Creating A Modern Industrial Interior

Industrial Interiors graphic

The style of an industrial interior is inspired by the renovation and rejuvenation of old factories and abandoned mills. It’s about being proud of, and showing off the parts of your home that most try to hide.

When this trend first emerged, what were previously seen as unwanted features quickly became fashionable and sought after.

Using this guide, we’ll give you some inspiration and you’ll also learn what you need to effectively restyle your home and finish with a trendsetting industrial interior that will be the envy of all your friends!

Industrial Interior: Where To Find Inspiration

The industrial interior design first blossomed in the early 70s when old factories, warehouses and mills were closing down and being turned into living spaces. The people who moved into these converted spaces decided against covering up the old industrial mechanisms and exposed brickwork and instead worked with it styling their homes around it.

When attempting to style your space as an industrial interior, it would be helpful to look at buildings that have a historic past. This allows you to discover possible idea’s you may not have previously considered.

The black and white interior of a decommissioned military base

Good examples of these types of buildings would be warehouses, factories and decommissioned military buildings.

When looking for inspiration in regards to exposed brick, the best places to look would be old factories and mills.

Exposed brick gives character and a dab of timeless charm as well as creating a portal to the rich, unique history of the building.

Old abandoned warehouse with exposed brick and metal beams on the ceiling

These derelict buildings also usually feature exposed roof structures and various other miscellaneous sections of exposed metals (nearly always steel). Exposed metal is almost always found in decommissioned military buildings. More recently, exposed metal has been used in many ‘swanky’ restaurants and shops as this form of décor is extremely stylish.

Refresh Your Home Using Industrial Design

A nice way to incorporate industrial design is an accent wall. Usually, these feature some form of paint which then dictates the colour scheme of the room.

When it comes to industrial décor, it’s different!

An exposed brick wall would make a fantastic accent wall, and also means that you can change the colour scheme of the room whenever you want.

For example:

exposed brick accent wall with modern industrial interior

beddroom with bed near window with exposed brick wall

Similarly, another popular style of accent wall is concrete. The concrete look is an extremely simple, yet stylish looking feature. This can be easily incorporated by using cost effective cement boards.

concrete interior with concrete accent wall, fireplace and orange sofa

The concrete look can be further used throughout the house with things such as the floor, wall art and fireplace. Concrete look flooring is an extremely stylish feature in any home and is also easy to clean up.

Industrial dark grey concrete style tiles

Our Concrete Interiors Pinterest Board is filled with home decor inspiration for you!

Choose The Materials That You Want To Feature

During the industrial revolution, steel and iron manufacturing was at its peak. This meant that nearly all furniture was made using heavily industrial materials such as the aforementioned metals.

They were used in plumbing and lighting fixtures, cabinets and doorknobs and even roofing structures such as steel beams.

Redesigned table made from old industrial items such as metal cogs

Most of these manufactured goods are still around but are rapidly becoming obsolete. The industrial interior design style means they can be transformed into practical furniture.

Don’t Hide Mechanical Details

As with any interior design, it is good to have a centrepiece or two. It is possible that you already have an idea of some unique pieces that you’d like to showcase in your home. There are thousands of products that are suitable for this style ranging from old vintage clocks to scissor accordion lights.

old fashioned clock face with exposed mechanics

Rather than hiding away the mesmerising mechanics of these machines, expose them. This is a pivotal part of the industrial appeal. The sofa below for example, exposes its wheels and cogs rather than hiding them or removing them.

Sofa made from reconditioned industrial parts

Mix & Match

Embracing an industrial interior means creatively combining various types of furniture to make a vintage yet smart and respectable look. For this style of décor, you can use a variety of old objects found throughout your house. Also, it is extremely cheap as you can make a lot of the furniture yourself.

wooden ladders converted into new shelves with books on

Rather than throwing things away, give them a new purpose. For example, and old dresser could be transformed into a bench. Instead of taking your old desk to the tip, make in into a nightstand. You could even turn old ladders into shelves.

The possibilities are endless!

