Industrial Chic :: Utilitarian, Simple + Natural

via bleach.noir.tumblr

via bleach.noir.tumblr

The style known as “Industrial Chic” has been growing in popularity with the increasing conversion of former warehouse, factory and loft spaces to residential homes and work spaces. “Utilitarian,” “simple,” and “natural” are all great words to describe the style.  It is a simple and clean look with a focus on function.

design :: tiltpixel

design :: tiltpixel

Industrial Chic interiors often feature wide open spaces and leave the bones and raw materials of the space exposed and intentionally on display.  The style is definitely on the more masculine side but can be softened through layering and texture -- texture is very important in Industrial Chic decor as the color palette is fairly neutral.  The exposed building materials, like brick, stone, copper, steel concrete and corrugated metal supply a lot of texture, but you can bring in even more through textiles and different finishes.

Industrial Chic showcases neutral colors with cool undertones, utilitarian objects and wood and metal surfaces.  Materials you often seen in this style include ::

  • Steel

  • Cast Iron

  • Exposed Brick

  • Stone

  • Reclaimed/Aged Wood

  • Distressed Wood Finishes

As I mentioned above, the Industrial Chic palette leans towards neutral colors with cool undertones.  When deciding your palette, take cues from the colors of the original materials present, like exposed brick, steel, stone, pipes, etc.  You can use different shades of the same color to keep the space from looking one-dimensional.  If this color scheme feels a little too tame for you, bring in saturated colors for contrast/impact.

Flooring plays a big part in the Industrial Chic look.  Options include concrete {textured or smooth} or reclaimed/distressed wood.  Rugs are key too -- they help define “zones” in large, open spaces and they can soften the look as well.  Rugs are also important for acoustic reasons as they can dampen the sound of your heels click-clacking {your downstairs neighbors will thank you!}

When looking at finishes, choose matte finishes with a slight patina {or the ability to develop a patina.} Distressed finishes are also a key component of the style.  A little bit of rust here and there works too.

image via shelterness.com

image via shelterness.com

“Utilitarian” is a buzzword when it comes to the Industrial Chic style -- utilitarian pieces showcase the interplay between pure form and function.  A great way to incorporate this idea is through both industrial furnishings and salvage items.  Salvage items can be repurposed as furnishings {a car wheel as a table base} or displayed as collections.  Old workbenches, desks, and steel chairs are great furniture options.  A few ideas for  collections would be vintage typewriters, small gears, or letters from a vintage printing press.  You can find art pieces made of salvage items as well, like this horse made of scrap metal and salvaged gears.  Wouldn't it look amazing in a loft!?  It's so tall it would really require a space with very high ceilings!

photo :: brett valenstein

photo :: brett valenstein

design :: brett valenstein

design :: brett valenstein

A good example of industrial-style furnishings is a kitchen island I designed for a client who was looking for an Industrial Chic aesthetic.  I incorporated industrial workbench legs on locking casters {the client wanted the island to be multipurpose and mobile} with shop drawers and a shelf of reclaimed wood.  The top used a sheet of Chemetal { a laminate that looks like metal} topped with glass.

If you aren’t ready to go all-in on the industrial look, incorporate a piece here and there in a room to give the industrial chic vibe, like a wood pallet repurposed as a coffee table or an old steel map drawer cabinet as a sideboard.  Lighting is a great option if you aren’t willing to fully commit to the look.

Here are some more photos of Industrial Chic interiors to inspire you!

Soho House Chicago, designed by Vicky Charles.  Seen in Architectural Digest

Soho House Chicago, designed by Vicky Charles.  Seen in Architectural Digest

The contrast of the aged tin ceiling and concrete columns with the crystal chandeliers is oh so Industrial Chic!

Soho House Chicago, designed by Vicky Charles.  Seen in Architectural Digest.

Soho House Chicago, designed by Vicky Charles.  Seen in Architectural Digest.

design :: jute design

design :: jute design

image via forbes.com

image via forbes.com

design :: jane kim

design :: jane kim

This bedroom is the perfect example of how to display utilitarian/salvage/vintage collections {the clocks over the bed and the trunks at the foot of the bed.}  Notice the old set of lockers used as a bedside table to the right of the bed...so cool!

industrial+chic+bedroom+brettVdesign
via designspiration.com

via designspiration.com

The combination of the lighting, steel bookshelves, vintage file cabinets and workbench-style table make this office Industrial Chic.

image via bleach.noir.tumblr

image via bleach.noir.tumblr

image via decoholic.com

image via decoholic.com

image via portandquarter.com

image via portandquarter.com

design :: the kitchen place

design :: the kitchen place

I'm in love with the series of pendants with exposed bulbs in this loft space!

image via gary422.tumblr

image via gary422.tumblr

image via modish.com

image via modish.com

Here is a perfect example of how to incorporate some Industrial Chic into your space when you don't live in a loft with all kinds of exposed pipes, brick, etc.  The steel cabinet adds a hint of masculinity alongside the white upholstered furniture.

image via shelterness.com

image via shelterness.com

image via shelterness.com

image via shelterness.com

design :: philpotts

design :: philpotts

I love the mis-matched vintage workbenches used as kitchen islands and the series of industrial-style pendant lights help tie the two pieces beneath them together.

image via emosheep-giftsandinteriors.com

image via emosheep-giftsandinteriors.com

image via trendland.com

image via trendland.com

photo :: marte maria forsberg photography

photo :: marte maria forsberg photography

industrial+chic+kitchen+brettVdesign
image via interiordecodir.com

image via interiordecodir.com

image via shelterness.com

image via shelterness.com

design :: marius haverkamp

design :: marius haverkamp

design :: tommy hein architects

design :: tommy hein architects


disclaimer :: all images on this blog are copyrighted by their respective owners.  i do not own any of the images posted unless otherwise stated.  if you see your work on my site without proper credit or you would like it removed, please contact me.