words Alexa Wang
Industrial style loft lighting – Image Courtesy of Pixabay
Authentic industrial decor is trendy these days. The style came into being in the mid-90s and into the 2000s as old warehouse renovations became a popular living choice on the alt-scene. Today, the style remains a popular choice for millennials and high-paid single professionals.
Industrial decor relies on making an impact. The style lends itself well to large and heavy accessories such as solid wood shelving, pipes, and exposed ventilation ducts. Some might be practical and useful, while others are purely decorative. However, either way, these items will need securing correctly. So it’s best to source reliable fittings that suit the industrial decor style, such as rustic lipped brackets, galvanised steel bolts, and cantilever support arms. You can find suitable items that look good and provide practicality from industrial suppliers and DIY stores.
There’s far more to the trendy industrial style than exposed frames and minimalism. The technique itself is typically a reflection of a particular lifestyle. It’s usually associated with people on the art scene, alternative living, and those actively pursuing a sustainable life with a minimal carbon footprint. However, its complex design style draws most of its inspiration from warehouse settings. But adapts the practicality into functional space while maintaining the aesthetic. Check out Pinterest for inspiring industrial decor ideas before reaching for the colour charts.
There are many elements to a great industrial look. But depending on your choice between classic and modern industrial, there might be differences. For instance, modern industrial might incorporate composite woods and polished metals. While classic will reuse natural wood and restore metal fittings. However, one design aesthetic is universal in industrial style, and that’s exposed brickwork. Exposed brickwork looks stunning in any room. But it matches the tones of industrial perfectly. And the bigger, the better. So strip back the drywall where you can.
The industrial style is all about marrying function with form. And there’s no better way to see this in action than by stripping back all the modern elements of a structure. Exposing the inner workings in this way not only looks stunning when done right but lets you use items at their core. Like a skeleton chronograph watch, it’s only when you see the inner workings of something that you truly appreciate the work that goes into it. The raw elements of a room, such as wooden or steel beams, wire, and wood staircases, and brickwork, are the heart of industrial.
When you want the industrial style, it can be tricky to make it look good, despite its perceived simplicity. Especially if your home is modern. But even if you live in a loft, you can enhance your industrial style with authentic industrial items or manufactured from various sources:
- Flea markets: these are great for unique antique or older items.
- Abandoned sites: go picking at a site but get permission, or it’s just theft.
- Homestyle retailers: retailers like Ikea and The Range stock the style.
- Upcycling sites: many specialists make use of older items in new ways.
- Request an item: you can commission pieces from artists and crafters on Etsy.
You can order industrial items from retailers taking advantage of interest in the style. While these items might look great and reflect the style, they may not be authentic. For more authentic items, you can use sites like eBay and check out known pick sites and flea markets.
Lighting is essential in your home. And there are tons of options and ideas you can use. However, the industrial style is slightly different from others in that it looks better with toned-down lighting. The typically darker hues and natural materials are complemented better with a warm glow rather than sharper stylistic lighting patterns. For instance, you can achieve a much more authentic look with soft orange lighting from low-hanging pendants than highly-placed white light spots. But of course, it’s all about how you balance the layers of your lighting design throughout.
The solid form of the industrial style demands a more robust and bolder aesthetic. Because of this, you don’t need to be scared of going large when designing an industrial room. After all, there’s usually a lot of space to cover. For instance, exposing a massive brickwork feature wall can dwarf everything in the room. So you need something to break it up, like a masterful sculpture made from pipes. Or an oversized piece of modern art. Because of the excessive area, you can have fun playing with large items you wouldn’t usually see in a living space.
The industrial style looks fantastic when it’s perfectly executed. Yet it emphasises the practicality of “made-to-last” materials rather than how they look. Therefore, how you will use something should be your first thought, not the style. Clean lines and simple shapes are, of course, the main focal points of industrial. Yet everything has its place. Every fitting can hold something, and all components can be used. Try to include as much of the original barebones of a room into the overall design. Without overthinking about the final look, focus more on the feel.
Like every other style, industrial relies on a specific palette for the best aesthetic results. The man-made and natural materials often used in the industrial style complement each other perfectly. Powdered black, grey, and brown are the most commonly found on fittings, piping, and brick. And these work well with Earthy and natural tones. Deep reds, burnt oranges, and browns are excellent colours for industrial. However, you can use more ambitious colours with the style. Whites and greens complement traditional industrial hues when used sparingly in a room.
Despite its apparent simplicity, it can be tricky to attain an authentic industrial decor style. There is much more to it than showing bricks and pipes. To complete the look of an industrial decorating project, you need quality fittings, original items, and a sophisticated colour palette.