Once upon a time there was shabby chic, now there’s industrial chic. It’s an eclectic style based on a fusion of masculine (‘industrial’) and feminine (‘chic’) design elements that’s very popular at the moment and works particularly well in kitchen spaces. With many homeowners tired of the pristine, polished and uber perfect look of modern postwar kitchens, industrial chic offers a refreshing and honest alternative approach.
The industrial style is based on the beauty and function of aged, utilitarian design pieces. Materials tend to centre around old wood and worn textures mixed with welded or forged metals such as iron and steel, tin and aluminium. It’s a clean and simple look with a focus on function and a nod to the factories, workshops and warehouses of yesteryear.
Exciting though it is, this may not be the easiest style to get your head around, which is why it is a good idea to consult a professional kitchen design company with experience in this particular field. Why not visit
Incorporating industrial chic into your kitchen space may be totally on trend now, but the result is actually a timeless, neutral and very natural ambience that works in both traditional and contemporary settings. Here are 6 design pointers to get you started.
- Architecture and building features
Use the architecture of your kitchen space to your full advantage, making sure any structural ‘bones’ that would normally be hidden are visible. True industrial styles are the total antithesis to the contemporary built-in kitchen.
By adopting a ‘back to basics’ approach to decorating, your home may reveal surprising features that are perfect for an industrial chic look. Showcase exposed pipework and ducts, brick walls, structural beams or steel pillars. Highlight industrial materials such as metal and wood, concrete and glass, in all their gloriously worn and unfinished forms.
- Wide open spaces
Large, open plan layouts work best to achieve that industrial workshop feel – ideally with high ceilings to boot. Think of expansive
If your home doesn’t deliver the perfect envelope for an industrial chic kitchen at the moment, you could consider a modern extension to create the extra space. Featuring exposed brickwork and ceiling beams, concrete or breeze block finishes, and large industrial windows to let the light flood in, a contemporary conservatory style extension may work beautifully.
But even if your available kitchen space is not as light and airy as you would like, it is still possible to go industrial chic in your kitchen.
- Use reclaimed materials
When it comes to industrial chic, one rule of thumb is to avoid the new and the mass produced. Instead, reclaimed materials sourced from architectural salvage companies and other places can yield the most delightful results. From old wooden doors to reclaimed fireplaces, commercial shop units and vintage light fittings, and much more besides,
Reclaimed timber worktops, stainless steel splashbacks, bespoke shelving made from recycled pallets or old wooden crates… there are so many ways to use unusual materials to design your stunning, unique kitchen provided you have a keen desire to think outside the box.
- Don’t skimp on modern technology
If you’re worried about whether the latest kitchen technology will work in an industrial chic setting, there’s really no need. First of all, you’re not trying to create a museum piece – this will be a fully functioning contemporary kitchen space! Secondly, the juxtaposition of the worn exterior in combination with gleaming stainless steel appliances and the most up-to-date
From American style fridges to commercial style gas hobs, exposed ventilation units to stainless steel sinks, as long as you stay within the theme, all will be well.
- Neutral colour palette
When it comes to decorating, the overall colour palette for industrial chic kitchens will reflect the colours found in aged wood, tarnished metal and part worn leather. Start with neutral colours such as whites and greys, then start thinking about layering over some warmer natural wood tones.
Against the muted backdrop, you can choose to add bright accent colour pops such as lime green, orange, dark blue or fuchsia.
- Clever and stylish accessories
Put the finishing touches to your
Mismatched aluminium bar stools or worn leather chairs around a large wooden dining table will feel inviting and sociable. Vintage industrial style pendant lights using Edison light bulbs are an effective design feature, while industrial style workshop artefacts can be repurposed or serve as decoration.
Soften the industrial style with the addition of natural elements such as flowers or large indoor plants, while keeping fruit and vegetables, or herbs and spices, on display. Create an exciting contrast and a look of casual elegance by including the odd formal piece – perhaps an oriental rug, a chintz sofa or a traditional oil painting.