Industrial design, though often considered a very cool, modern aesthetic, is historically rooted in much practicality. The end of the second industrial revolution had paved the way for factories to ship their manufacturing operations overseas, leading to the vacancy of industrial buildings in the multitudes. Decades later, in the early nineties, these areas that had suffered years of neglect would become gentrified into residential neighbourhoods to meet the demand of increased population among city-dwellers.
The real interest in utilitarianism at the time led many architects, designers, and homeowners to lean into the natural features of these industrial spaces. Instead of concealing their brick walls, hardy wood panels, and exposed pipes, these were celebrated for their time-tested craftsmanship and an overall aesthetic was built around it.
Finding the industrial aesthetic
If you’ve found an interest in a more industrial style design for your own space, or perhaps are looking for ways to dress your industrial space, here are some common themes often seen in this design style:
- Moody neutrals. Most industrial spaces work off a mainly neutral palette, pairing stark whites and blacks together with rich browns or cool greys. These are meant to play off the existing brick, original wood panels, and exposed pipes commonly found in the space. You’ll find that these palettes often layer a multitude of neutrals in varying tones and mix dark with light to accentuate the utilitarian mood of the space.
- Texture is king. Modernising the space while giving reverence to the features found in industrial properties is often found with plays on texture: sleek leather sofas and animal hide accent chairs juxtaposed with large distressed wooden slab tabletops, textured stone countertops, and retro copper light fixtures. These are all elements that pull away from the space’s original factory settings, so to speak, adding life and warmth to make it a place worth dwelling.
- Draw within the lines. Due to these spaces’ utilitarian nature, many industrial style designs go quite heavy on angular shapes and squared off lines. This is not to say that curves and alternate shapes aren’t welcome, simply that they typically appear in much smaller doses in this style of design.
- Minimal accessories. Industrial style spaces are designed with the idea of having a space for everything one needs, and so majority of visible surfaces are normally free of clutter. Anything exposed by way of art or decor is meant to add visual interest to the overall space, and maybe start a conversation with any guests who come into your home.
- Open wide. Because many industrial properties boast of high ceilings and wide windows, they lend themselves quite well to open concepts. Some of these spaces may use creative separation by way of rugs, tall shelving, or even sectioning off more private areas with sliding barn doors. But the main idea is to get the most out of the openness and wideness of these spaces, allowing room for as much air and natural light.
A touch of industrial-led design in any space
Whether your looking for the perfect embellishment for your industrial space or looking for a touch of industrial style in your home, the all-new Digbeth collection from Armac Martin may just be the ticket. Crafted in the heart of Birmingham by the brand’s brass artisans, the Digbeth collection features hand-finished linear ridged details to the surface, merging luxury hardware with beautiful raw textures. Learn more about the Digbeth collection here and view the full collection here.