Industrial Design: A Lovely Mix of Old and New Concepts

Stemming from safety and efficiency, industrial architecture has always been functional – it only recently became iconic. Here it’s all about breathing life in once forgotten or abandoned spaces, factories, and warehouse. Industrial design thrives on proudly displaying the building materials that many other design directions try to conceal. Generally, the key is adding a raw and unfinished look to the most thoughtfully designed spaces. It’s all about selecting pieces that are as much about function as style. But as popular as “industrial chic” may be today, this trend began years ago.


The history of industrial style goes way back to the 1700s, the period when the first industrial buildings were built with the intention to be utilitarian. These buildings were simple and designed to be functional. But since in that time fire became something that many were afraid of, safety measures started having a major influence on the industrial architecture. Buildings were designed to reduce the dangers that were posed by fires, so things like flat roofs, open floor plans, and plain facades were advocated.

This led to the unfinished look that many structures from that period have – a feature that has become iconic for the industrial design. What started out as a necessity once, soon enough became a look that many design enthusiasts started to incorporate. It was not until the 70’s that these once forgotten and abandoned factories were transformed in living spaces and studios and caught the eyes of many artists. People were eager to keep the old pieces and recycle them – an action that resulted in the reviving of the industrial style in interior design.

industrial furniture living room

Nowadays, industrial style is popular in many living spaces and there’s no questioning why so many people have fallen in love with it. It’s the type of interior design for creative people with strong individuality that simply don’t find contemporary, mainstream interior designs comfortable enough for their living area. Industrial design features an unfinished look, so it’s not an uncommon thing to see uncovered pipes, exposed brick walls and beams, cement floors and raw unfinished materials as part of interiors. Actually, the stripped back, raw, simplistic approach is its strength. One of the key features of industrial design is exposing things that others want to cover.

Design Tips

Probably the first thing you will notice when looking at industrial-inspired homes is that there aren’t any bold colours. Industrial design relies more on the neutral palette and warm earth-toned neutrals like brown, grey, creamy shades and simple wood colours. They can soften the industrial edge and bring that much needed visual warmth.

industrial design living room

Also, the key to really blending industrial style into your home is by picking a few industrial furniture pieces and going from there. When shopping for industrial furniture, there is a specific look that you should want to go after. Stay away from pieces that look brand new, and instead, concentrate more on ones that look like they have history and therefore, have a weathered look. Things like timber or oak made dining tables or sideboards with metal legs are the ideal pieces of industrial style furniture. Coffee tables made from wood, metal, or ones that have wheels are also a great addition for industrial-inspired living rooms.

industrial inspired living room

There’s a great array of industrial furniture pieces on the market which can be found in many online and offline stores, each and every one of them designed to give a room a dose of an oldish scent mixed with a new era design stream and a feeling of individuality. Also, since the industrial design is all about mixing the old and the new, you can combine wood and metal pieces for the ultimate effect. You can, for instance, combine simple contemporary chairs and a minimalist wooden table. Wood adds warmth and texture, while metal is sleek and modern.

industrial inspired furniture

Industrial furniture was designed with one idea in mind – to be simple, practical, easy to mass-produce and withstand harsh conditions. Styling up your space with some unique industrial accessories will add that much-needed finishing touch. Things like wall art, metal accents, distressed leather items, and vintage photographs would all work well. Repurposed industrial lighting fixtures are affordable and easy to install and they will sure evoke that forgotten feeling from the past and create a unique atmosphere that you and all your guests will find totally enjoyable.