It’s hard to argue with interior design that’s both dramatic and pared back, easy yet edgy, and that looks as relevant today as it did in the late eighteenth century. That’s why we love industrial décor, the metallic mix, wide-open spaces, and clean edges of which never go out of style.
Over the years, decorators have blurred the lines between design styles, but industrial is still one of the easier styles to recognize, thanks to classic elements like:
- Concrete floors
- High ceilings
- Brick walls
- Steel-framed or leaded windows
- Exposed steel beams
- Exposed radiators, ducts, or other heating elements
- Subway tiles
- Oversized domed pendant lamps
- Large open spaces
- Metal or wire banisters and railings
If you have these design elements in your home already, you’re already halfway there. Now it’s time to start personalizing the space, using these techniques of top design pros:
- Let the large, statement-making architectural elements and lighting do the talking, and keep the furniture and accessories to a minimum. Choose several pieces of furniture—a dining table, bookshelves, or a headboard, for example—with clean, hard-edged shapes; these can later be offset by softer pieces.
- For a sleek feel, rely on layered neutrals—shades of gray, white, and tan are the most common. There’s no saying a little color can’t be tossed in to give an industrial space a more eclectic character, but you’ll find that you have more options if you mostly relegate color to the accessories.
- Group furniture and area rugs into seating areas and smaller vignettes, and leave lots of space around them. Not only will the space look even larger, but also these groupings will ensure that you allow those spectacular architectural elements to shine.
- Choose eye-catching, metallic lighting with vintage silhouettes. Nickel, bronze, brass, steel, copper—all are great options for creating the throwback look.
- Balance out all those metallics and hard edges with soft textiles like plush cotton, velvet, and wool, or a substantial, tactile linen. To keep the look from going, well, institutional, pile on the decorative pillows, shams, bedcovers, and throws. The result will be a luxuriously layered and inviting—not intimidating—room.