December 2, 2021
Contrary to what it might sound like, the industrial design living room is comfortable, bright, full of character and sophistication. Its timeless appeal may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s nonetheless dramatically impressive and highly functional.
It goes without saying that you don’t have to live in a loft or an abandoned factory to create an industrial design living room. Instead, the industrial look can be achieved by following a few guidelines in terms of finishes, lighting and furniture. If you’ve always dreamed of an industrial living room, read our guide below. You’ll find answers to all your industrial-style questions.
Devon Black 19.3X180 / 29.4X180 (Available in-store)
Loft living is closely linked to the rediscovery of inner-city living in the 80s and 90s by the emerging “yuppie” generation. This, in turn, was a reaction to how these neighbourhoods had been abandoned by urban planners and developers alike in the post-World War II era. Back then, it was all about the suburbs. However, the advantages of living in the city centre are impossible to deny. Everything you need is nearby and there’s always something to do.
Thanks to the deindustrialisation of city centres and docklands, suddenly many industrial buildings became available for residential purposes. This led to a different style of living and, with it, a new way of life. In line with this trend, industrial interior design became popular. This style references the history of the buildings and the neighbourhoods in which they are located.
Industrial style references the history of the buildings and the neighbourhoods in which they are located.
Urban centres such as Liverpool and Manchester, former industrial powerhouses of the North, were the first to get on board, followed by London and other cities in the UK. The abandoned warehouses and factories provided the ideal raw material to create spacious, light-filled and well-located flats (or lofts).
Initially, it was artists, musicians and bohemians who first moved into these spaces. They were the ones who made them fashionable. Then came young professionals and then families. Today it is a housing typology in its own right, and industrial interior design is its language.
Ferroker 40X80 (Available online & in-store)
The living room represents the beating heart of our homes. Because we spend so much time there, entertaining and being entertained, it is the one room in the house where we can really express ourselves.
The industrial interior design living room evokes a strong and robust character. It is functional, no-nonsense and potentially elegant with a classic appeal that conveys the times we live. If you get the look right, you can have the best of 21st Century comfort, easy maintenance and the quintessential urban décor.
The following list is a comprehensive guide for bringing the industrial look into your home. Remember that industrial style, even more so than for other styles, is personal and should be adapted to individual layouts and tastes.
The open-plan layout works best for the industrial design living room. A kitchen and dining area combined with the living room provide the best setting to create the large volume and spacious layout that is the heart of an industrial-style living room.
With the conversion of the factories came their large windows, designed to provide enough light to operate complicated machinery. As the floor-to-ceiling height in these spaces is higher than that of a typical house, the windows let in a substantial amount of light. This requires special window treatment and double glazing, however. The payoff, meanwhile, is natural light-filled rooms.
One of the most easily identifiable features of an industrial design living room is the raw finishes associated with lofts. If there are brick or industrial concrete walls, then they should be exposed, whatever their condition. However, tiles with cement effect, wood effect or metallic effect and new generation vinyl can create the same rough effect.
Take a look at our cement effect, wood effect and metallic effect tiles and get an industrial look at home.
Another significant component of industrial interior design is the exposure of the building structure. Specifically for living rooms, this may be the wooden beams supporting the ceiling or, if it is a single-storey building with a pitched roof structure, the roof beams. If the ceiling height allows, incorporate a mezzanine or ladder to access the high-level shelving. This will underline the industrial feel.
The High Tech movement of the 70s and 80s made celebrating building services fashionable. Think of the Lloyds Insurance building in London or the Millennium Dome in Greenwich; these buildings draw attention to the functional equipment that other styles do their best to hide. So in the industrial interior design living room, the electrical cables can be mounted within the metal tubes directly on exposed walls. There is no need to embed them in the ceiling or walls.
The colour palette of the industrial design living room is dark and moody. Accents should be metallic and functional. Deep reds, beiges and, of course, black will help create the look on the walls. To soften the feel, set your imagination free with overstuffed couches, upholstered in deep pile velvets and other fabrics that caress the skin. Selected pieces should create a marked contrast between the container and the contained.
The other element that may be more readily available to create an authentic industrial design interior is furniture. For an open-plan living room, start with classic metal dining chairs like the Navy chair or the Tolix chair, which will get you halfway there. Mix vintage and modern styles. If industrial design had to be described by just one word, it’s eclectic. Leather, metal, glass and fabric should be mixed freely.
The industrial interior design approach doesn’t mean cold or echoey rooms. The trick is to find harmony between the hard industrial material and the softer, absorbent and comfortable surfaces. That’s where soft furnishings come into play, combined with panels of absorbent material such as cork, wood, carpets as wall hangings, etc.
Decorative objects and artworks are another way to soften the hard edges of industrial interior design living rooms. Make them as personal as possible to reflect your individual taste and life story. Paintings, books, sculptures and industrial artefacts will help personalise the living room (and become a conversation point).
Industrial interior design is an interior style that emerged in the 1980s and has been popular ever since. Large, open spaces with high ceilings are some of its hallmarks. So are raw materials such as concrete, metal and wood, typically used in commercial vehicle construction. Industrial home décor is suitable for any space and adds a special touch and dramatic effect to the interior.
The industrial interior look needs space, so maximise the available area by merging or decluttering rooms. Finishes are the next important element of industrial interior design. Opt for robust, durable and industrial materials such as glass, hardwood, metal, exposed brick, raw concrete and plaster. Colour schemes and furniture add authenticity and industrial accessories provide the finishing touches.