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Industrial-style interior design is a popular design trend, that takes inspiration from old factory buildings, warehouses and lofts turned into modern commercial and living spaces. Characterised by a modern industrial-chic style, raw and edgy style and an unexpected combination of materials, features and fittings, it is a design style that has an almost timeless appeal. All in all, industrial interior design is an incredibly versatile design style that gives spaces a unique individuality and is easy to integrate into any interior design project irrespective of the budget.

If you are thinking about refitting or redesigning your commercial space and giving it an industrial look, here’s our guide for you. We explain what industrial interior design is and teach you how to make it work. Transform your space and create inspiring industrial-style interior designs with the help of our professional team at Contrast Interiors.

What is industrial interior design?

Industrial-style interior design refers to an edgy and modern design style, that is incredibly popular in both the commercial and residential sector. Characterised by exposed architectural features and raw materials such as brick, wood and metal, this style is defined by a contrasting yet perfectly balanced design aesthetic.

The origins of this interior design style go back to the beginning of the 20th century. Due to excessive urbanisation, in the 1960s and 1970s, people began reclaiming the old, abandoned factories and turning them into modern commercial and living spaces. The large, open and light-filled lofts, with exposed details, soon gained popularity and became a design aesthetic that is still popular today.

What are the benefits of industrial interior design?

There are various reasons why choosing this interior design style might be a good option for your commercial space. Thus, industrial interior design is a flexible and incredibly versatile design option, that is relatively easy to implement. The use of unique textures, natural materials, vintage furniture and natural hues creates a bold statement that gives your space character.

The main benefits of industrial-style interior design include:

  • Versatility. This interior design style is extremely flexible and versatile. It can be integrated easily into any residential or commercial interior design, and it is fairly easy to pull off.
  • Sustainable. In recent years, there has been an increased focus on creating more environmentally friendly interior designs. Due to its use of reclaimed and salvaged materials, as well as its minimalistic approach to design, industrial-style interiors tend to be environmentally-friendly and sustainable.
  • Unique charm and edginess. Given its flexible nature, industrial-style interior designs can give your space a unique aesthetic and style. The juxtaposition of raw and modern features and fittings creates a bold statement and gives any space a unique vibe.
  • Budget-friendly. Besides the above, this interior design style is easy to implement without breaking the bank. Since it promotes the use of reclaimed materials, vintage furniture, creating unique industrial-style designs often requires more creativity than a large budget.

The characteristics of industrial interior design

While industrial interior design is extremely versatile, there are a few common traits shared by spaces opting for this design aesthetic. So what characterises industrial-style interior design? And what are the key features of this design trend? Here are a few key points:

  • Exposed ducts and pipes. Open ceilings, exposed ducts and pipes can be considered one of the hallmarks of industrial-style interior design. Exposed architectural elements and features remind people of the original purpose of the building and give the space a unique vibe.
  • Natural materials. Industrial-style interior design is dominated by the use of natural as well as reclaimed and recycled materials. Wood, metal, concrete, leather and stone are especially common.
  • Vintage Furniture. Worn-looking furniture and the use of reclaimed materials is also characteristic of industrial-style designs. Transmitting a sense of sturdiness, a slightly worn-look combined with modern details gives the space a unique charm and character.
  • Large, bare windows. Industrial-style designs are characterised by large, bare windows without covers or blinds. Large bare windows and metallic window frames provide an abundance of light, opening up the space and making it feel airy and spacious.
  • Neutral colours. Neutral, monochromatic colours and shades dominate industrial-style designs. Earthy tones, light colours and a more natural colour palette is the perfect backdrop that can truly make the industrial fixtures shine.
  • Brick walls. Sanding down a wall to expose the bricklayer below is a common practice when creating industrial-style interiors. Doing so brings warmth to the interior and stands in nice contrast with the other features.
  • Lighting. Classic light fixtures, metal lamps and vintage lampshades are particular to industrial interior design style. Classic, Edison-style light bulbs with warm light sources brighten up the space and bring warmth to the interior.

How ace the industrial interior design style?

But how can you create truly inspiring industrial-style interior designs? And what aspects should you pay attention to if you want to create industrial-inspired designs in your commercial space? Here are a few tips and ideas.

Maximise minimalism

Minimalism and industrial interior design go hand in hand. Just like minimalism, industrial-style decor is all about creating clutter-free spaces that are practical and impactful at the same time. So, if you want to make industrial-style interior design work for you, start by decluttering your space. Limit decorations, and leave walls and floors relatively bare. After all, it’s the industrial fixtures that should dominate your space!

Focus on lighting

Lighting is integral to any interior design project. So make sure that you don’t forget about light fixtures and an efficient lighting design either. Opt for metallic light fixtures or low-hanging light pendants that remind people of the original purpose of the space. Similarly, classical light fixtures and warmer-tones are a perfect match for the aesthetic and feel of industrial spaces.

Function over form

When it comes to industrial-style interior design, function comes before form. Thus, if you want to master this design style, practicality should always come first. Emphasise practical and uncomplicated designs and simple forms without ornamentation or excessive decor.

Use metal furniture & fixtures

Metal is a vital component of industrial interior design. Simple, metallic furniture and fixtures can be a great way to bring an industrial feel to any interior. Available in various colours and textures, there are many ways you can integrate metallic fixtures and furniture into the design. Nevertheless, if you opt for metallic seating furniture, make sure you add cushions or opt for leather upholstery to ensure the comfort of your guests.

Bare walls

As said before, industrial-style interiors are characterised by exposed architectural features and bare walls. Exposed brickwork is an especially common trait of this interior design aesthetic. Brick walls can bring warmth into space while also reminding people of the look and feel of old factories and warehouses. Keeping wall decor to a minimum further adds to this design style and helps make your fixtures shine.

Go natural

Industrial-style interiors are all about finding a perfect balance between the cold, industrial feel of metallic fixtures and the warmth of more modern and natural materials. Create nice contrasts in your space by using more natural materials, such as wood, stone or concrete. Similarly, try to incorporate biophilia into the interior design and add some greenery to the decor.


The industrial-style interior design encourages the use of reclaimed materials, furniture and fixtures in creative ways. Reconditioning an old factory table or incorporating industrial furniture and fittings into the design is not only a creative way to bring some uniqueness and charm into space but also helps complete the style and reminds people of the original purpose of the building.

Open plan

Remember old factories? They feel open, spacious and large. Thus, if you wish to create the best industrial-style designs opt for a more open floor plan and layout to open up the space. Eliminating or limiting partitions and opting for an open-space design will help make space feel larger and airier.

Need help in implementing these industrial interior design tips?

We hope that these tips will help you transform your space and master this modern industrial-chic design trend. Nevertheless, if you need professional help implementing these tips or creating an industrial interior design style, you can always contact our team at Contrast Interiors for help.

We have more than fifteen years of experience in the commercial interior design and shopfitting sector. With experienced and time-served professionals, we can completely transform any commercial space and bring to life designs that are unique, charming and functional. Our services cover all aspects of a professional shop fit. Be it a complete or partial refit, we can help.

Contact our team for a free consultation and transform your space with our help!