Industrial design is the hot trend that takes a rundown warehouse, loft, barn or old derelict building and turns it into a liveable home, while keeping the raw and gritty elements, amidst a polished, high spec finish. It marries modernity and its sleek ways with the charm that old world design used to bring. At the heart of Industrial design is function, simplicity and of course innovation, while ensuring the aesthetic not only looks beautiful but is incredibly functional and so works efficiently. While the first elements that come to people's minds when they think of industrial design are exposed brick, metal framed windows and distressed wood, the style actually has a lot more to it and is one of the most popular trends of the time.
What does it actually mean
Industrial style is a fuss free and no nonsense design style that takes its inspiration from factories, lofts, barns and warehouses as well as other industrial buildings. Utilising things like exposed brick, upcycled materials, iron, metal and wood, industrial design is very stripped back. Another core feature is that these elements are generally hardwearing and one of a kind, this allows you to style your property however you see fit, making it completely unique. While the style is very raw and functional, comfort is also key as the finish should be very high spec. Everything else should be trimmed of excess leaving you with a simple yet incredibly chic look.
What's to love
Industrial is fairly easy to pull off, get right and turn into something amazing. Consisting mainly of neutral colour tones that shift the focus onto the furnishings, it is incredibly flexible and can be achieved in many different ways. Despite its seeming simplicity and minimalism, Industrial interior design can actually make an incredibly loud statement thanks to the juxtaposition of old world and contemporary. Furthermore, it is also an especially environmentally friendly way of approaching interior design as it inspires the use of upcycled, salvaged materials.
History of industrial design
While the origins of industrial design aren't 100% clear, it is widely accepted that the style came to prominence at the start of the 20th century. After the industrial revolution, globalisation started to take centre stage and become the dominant narrative, this led to scores of factories uprooting and taking their bases to different countries where it was cheaper to do business. This left swathes of derelict factories behind in the western world, furthermore, there was also now an endless resource of high quality materials that were going to waste. Once cities started to become heavily populated again, particularly in the 90’s, there was a need for residential buildings in the centre of the cities. Architects started to transform these old industrial areas into neighbourhoods, i.e. gentrification. Instead of knocking down the old factories and warehouses architects and savvy homeowners started to convert them into liveable spaces while maintaining a lot of their original features and charm. This was the start of industrial design and has been a very popular style since.
Properties featuring industrial design
Studios - Belt Craft, Buckle Factory, The Depot, The Jam Factory, Steel
Residential - Calico, Florence, Olivia, Soho Loft, The Roost