All Photos via Canva Pro. Credits below.
Industrial design Style: Stefan90 Getty Images Pro, svedoliver Getty Images Pro and luckyraccoon Getty Images Pro
Industrial Chic Style: stephankarg and tomtom022 Getty Images Pro
Soft Industrial Style: KatarzynaBialasiewicz Getty Images Pro and stephankarg
Vintage Industrial Style: welcomia, iweta0077 Getty Images and cmillc22 Getty Images Pro
Steampunk Style: Wiktor from Pixabay, annca pixabay, AKlion – Andrey Kryukov Getty Images Pro and darksouls1 pixabay
Industrial Style Elements: Phat-T ,Getty Images Pro , KatarzynaBialasiewicz ,Getty Images Pro, ArisSu Getty Images Pro,
ilkaydede Getty Images Pro, Jupiterimages Photo Images and ArisSu Getty Images Pro
What are they about?
INDUSTRIAL DESIGN STYLE and its variations are inspired by the industrial spaces themselves.
These structures, used previously as factories or manufacturing plants, and also as warehouses, ceased to be appropriate for such use, at the time of the Second Industrial Revolution.
New processes afforded by the invention of electricity and new machines, demanded bigger spaces. This resulted to the abandonment of these buildings.
Signifiant economic downturns in previous centuries may have also contributed to their desertion.
At some point, they were reclaimed and used for purposes other than manufacturing – giving rise to what is now the very familiar and popular Industrial Style.
The style is not limited to industrial structures.
They can also be in other abandoned buildings that used to deal with medium to large operations –
like a farmhouse, flower farm, winery, etc.
Industrial Design Style
Industrial Design Style celebrates the industrial structure itself
and the materials that are used to build them.
This is done by:
– showcasing the building’s weathered look
brought about by their abandonment,
and using the space in the condition it was found.
– keeping the architectural and structural details exposed and unfinished
as part of the overall look.
Materials and finishes
The materials used in old industrial buildings are:
– natural stones
– small glass panes and metal for the windows.
Having been abandoned to the elements,
the finishes have become
aged, weathered, distressed and patinated.
But in finding new use for these spaces,
bringing in newer pieces is inevitable.
So Industrial Design Style has a mix of:
– old and new
– organic and engineered
– rough and smooth
– modern and vintage.
Style's Emphasis - Staying true to the style
Repurposing is a main theme of the style.
These industrial spaces are after all reclaimed from abandonment,
and are given new purposes as
homes and commercial venues, among others.
Examples of repurposing below.
Functionality and Efficiency
Because of these spaces’ history as manufacturing plants,
Industrial Design decorating style takes
functionality and efficiency as two of its design principles.
It prioritizes function over comfort by using the same building materials
in its furniture and furnishings.
Metals, wood, glass and concrete are definitely great for function,
but may not be comfortable.
An example of exercising efficiency in executing the style is
having an open layout to maximize space,
letting furniture arrangements define the living spaces.
An open layout also forgoes room partitions,
which also helps in maximizing the available natural light.
Like any industrial building of today, those built in the previous centuries are also
large in scale and have high ceilings to house machines, albeit simple ones.
They also have tall windows to allow natural light in.
Preserving these vertical characteristics makes it easier to keep the style authentic.
It is preferable:
– not to use area rugs and keep the floors exposed,
especially if they were original to the building,
in line with style’s celebration of the structure and the materials used.
– not to have any window treatment to highlight the distinct window design
and to reference the idea that industrial buildings had tall, bare windows
to allow the most amount of natural light in –
important to the manufacturing industry
during a time when electricity was yet to be invented.
– not to have shiny things or at least have them in the minimum,
to recognize the space’s previous use as a humble place of work.
– exposed beams, pipes and ducts
– exposed brick wall
– unfinished concrete or concrete blocks
– windows made of metals and small glass panes,
distinct to old buildings of industrial era as large panes
became available at a much later time
Keeping the materials in their natural state.
