We pride ourselves on being Chicago's leading design experts and one of our favorite design trends is industrial interior design. We'll spill all the design secrets you need to bring the industrial design style into your space.
A Productive History
The first industrial spaces appeared during the late 1800s and early 1900s. After the industrial revolution significantly increased factory production capacities, these companies needed larger factories and warehouses that could fit a multitude of workers. Design and aesthetics were not important. Instead, architects focused on practicability by crafting open spaces that could house hundreds of machines.
Constructed mainly of steel and concrete, architects designed these structures to stand the test of time. As many top manufacturers have moved their productions to even larger facilities, many former factories have been converted into apartments, condos, and lofts, resulting in the newfound prominence of industrial interior design.
Key Elements of Industrial Interior Design
Like most interior design styles, a few critical components define the industrial design style.
- Metal: Metal is often found in exposed pipes and structural elements, like scaffolding. You’ll often find metal on railings, light fixtures, and stairs in industrial homes.
- Wood: Wood and metal are always a stunning pair, so it's no surprise that these two materials are an integral part of industrial decoration. You may find wood simply covered in a clear sealant coat to display the natural beauty of the wood or, most often, you’ll find wood painted in cool, neutral hues in industrial settings.
- Neutral colors: Akin to realistic factory environments, most industrial interior designers primarily use cool, muted neutrals like gray, white, and black.
- Sleek lines: Industrial design favors straight, clean lines—a nod to its no-fuss founding. The wavy, organic shapes characteristic of maximalism would not feel at home in an industrial loft apartment.
- Open floorplans: As many industrial spaces started as factories, it would be counterintuitive to limit the space's flow by adding walls separating each room. You’ll typically only find walls and doors in rooms where privacy is important like bedrooms and bathrooms.
Industrial Decoration In Your Own Home
Because it is so simple thematically, industrial decor is one of the easiest styles to implement in your own space. You can even accomplish this trend if the architecture of your home or apartment leans toward a different interior design style! Industrial decor relies heavily on permanent decor elements, but several ways exist to achieve this look without taking on a lengthy renovation project.
Start at the Windows
Factory windows are one of the most notable features of this design style. Denoted by the metal panels dividing a large section of glass, factory windows add character and charm to any space. Purchase your windows new or salvage them from an antique market for some extra history, or simply paint the window jambs and sill a black or steel gray.
Incorporating diverse textiles is one of the best ways to add visual interest to any space. Focus on sleek fabrics in cool colors. Long, continuous roller shades or floor to ceiling drapery adds dramatic flair and accentuates your windows. Large area rugs complement your open floor plan, and leather is a beautiful addition as well, especially for sofas, chairs, and ottomans.
Keep it Cool
Overall, the easiest way to embrace industrial decoration is by committing to a limited color scheme like black, brown, gray, and white. Keep in mind a cool color palette when you choose accent colors. Warm shades like red and yellow have their place in industrial decor but use them sparingly in favor ofblues andpurples.
Expert Design Advice in Chicago
With multiple locations across Chicagoland, we are ready to help you with your home improvement needs, including Benjamin Moore paints, Hunter Douglas window treatments, and more. You can count on JC Licht to Make it Happen! JC Licht is the preferred provider of Hunter Douglas products for the Midwest and Chicagoland.Contact us for more information orbook an in-home color consultation today!