Industrial styling is an interior design style that takes inspiration from old factories and industrial spaces. Born out of the need to convert inner city industrial spaces into homes for a new generation of home owners who want to live amongst the hustle and bustle of city living. First established in the big urban American cities such as New York where space is a premium, the style has seen an increase in popularity, spreading worldwide and developing over the years.
The style mixes raw materials and worn textures, taking character from the existing weathered featured of a building. It can be known to have a masculine feel due to the rawness and hard materials used.
Industrial styling is all about the mixture of materials used and the contrast between old and new. Focusing on original, weathered materials that have an individual feel to them really adds to the authenticity of the project.
Reclaimed materials can be used to achieve a sense of uniqueness that can’t be replicated with new materials.
Tips on achieving an industrial look
The ideal space to create an industrial look has always been a converted loft style apartment. These spaces obviously had an air of openness with their expansive floor space and high ceilings. If you don’t have this amount of free space then it is important to focus on making the space you have feel more open. This can be achieved by including negative space, keeping things minimal and not over filling the room with clutter. Try to purchase items which double up in both usage and aesthetic appeal.
Our range of brick slips are the perfect solution to create an exposed brick wall to really get that original industrial feel. A brick feature wall can act as the base to build an industrial theme on. Our recommendation for achieving this look would be our Reclaimed Barnstock brick slips. Made from an original reclaimed brick, this brick slip is our most popular type and works great for the industrial style as these bricks mostly come from old factories and mills built in the late 1800s to early 1900s.
Your choice of pointing mortar can really change the style of a project. A darker mortar can add to an industrial style but be wary of making things too dark in a small area.
Another example of how the pointing mortar can change the feel of a project is how it is applied. Using a messier joint and having some of the mortar on the faces of the bricks you can make the feature wall look more original. Remember that when these old buildings were originally made, the bricklayers were not bothered by how the walls looked internally so much of brickwork is imperfect and full of character. Check out this case study where the installers created a similar look by applying this mortar technique to great effect.
A technique which can really bring the industrial look to an interior design project is ghost writing. Ghost writing is the name given to old advertising that can still be found today painted on the sides of old buildings. Think vintage Americana, This style of artwork can be applied to exposed brickwork to bring some old school charm. Check out our blog post for some great examples.
Vintage industrial lighting is an easy solution to add that industrial charm to your project. Many lighting companies now specialise in retro and industrial feature lights that use weathered metallics such as steel and copper. These lights can be paired with warm white Edison style bulbs that are a statement feature on their own.
An easy way to add a hint of the industrial look is to add a touch of black. In recent years we’ve seen a huge increase in the popularity of black framed interior doors and windows especially in the crittal style. These slim profile frames give a cool, modern edge but also open up spaces by letting more light in.
Adding black elements doesn’t have to be done on such a big scale. You can easily add smaller touches such as accessories and lighting. Perhaps you already have some accessories that would look great given a matte black makeover. This can be achieved using a spray paint such as Rust-Oleum’s Matt Black Painter’s Touch Spray Paint.
A few vintage accesories dotted around a space can really bring the style to the forefront. Some great examples that can be found for quite cheap include vintage cameras, typewriters and photo frames. Items like these can be picked up from antique stores or online on ebay.
There are many creators over on etsy who specialise in making exclusive accessories using industrial materials such as metal piping, reclaimed wood and concrete.
Concrete has seen a huge increase in popularity in recent years. What was once a second grade material, concrete is now a top choice when it comes to floor finishing and is becoming a great alternative for walls as well.
Polished concrete is an easy to care for, non slip flooring solution that is perfect for industrial styling. It is available in a range of colours of finishes and is compatibile with underfloor heating. Polished concrete is great for extensions but can be a bit tricky when trying to retrofit in an existing space due to the installation methods needed. There are a great range of concrete effect tiles on the market which can achieve a similar look without the expensive work needed for a new polished concrete installation.
Concrete wall paneling is a great way of adding industrial character. Panels can be as slim as 4mm thickness making them an easy wall covering which gives the effect of an original concrete wall. Available in various colours and finishes, when paired with the other industrial materials it can really add to the overall look. Check out Concreate’s website for inspiration.
When it comes down to wood. It’s all about finding pieces that have a worn look to them. Pieces that ooze history and a sense of weathering. Wooden desks or shelving made from original reclaimed scaffolding boards are a great example.
Wooden cladding is a great solution for bringing these features to wall spaces. Simple to install, wood cladding can completely change the look of a wall and is available in varies types of wood and different finishes. We offer a selection of wood cladding products and will be expanding on our range in the near future.
South Planks are a great reclamation yard in Garstang, near Preston who have a stunning range of wood products perfect for creating an industrial look.
Weathered look leather seating can bring an instant touch of industrial styling. The most popular colours being tan, dark brown and vintage green. Whether it’s a chesterfield style sofa or vintage look dining chairs, when paired with other reclaimed materials you can easily achieve the industrial aesthetic. Barker and Stonehouse are one of our favourites when it comes to industrial style furniture.
Where can it be used
Industrial styling can be used in many places through the home and isn’t limited to just one space. Whether you want to go all out or sprinkle in a touch of industrial chic here and there. The style can be applied to great effect in spaces large and small.
In the kitchen you can combine dark kitchen units, exposed brick, wooden worktops and concrete effect flooring tiles to create a stunning industrial style. Add in some open wooden shelving and you’ve got the perfect industrial look kitchen. Check out @thehawkes_victorianrenovation on instagram for a great example of what can be achieved using our Reclaimed Barnstock brick slips.
The living area is a great space to create an industrial theme. The biggest item in the room tends to be the sofa. How about going with a tan vintage look corner piece such as the Michigan from Barker & Stonehouse
A brick effect chimney breast with a recessed TV can be the focal point of the room and maybe add some industrial style wall lights to finish it off such as The Clippesby Cage Wall Lights from Vintage Electrical.
It is relatively easy to carry the industrial theme through to the bedroom. Again using a mix of raw materials and masculine tones to create a spacious feel. Feature walls can be clad with brick slips, wooden cladding our even concrete panels.
A home office can be the perfect spot for an industrial chic redesign. Custom made desks made from reclaimed scaffolding boards and matt black steel legs can be found online. Our if you fancied creating something bespoke yourself. Try The Hairpin Leg Co. who offer DIY industrial style table legs. Just add your own reclaimed wooden top and you have a one of a kind piece of industrial furniture. Vintage home office accessories can be added to bring the theme along. Items such as copper piping table lamps and antique filing cabinets can bring worn metallic textures and a masculine vibe to the workspace.
The bathroom is often overlooked when it comes to styling, with many bathrooms not venturing away from clean white tiles and the odd pop of colour. To achieve an industrial look in the bathroom, how about adding black taps and shower fixtures along with a crittal style shower enclosure. For wall finishes, you could go along the lines of urban grey tiles or an element of exposed brickwork.
For more inspiration check out our gallery of various industrial looks below or head over to our Case Studies to see more projects where our customers have used our brick slips to create industrial and other styled spaces