• How to Create Industrial Interior - Design Guide

December 23, 2016

With a blend of exposed steel and rustic wood, industrial decor is one of our favorite design styles for its ability to achieve aesthetic balance. Baring it all takes courage, and modern industrial interior design is about exposing all that lies beneath to achieve raw, edgy style. What other styles are at pains to hide, industrial design boldly puts on display. Structural elements are turned into showpieces, achieving a look that seems unfinished, yet cohesive and chic. Increasingly used to style loft apartments, commercial spaces and even some modern homes, the industrial interior design trend is fast winning converts around the world. We will present you some decorating guides on how to furnish your home in one of the most popular interior design styles.


1. Industrial Decor Ideas

Before undertaking any interior design project, it’s important to draw some inspiration for your future space. We like to break some conventional rules to create interiors that are unique. Following examples are great inspiration how you can mix different styles together or just add some features of mid-century modern, boho or rustic style within the overall design. Depending on your preference, industrial decor can err on the side of contemporary chic or rugged steampunk.


2. Choose Right Colours

Selecting the right colour palette is essential to establishing the foundation of your interior design. From the rug, furniture, lighting, and accents, all of your pieces will be dependent on your colour preferences.
If your home includes exposed brick walls (painted or unpainted), cement floor, or any wood, then you’re already halfway there. Rustic colour schemes tend to feature a lot of brown and beige. Keep in mind that your sofa, chairs, and tables will likely be constructed of leather and raw wood, so you will naturally have plenty of brown or burnt orange. This gives you plenty of opportunities to use accent colours for your rug and other decor.

3. Choose Industrial Furniture

Industrial furniture relies heavily on raw materials. Raw steel, unfinished wood, visible concrete, exposed pipes, beams and ducts, light bulbs...

The delightful textural interplay of grainy, earthy wood and smooth, lustrous metal is a very popular industrial interior design trend. Many choose to extend the presence of metal by selecting high-sheen steel or chrome accents in the kitchen and for light fixtures.

Concrete is a fabulous and economical choice for the industrial look. It can be polished to a high gloss or left matte or unfinished for more rustic appeal. Leaving nail heads and seams exposed pulls off the industrial look. Concrete is also very versatile and can be used for floors, countertops, sinks, bathtubs, fireplaces and lots more.

Furniture made of wood and metal is a must in every industrial interior. Whether it’s the coffee table, dining table, shelving, cabinet or anything else. At least one wooden table is a must-have to achieve genuine industrial decor - especially those with steel legs.

In the photos below are examples of this kind of furniture. You can find them also in our Vanilla Store.


Industrial sofas and chairs often have leather finish. Though the materials are similar, the style of the leather furniture can be quite different. If you somehow don’t like leather, linen upholstered sofas and chairs are also a good option. If you prefer this look, you will almost always pick a design that is traditional (think tufted seats, lined with steel nail heads).

4. Rugs Blend In With Environment

When it comes to rug options, industrial decor is rather limited in ideas. Try to avoid rugs that are overly vibrant and chic (abstract art) or have distinct geometric patterns (chevrons or lattices) as they tend to look awkward in a rustic setting.

Instead we recommend you something that looks faded or is generally dark (grey, crimson red...). Consider a distressed oriental rug, textured solid rug, woven jute rug etc.


5. Accents Offer Contrast and Creativity

You have more flexibility when it comes to picking your decor items. Combine different materials such as leather and woven texture. Let the colours complement the rug – if the rug is solid and dark, try adding pieces that are colourful with artistic flair.

Industrial decor lighting often come in two categories: vintage, Old World-inspired lamps with frivolous ornamentation and details or modern geometric designs with brushed or grainy steel. Lighting is one of the most important components in industrial inspired homes.

Sign up for more free content

New interior design inspirations, DIY blog posts and future discounts information for all Vanilla's friends.