How To Master The Vintage Industrial Look

Vintage industrial design became ever popular when old, bare warehouses were re-purposed into now trendy shops, restaurants and apartments.

This undecorated look grew to be appreciated by designers as they began to work with the rawness of these vast iconic buildings – choices were made to leave the architecture exposed rather than dressed.

Industrial design as we understand it today is appreciated for its total lack of pretence and for its utilitarianism. Uncluttered spaces filled with pieces and objects with a sense of provenance and purpose are indicative of industrial flair.

Here’s how to achieve the vintage industrial look:

Embrace the structural skeleton

Take the leap and choose to leave walls exposed to the bare brick. Make a statement by opting for the original industrial, undecorated windows and leave major ductwork on show.

Cold metals

Mixed with the right textures, cold metals such as tin, steel, iron and aluminium are perfect to use for furniture and doors.

Other hard working materials

Choose concrete for flooring, stainless steel for kitchen units and timber for other pieces of furniture. Materials such as corrugated metal bring their own sense of patina and texture.

Open plan schemes

Given the choice, leave out walls and instead opt to cleverly zone the living space with large furniture pieces such as corner sofas or sideboards.

Re-purpose and Salvage

Consider converting old crates into tables and metal lockers in to storage units making the look affordable for everyone. Original leather club chairs with their worn evidence will nod seamlessly to the vintage industrial vibe.

Dark and Moody

Create the right atmosphere by painting the space in darker shades of blue and grey and accenting this with shades of metal and other industrial textures such as wood and leather.


Lighting is integral to any successful Industrial scheme, use large metal pendants or exposed bulbs and wires to really get the look.

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