Exposing the ceiling architecture and doing away with boarding it up.
They both save money and time,
ways to apply the style’s principle on efficiency.
Iconic furniture pieces such as:
The travel-related Aviator Chairs,
in leather and metal sheets,
like #1 and #7.
Tolix chairs and stools,
#2 and #6.
Saw horse tables,
usually used in construction and woodworking.
Example in photo #9.
Other furniture pieces made of wood and metal,
like in photos #3, 4, 5 and 8.
Scissor metal gate, #6.
Scissor-styled metal arms for lamps, #1.
Metal pipes and fittings for shelves, tables and other furnishings.
Examples in photos #2, 3 and 4.
Apothecary cabinets, popular during the industrial era,
made of wood, but had metal, machine-made handles.
– vintage bicycle, a symbol of the Industrial Revolution
– all-metal stairs
– cast-iron wheel and casters
– old machines, pulleys, gears and chains.
Things commonly used in manufacturing industries are reused in creative ways.
Wine barrels, large cable spools and pallets can serve as tables.
Crates as display racks and storage pieces.
Vintage wooden wheel used as part of the hung lighting piece.
Check out our Pinterest board on repurposed things.
Lighting pieces include:
– Edison bulbs
– metal shades
– glass shades
– bulbs in wire cages
– different kinds of tripod floor lamps made of metal.
The Industrial Revolution made possible and popular all kinds of travel,
through the invention of steam engine, steamboat and plane.
And because of this,
vintage, travel-related items are used as décor.
– trunks and luggages
– globes and maps
– compass and telescopes
– steam locomotive, steam boats, planes,
in artworks or miniature pieces
– steam gauges
– salvaged propellers
Other products of Industrial Revolution as décor
Other décor can include early products of the Industrial Revolution,
which are now considered vintage.
Examples shown above:
– cash register
– electric fan
– sewing machine
For more examples of interiors in INDUSTRIAL DESIGN STYLE,
go to our Pinterest account.
Industrial Design Style has a lot in common with
See more info on Farmhouse on this post on
Industrial Chic Style
The more elegant version of the style.
It also preserves the weathered, distressed look,
but includes luxurious elements as opposed to the original.
The above examples include a tub in shiny, metallic finish
and a warehouse styled for a wedding.
Also a crystal chandelier, enclosed in a metal, globe-like cage,
referencing travel theme of the style and
an Edison lamp in a rose gold-finished geometrical, metal cage.
Check out our Pinterest board on INDUSTRIAL CHIC STYLE.
Soft Industrial Style
This is literally the softer version of the style.
It differs from the original Industrial Design version
by having less focus on highlighting the space’s history and materials.
Ways of softening an industrial space can be:
– painting the brick walls for a fresher look
– addition of area rugs
– using window treatments
– including plants.
Soft Industrial Style can be feminine or masculine
the mostly masculine Industrial Design Style.
Find more inspirations from our Pinterest board on
Vintage Industrial / Machine Age Style
The version that celebrates the achievement of man
during the Industrial Revolution, the machine, its speed and its products.
This style deals more on the collection of
vintage industrial items.
– sewing machine
– area rug
– Victorian sofa and chair
Click here for more of VINTAGE INDUSTRIAL STYLED interiors
in our Pinterest account.
Steampunk / Alternative History Style
Steampunk Style is a style inspired by the movies,
specifically the sci-fi genre of the same name.
These movies were set in the British Victorian era, during the Industrial Revolution.
Themes can be about:
– sea / submarine adventure
– time travel
– air balloon travel, etc…
Décor includes those of the original Industrial Style and
things that refer to the Victorian Era like:
– Victorian costumes
– Chesterfield sofa, a British classic piece.
It’s adventurous, masculine and theatrical.
More of STEAMPUNK STYLE in our Pinterest account.
Find out if INDUSTRIAL STYLE suits your next project.
Take our STYLE QUIZ.