Industrial style design is an aesthetic design trend which began when people started converting industrial spaces such as factories into living spaces. The trend then grew in popularity and expanded to include other commercial venues such as clothing shops and especially restaurants.
While the industrial style includes a few sub styles such as vintage, urban, rustic and even modern, some aspects remain the same throughout: the industrial look is achieved using elements such as exposed brick and concrete walls, weathered wood and metal (distressed), exposed pipes and very large windows, often from floor to ceiling. Even though the industrial style includes a few sub-styles such as vintage, urban, rustic and even modern, some aspects remain the same throughout: the industrial look is achieved using elements such as exposed brick and concrete walls, weathered wood and metal (distressed), exposed pipes and very large windows, often from floor to ceiling.
The color palette is also significant. The most used is the natural look mixing in greys, soft browns and off-white. Splashes of color can be incorporated using minimalist wall decorations, plants or distressed looking colored furniture. Another aspect of the industrial style design is large open spaces which can be separated using furniture, plants and the columns that are part of the building. Often, low hanging metallic or glass light fixtures finish the look and help in warming the space making it more relaxing and inviting.
Main characteristics of industrial design
- Pendant lighting – hanging ceiling lights, also called pendant lighting are a great way to not only illuminate a restaurant but also create a warm atmosphere
- Minimalistic – an intrinsic part of the industrial design is minimalism. Little to no wall decorations is a key component, as is the lack of non-functional tables and shelves decorations
- Practicality – industrial décor and furniture tend to be comprised of clean lines, contrasting textures and simple forms. Neutral colors are also a key component although some leeway exists when using distressed looking colorful furnishings
- Metal furniture – Since the industrial look evolved in factories, metal is a basic component. Industrial furniture is either made of all metal or a combination of metal and wood
- Exposed walls, floors and ceilings – exposed brick walls and ceilings, concrete floors and brick-like patterns or textures are also to be expected
- Bring nature indoors – the lack of wall decorations can feel a little cold and unwelcoming. This is often combated with the pendant lighting and also with large potted plants preferably in stone, wood and earth colored pots
Industrial design style sub-genres
Vintage style can refer to something unique, not necessarily mass produced and broken-in. Used but not worn out. Vintage style doesn’t have to mean a specific time period or something that’s old, but points to a time when items were produced with quality in mind and were meant to last for life. Many vintage items have a hand-crafted look, and added character.
Vintage should not be confused with retro, where an item may look out of place as if it belonged in a different era. Many vintage items not only blend in with our many current interior industrial design schemes, rather, they accentuate it, lending it more authenticity.
Vintage furniture can be an essential component of industrial decor. To achieve that vintage look for furniture or anything else, natural materials such as wood or metal must be used, not plastic. For light fixtures, think glass. Dark and neutral colors are associated with industrial design, not bright, loud colors. For furniture to be “vintage” it doesn’t have to be old or repurposed, many chairs, bar stools and tables can be made in vintage style with a weathered appearance.
Examples of vintage style industrial furniture:
This vintage wood and metal bar stool would be a welcome component of a distinctive industrial design. The simplicity of the design and the combination of the wood and metal would complement any decor. The solid wood seats have an industrial texture with the grainy wood. The curvy, elegant legs have a modern appearance with a dull finish that would be simpatico alongside an exposed brick way or under exposed duct work.
A unique and versatile chair that will add a vintage look to your interior design. The chair has a utilitarian appeal. This chair fuses perfectly with any industrial decor. There is no attempt to hide anything on this chair. The frame’s exposed metal tubing gives it character and the simple X back for support gives it an endearing quality.
The Industrial Series Table with its distressed wood finish would make it a key component of your industrial interior decor. The solid wood table top has a broken-in look that makes the table blend with industrial decor yet it’s clearly a premium quality table fit for any establishment
The table’s square metal base complements the table top and has a distressed appearance that gives it a gritty feel that pairs perfectly with the table top. This combo can help give your venue a bold look.
People usually tend to associate industrial design with urban settings, because this is typically where old factories and warehouses that were once used for industry and have since been abandoned are located, but you can integrate urban design anywhere. The term urban usually implies a minimalist aspect. This typically includes neutral colors and not only black and white.
Urban design also involves repurposing old tools and installation fixtures. Other components of urban, industrial style decor includes using weathered wood, building infrastructure, such as exposed ducts an plumbing, exposed brick, concrete flooring and large, uncovered metal framed windows using natural light. Whether it’s pairing a distressed wood table with metal chairs, using raw materials such as unfinished wood, open faced shelving or polished concrete floors, modern industrial design often seeks out a raw, unfinished look. Many chairs and tables can have “unfinished” looking wood surfaces that still have a protective coating that combined with uncoated metal gives it an urban, industrial look.
