The world of interior design is seeing a radical shift towards an industrial aesthetic. Exposed walls and metallic surfaces have been ubiquitous for some time, but the next step in this trend requires a more fundamental change. The rise in the popularity of loft spaces and converted warehouses is undoubtedly linked to the emerging penchant for the industrial. While these types of environments are excellent starting points for incorporating the aesthetic, they’re by no means essential. Focus on the following suggestions to succeed in transforming just about any property into an innovative, cutting-edge, industrial-style space.
Materials: concrete, metals
When it comes to choosing basic materials, the theme is straightforward: think hard and cold. Dulled concrete and buffed metals are both clear design favourites with this trend. Glass can also be used, although sparingly.
The aforementioned components can be employed for more than just wall rendering and surfaces. Recent trends use concrete and heavy metals for furniture and even as decorative elements. Concrete is excellent for topping kitchen units, for example, while metal appliances can provide additional shine.
Shapes: efficient, perpendicular
Ornaments don’t play much of a role in the industrial aesthetic, but there is room to experiment with shape. Decoration should be restricted to perpendicular lines and clean right angles.
Spaces: large, open
The industrial style isn't easy to reproduce in smaller spaces, which quickly become cluttered and can’t offer the same scope to accommodate larger pieces of furniture. When aiming for the feel of a warehouse or factory with your decor, open space is an absolute must.
If you're restricted by your square footage, you'll need to make some serious sacrifices in terms of furniture. When it comes to trinkets, the look is equally limited. Clutter is unequivocally out of the question.
Colours: cool, neutral
Use of colour in industrial environments is simple: adhere to cool greys and subtle tan, opting for monochromes only as a means of accentuating or limiting light. If you're eager to introduce more vibrancy into your palette, do so using minor details. Houseplants are a common choice, and coloured lighting can work well in larger spaces.
Furnishings: minimalist, functional
Even though the overriding aim is for an airy, open space, there’s room for oversized furniture. Designs should be minimalistic and strictly functional, however: remember to keep detail to a minimum. If your storage units must have visible doors, see that they are few and far between.
You might even have the opportunity to incorporate some authentic industrial items into your decor. Be on the lookout for commercial kitchen units and oversized dining tables. For obvious reasons, living room furnishings that fit into the warehouse aesthetic might be more difficult to come by.
Engel & Völkers has vast experience in the international property industry, with real-estate offices in 32 countries around the world. Visit our website to stay up to date with the latest trends in interior design.