Elements of the Industrial Loft style have made their way into many modern homes. But the trend stems from a beautiful melding of past and present, becoming popular in 1960s New York. Back then, artists turned disused warehouses and factories into minimalist apartments.
The original loft apartments wouldn’t have been the most comfortable of living spaces (most without heating, hot water, or fire protection). But the characteristics of those spacious SoHo apartments lives on in the Industrial Loft trends you see in homes today.
The trend is all about combining raw, sometimes rough, materials with modern design elements. Think huge windows and exposed brickwork.
Now, you might be thinking that it’s impossible to make your English terrace look anything remotely like a double-height New York loft.
And yes, while space can be an issue in many of our homes, there are still plenty of design elements you can bring in to recreate that rugged industrial feel without finding a new home.
The thing I love about Industrial Loft elements is that they bring so much depth and character to a space. Keep reading to see how you can create this feel in any space (and check out my free design guide to start your own interior transformation)
5 ways to create Industrial Loft style in your home
When planning out your colour palette for your Industrial Loft-style space, think neutral and earthy with autumnal accents. Paint company Lick has some sample palettes here.
Try to keep accent colours and finishes black, in a nod to the traditional New York loft window frames. If that’s not possible, think about putting your artwork in black frames, or swapping out chrome fixtures for black.
Within the colour palette you should also prioritise raw finishes. That could be wood, metal or leather. If it’s wood opt for something weathered or reclaimed to help add that character of an old abandoned warehouse.
The right exposure
I’m willing to bet the first thing you think of with this style is exposed brickwork. This is a huge part of the original New York loft, but not always easily available in every home.
But, as I said before, you don’t need the perfect space to create a trendy industrial feel. If your heart is set on the exposed brickwork (as mine was in my bedroom at my parent’s house) there are two main options to fake it.
The first option is brick slips (also called brick tiles or veneers). These are thin cuts of bricks and mimic the look of those classic SoHo exposed walls. They can be used internally and externally, and customised for a finish that fits your style.
The second option is a brick effect tile, a porcelain tile moulded and finished to give a brick look. I ended up going with this option for my room, as tiles don’t require pointing like slips so are slightly easier to install as you would normal tiles.
If you’re hesitant about going all-out with a feature wall, you could use this as a splashback in your kitchen.
You don’t just have to use exposed brickwork, though. Industrial style is all about creating that warehouse-turned-living-space feel through other exposed elements like pipework. You could look at using pipe-style brackets for shelving or open shelving in spaces like bedrooms.
Lighting your space
Continue the theme of exposed, industrial-style finishings as you look at how to light your space. With the popularity of this style increasing, it’s easy to find a vintage style (yet eco-friendly LED) Edison filament bulb. You can keep these exposed, or look for light fittings which incorporate metal caging or mechanical-style elements.
When you’re choosing lighting think back to the factory or laboratory spaces that once occupied those SoHo lofts: Anglepoise lamps, tripod film-inspired lamps, or those that feature reclaimed metals or wood.
If you’re blending styles to create a Timeless look, then lighting is a brilliant and subtle way of bringing in Industrial features.
Finish with accessories
Once again, ‘exposed’ is your watchword when you’re accessorising your Industrial Loft space. Look for clocks with exposed mechanics or items made out of reclaimed materials. Hunt around for items you can repurpose or use in interesting new ways (like apothecary cabinets or old crates)
Don’t worry if you’re in a home with a super-modern bathroom. You can easily add some Industrial extras with things like mouthwash bottle or amber pump bottles. Bonus points: these all encourage you to refill and use less plastic.
If you go all-out with the Industrial Loft style it can feel quite masculine. But it’s also one of the designs that blend really beautifully with other styles. It can be a great way to help create a harmonious style if, for example, your partner doesn’t love Scandi design.
Overall, this is a style that can bring a lot of depth and character to your home – even if it’s a new build! It’s all about reclaiming items that were once neglected so you can have some fun and forget trying to get everything perfectly polished.
Want even more inspiration to bring Industrial Loft into your space? Take a look at my free moodboard guide to get started!