Talking Industrial Chic…

While the interior style known as Industrial Chic is a nod to the industrial revolution, it also aligns itself with society’s recycle, reuse and reduce philosophy and our love of rawness and texture.


Warm, masculine, uncluttered and defined, the Industrial Chic look was largely introduced via warehouse loft conversions, but has now been applied to any number residential and commercial spaces where utilitarian design blends with worn textures  and elements of metal and raw wood.

IC2An eclectic mix of materials – rusted metal, galvanised metal, glass and reclaimed wood – Industrial Chic shapes and silhouettes are simple yet bold. There is nothing sweet or pretty about this aesthetic, although hard lines are softened with aged and natural textiles.


There is a clear appreciation of vintage and salvaged items in keeping with the ‘green’ philosophical bias behind this style, with spaces making use of furniture, materials and elements from farmyard and factory sales and stores. While there are a number of shops and online retailers that specialise in Industrial Chic furniture, second hand stores, salvage yards, flea markets and country markets are the ideal places to spot key pieces.

Edgy, and somewhat predictable, this style is easily identifiable with common design elements used within the building structure – exposed brick walls, cement floors, metal framed windows, exposed beams, sleek metal and glass lighting and raw unfinished materials.


Neutral colours work best as a base (a mix of greys and shades of white). The simple colour palette allows the carefully curated furniture and accessories to liven up the room. Everywhere there are layers of textured wood alongside metal tones. Wide open spaces work best for an Industrial Chic style, high ceilings reflecting the updated loft, converted warehouse and abandoned factory origins. Large open windows are important, where possible.


Lighting is integral to an Industrial Chic style. An industrial-looking chandelier with exposed filament bulbs is a great way to create a focal point in your space. Floor lamps are trending too, however most light fixtures with metal finishes fits right in. Overhead light fixtures can also give the area an industrial ambience, especially in the kitchen.


When decorating an Industrial Chic space, choose items that reflect the country’s industrial history (spools, work desks, shoe lasts, vintage tools, metal chairs). This is a no-frills style. Furniture should be made from recycled metal or wooden materials, and you can add a sense of comfort with a leather armchair or neutral sofa. Salvaged materials give an authentic industrial feel – woods mixed with rivets, pieces of machinery and aged metal signs are key elements. Accessories like metal tables or an antique accent lamp can infuse a subtle industrial edge into any decor. Simplicity is important – avoid an excess furniture and accessories, instead create interest and depth with a mix of textures, patterns and patinas. Greenery works well.

For kitchens, classic islands work best, made from reclaimed wood or a variety of metals. Pair with bar stools that clash or complement. Open faced shelving and storage are ideal for an Industrial Chic kitchen, and free standing metal racks can provide extra storage. Exposed overhead beams, exposed brick walls, metal splash backs, metal framed windows and concrete floors complete the look.

Open-plan living, large windows and textures of metal and wood are the cornerstones of the Industrial Chic design, highlighted with key mechanical-inspired accessories and a simplicity of style. It’s the perfect aesthetic in the right setting.

If you are interested in creating an Industrial Chic space in your home or commercial property, contact the KWD team.

Images courtesy of Houzz.

Antonino Sciortino images by Serge Anton


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