13 March 2023
7 min read
The industrial style in interior design mimics traits from vintage warehouses and factories creating a bold and striking look. It is a style that showcases elements of architecture and structural design and is also typified by large washes of natural light. It is a modern and clean approach to interior design, from which many different stylistic choices can be made. By looking at just a few industrial style living room ideas, you’ll see the creative potential that exists and the impact they can have.
One thing you will notice about industrial living room design is that it often includes large open spaces and high ceilings. An open floor plan is often the best starting point to create an industrial style living room.
If you can, consider knocking down a wall to open up the layout, especially between the living room and kitchen. If you are not able to do this, consider moving pieces of furniture around to create the feeling of more space.
Metal decor is your ally when it comes to choosing accent pieces and accessories to help create an industrial style living room.
Choose a couple of metal finishes you want to use in your living room and create a bit of cohesion through a variety of furnishings. Brass or distressed metal are great choices of finishes and there are plenty of products you’ll be able to find in these materials.
You’ll find smaller objects, like picture frames or candle holders for an accented approach. You can otherwise opt for bigger pieces like shelving or side tables to bring this element to the fore.
The wonderful thing about industrial spaces is that not everything has to be neat and trim. As a matter of fact, exposed elements like brick walls, exposed pipes, exposed beams, and ducts can be featured in a stylish way to elevate and enhance a space.
If you have a brick wall, keep it exposed to instantly make your space feel like a renovated industrial warehouse. Otherwise, you can add brick cladding yourself as a feature wall to your living room. Another more accessible option is to go for exposed brick wallpaper which presents itself very pleasantly to the eye.
Applying a nice stain to your beams and polishing your ducts or piping also works well in industrial interior design as a decorative option to try.
When it comes to an industrial colour palette, most stick to a neutral or muted colour scheme. Choose a few colours that match and use those as your colour base when choosing decor and furniture. If you start to oversaturate your room with too many different colours you’ll start to distance yourself from the true characteristics of the industrial look.
You can still opt for a lighter tone or a darker one but keep your choices limited to a few colours. If you like light colours, options like beige and white work well with dark accents and accessories. If you prefer darker tones, go for black, grey, plum, or wine red.
Paired with metal accents, either colour range will look perfectly industrial and polished.
Make the most of loft-style windows in your living space. Huge windows will bring in natural light and are a must when it comes to industrial style.
If you are renovating your windows, choose metal frames or structures to go with your industrial theme.
If you are working with regular windows and not renovating, then that shouldn’t stop you. Instead, opt for industrial steel or distressed metal curtain rods to express the theme.
One important detail about industrial-style rooms is that they often look and feel big because they aren't cluttered.
Industrial rooms feature decor, but the difference is that the decor is strategically placed and chosen. One example of this is picture frames.
If you love hanging pictures on your wall but don't want to overwhelm your walls, consider hanging them all in one area. Pictures gathered together over an exposed brick wall look chic but still let you show off your memories and frames.
On the other hand, you can choose to have bare walls and focus on one large painting for wall art. The trick is to know how to style the decor you choose.
Related article: How to choose wall art that works in your home
As we’ve already mentioned a few times in this article, distressed metal is a great finish when it comes to capturing the authentic look of industrial design. Its unfinished aesthetic brings character and warmth and fits in very naturally within this setting.
For example, a brown or black distressed leather sofa is a great choice as the centrepiece of a living room of this style. Items like distressed metal storage, shelving, clocks or even a trash bin are other popular ways to showcase this finish.
There are certain details that most industrial living rooms share. Along with large windows and exposed brick, concrete plays a big role.
A concrete floor and concrete walls are a great choice as far as industrial living room ideas go. If the logistics of this don’t make it possible then consider wallpaper or vinyl flooring that mimics the look of concrete. Concrete grey paint is another easy option to give some thought to.
When it comes to lighting, something as simple as an exposed bulb hanging from a silver fixture can instantly add an industrial feel to a room.
Other suitable choices include metal floor lamps and other light fixtures that feature exposed bulbs, metal accents, and rough surfaces. If you really want to showcase some flair, try a metal or steel industrial-style chandelier.
Related article: 17 living room lighting ideas for Australian homes
If you want to feature colourful, interesting pieces in your living room, you can still do this without interrupting the theme.
A bold, bright accessory will look chic on a metal coffee table or bookshelf. Unique items can still be featured in your room, so long as they don't overwhelm the space. They act more as visually interesting accents that will also add a bit of depth to the space.
Of all the room decorating ideas on this list, the best one is to be sure you incorporate your own personality into the design and decor.
While stylistically you may want to keep with the characteristics that are true to the industrial style theme, you can still select products, features and furnishings that reflect your own tastes and interests. This could be through original art from a particular artist you appreciate, furniture from a distinguished designer you’re a fan of, a type of finish or material you’ve always been fond of etc.
At the end of the day, you’ll spend more time in your own living room than anyone else so be sure to prioritise your own needs and wants with your plans.
Related article: Interior design tips for every room in the home
Now you have a great grounding on some of the best industrial style living room ideas to get started with. Stick to your preferred colour palette, expose brick walls and beams, and don’t forget your metal accents and simple lighting fixtures. Besides this, the sky’s the limit really when it comes to this style and by incorporating your own personality into your plans you can incorporate industrial interiors into your living room and create something truly special and unique.