Industrial Style: How to Go Barebones with Industrial Decor

Utilitarian and barebones to the core, the Industrial style aims to capture the essence of productivity. Exposed beams, prominent metalwork, clockwork-inspired pieces: you can almost hear a factory whistle.

Industrial styles can be used to enhance almost any interior space, from a loft to a reclaimed industrial project, and you don’t have to change all the decor. Ready to decorate in industrial style? Let’s get to work.

An industrial style study and furniture

Floors: Keep It Raw

There isn’t too much to say about an industrial-style floor, except that you likely won’t be using much carpet. After all, factories did not have carpeting.

Hardwood floors, laminate floors, or even a false-brick or concrete layout are the preferred looks for Industrial-style floors. The idea is that the area looks like it used to be a factory. In many cases, it did.

There won’t be a lot of floor paint, either. You want the colour and style to look as rustic and used as possible. You can get this look by letting the essential features of the room take centre stage and decorating around it. Exposed brick facades make an excellent starting point.

Industrial themed floor

Carpeting: Keep It Minimal

As mentioned, you won’t be using a lot of carpets. Rectangular area rugs break up the stark hardness of the floor, positioned in key areas, such as in front of a door. Choose rugs with simple geometric patterns.

Use basic lines and shapes. Industrial design is about simple and effective decor. If you use carpeting, use the smallest area rugs you can find and only put them where they need to be.

Industrial style room with a minimal rug centre

Embrace a Bit of Industrial Furniture

Industrial-style furniture is hardy. Not only in the sense of being sturdy but also looking purely functional. There isn’t a lot of flair or luxury in this style. It’s all about function.

Exposed frames, metal components, casters on chair wheels; anything that makes the furniture look streamlined and ready for use is a go in Industrial style. Blended materials and an overall unfinished look exemplify this motif.

Metal framework for chairs is a popular choice but be careful! If you plan on entertaining guests, you’ll need to make some concessions. People don’t like to have their backs against metal for a long time. Add some light cushioning to increase comfort.

Metal framework table and chairs

Layout: Reflect Functionality

The layout of an Industrial-style building should reflect functionality. Everything should be streamlined, leading from one element cleanly to the next.

Sofas, end tables, chairs, fireplaces, and other pieces of furniture should have a clear visual link between them. Placing them closer together might make it easier to visualize.

Industrial themed living room

Colours: Go for Unfinished, Earthy Tones

Earth tones work best here. Anything that makes the space look raw, unfinished, or dare we say harsh does the trick. Industrial style is no-frills and embraces browns, greys, and blacks. These are the colours of unfinished metal and wood, two of the most robust materials you could find in industrial construction.

To take some of the edge off these harsh colours, pick versions of them that are closer to warm tones. Rich dark browns, darker greys, and similar variants should help.

A bit of brighter colour here and there won’t grind the style to a halt: after all, you need to add a personal touch. Just try to make it subtle and sparing, and don’t deviate too much from the existing colour scheme.

Industrial coloured dining set

Accents: It’s All about the Metal

The most frequently used material in Industrial accents is metal, without a doubt. This makes sense because it’s meant to evoke images of the factories of old.

You can pick Industrial end tables, coffee tables, and any other furniture you want. The key is that it looks unfinished. The exposed framework does a great job at conveying this impression. If you’re converting a loft, consider leaving the rafters untouched.

Wheels turn the gears of civilization, so why not let that reflect in some of your accent pieces? Virtually any accent piece can be made into an industrial piece with the addition of wheels, casters, or clockwork-like accessories. This is the one exception for functionality.

Grey industrial accent lamp

Lighting: Create Contrast

High-contrast lighting is the key to making Industrial style work. Use exposed-filament bulbs. In other words, use bulbs without the coating on the inside, so you can see the bare filament through the glass.

These days you might have to concede with higher-powered fluorescent lighting rather than incandescent bulbs.

Set table lamps and floor lamps as close to your furniture as you can. You want to have plenty of light wherever you choose to base yourself in your room.

As you might have guessed, ornate lighting decor like chandeliers is of no use to this interior decoration style. The simpler your lighting is, the better.

Industrial style lighting set

As you’re picking out your decorations and furniture for industrial style, ask yourself how functional it looks. You want it to look bare-bones and efficient, but not at the cost of your guests’ and your comfort.

Stick to neutral earth tones, adding metal or wood accents where you can, and consider what other elements you can add to complete the look.

If you’re inspired by the Industrial look, be sure to check out our designer Industrial furniture available online at Brosa today.