Industrial style has become increasingly popular in recent years. It first came about when vacant factories and other industrial buildings were converted into apartments. Instead of hiding the concrete floors, exposed walls and high ceilings of these buildings, designers chose to emphasise them. These days, industrial style is clearly influenced by Sun Life’s creative gallery. In addition, it also incorporates modern minimalism and unique vintage touches into its aesthetic.
Even if you live in a suburban terrace, rather than an inner-city loft conversion, it’s far easier than you might think to makeover your home in an industrial style.
Less is more
This is one of the most important maxims of industrial style. Begin your makeover by getting rid of all your excess clutter. Not only does this make your home feel more spacious, it also means that the statement pieces which characterise industrial style will have maximum impact.
‘Less is more’ also relates to furniture too. Strip back the components of each room to its bare essentials. A sofa, a couple of chairs, a small table and set of shelves is more than enough furniture for a living room, for example.
Expose those surfaces
One of the most well-known characteristics of industrial style is the fact it exposes the structural elements of a building that other design styles try to hide. Brickwork, beams and ceiling pipes are all left on show.
If you don’t want the messy job of removing the plaster from your walls, exposed brickwork wallpaper can be easily and cheaply purchased. This grey brick wallpaper from Next is but one of many examples.
Exposed brickwork on every wall of your house can be a little overkill. We recommend restricting it to one or two walls of a room and painting the rest white. This allows you to contrast the smooth with the rough. A variety of textures is integral to industrial style.
Bare floors are another aspect of industrial style, so pull up the carpets and get sanding those floorboards. Concrete or stone tiles are also popular flooring options, with area rugs in living room and bedroom areas, to add comfort.
Keep it neutral
Another noticeable aspect of industrial design is that it rarely involves the use of bright, vivid colours. Instead, it uses a neutral palette. The colours of brick, stone and wood are combined with cream, white, tan and grey to create a clean and inviting look. Against this neutral background, anything with a vibrant colour creates an immediate and striking statement.
Light it up
Industrial style rooms are often very well-lit, using a combination of natural light alongside statement fixtures. Pendant lights with warm bulbs help to preserve an industrial feel and create an ambient glow. Freestanding vintage lamps also make great individual pieces. Take a look at the products offered by Industville, a company specialising in industrial and vintage lighting, for inspiration.
Industrial style is a very environmentally-friendly aesthetic, since even the most unlikely of items can be upcycled into something new and exciting. Old railway sleepers and other pieces of reclaimed timber can be easily mounted on brackets to make shelves, just as wine crates make great storage containers. Visiting local reclamation yards and flea markets can yield lots of rewarding items, for little cost.
There are lots of upcycling ideas available online. 1001 Pallets has a wealth of different ideas for making furniture from pallets and other wood, including a table from a discarded cable reel.
Of course, it’s up to you how you choose to decorate your home. Industrial style is full of character, so have fun dreaming up ideas and let your personality shine through.