Express Yourself Using Art

Often, brickwork in a space with limited light can make a room look smaller and darker due to the shadows created within the brickwork. Painting the brick white immediately makes the space brighter and appear more welcoming. It also means that you have more freedom to change things around as white goes with pretty much anything.

industrial style bedroom with white artwork on exposed brick

Another way to work industrial architectural designs into your home is to incorporate vintage posters, murals, and music related merchandise. These are an excellent way to make an impressive yet cheap impact in your bedroom or living room. They also stand out as they are from the 60’s and 70’s and this is where the industrial interior design originated.

miscellaneous artwork on a white brick wall

Framed oasis album cover poster leaning against and exposed brick wall

Accessorise Your Home

The industrial interior design fits in brilliantly with the ‘hipster style‘ of furnishing. Therefore, when furnishing with technology, outdated (in style) is a must.

Record players are a fantastic addition to any household, but look even better with a brick background. The good thing about vinyl players is that they produce excellent sound quality, and are not too expensive to buy.

Vinyl record player on top of green military storage box

Retro phone sets have always been stylish and they fit in well with the industrial interior design.  The nostalgic design makes any room appear fun and quirky and the modern technology inside gives it genuine practicality.

retro phone sat on a wooden desk

Another unconventional accessory you could incorporate into your home is an old fashioned industrial sewing machine. Obviously, this isn’t the most practical of accessories but it does look good and also gives a subtle nod to the historic past of your building.

old fashioned industrial style sewing machine

With nearly all interiors, a clock is seen as a must have accessory for any room and this is no different with the industrial interior design. Pretty much any form of retro clock is acceptable, although the flip clock works well.

retro black and white flip clock

However, due to the modernity of the industrial interior style, modern clocks can also be used.

Modern industrial style clock in 3 colours grey black and white

Just remember, less is more.

Add A Homemade Touch

If you’re a hands-on person and love being creative and making your own DIY projects in the home, you’ll love these suggestions!

For some industrial inspiration, here’s three examples of practical homemade products that you can incorporate into your home:

Homemade Glasses made from recycled bottles would be a fun and creative option to make as they’re both practical and simple. These artistic glasses look super cool and would definitely be a talking point at social events.

homemade glasses made from old alcohol bottles

Another potential DIY project could be a Pipe Shelf. This requires a bit more work but the rewards will be greater. Not only are these shelves durable, but they look very fashionable and can be made cheaply from common household items!

industrial style homemade shelves made from metal pipe and wood

Finally, a homemade TV stand. Creating your own homemade TV stand would look excellent in any industrial style living room and would also be a unique piece.

diy tv stand made from wood and metal

If DIY isn’t really your thing, you can find some bargains in local charity shops or even search online using sites such as eBay or Etsy.

Upcycle Old Accessories

In modern society, the solution for furnishing a home is to just buy. The beauty of the industrial interior design is that buying is not necessary. Reusing products is a cheap and trendy way of giving your home a rustic and industrial appeal, for free.

Another way to furnish your home on the cheap is to raid charity shops and flea markets. These places often have unpolished diamonds in terms of the quality of goods you can get for an affordable price.

old recycled set of draws with a plant on top

Don’t Forget Outside

Have you ever considered decorating the exterior of your home?

The industrial design style isn’t just limited to the interior of your home.

This is a real opportunity to take advantage of the excellent array of outdoor industrial lighting that is offered by most lighting companies.

For example:

industrial style outdoor lighting on brick wall

Another excellent way to decorate the exterior of your home is to invest in a chimenea.

industrial style chiminea in a green garden on grass

This product greatly reflects one of the most iconic visuals of the industrial revolution: Chimneys.

Minimalism Works

minimal bedroom in the industrial interior style with black rug and white washed exposed brick work

In the past ten years, many companies have started manufacturing old fashioned light fittings and other forms of industrial type furniture. The industrialist style is reflected in the simplicity of the products and with the materials used (metals, wood etc).  These are relatively inexpensive, but when paired with exposed brickwork in the home, they look surprisingly impressive.

industrial room with exposed brick wall and multicoloured rug

The industrial interior design style is fantastic as it can be used in a multitude of ways.

As most floorings are concrete or wood, this look is also extremely low maintenance. This means it would be a perfect style for a family home as mess would be easy to clean up.


Need more inspiration? Our Industrial Interiors Pinterest Board is filled with home decor inspiration for you!

How will you incorporate this trend in your home?

Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear your thoughts!


updated June 2021