We curated our modern industrial look for the realist in you! You may admire the bright and white interiors you see on our blog and site, but let’s take a moment to be honest. With kids and pets you want something practical, functional, and durable… but you still want to have the freedom to insert your own creativity and design style. Modern industrial is a bold look that draws its inspiration from the American Industrial Revolution. This style became popular when abandoned warehouses and factories in cities were converted into apartments and residential spaces. It’s a raw, edgy, and brave style. It celebrates and exposes what most other styles try to cover up. And while it’s perhaps one of the most organic looks on our site, it is also one of the most masterful and most refined.
Structural elements and architecture are turned into showpieces, and rough industrial materials are used to make modern pieces that are weathered yet sophisticated. You’ll discover sleek, geometric shapes; natural, distressed finishes; and metal hardware from antiqued brass to oil-rubbed bronze. Boiled down: modern industrial is just plain cool. Now, here’s how you do it:
Monochrome & Earthy Colors
Tug at your patriotic side, and recall the lyrics to tunes like “America the Beautiful.” Alabaster cities. Amber waves of grain. Stick to neutral colors when creating your modern industrial palette, and steer clear of anything too bright or whimsical. Think wilderness. Pull warm, neutral colors that occur naturally in a North American environment like browns, greens, earthy reds and creams. Shades of gray and black can also work well when mixed with white to add a crisp, clean look.
Structure & Materials
Modern industrial interior design celebrates the natural architecture and structure of a space. Exposed pipes, beams, and ducts that are the signature feature of an industrial style. The earthy tones of distressed woods and exposed brick is especially prominent, as the reddish (or white brick!) coloration offers a note of Americana. Again, this look speaks to the realist: going industrial effectively eliminated the costs of covering up exposed building elements. But it’s also a really cool way to honor the history and integrity of your building, and there’s got to be some good karma for you there. For this look, you’re likely to find strong and durable materials that carry that American grit with them: steel, iron, reclaimed wood, cast iron, and leather.
To keep true to the American factory aesthetic, we like to opt for polished concrete floors. The coarseness, cracks, and imperfections are intentional: they tell the story of the space. Concrete was widely utilized in old factories for both flooring and structural work because of its strength, low cost and durability. The modern industrial look also gives allowance for a few warmer options, like wood or stone. And we frequently like to throw on a hide rug for a contrasting element reminiscent of the Old West.
Lighting & Pendants
Lighting an industrial space can be tricky because of all the darker elements. The trick is to remember to light your space with a utilitarian mindset; every light must have a purpose. Track lighting works well for ambient lighting, but be sure to be liberal with task lights and pendants as well. Metal finishes and distressed, vintage lighting options are perfect for this look. Some of our favorite American Industrial lighting options incorporate elements of the factory into the build of the piece, such as our Iker black cage floor lamp and our Toledo antique chandelier which is composed of eight light Edison bulb spokes. For fun and elegant juxtaposition, add a feminine piece such as a crystal chandelier to an urban industrial space.
Furniture & Decor
Modern industrial furniture and decor is essential to getting this look right. Furniture and decor offers softness and warmth as a visual contrast to all of the other structural elements. Plush leather sofas, soft hand-knotted wool rugs, and warm wooden tables offer a level of comfort. Repurposed American vintage furniture, pulley-operated lighting, and crank style stools and tables all inhabit this look. Plants and greenery are also a must for this look, and our advice here is truly American: the bigger the better. A great source of inspiration is taking a walk downtown or through the manufacturing hub of a big city and immerse yourself in old buildings and shops. This is the perfect place to appreciate the wrought beauty of aged brick walls, timber roof trusses, and steel columns.
Kathy Kuo Home Design Services
Is your home in need of an update and are you inspired by the modern industrial style? Are your spaces in need of an update? In addition to being a source for high quality and beautiful products, we also have a team of certified interior designers that will help you source the perfect pieces for your home, assist with floor planning and envision your space before you buy. This service is completely free when you purchase products from Kathy Kuo Home. Get started on designing your space by learning more or scheduling a free consulation call today!
Tell us what you love about the Modern Industrial style in the comment section below, and shop the look on the site here.