Styling Your Industrial Living Room
Old buildings can often offer us the opportunity of high ceilings and long bright, airy windows, and possibly a balcony leading off. This gives us ample opportunity to design an industrial-style lounge.
If you are lucky enough to be able to buy an old house with architecture that includes authentic wooden beams, brick walls, concrete or wooden floors, exposed metal ductwork pipes, and original windows, it gives you a wonderful starting point if you are looking for an industrial living room.
What colors go well with industrial interior design?
Before starting any design, it is important to measure, measure, measure. Before embarking on the fun task of picking out your paints, here are a few tips to remember.
Pinterest or Google are good starting points if you have no idea where to begin. Choose a few images that appeal to you with a paint color that you like.
Check out a few rooms that may have something similar, and think of the space and architecture that you have to work with and draw inspiration from that. If you would like to find out about other design styles, visit our blog – Home Decor Styles Explained.
Draw inspiration from a piece of art
A piece of art that you like is also a good starting point as you can work your scheme around it. Pull colors from the art and incorporate them into your industrial living room design.
The piece may feature golds, whites, and blacks or even a mixture of greys and browns; inspire yourself and develop your ideas and create a mood board.
Abstract paintings on canvas can create a great focal point – take a look at this one, or alternatively, if you are feeling brave, create your own. This particular piece measures 36″ W x 60″ H x 1 1/2″ D
If the room is very dark, a really good choice is neutral paint. The addition of darker pieces in the form of rustic furniture will work well to make the room warmer.
Tester Paint Pots
If you can purchase small pots of ‘testers,’ then these are ideal. You can paint test patches near the window in your living space or on a wall that is more shaded as the color may not be to your liking in certain areas where it can change in natural light or shaded areas.
Many paint manufacturers offer an app where you can upload a photograph of your living space, bathroom, etc., and then you select the walls you want to paint and apply the appropriate color to help you with your industrial interior inspiration.
It is kind of a cool thing to do as once you have decided upon a certain color, they recommend contrasting colors to guide you, which can be used for other walls, trim or doors, and different industrial elements in the room.
The photograph above is a perfect example of an old room with wooden beams, concrete floors, and brick walls that have been painted white with the added bonus of nice long high windows. Bare bricks are perfect when looking for the industrial feel, with paint or without; it is your room, so you decide.
How do you decorate an industrial-style home?
As I mentioned previously, you need to think about construction materials, for example, metal furniture, exposed ductwork (if you have any, don’t cover it up), concrete floors or walls, dark colors, and sleek glass elements.
Paint for your living room design
The facing wall in our particular photo above is a perfect starting point for a feature color. Just a touch of contrasting paint will prevent the room from looking too clinical and add a little warmth to the area.
Shades of brown are always a good choice for industrial interiors, not only when it comes to warmth but also aiming for that living room design that works for you.
A more up-to-date modern industrial space can be achieved with a selection of silvers, greys, and mid-tones.
The joy of painting a room is that it changes the whole concept with just one color. At the end of the day, it is all down to personal taste.
An experienced interior designer may have a totally different idea of an industrial living room to what you do; it is your room, so work with it.
What materials are used in industrial design?
The answer to this question is concrete, brick, wood, metal, and glass.
If exposed brick walls do not feature in your property, you can pick out a wallpaper that resembles brick or concrete. Another very popular alternative that is currently trending is faux timber panels; these are also available with acoustic properties as well.
There are many different materials available, so do a little research but keep your ideas focussed on industrial inspiration.
Teak wood paneling
The particular industrial living room I have designed uses teak wood paneling. Again focussing on the use of raw materials and retaining an element of warmth in the room.
You don’t have to cover the whole of the wall with your desired texture; it could be half the wall, one wall, or the bottom part of the wall. Experiment before you commit and go from there. Be mindful of ceiling heights and smaller spaces.
You can pick up different styles of wood paneling and wallpaper from your local hardware store, or alternatively, there are plenty of choices online for delivery.
Make your own paneling.
If you don’t mind using power tools, purchase furring pieces of wood and stain them to your desired color and pin them to the wall. There are many DIY tutorials online which also promote other styles that can be adapted to suit your industrial living room designs.
And then there was light.
Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels
Lighting is a very important element to consider when planning your industrial design. Some living room areas have no overhead lighting, so you will need to compensate for this with accent lighting.
If you do have overhead lighting, then also consider adding some accent lighting as well, as it can make the room cozier during the evenings, especially if you are watching the television and don’t want to create an overhead glare on your TV screen.
