space

Flooring

Reclaimed wood, concrete, or brick are the best choices of flooring for industrial style.  Concrete can be polished or stained for a more finished look, reclaimed wood or brick will add warmth and character to the space.

Concrete is very utilitarian and cold.  Warm it up by adding a stain or with some cozy area rugs.  Reclaimed wood floors will add instant character to your industrial space.  Don’t be afraid to let them be imperfect, it will add to the charm.  Brick floors will also add tons of character to your space, but perhaps just in a kitchen, bathroom, or entryway.  Lay them in a unique pattern to up the quirky factor.

Concrete floors are utilitarian but warm them up with some stain.
Photo: HGTV, Denver Design Build

 

Reclaimed wood floors instantly warm up industrial design
Photo: HGTV, Todd Davis

Industrial Style Furniture

Warming up an industrial space is as simple as adding texture.  This begins with the right furniture choices.  You will want to choose leather couches or low profile fabric couches with metal accents.  The same thing applies for chairs. Think comfy and full of character.

Metal framed book shelves, and tables with rough warm wood tones make great accent pieces.  You may feel that metal framed furniture is cold and uninviting, but it is what you put on it that will help warm up the space.

Decor Accessories

Now that you have your foundation pieces, it is time to add in accessories.  Incorporate soft textures to create a homey feel.  This is also the time to add some color to liven it up!  Brass and copper accents are a great way to add warmth into the space too.

Books on the book shelves, plants (real or faux), soft plush throws and textured pillows will have your space feeling inviting in no time!  Decorating book shelves can be a challenge, but in THIS POST I show you how to style them to make them a focal point in your space.

We have talked about how to warm up an industrial space, but what if you don’t want to warm it up?  Industrial style is fundamentally minimalist and utilitarian and if that is the look you want, then I say go for it!  Minimalism is making a comeback and less stuff means less fuss.

You don’t have to live in a loft in New York City to have industrial design, any space can be decorated in industrial style.  Its all about beginning with the foundation elements and adding to them.

Is industrial design for you?  What do you like most about industrial style?  I would love to hear all about it in the comments below.

Don’t know what your design style is?  Take my Design Style Quiz and let’s get you on your way to creating a home you love.

Until next time,

Susanne

What you need to know to decorate with industrial style
What you need to know to decorate with industrial style

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How to decorate your room with industrial style

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29 Comments

  1. Love this post and I am amazed at my greenness to design. My son’s new room is going to be this style! I thought it would be rugged enough to deal with his active teen person and look cool with all of his instruments. Going to show him the palette and see what he thinks.

    Pam

    1. This is a great style for a teen’s bedroom!! He will be the coolest kid around with this bedroom!! I can’t wait to see how it looks when it is all done!!

  2. I can’t tell you now nice it is to see all of these details in one spot. We have no style in this house. Although, I’d like to think we are surrounded by things we like, there is no cohesion whatsoever. We definitely like the Industrial look along with MCM, and vintage but, can’t even “see” it in our house 😉 Thanks for this information and I’ll be pinning & sharing!

    1. Thank you Angie!! I hope this helps you!! It sounds like you are modern vintage industrial and those styles all play great together!! Start with small things first and if you need any help let me know!! 🙂

  3. Hi Susanne: I kind of had an idea of what industrial style was, but now I know much more. Personally I am too girlie girl to have this style. Well done post. I wasn’t aware of most of these retailers. Going to check them out. Leanna

    1. Hi Leanna! Thanks so much for stopping by! It definitely isn’t girly although it can be made more feminine 🙂 Stay tuned, I am sure I will be discussing a more girly style in the weeks to come 😉

  4. Susanne, Thanks so much for hosting! You are singing my tune with this post! I just want to buy everything- I LOVE it! Thanks for a great explanation of this style!!

    1. Thank you for checking it out!! Aren’t those decor items awesome!!! Have a great rest of the week 🙂

  5. Love the industrial style! Half the time I’m doing a home decor project I’m trying to decide to go for farmhouse or industrial style haha. This is a great guide for future projects. Thanks! {Coming in from #ccblogparty}

    1. Briana, I am the same way!!! A lot times I feel I am vintage industrial farmhouse, lol!! I just can’t do the all white and neutral thing, I love some color and we have a lot of wood that my husband will not let me paint! Check out my industrial board on pinterest for even more inspiration and ideas! Thanks for coming to the party!!

  6. “Industrial design style is casual and minimalist.” Now you’ve got my attention! The wall map is so beautiful!!! What a great post!

    1. Hi Jen! Thank you for stopping by, isn’t that map amazing?!! I am wondering if I can persuade my hubby to add one to a wall in our family room 😉

  7. Great post. You’ve shown how great industrial style can look. I am really beginning to love this style because it seems that the pieces are so versatile and just plain old fun. I look forward to reading your other posts as well since I am new to the blogging scene. Thanks for your time and efforts. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thank you so much Sara! Industrial style is fun, I love mixing the old vintage industrial pieces into my decor. Thanks so much for stopping by, have a great rest of your week!

  8. I really enjoyed reading this post and you have also made me want to add another style to my oh so eclectic home. I’m absolutely loving some of those chairs! 🙂

    1. I know Sam! Aren’t they just the coolest chairs ever?!! The navy with the nailhead trim is my favorite!!

  9. I love exposed brick. I loved the picture you posted that had the map accent wall. I love maps so this sort of wall would be amazing in my home.

    1. I am glad you found some inspiration in my post! Please let me know if you get that map wall, I would love to see it!!

  10. Susanne this was a great read, thank you for going over industrial design. I keep telling people my style is industrial farmhouse and I get very odd looks. Now I will just refer them to your post. 😃

  11. I seriously love the industrial style look. There is something about it that just grabs my attention. Thanks for all of the links and information on how to tie the look together so give it a softer more welcoming feeling.

  12. Such an informative post! I like how minimalistic it is but still pops out because of the retro feel. I think I may have found the new design of my room. Lol!

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