Beginning in 1760, the Industrial Revolution transformed the economy with the boom of machine production, iron manufacturing, and factory systems. However, the economy was not the only thing transformed by the Industrial Revolution. The world of interior design is still largely influenced by the aesthetic of those historic commercial buildings, even 261 years later. Here is everything you need to know about industrial interior design and how to accomplish it in your own space.
With the rise of globalization in the 1900s, many businesses decided to relocate internationally. This meant that a number of sizable factory spaces in urban areas were left vacant and brimming with opportunity. Eventually, city dwellers seized the opportunity to convert the factory spaces into livable homes and lofts. Nonetheless, the spaces often maintained the rough, open, utilitarian feel of the factories that preceded them. This style grew in popularity, even outside of urban areas, which led to the term “industrial interior design.” Simply put, industrial interior design means “reminiscent of the original factory buildings.”
When striving for an industrial interior that feels simultaneously modern and inviting, there are two easy starting points.
Use materials commonly found in factories- Decor Aid notes, “wood, aluminum, iron, steel, tin, stone, [concrete] and copper are go-to materials for enviable industrial style homes.” You can incorporate these elements with a sleek stone counter top, concrete flooring, or wirey metal light fixtures.
Keep an open floor plan- Large, open spaces are characteristic of factories, so seek to maximize the empty spaces in your own home. If you have limited real estate to work with, decorating minimally will create the illusion of an expansive floor plan.
Your color palette should remain relatively neutral with a touch of moody hues and warm tones. The warm colors, like that of brick or copper, offer a respite from a potentially cold-feeling room. Alternatively, you can opt to bring in a large piece of colorful, abstract art to offset the modern atmosphere.
Do not cover up brick- If you are one of the fortunate few to have exposed brick already installed in your space, do not attempt to cover it up! Brick is one of the cornerstones of industrial designs, as it adds welcome character, texture, and warmth. However, if brick is not your style, a simple coat of white paint will neutralize the color but maintain the texture.
Do not stress over imperfections- Industrial design embraces distressed wood and reclaimed materials. If your wooden chair has a chip in it or if your leather sofa is worn down, even better!
Whether you are looking to add a hint of industrial flavor or go full silk-mill-chic with your space, hopefully this article equips you with the tools to do what is right for you.
Also read: Executing a Minimalist Design