9 Industrial Style Ideas for Living, Dining & Laundry Rooms
Love industrial style rooms, but unsure how to create the look? Try our decor ideas, such as exposed brickwork and distressed textures. Plus, our own handpicked industrial furniture.
What is Industrial Style anyway?
From "restaurants that look like factories", to steel furniture you could battle a burglar with – industrial room decor isn’t going away soon. Industrial style is defined on Wikipedia as:
“An aesthetic trend in interior design that takes clues from old factories and industrial spaces that in recent years have been converted to lofts and other living spaces. Components include weathered wood, building systems, exposed brick, industrial lighting fixtures and concrete.”
Industrial decor was huge in the 2000s, but remains a popular choice. You can fully embrace the warehouse look, or liven things up with accessories or a statement piece of furniture.
Here are 20 industrial style room ideas, plus our tips for dining, living and laundry rooms.
Or get inspired by our vintage and reclaimed oak furniture – ideal for an industrial room.
Have lofty aspirations
Inspired by artists moving into old factories, industrial style looks great in conversions.
If you’re lucky enough to buy or rent an apartment in a converted industrial building, you’re halfway there already. Leave walls bare and metal fittings alone for an authentic feel.
Industrial style rooms place emphasis on space and light. Stay open plan, or use glass or metal partitions for privacy. Beams, air conditioning pipes and worn-down surfaces aren’t ugly – they’re all part of the look. Plants, artwork and leather sofas can help keep it homely.
Expose your bricks
A defining feature of industrial room decor is exposed brickwork. Depending how grimy and authentic you want to be, you should clean your bricks regularly or even paint them white.
If you don’t have exposed bricks, think carefully before removing plaster and drywall to reveal them. Exposed brickwork adds warmth and history to rooms, but it can be difficult to change back. Remember to seal bricks to prevent damp, and ensure you have enough insulation.
50 shades of grey
To recreate an edgy industrial look in your home, it helps to be a fan of the colour grey.
Whether it’s corrugated steel, reclaimed metal furniture or polished concrete, industrial style rooms are grey-heavy. Getting the right balance can be tricky; you don’t want your room to appear cold and clinical. Using other colours, alongside brick and wood, warms things up.
Browns and rust red paint add a rustic touch, while smoky blue pairs beautifully with grey.
Concrete is beautiful
Think concrete is ugly? Think again. Industrial interior design goes hand in hand with concrete.
Exposed concrete walls, showing the bare structural features of your building, look striking when paired with industrial style decor. Polished concrete floors are extremely durable too.
Or introduce concrete with accessories or fittings, such as a kitchen countertop or basin.
Distress to impress
Industrial style rooms can be both characterful and functional. There’s no wonder vintage and reclaimed furniture is so popular for this look – particularly distressed wood and metal.
Look for furniture, surfaces and accessories with interesting timeworn textures. Our Cosgrove Reclaimed Timber Furniture features distressed wood and black metal mesh panels for a rugged finish. Or hunt thrift stores and antique shops for the perfect statement piece.
Leather furniture ages gracefully and looks better the older it gets (it also adds warmth to grey colour schemes). Our Saddler sofas are ideal for a modern or vintage-inspired industrial room.
Don’t hide your pipes
Another defining feature of industrial style rooms is exposed metal piping. Seeing the nuts and bolts of your home adds to the ‘factory’ feel, and adds character and interest to your space.
Make the most of metal pipes or air conditioning systems. It's fine to look unfinished.
You can also buy room fixtures if you don’t already have them, such as shelves or room dividers made from piping. Or choose polished bathroom fixtures for a more ‘soft’ industrial look.
Metal light fixtures
Industrial style rooms have inspired a huge variety of light fixtures, including pipe chandeliers. Lighting is an instant way to express industrial decor; the exposed bulb is an icon of this look.
Edison style bulbs, with visible glowing filaments, are surprisingly soft and welcoming.
Statement pendants, wire cage lights, old film set lamps, and suspended bulbs on rope all work in a factory-inspired setting. Or try iron standing lamps with plenty of springs and screws.
Want something softer? Our driftwood lighting works well with distressed wood surfaces.
No curtains for you
To get the feel of living in a repurposed industrial space, try metal blinds or wood shutters.
Huge, black-leaded windows (the type you find in old factories and warehouses) are ideal – show these off if you have them. Industrial style rooms should be bathed in natural light to avoid looking too dingy. If you need curtains, use simple drapes in minimalist white or grey.
Industrial style rooms often look to the past for inspiration, so choose accessories with a sense of history. Old factory signage and even machinery can look stylish, if you keep it subtle.
Use cogs, wheels and copper pipes sparingly, or you’ll end up in steampunk territory.
Our Fusion Soft Industrial Furniture range features details like iron wheels and vintage-inspired handles.Industrial style rooms strike a balance between practicality and character.
Now that you’ve read our advice on industrial style decor, here are some room ideas.
Industrial Style Dining Room Ideas
An large, open-plan room that combines kitchen and dining room is ideal for industrial style.
Many trendy restaurants and bars use industrial style decor, using structural features such as extractor fans and columns as part of the look. From laboratory stools in BrewDog, to the exposed bulbs and bricks of PizzaExpress, industrial style is the go-to for many brands.
Here are a few ideas to inject some industrial style into your dining room or kitchen.
- Long tables, surrounded by benches or metal chairs add a utilitarian feel
- Kitchens work with concrete and metal surfaces (you can afford to be edgier)
- Lighting is key – go for big statement pendant lights, bare bulbs and chains
- Take pride in your cooking equipment; display or suspend it from beams
- Add a metal or distressed wood trolley, for both style and practicality
Keep the room simple and functional, but add human interest like vintage signs, chalkboards or plants. Check out our Vanya furniture range for industrial dining room furniture inspiration.
Industrial Style Living Room Ideas
Industrial decor can be surprisingly warm and charming, making it great for living rooms.
If you’ve got exposed walls and harsh structural features on show, remember to balance these with comfort. Choose furniture that makes it a place you’d actually want to relax and live in. This is also a great place to show off statement pieces of artwork or retro accessories.
Here are a few ways to instantly add some industrial style to your living room decor.
- Try metal and distressed wood open shelving, it looks functional and stylish
- Keep things lush by decorating with plants – you can have too much grey
- For vintage-inspired industrial style, try a curiosity cabinet of quirky finds
- Rugs and soft furnishings help soften concrete and metal walls or surfaces
- Squishy leather sofas and minimalist armchairs offer a place to relax in
Remember to keep things light and airy; you’re going for the feel of a warehouse. Think big factory-style windows and exposed brick walls, with modern but lived-in furniture.
Industrial Style Laundry Room Ideas
If you want to experiment with creating an industrial style room, why not try a utility or laundry room? If it goes wrong, it’s hidden away, plus utilities work effortlessly with industrial decor.
Washing machines, dishwashers and pipes co-exist happily with practical metal furniture - just ensure everything has a waterproof layer, otherwise you’ll be dealing with mould and rust. Look out for pipe shelving, metal cage storage, and plants and retro signage for added character.
Want more industrial style rooms ideas? Browse Vintage & Reclaimed Furniture