The industrial interior design trend took homes by storm in 2014, and it’s still going strong today. With a strong interest in celebrating the building materials that are often concealed – like ductworks, pipelines and interior brick – this style is characterized by a raw, unfinished look. It’s a look that’s increasingly popular among the DIY crowd especially, due to the easily accessible and economical materials involved. Long used in loft spaces and warehouse style dwellings, where the construction naturally lends itself to an industrial look, it’s a trend that can be easily translated to nearly any space in a classy, stylish way. Here are some tips and inspiration for incorporating industrial interior design into your home.
1. Fake it. Okay. So you don’t have any exposed ducts or brick in your suburban home. While adding unnecessary HVAC may not be advisable, exposed brick? That you can do. Brick panels can be purchased inexpensively online or at your favorite home improvement store, and it’s fairly easy to paint them to look aged and worn. Try it out on a small piece of plywood before applying it to your walls to practice the process and stick to one small accent wall or an area under cabinets or above a ledge so as not to overwhelm the room.
2. Make it. Don’t feel confined to what you see in high-end stores or on department store shelves. There are a lot of industrial-styled pieces you can DIY for a fraction of the cost. Not only that, but you can customize them to your personal needs as well. You could make a coffee table with metal strips, wooden fence pickets and castors or a desk from reclaimed wood and pipes. Or create always needed storage with a unique shelving unit. Even lighting can be handmade or up cycled, like this faux metal sconce. Not confident in your abilities? Start small with a hanging pipe mini planter or floating shelf.
3. Go old school. Industrial design lends itself perfectly to vintage elements. Find utilitarian objects and accessories to round out your design. Unique items that have a functional purpose – such as these scale weights – can be displayed for added interest. You may not naturally gravitate toward antique castors, rusty fans, lockers with a high patina or wire baskets as high style, but for industrial design they’re a perfect fit. Scour flea markets, thrift stores, antique markets and online venues to find furniture pieces – even vintage stools or light fixtures – and more to add the finishing touches.
4. Mix and match it. Use a variety of all materials in a fun, eclectic way that suits your needs and style. Woods of all types – grains, stains and raw – along with metals that look vintage or weathered (like brass, steel, and brushed nickel) are main components of industrial design. Leather and plastics are also commonly used. Mix and match pairings of complementary items, such as a classic wood dining table with steel chairs, or a soft leather couch with plastic and metal side chairs. Or combine elements into one piece – with a wood and metal table for instance. Don’t stick to just one type of metal or one wood stain throughout – a mixed approach will give your space the industrial vibe you want.
5. Stay neutral. This style of design is characterized by neutrals – and you can mix them all within one space as well. Stick with all hues and shades of browns, grays, whites and black. For interest, add one or two brighter colors in small pops around the room – with simple throw pillows or accessories. Artwork can also bring in some color. Stick with clean lines and distinctive but simple items. Industrial design thrives on function that doubles as form – a no fuss, clean approach decorating.
6. Don’t overdo it. Even in the most mod and chic loft in Brooklyn you’ll find comfortable furnishings – like cushy couches, soft armchairs or even a classic, contemporary side table or two. Transforming your living room into a warehouse with metal pipes on everything, stark wooden surfaces everywhere, and faded brick all over the walls could be too much for your space. It’s easy to take any design overboard, so try adding in industrial touches a bit at a time until you achieve the desired look.
7. Soften up a bit. It’s true that industrial design is about simplicity, function and a utilitarian feel, but this is also your home. Soften the look a bit with a trendy rug or a soft and luxurious throw. Add lightweight, neutral curtains that won’t cover the windows. Keeping the space light and airy is key to avoiding a dingy, “abandoned building” feeling, so don’t block any natural light and don’t distract from the rest of the room with crazy patterns. Using textiles in a controlled, neutral manner will add texture, interest and softness to what could be an otherwise stark space.
For more inspiration, check out these projects you can make out of pipes!
Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com
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