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Industrial Design Styles


What is Industrial Style?

Industrial style is a no-fuss, no-nonsense style that takes its influence from factories, warehouses and other industrial buildings. Think stripped-back architecture with lots of bare brick, wood and metal, utilitarian surfaces, salvaged objects and no pretension whatsoever. Furniture should be hardwearing and, in many cases discovered in reclamation yards. It gives you a great opportunity to customise your interior as much of your décor and furniture will be unique to you.

However, if you’re incorporating industrial style into your home, you’ll still want it to be comfortable. Although everything should be trimmed of excess, you can still have padded seats — just go for simple, solid upholstery in neutral colours and natural textures.


What are the key characteristics?

If you’re creating industrial style in your own home, you’ll need to think about these characteristics to make sure you get it spot on.


No plush, luxe fabrics here, thank you! This is where you go for your utilitarian, hardworking materials, preferably given a new lease of life from the salvage yard. Look for tin, steel, iron, aluminium, wood, stone and copper as principle materials and work from them. Think worn wooden or metal floors, bare steel beams, and stone counter tops.


You generally should stick to a palette of neutrals and greys for industrial style, but there’s some manoeuvrability to add splashes of other colours too. The odd splash of a pop art bright can prove a great contrast, just be sure not to overdo it.


As you’d imagine for an industrial style, shapes are generally quite blocky and square to promote the utilitarian style. This doesn’t mean you can’t have any curves, but they should be kept to a minimum to preserve the look of the style.


Again, the tone for industrial style in minimal so accessories shouldn’t be too many or too fussy. Instead, look for beautiful but edgy artwork such as mixed media sculptures, vintage road signs huge abstract artworks and even found items rescued from the reclamation yard. The overall effect is cool and masculine.


Are there any top tips for achieving industrial style?

Sara Corker has three top tips for achieving the industrial style look in your home:

  • Go open plan. Industrial spaces are usually large and cavernous so the style works best in open plan rooms. To avoid the space looking overwhelmingly big, use strategically chosen furniture to break it up and create new areas.
  • Make sure lighting is on-theme. Ideally your lighting should be metal and you will be using a mix of floor lamps and pendants. Pendants should be low-hanging with wide shades and floor lamps look best when directional. Many shops sell this style, but reclaimed lighting will give the best effect.
  • While wooden floor is a popular industrial style staple, the best look to go for is polished concrete if you have the means to do this in your home. Polished concrete can look beautiful and gives a great finish.

If you would like to discuss industrial style with an interior design expert, you can contact Sara Corker Designs on 01883 742786 or email us.

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