The declining manufacturing sector of the 1950’s and 60’s rapidly led to the vacation of many factories, mills and warehouses which began to attract artists and creatives seeking cheap rents. In more recent times, as the populations of our cities continue soar, a second wave of urban pioneers now seek to convert these buildings into homes with a distinct aesthetic.
Industrial interiors are widely recognised as a popular design trend, often featuring raw woods, exposed brick and metal finishes; these core design elements come together to create a modern, edgy aesthetic which can be short on luxurious comfort. While industrial interiors may look great, they can come across as cold, uncomfortable and utilitarian.
By merging elements of luxury design together with the industrial trend, an entirely new look can be achieved; one that epitomises style and sophistication. This luxe industrial design highlights a grown-up version of industrial style with sophistication but without losing its edge. There are plenty of ways to inject comfort and luxury into an industrial setting.
Piping and ducting often remain exposed in the industrial interior. Painting these elements to tone with the walls or décor of the space means that they are still visible but less intrusive.
Core elements such as exposed brick walls and concrete floors leave a living space feeling a little rough around the edges. Opting for choices such as a darker tone of brick or highly polished concrete floor elevate the look.
Industrial interiors often use harsh and abrupt lighting in a range of white and blue tones. These beam down in spotlights, often from tracks, which can sometimes create an almost clinical look, removing a sense of comfort from the space. The use of warmer lighting to add a softer edge not only creates a more relaxed atmosphere, but it will soften the colour palette used in the interior, adding a sense of homeliness to the environment. The inclusion of a crystal chandelier, with its high light reflection, will also compliment the luxurious elements of the space, adding a more delicate touch to the raw interior.
Classic industrial interiors are full of hard textures; these can be enhanced and contrasted with luxury fabric choices such as faux fur and velvet to great effect. The disparity between such aesthetics adds an element of luxury without either appearing too up-tight or too laid back. The combination of an exposed brick wall with a luxurious velvet sofa and brightly patterned cushions or a highly polished, embossed mirror frame can look spectacular.
In traditional industrial interiors colour palettes are often monochrome, wood or metallic with some terracotta creeping in. By choosing vibrant or rich colours, and introducing pattern, the scheme is softened and the element of luxury is introduced. By choosing copper or brass metallic finishes, as opposed to chrome or stainless steel, warmth is added.
Industrial style kitchens feature metal centre stage, which can look clinical. The introduction of bold coloured splash backs or paintwork such as warm reds, oranges or yellows or zesty greens can tone well with bronze and brassy finishes. Silvery aluminium spaces, which traditional work well with cooler purple or blue shades, can also benefit from the warmth of a red or pink toned accent.
Contrasts in texture can add dimension to your space and prevent slick surfaces totally dominating. Matt touches may be added in the form of rugs, vases, fruit bowls or lamps. Matt or chalk paint can be used on a feature wall.
Traditional industrial interiors are often lacking in natural elements. Choosing rattan, woven grass or coir accessories ensures a softening, natural feel is introduced. The creation of an indoor jungle is a particularly effective way to soften an industrial style space and introduce softness and luxury.