Industrial-Chic Makeover: Transforming Your Space with Style

Industrial (or industrial chic) is an interior design style that combines rugged and functional details with modern and sophisticated elements to create a unique look. Inspired by industrial buildings, factories and warehouses this style aims to illustrate the beauty in the imperfection and showcase that even the unfinished can look aesthetically pleasing.

With typical characteristics such as exposed brick, open floor space, neutral colour palette and raw materials, industrial chic can be adapted to various spaces including kitchens, bedrooms, and offices. To achieve an authentic industrial style in your interior design and give your place a chic makeover, consider incorporating the following elements:

Industrial Lighting

Industrial light


Industrial lighting is a crucial element in achieving the distinctive look of an industrial-chic interior design. It plays a pivotal role in enhancing the ambience, aesthetics, and functionality of such spaces. From factories and warehouses to modern homes and commercial establishments, industrial-style fixtures have become an iconic choice for their unique blend of ruggedness and style.

One of the key features of industrial-style lighting is its ability to complement the raw and utilitarian aspects of industrial spaces while adding a touch of sophistication. Exposed bulbs, often reminiscent of vintage Edison light bulbs, are a hallmark of this style. These bulbs, encased in metal or wire cages, not only provide illumination but also serve as striking design elements.

You can explore a wide array of industrial lighting options when seeking the right fixtures for your space. Pendant lights, with their ability to hang from the ceiling and draw attention as statement pieces, are a popular choice. These can be installed individually or in clusters over kitchen islands, dining tables, or work areas, creating a dramatic and functional lighting scheme.

For those looking for a more vintage or retro look, you can find a variety of fixtures that pay homage to the industrial heritage. These fixtures often feature weathered finishes, such as antique brass or distressed metals, to give a sense of history and authenticity. Vintage industrial lights can be reminiscent of old factory or warehouse lighting, adding character to the space.

On the other hand, modern industrial light fixtures offer a sleek and contemporary take on the style. These fixtures may incorporate cleaner lines, minimalistic designs, and modern materials like brushed steel or matte black finishes. They provide a fresh interpretation of industrial chic, blending seamlessly with a variety of interior settings.

When shopping for industrial lighting, consider factors like the size and scale of the space, the desired lighting intensity, and the overall design scheme. Dimmable options can help you adjust the ambience to suit different occasions and moods. Additionally, don’t overlook the importance of energy-efficient lighting, with LED fixtures being an excellent choice for their longevity and low energy consumption.

Exposed Structural Elements

Exposed structural elements


Another distinctive and vital feature of industrial-chic interiors is the exposure of structural elements including beams, open ductwork, and pipes. Instead of being covered, they are left visible and are integrated into the design to highlight the authenticity of the building while also contributing to the overall uniqueness and ruggedness of this style. This unconventional approach serves as a clear example of the connection between form and function.

Moreover, exposed structural elements contribute to the spaciousness and open feel that characterises industrial chic interiors. They create a visual focal point and provide opportunities for unique design and lighting solutions. Pendant lights, for instance, can be suspended from exposed beams, casting a warm and inviting glow while accentuating the raw beauty of these elements.

Natural and Raw Materials

Raw and natural materials are foundational elements of industrial interior design, infusing spaces with rugged authenticity and timeless character. To achieve this look, consider using reclaimed wood for furniture, flooring, or accent walls to add a touch of history and warmth. Also, you can introduce metal accents with aged or distressed finishes that complement the industrial aesthetic, creating visual interest. Concrete surfaces, such as countertops in bathrooms and kitchens, maintain the sleek, minimalist look of the style.

To soften the industrial edge, select textured fabrics like burlap, canvas, or leather for upholstery and accessories. Additionally, introduce greenery to add life and contrast to the rugged materials. For example, potted plants or vertical gardens are excellent choices.

Vintage and Repurposed Furniture

Vintage furniture


Vintage and repurposed furniture are significant elements that help achieve the authentic and eclectic aesthetic of this style. They have important roles in infusing spaces with character, nostalgia, and a sense of history. When shopping for vintage furniture, choose well-made pieces that are in good condition. However, if you’re up for some TLC, you can also consider restoring furniture that isn’t well-preserved but deserves to be brought back to life.

In terms of repurposed furniture, you can give new life to old and discarded items by adapting them for different uses. For instance, you can turn an old factory cart into a coffee table or transform some pallets into benches. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and fully immerse yourself in these DIY projects. Not only will the end result match the interior, but you’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment, knowing that your own creation now embellishes your home.

Industrial Art and Décor

Industrial art and decor


Another way to enhance your industrial chic interior is by incorporating captivating artwork and decor that pays homage to the style’s heritage. Consider framed technical drawings, showcasing the intricacies of machinery, or vintage signage boasting bold typography and industrial graphics. For a truly unique touch, repurpose industrial machinery parts into striking wall art, infusing the space with authenticity and creativity. These industrial-themed pieces not only serve as captivating focal points but also contribute to the narrative of your space, telling the story of its industrial roots.

Neutral Colour Palette

Last but not least, ensure that you stick to a neutral colour palette, contributing to the sleek look of industrial-chic style. Neutral colours complement the rough and unrefined textures of industrial materials while maintaining a cohesive and harmonious design. Additionally, these shades provide a blank canvas on which the industrial elements can stand out while providing balance. That said, consider colours such as blacks, greys, whites, and earthy tones to create a minimalist, functional, and visually striking environment.

Why Is It Called Industrial Design?

Industrial design received its name because it primarily focuses on the design of everyday products and objects that are mass-produced for industrial or commercial use. It emerged during the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a response to the need for functional, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing designs for items such as furniture, appliances, machinery, and consumer goods.

The term “industrial” reflects the emphasis on creating designs that are suitable for large-scale manufacturing processes, ensuring that products are not only visually appealing but also practical and cost-effective to produce. In essence, industrial design combines form and function to improve the usability, aesthetics, and marketability of everyday items.