A wood and metal love affair; your Industrial style guide.

When I hear of Industrial style, my mind automatically thinks of exposed pipes, brick walls, metallic accents, warehouses, great dark wood floors, large metal light fixtures; you get the picture, right? Seems very unflattering and unappealing to the human eye, but when correctly put together, industrial style is a marvelous feat. I love the raw, textured and unfinished feel it exudes. Everything seems so simple and shows no signs of disintegrating. So, what exactly makes these unfinished spaces so chic? Let me take you to school;

Industrial Style History

The Industrial Revolution which took place from the last three centuries, was a period during which predominantly agrarian, rural societies in Europe and America became industrial and urban. At the end of the 2nd Industrial Revolution, factories closed, and many buildings were left vacant in cities that had once been used for manufacturing and heavy industry. It became more apparent that the industrial revolution would shift to urbanization. Populations were increasing leading to shortage of residential buildings. So, what better than to occupy these vacant ware houses and factories and turn them into homes? That’s exactly what the good folks of the 20th century did. The new homeowners did not touch up or change their new homes and thus, the result is what we celebrate today as bare walls, steel beams and architectural details.

When it comes to designing an industrial style home, consider not concealing the unappealing parts of the home that are exposed. Industrial style is about going for that raw and unfinished look. It boasts neutral tones, utilitarian materials, metal and wood surfaces. This style is commonly found in commercial spaces, loft apartments and now modern homes.

Get the look

  • Re-purposing is central to this style. Mix new pieces with reclaimed ones. Get yourself a reclaimed wooden dining table and pair it with metallic dining chairs to add an element of industrial chic.
  • Add plenty of metal to your decor. Metal lends the right touch of sleekness without being too upscale. The best way to acquire this look is by choosing metals that have a matte finish. Matte black or raw metal finishes are a perfect fit for industry style.
  • Break up the metal by adding wooden and stone materials to keep you from feeling as though you live in a cold warehouse.
  • Industry style works best in homes with spacious open plan designs. Therefore, it is best to opt for an open plan if an industrial look is your style of preference.
  • Go for a neutral color palette (black, gray, white) without overdoing it. If you feel the room is flat, then throw in a brighter hue to give the room some life. A leather couch in a neutral color like caramel or rich brown would do the trick. Add vivacious art such giant abstract works to provide contrast to the masculine industrial style.
  • Source for materials that you can give a second life. The most ideal place to search would be an antique shop. They store copper, brass, wood, iron, aluminum furniture which is perfect for industrial styling.
  • Embrace the rawness of the room. An industrial room usually leaves nothing to the imagination. Exposed pipes, beams and duct-work show the structural skeleton of the room, adding visual interest and dimension. Other styles of design may consider the nakedness of the brick walls an eyesore, but it is what gives the room its beauty and personality. Do not cover it with plaster.
  • Add some edge and balance to the room by hanging photos, turning salvaged finds into furniture and adding large area rugs and floor cushions to add some warmth and color.
  • Finally, you can never go wrong with plants – the bigger the better.

Industrial styling done to perfection


White washed wooden bed in industrial style
White washed wooden bed exuding industrial style vibes


Believe it or not, this is a bedroom in a shipping container. How cool is that?


A different angle of the bedroom in a shipping container.


Open plan industrial style kitchen in a shipping container.


Definitely my kind of bathroom.


A little color goes a long way in an industrial style home.


This industrial style living room is a thing of beauty.


When my bathroom grows up; definitely!


Love how the golden light fixture contrasts against the brick wall.


Industrial style haven.


No matter what your space is adorned with, it’s possible to execute industrial style regardless of your budget and project. It can be as affordable as you want it to be since it celebrates humble materials. Is industrial style something you may want to consider? Drop a comment or two below and let’s get talking.

For more tips and tricks on everything home styling and décor, keep it Manjano!



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