What was called a “warehouse look” in layman terms, used to be seen only in enormous top-floor, attic apartments of those who usually could not afford anything else. However, times have changed and this brave and bold look can be found within the walls of some of the most expensive mansions all around the world. Modern architects prefer to expose, rather than hide; they combine neutral with utilitarian, wooden with metal, thus celebrating humble materials, showcasing amazing interplay between form and fiction. What used to be considered unfinished and cold is actually modern, innovative, unassuming and rather comfortable place you can proudly call home.
Exposed pipes and ducts
First signature element that every industrial look must contain are the pipes and ducts that are usually hidden behind the thick walls. It started as a necessity when people had to redecorate old warehouses and turn them into living spaces, and slowly became one of the most popular interior design ideas among those who seek out what appears to be “unfinished” look. It is also a smart choice for all-white spaces, as bright walls are a fabulous contrast to metal piping, providing even more light to the room, making it look visually bigger. Some people even incorporate old pipes into the furniture, so they use metal brackets and tubes to make one of a kind shelves, chairs, tables and even stairs.
Vintage furniture & accessories
Since what is usually concealed is already exposed, industrial design requires you to take a step further and experiment when it comes to furniture. But be careful, experimenting in this case does not refer to color and extravagant furniture pieces, but rather simple and neutral ones found at a local thrift shop. Old wooden coffee table surrounded with modern leather furniture, old TV turned into a retro bar or an old sawing machine you found at your grandmother’s attic, there is a place for everything that could in a way be called second-hand.
Even though industrial spaces are usually quite bright, exposed electrical fixtures are still an important element to be incorporated in such homes. The options are numerous: you can choose to set up simple, old, iron triangular chandeliers above your kitchen island, or stretch cables across the entire ceiling just to have light bulbs hand in the middle of the room. Classical metal wall fixtures are also quite frequently found in industrially designed spaces that blend with white walls and exposed piping.
Metal surfaces prevail together with wooden ones thus creating the perfect contrast, so in an industrially designed space you are bound to see metal ceiling in combination with wooden flooring, but sometimes even vice versa. Earthly green and brown, as well as many light neutral tones are the most popular color choices, with grey being the most prominent one, creating a bit uniform, but extremely chic and modern home.
In enormous open-plan rooms, tiles and concrete are the most common choices for flooring. However, for those who prefer warmer colors, wooden and rubber ones are usually the alternative. But what is important is that the industrial design does not allow any rugs, even if you complain about the cold feet, and in that case, floor heating is your only option. Small portable mats are tolerated, but only on those places in your home that require you to stand for a longer period of time, like in the kitchen when washing the dishes. But only then. Once you are finished, they lose their purpose and must be removed for the sake of the amazing design.
Neutral tones, whites and grays, together with wooden floors, metal fixtures, pipes and mats are the signature elements of the industrial design. It gives your home a uniform look that still allows you to experiment with old and retro furniture, as well as add a couple of your own DIY projects. Show that you are bold and brave by exposing what is usually concealed, blending it all in one neutral earthly color.