Examples of urban style industrial furniture:
The Industrial Series Metal Chair with wood back & seat is the perfect commercial chair for an urban setting, to give your venue an industrial look. The chair has a simple design with a square seat and rectangular back connected to a square metal form with a light gloss. The wood has a very natural, almost weathered look, but does have a protective coating. This is the type of chair one might expect to find in a hipster loft. This chair looks like it has been repurposed from industrial use and is the perfect chair to help create a hip, urban look.
Spice up your industrial seating with this elegant bar stool. The Mantis Bar Stool has a style and elegance all its own. Its refined, slender frame and stiletto legs make this chic bar stool a fashionable option to enhance your industrial interior decor. The bar stool’s symmetrical square solid wood seat is the perfect complement to the rectangular wood back held in place by a slim, tubular metal frame. Despite its delicate looks, this is a tough commercial bar stool designed for heavy use. It is a great choice to add some beauty with a mod twist into your industrial theme.
The Live Edge Solid Wood Table Top has a curvaceous design that will add a modern flair to your industrial interior design. Made out of solid butcher block the surface has a slightly distressed look that would blend in with any industrial decor. The table top is also the perfect match for metal or wood and metal chairs. The American made table top is made by skilled craftsman with careful attention to detail. The table also comes in many natural-like finishes that would flow well with exposed brick walls, concrete flooring and a urban ambiance. The natural light from large windows or warm glow from hanging incandescent lighting will bring out this table’s natural beauty and texture.
Rustic interior design is all about a no-fuss aesthetic that showcases the beauty of subdued hues, using natural materials such as thick wooden beams, stone, clay and brick. This contemporary style emphasizes rugged, natural beauty. It embraces nature-inspired textures and neutral, earthy colors creating unpretentious, organic warmth. A rustic designed restaurant can resemble a farmhouse and have a bucolic ambiance. To achieve a rustic, pastoral look, a restaurant should be furnished with natural, butcher block tables that bring out the beauty of the grain.
Distressed wood table tops and chairs will also blend in with the rustic decor and give it more authenticity. Rustic is the opposite of modern, rustic furniture looks like it was made by craftsmen, not manufactured in a factory. Rustic furniture has a bit of roughness to them. This can be brought out using distressed wood or by combining it with unpainted metal or steel. Rustic design is warm and inviting and can be incorporated in any design style including industrial.
Examples of rustic style industrial furniture:
The Industrial Series Metal Chair With Wood Back & Seat will add a rustic charm to your venue. With its distressed wood and stocky metal frame, it’s easy to picture this chair in a farmhouse or a pastoral setting. The rich grain enhances the chair’s natural appeal, The plain square shaped seat and rectangular back with smoothly rounded corners makes it the perfect chair to meld industrial, clean lines with a country look.
A unique exception to the metal and wood combination guideline, this all wood bar stool supports a classic "out of the factory" look combined with the warmth of wood restaurant furniture. The saddle shaped seat allows patrons to sit comfortably and the distressed look of the seat fits in perfectly with the rustic interior design, both industrial and non industrial.
This is the ideal table top to enhance your venue’s industrial decor. The table is made with solid beechwood in walnut stain with a slightly weathered look hand made for an authentic country vibe. Handcrafted in the USA by skilled workers, the table has eased edges has a smooth texture that is enhanced by natural and incandescent lighting. This table can be paired with one of our many table bases such as the Industrial Style X-Prong table base
to complete your rustic look.
Modern interior industrial design is an interesting way to juxtapose the raw with the refined, the trendy and contemporary with the vintage and classic look. By showcasing utilitarian materials such as natural wood, metal and concrete in a way that proves that form and function can be one in the same. Modern furniture can flow smoothly with industrial decor with is sharp lines.
The elegant form of modern furniture can be a good counterbalance to the masculine aesthetic of the industrial style. Modern design has grown in popularity due to its sleek looks. Combined with the open design an industrial environment, it’s also a great way to maximize space. Industrial design is a celebration of humble, unassuming materials and the simplicity of modern design enhances that. Modern industrial design lends itself to the charm and minimalism that makes it so popular. Industrial style decor marries sleek modernity and old world charm with an organic, lived in feel to create the perfect play of contrasts.
Examples of modern style industrial furniture:
This chair is a prime example of how modern style can complement an industrial setting. The chair’s modern appearance lends itself to the functionality necessary in industrial design, The simple metal frame and the chair’s clean lines integrate flawlessly with wood floors, bare brick walls, exposed plumbing & ducts with weathered wood table tops. The distressed green finish contributes to an overall authentic look.
The wood finish bar stool is simplicity in its purest form. The ideal bar stool augments a modern industrial type venue enhancing your decor with its sleek looks and providing the functionality found in modern industrial design. This bar stool fits in with minimalist industrial style while still providing comfort. With its modern industrial look, this would pair perfectly with an industrial style table.
While the look is a good fit to the rustic industrial design this top is a wonderful crossover into the modern. The solid wood butcher block adds an upscale modern look to any interior and its versatility is its main selling point. Attractive as well as durable this table top is a very versatile and popular option.