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The Increasing Popularity of Industrial-Style Interior Design

January 25, 2019

A well designed space can offer both an ambiance and uniqueness while simultaneously demonstrating both functionality and purpose. One notable style of interior-design that is currently influencing the interiors of both commercial and residential spaces is known as industrial-style interior design.  


The Historic Significance of Industrial-Style Interior Design


This trending style of interior design stems from its roots in the second post revolution. This era permeates and heavily influences the features and elements that signify the uniqueness of industrial-style interior design. The industrial revolution encapsulates the result of globalization in which factory owners shut down their businesses and outsourced their operations to countries who would do the same work for a fraction of the cost. Empty factory buildings began to undergo conversion into residential spaces, especially in cities that were trying to accommodate an increasing population with a lack of space. Transforming industrial areas into residential areas appeared to be the logical solution.


Highlighting Factory-Style Elements and Fixtures


Instead of concealing traditional signifiers of an industrial factory, architects and builders preferred to highlight them when converting these spaces into residential domains. Some of these elements included exposed brick walls, concrete or dark wood floors, large steel windows, open-concept layouts, dark furniture, and steel stairs – all of which are defining elements of industrial-style interior design today.


Maintaining Open-Concept Layouts


Open-concept is the buzz-word of interior design enthusiasts today. Open-concept really just means that one large room offers multiple utility. The main purpose for this is to establish better interaction between multiple people across several different spaces, i.e. having your kitchen open up to your dining room and living room to better interact with your family and guests.

Open-concept spaces are also emphasized on in industrial-style interior design, as residentially converted old-school factories and manufacturing plants typically had open spaces that workers congregated in, as opposed to in multiple rooms like in your conventional two-story Victorian house.

 A few ways to establish openness in a room in this fashion is by installing large windows and steel stairs. The concept of openness is established through the simplicity of steel stairs; as you are usually able to see through the steps. This can give the impression that the room is continuous or endless, serving to further maintain the idea of openness. Large windows also act as a nod toward the industrial era, acting as evidence of the building’s former use. Large windows also speak to that idea of continuity and openness, as they tend to take up the size of the entire wall in industrial influenced spaces.


In sum, the historical context in which this interior design style materialized from truly informs the signifying features and elements of industrial-style interior design. If you’re looking to transform your space and would like to incorporate more of an industrial style influence – definitely take inspiration from converted factories to residential spaces as they are essentially the birthplace of which style emerged from.