Think of a warehouse or a factory. Think of worn-out brick walls, concrete flooring and metal pipes exposed from the ceiling. Now, think of incorporating all of those into a home.

If you have done research on current design trends, you have probably stumbled upon the word ‘industrial.’ Although one would instantly associate the word to the damp and dull vibe of warehouses and factories, this design trend has become a staple in homes and office spaces around the world. In Melbourne, an industrial-styled home even garnered a commendation in the ‘Residential Decoration’ category of the Australian Interior Design Awards.

Industrial interior design focuses on combining rough and raw elements with clean and streamlined concepts. It turns structural elements into showpieces, exposing building materials that other styles try to conceal.

For those who want to take their homes to the next level with the sleek and modern elements of industrial design, consider its key characteristics:

Exposed Pipes and Ducts

  • Pipes, beams and ducts: these things are generally hidden behind walls and in ceilings. However, industrial piping systems are the signature features of the modern design trend. Displaying structural and mechanical elements gives the space an unfinished feel and a bold look, challenging the traditional definitions of home and comfort.
  • How to do it: Exposed pipes are a fabulous choice for all-white spaces, as the brightness of the ceiling and the walls provide a sharp contrast to the metal of the piping. You can also install joints along the piping’s path to create interesting patterns or have pipes custom-bent by a metalworker or a professional pipe fitter.

Wood and Metal Interplay

Modern apartment with wood furnishingA plethora of wood and metal furnishings and surfaces is found in industrial-style interiors. Wood and metal being the natural materials of the building, they continue the raw and rough elements of the industrial theme. The delightful textural interplay of earthy, grainy wood and smooth, lustrous metals also contrast effectively and help balance each other out.

How to do it: Pair an oak dining table with metal chairs or incorporate stainless steel counters below your wooden kitchen cabinets. If you have wooden flooring, you can extend the presence of metal by incorporating chrome furnishings and high-sheen steel light fixtures.

Vintage Furniture

Reclaimed furniture inspired by old laboratory or factory pieces plays a significant role in the industrial decor scheme. This is because they look both minimalistic and rough around the edges, ideal for the type of style that industrial interiors are going for. Re-purposed vintage furniture, scissor accordion lighting, bar stools, laboratory stainless steel storage cabinets — these pieces proudly display their raw, earthy and unfinished features. They’ll blend well with the industrial theme and will also look superb when balanced with modern fixtures.

If you think that you’ll find it hard to purchase repurposed furniture, try visiting your local antique shops or furniture stores. Finding reclaimed furniture is not hard to do nowadays, as many furniture companies are embracing the sustainability movement and using recycled wood, metals and plastics when creating products.

The enduring popularity of industrial interior design has become a residential staple across the world in need of modern revitalisation. The trend offers people an interesting opportunity to embrace a style that’s raw and edgy yet chic and cohesive at the same time. It might be an unlikely style but with its juxtaposition of the modern with the vintage, it’s not hard to see its enduring appeal.

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