What is Industrial style?

Birthed in the Industrial Revolution era, industrial design was initially never a style. Factories used for buzzing businesses were exchanged for more simplified manufacturing processes requiring reduced spaces. With the availability of residential premises on the decrease, these repurposed factories were suddenly revived and quickly became coveted pieces of real estate for trend-setting design enthusiasts.

The industrial style came to life in the 2000s when housing shortages were rising, and these abandoned factories were converted into industrial loft apartments with open floor plans ideal for residential living. Revealing minimalism at its finest through the use of open spaces, natural surfaces and exposed architectural facets, these elements of the factory-style lofts and buildings quickly became key design features of this growing design trend within homes and residential apartments.

So, how do you incorporate industrial styling into your home and what sets this popular trend apart? We have provided a simple rundown on the elements of authentic industrial design and the how-tos of getting it right.

What is industrial style?

From its foundational years in industrial spaces, warehouses and factories, industrial style proudly boasts the simplicity of urban architecture. This popular style embraces exposed features such as beams, pipes and concrete and provides a stripped-back feel and minimalistic outlook to the home.

Industrial style remains true to its name as it holds onto a warehouse feel in its choice of rustic materials and furniture pieces combined with the open spaces that promote functionality and seamless flow between living spaces.

Incorporating building materials in their natural form, industrial style is recognised for its use of bare bricks, recycled wood, distressed metal and furnishings with a raw, earthen finish. This industrial chic style focuses on exposed features and materials and provides a clean open space that is bold and can blend with the personalisation of the individual designer.

Use of colour

Unlike other minimalist styles, industrial style steers away from using the ever-popular shades of white. To some, industrial style’s colours (or lack thereof) can seem somewhat bland. However, the key to correct colour choices for this popular trend is choosing foundational colours such as black, grey, white and brown. The industrial style is essentially masculine in feel and softened by metallic colours such as silver and gold, plus deep navy blues.

This seemingly understated style creates a glamorous sophistication and industrial sense of chic that is timeless in both design and functionality. With subtle pops of colour, architecturally inspired pieces and urban-infused decor elements, this clean space allows you to create bold statements that add your personality and flair to the home.


Nothing speaks industrial style like exposed, natural flooring. Although wooden flooring is a timeless feature in many homes, polished concrete flooring has become popular among industrial style enthusiasts. Adding to its visual appeal, polished concrete is an expensive option that provides excellent results. A blank slate, concrete allows you to design for the floor up, adding the perfect blend of neutral colours, rustic materials and statement furniture to create your ideal space.

Lighting and art

Industrial style lighting and art comes in many forms and allows you to put your personal spin on design plans using these feature pieces. Typically, this popular style aims to accentuate the room’s space and silhouettes through the use of natural light. Expansive factory-style windows are stunning focal points within industrial design and are visually complemented by their beautifully structured framing.

Antique light pendants and vintage lamps are popular choices when requiring additional light sources within a space. Mostly made from metal, these light statements add a weathered flair to industrial style in the home. If the paired back, minimal look is your go-to, you may consider incorporating bare bulbs as your choice of lighting statement. Edison bulbs can be hung solo or grouped, while free-standing lamps with an exposed bulb are also a stylish and popular choice.

Strategically placed lighting features bring an industrial interior to life and illuminate your desired focal points. From floor-to-ceiling bookshelves strewn with a lifetime of reading and memorabilia to multi-coloured abstract wall decor, the opportunities for artistic flair and individuality are limitless.

Industrial style has come a long way from its foundations in the warehouses of past eras. Taking many forms and allowing the freedom to implement individuality, this style is laid-back and effortless, making it no surprise it is a popular choice in so many homes today. From the exposed architecture to wood and metal accents throughout, the unfinished glamour of industrial style is an achievable and suitable style for every price point.

Call Modern Kitchens Northside today on 07 3889 9054 to speak to our expert team of kitchen designers on how we can help you with your upcoming Brisbane kitchen renovation or new build or refresh.

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