The industrial interior design style originates from the conversion of old factories and warehouses into spacious living spaces that retained the utilitarian elements of their original design. If you’re after the urban appeal of the industrial style, but don’t want to move to a downtown loft apartment, don’t fret - there are plenty of ways to bring this style into your interior.
Here we take a look at how to design an industrial-style living room. Use these tips to create a fully industrial-inspired living room, or pick your favourites to bring a touch of industrial flair to a modern space.
Pictured: Nordal Downtown 2 Door Metal Sideboard
Exposed Brickwork or Distressed Walls
Nothing is more ‘industrial’ than an exposed brick wall! If it’s possible for you to have an exposed brick wall in your living room, then this is a great start for the foundations of your industrial space and can bring a really authentic feel. If you don't have these features, you can consider using brick wallpaper or faux brick panels to achieve a similar effect.
If exposed bricks aren’t for you, then you can try a distressed look instead. You can find plenty of distressed wallpaper styles, or DIY it by painting walls grey and distressing the paint with sandpaper once dry.
Pictured: Dutchbone Six Cabinet Fir Wood Sideboard
Industrial Colour Palette
Choose a neutral colour palette with shades of grey, brown, black, and white as the foundation for your industrial-style living room. These colours provide a backdrop that complements the raw materials and textures used in this style.
While the majority of the colour palette should be neutral, there are still opportunities to add in pops of colour. Shades that work well in an industrial design include olive green, navy blue, orange, red, or pastel pink.
Pictured: Dutchbone Cubo Brass Pendant Light
Industrial-style lighting plays a crucial role in setting the mood. Opt for fixtures with a vintage or retro look, such as metal pendant lights, domed glass fixtures, exposed bulb sconces, or industrial-style floor lamps. You can also consider incorporating Edison bulbs to add warmth and a nostalgic touch.
Our range of industrial lighting ticks these boxes, so you can choose overhead lighting, lamps and accent lighting for your living room that suits this style.
Industrial Living Room Furniture
Choose furniture pieces that have a minimalist, utilitarian design. Look for pieces made from metal, leather, or distressed wood. Incorporate items with clean lines and simple shapes, such as leather sofas, metal coffee tables, iron and glass cabinets and reclaimed wood shelving units.
Industrial-style furniture often showcases exposed hardware, plenty of storage space, distressed finishes, and functional design. Emphasise the use of metal and wood throughout the space. Incorporate metal elements through metal furniture frames, floor lamps or shelving units. Use reclaimed wood for accent walls, shelving, or furniture pieces to add warmth and texture.
Pictured: Ryan Black Iron Shelf Unit
Here are some furniture pieces commonly found in an industrial-style living room:
- Leather Sofa - Look for a leather sofa and chairs with a distressed look, or opt for one in a neutral colour like brown or black.
- Metal Coffee Table - Choose a coffee table with a metal frame and a reclaimed wood or glass top. Industrial-style coffee tables often have a minimalist design.
- Industrial Shelving Units - Install open metal shelves or use industrial-style cabinets for displaying books, plants, and decorative items. Look for shelving units with exposed metal frames and wooden or metal shelves. Cabinets with glass doors and metal frames also offer an industrial feel.
- Reclaimed Wood Sideboard - Use a large sideboard made from reclaimed wood as a place for your TV and entertainment items. It can have a rustic, weathered appearance, showcasing the natural beauty of the wood.
- Metal Accent Chairs - Add a couple of metal accent chairs with leather upholstery or distressed fabric. Look for designs that feature visible rivets or exposed metal frames.
- Vintage Metal Cabinets - Incorporate vintage metal cabinets or lockers for storage. These can be used for storing books, media, or other belongings while adding to the industrial aesthetic.
- Distressed Wood Bench - Place a distressed wood bench against a wall or near the entrance as a functional and stylish seating option or as additional shelving.
- Factory Cart or Trunk - Incorporate a vintage factory cart or trunk as a unique coffee table or storage piece. These industrial artefacts add character to the room.
Take a look at our range of industrial furniture to find the perfect pieces for your living room.
Industrial Textiles and Accessories
Choose textiles and accessories that complement the industrial aesthetic. Consider incorporating leather or distressed fabric cushions, textured rugs with a worn or faded look, and thicker fabrics like wool or heavy cotton.
Industrial Decorative Elements
Add industrial-inspired decorative elements to enhance the overall ambience. Incorporate items like vintage signs, metal wall art, factory-inspired clocks, or wire baskets for storage. Displaying old gears, pipes, or machinery parts as sculptural pieces can also add a unique industrial touch.
Open Space and Minimalism
Industrial design often embraces open spaces and minimal clutter. Keep the layout simple and uncluttered, allowing the raw materials and architectural elements to take centre stage. Use storage solutions that blend with the overall aesthetic, such as metal or wire shelving units.
Pictured: Dutchbone Boli Iron Coffee Tables
Plants and Greenery
Introduce some greenery to soften the industrial look and bring a touch of nature indoors. Plants in metal or concrete planters can add a refreshing contrast to the raw materials and provide a lively and vibrant element to the space.
Remember, the industrial style celebrates the beauty of imperfections, so embrace the raw, unfinished, and weathered aspects of materials and decor choices. Experiment with different elements to create a unique industrial-inspired living room that reflects your personal style.