The Industrial Look: Everything that You Need to Know

The industrial design sends us off to the warehouses and lofts in New York City. Without having to be in an actual warehouse, this trend transports us and we'll teach you how to get the look.
The Industrial Look: Everything that You Need to Know

Last update: 09 November, 2018

The industrial look is a decorative design that hails from the 50s, all the way from the old industrial warehouses of New York City. These became homes for artists and immigrants who couldn’t afford the rent for an apartment in the city center.

This look is mainly characterized by a visually appealing yet  non-pretentious architecture,  linked to a certain structure and simplicity of material.

Beams, bricks and cement play key roles in the industrial design.

Retro and vintage styles also have a hand in the design and come alive through the use of elements that have been tested by the passing of time.

Below, we’ll fill you in on the main characteristics of the industrial look so you can get a better idea of it.

Say goodbye to walls with the industrial style

An essential aspect for creating an industrial space is choosing a wide-open space. Lofts often sport this layout for industrial design because, for the most part, they’re open areas where furniture can sit freely.

High ceilings

High ceilings are very important for nailing this design because they show the interior structure of the house.

It’s a look that’s inspired by the industrial warehouses that showcased all of their frameworks.

However, not all homes boast this kind of ceiling. If that’s your case, you’ll just have to adapt your room to the rules of the industrial look.

Brick walls

Another idea for capturing this industrial inspiration in your home is using exposed brick. You don’t have to use actual bricks. You can use natural colored ones or paint them white.

If your home’s structure doesn’t allow you to use bricks, you can find a decorative wallpaper that imitates the texture of real bricks in a lot of stores.

Brick walls often have discolored areas or stains.

Bricks can be non-uniform or broken. So, if they don’t look perfect, don’t worry about it.

Imperfection is normal in the industrial look and will add a special touch to the space.

Beams, pipes or rusty plumbing that you can see are another basic element of industrial design. They’ll give the area a cold somberness, which will impart independence and elegance to your home.

As you can see, this look doesn’t focus on creating perfect spaces– it’s quite the opposite. There should be irregular textures and imperfection, even if you live in a new building.

Industrial Design Pointers

Picture windows

Picture windows, or large glass windows, are also typical of old factories.

The glass portion in these windows should be very large and spacious, rectangular and have a metal frame. This allows natural light to flow into a room, lighting up the whole space.

However, remember not to use curtains to cover your windows as they might cost you natural light. If you want to cover them with something, a good idea might be to use white or dull-colored blinds.

Furniture and accessories

Industrial style furniture often uses strong and dark colors that are faded in order to achieve that cold atmosphere.

Try looking for antique furniture and place it strategically because it has an important visual role.

Metal and steel are basic elements for this look. You can use them for ceilings, walls, furniture, chairs, light fixtures, accessories and for anything else that comes to mind.

To prevent your rooms from adopting a cold ambiance, you can use wood because it offers more warmth. The combination of iron and wood will set a balance for your home.

Cement, aluminum, and glass are also elements that fit in great with this look because they can somber up an atmosphere. Using them together with accessories such as leather or metal armchairs, chairs and sofas is an idea worth trying.

We can find these “industrial” furniture pieces in decor or second-hand stores. You can also come across unique items that’ll add more personality to your rooms in antique shops.

Industrial Design Material


The industrial color palette boils down to white, black, grey, brown, beige, and blue.

These colors fit well with dark tones, which match perfectly with the industrial style.

If you don’t want to create such a cold atmosphere, you can try a lighter palette, using plenty of whites and pastel tones.

Industrial design colors


The key objective lies in making good use of your space, thus, resulting in design harmony.

To achieve that, you have to be picky with your decoration accessories and objects while saving space.

So, as we’ve seen today, the industrial style is both tough and elegant. Dare you give it a try?