5 min readGone are the days of industrial living being the obligatory result of the conversion of dark, inner-city warehouses. Industrial design has become a style in its own right, with more homeowners taking on considerable renovation projects to craft their home into their own unique take on warehouse style.
With the ability to achieve much more from a property than ever before, people are drawing inspiration from raw and rustic industrial elements to create living spaces that fulfil their need for an appealing fusion of open space, unfinished interior finishes and structural elements, and a modern creativity that echoes their personality.
When it comes to creating the industrial look in your home there are a few key principles to work with, and understanding how they work together gives you the recipe to achieve an industrial warehouse look that will carry itself tastefully for years to come.
A monochrome colour scheme is synonymous with creating an industrial style. Start by using a darker colour palette for walls and floors; think blacks, greys, rust, limestone washes and metallics. Offset these dark colours against the natural, raw colours of construction materials, to create a simple combination that appears modern and uncluttered.
Our Collingwood Matt Concrete Look tile and Berry Timber Look Walnut Brown tile (pictured below) are great examples of rich, rustic colours that can easily transform your rooms.
Image: TileCloud Image: TileCloud
Concrete, tile, exposed brick, wooden beams, and anything that emanates mechanics and manufacturing are perfect finishes to use when creating your look. Using large format tiles for floors creates a sense of depth and space. Exposed brick walls add to the dimensions of the space by carrying the eye from floor to ceiling like an uninterrupted vista.
Work with the beauty of imperfection (i.e. reclaimed timber) or the rigid cleanliness of sharp lines and smooth surfaces (i.e. polished concrete). You can go either way. Introduce wooden features such as reclaimed barn doors with metal castors, tall, factory-style steel framed windows, and open, metal staircases. Or opt for polished high-gloss concrete floors paired with a sleek, steel kitchen bench and industrial seating. Whichever style you choose, be consistent and think of each main element as a strategic design focal point.
It’s said that the kitchen is the soul of a home, but a kitchen without soul will quickly become a room you’d rather not spend time in. Kitchens are a great space to get creative with warehouse style. They needn’t follow the rules of bland white stone benchtops and white cabinetry, and it’s easy to create a functional kitchen that remains in tune with the rest of your industrial-themed home.
Create that open plan voluminous warehouse feel by opening your kitchen up to the rest of your house by eliminating any walls that block it off from your living areas. In the design incorporate features such as stainless steel bench tops, exposed beams, open shelving, open cabinets with exposed kitchenware and maybe even a freestanding cooker, that’s almost commercial in nature.
Add in subway tiles or exposed brick from bench to ceiling, and low-hanging copper pendant lights to add just the right amount of atmosphere. Our White Gums Glazed Bevelled Subway tile in white or black (pictured below) with contrasting grout looks amazing in an industrial-inspired kitchen.
Image: TileCloud Image: TileCloud
When it comes to industrial themed furnishings, you’re spoilt for choice. There’s been an influx of furniture and furnishing manufacturers embracing industrial styles. Simple designs that reflect the art of their creation. Style bedrooms with canopy-framed beds, monochromatic lighting, and ceiling to floor drapes. Warm the room with a floor rug that accentuates a themed colour element, or keep it simple and neutral.
Freestanding work lamps lend themselves nicely to living areas, as do vintage wooden or metal trunks that can be used as storage or casual seating. Open iron pipe shelving works well too, as it permits the main focal features of the room to coexist while remaining functional for storage and living.
Dress vintage or modern sofas and armchairs with cushions and throws in strong themed colours, and add colour with wall hangings that match the scale and size of their position. Layered against the industrial backdrop, bold colours bring a lively element to the design.
Plants such as succulents add a natural aesthetic that marries wonderfully with any natural construction materials you’ve used. Consider tying your theme colour to a subtle stand-out feature in your main finishes.
Your exterior is just as important as your interior, and in real estate we know first impressions mean a great deal.
Continue your industrial makeover outdoors by tying in the same elements you’ve used inside. For example, if exposed brick and raw timber are prominent features indoors, continue this theme by cladding your exterior with unwashed brickwork and a repurposed barn door for your main entry or garage door.
There are many materials you can look to when presenting the exterior of your home to the world; zincalume, timber, or concrete cladding are just some. Depending on the size of your home, these can all be easy, cost-effective, and maintenance-light ways to dress your exterior so that it carries your industrial look outdoors.
Wide doorways opening out to entertaining areas with beamed roofing and comfortable seating. Iron railings and wooden steps keep things simple yet organised, and black steel frame windows camouflage against their backdrops with ease, yet stand out enough to serve their purpose and frame large open windows. A tiled entrance is a great way to create a seamless flow from outside to inside.
Our Franklin Exfoliated Granite tile can be used both outdoors and indoors, and is a terrific way to connect both spaces.
We hope these five key principles and material examples will help you create the industrial chic look you’re after in your home.
If you’re still unsure whether the industrial look is right for you take our quiz to find out which interior style best suits your personality.