Close to the edge – giving your home interior some industrial chic

Posted 10 February 2015 by Keith Osborne

Industrial style interiors are an urban variation of the natural trend, says Richenda Oldham. The love affair that we have with industrial design just seems to grow and grow. There is something fascinating about the "warehouse look", which encompasses cast iron pillars, oversized windows and brick walls.

It's cool and edgy with not a fluffy cushion in sight. It's about honesty and good design with clean lines.  

It's okay to go with mass-produced items, as long as they are quality items that offer functionality as well as form. Character is at the forefront of this trend for sure, which actually encourages revealing what most people do their best to conceal – namely piping, ducts, raw plaster, exposed bricks and even rusty metal. 

Certainly as far as 2015 trends go, the industrial interior has a particular affinity with the "reconnect with nature" approach. Neutral colours, utilitarian objects, metal and wood surfaces are key elements that can either be used together for the complete warehouse look, or singly in modern homes, which suit stainless steel surfaces, metal light fixtures and vintage furniture. 

Industrial style gives owners of warehouses and other types of period properties the chance to strip their homes back to a raw, original state. This leaves original construction features exposed, showing how the building was put together, which makes for a deliberately unfinished appearance. 


Enhance the metallic feel through use of colours such as grey. There are so many marvellous shades to choose from darker tones of gunmetal and anthracite to silvery white or pearly grey. Earthen hues, plus neutral tones will add depth and dimension, as well as providing a complementary backdrop to all that wood and metal. The marine-inspired shades of grey-blue have a fluid quality that offers a sense of movement. Look out for the deeper shades of teal and sapphire, as well as bright blue such as cobalt, which really lifts a room.  


Vintage furniture and accessories are a must if you are to create a successful industrial interior. There are plenty of utilitarian pieces to choose from, which are genuine old pieces from old factories, schools, offices and even laboratories. Battered leather chairs and sofas, sideboards, chests and cupboards made from mismatched recycled woods are perfect.  

For storage, floor-to-ceiling open shelving is striking and adds structure and definition to a room, while metal trunks, boxes and wood or metal apothecary chests and drawers are a must. Look out for industrial design laboratory stools or wood and metal swivel chairs, which are just right for this informal, eclectic interior style.  

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