The accent lighting could be in the form of a couple of metal table lamps, a floor standing lamp, or even just some subtle lighting in a display cabinet.
In the mood board, I have selected a rust-colored overhead industrial-type pendant light with exposed light bulbs for the room, another common feature in industrial interior design.
Not only does it give the room an interesting feature, but it also shows the use of raw materials incorporating metal in the construction.
The Sapphire ceiling light is designed in the style of a space probe and is sold in an aged patina look. This is the perfect ceiling centerpiece and is available in two different sizes; you just need to purchase the bulbs.
Accent lights may depend on space, but I have featured a floor-standing lamp in brass. This is perfect in an industrial living room and can focus on just lighting up one area of the room.
This gold metal floor standing lamp is on a white marble base measuring 61″ H x 27″ W x 10″ L. It could be set in a corner where you have a chair and want to read a book. It could be near your sofa or next to a plant.
The bulbs that you put into the lights are also important. Softer bulbs are perfect for your accent lighting, whereas you may need something a little stronger and whiter in your overhead lighting. Stronger bulbs are often used in areas like the kitchen or bathroom.
The Furniture and Decorations – The Fun Part
So we need to keep to an industrial living room design, and we need to bear this in mind when choosing our furniture, like a coffee table, decor, and accessories.
A sofa is obviously a necessity and will soften the room. The shape, size, and color are something that you will have to determine. Comfort is probably at the top of the agenda, though.
Try out some of the display models in your local shops that you like. Take photographs, see what colors they have available, and again, don’t forget to measure to make sure that they will fit.
Sticking with the industrial theme, try a leather sofa. Hard-wearing, comfy, and easy to clean. I have chosen a black leather sofa for our industrial lounge but added my own cushions.
The Burbank Sofa – Yes, a place in Los Angeles. This sofa was inspired by the 1950s Los Angeles modernist design culture. It is stylish and contemporary and has angled hardwood legs and clean lines. Sexy, don’t you think?
You can never have enough cushions.
Adding a cushion with a different pattern and a different color will create a feeling of warmth and interest. Select carefully, and you will reap the benefits.
Our choice is a top-grain leather panel pillow with a feather insert. There is also zipper detailing. It adds a nice touch and texture to your sofa and helps to soften the look of the industrial design.
Other soft items to include are throws which can be placed over the side of the sofa, and if it gets a little chilly, or you need to have a quick nap, then there is nothing better to cozy under, as well as making the sofa look more appealing.
Our choice for our industrial living room mood board features a faux fur throw made from acrylic and polyester, which adds a little luxury to your room. Drape over the corner of a sofa and snuggle in for the night.
If you have bare floorboards or laminate/hardwood flooring, you may need to soften the floor a little with a rug. Rugs can pull a whole room together and still add texture and color and feel a lot nicer on the feet in the winter evenings.
This exceptionally soft Kayla Shag rug features a voluminous pile that will add instant comfort to any space, including industrial-style living rooms. The rug is power-loomed in Turkey and made of 100% polyester.
Again try to keep within your color scheme; think of how thick you want the rug if you have a carpet select a thinner rug.
Furniture ideas with an industrial touch
In our industrial living room mood board, we have also included a wooden topped coffee table – handy for drinks, books, and snacks when you are sitting in front of the television or chilling on the sofa. These accessories all depend on how much space you have.
The table is constructed with a solid wood walnut table top which is beautifully mounted on brass x-shaped legs. The measurements are 51″ Wide / 27″ deep / 13″ Tall. This slick, modern accessory totally complements the industrial living room design.
Extra furniture for your industrial living room design
You might have room for a credenza, even a few wooden shelves to go on the wall or a large display cabinet. Again, gather ideas from the internet and put together a mood board and see where it leads you.
Draw out your space
Draw out a rough plan of your industrial-style living room on graph paper and see if the items that you like are going to fit in the area.
To soften the industrial living room theme a little more, pick out some greenery, real or fake, fresh flowers in a vase or a nice floor-standing plant in a pot. Whatever you can cope with and fits within your scheme.
The industrial living room design
In our mock-up below, you can see how the industrial living room scheme has come together. Gone are the clinical walls. We have plenty of light, some interesting art on the wall alongside the warmth of the wood paneling, and texture and pattern in the accessories.
So there you have it, our industrial living room design. Please feel free to check out our other mood boards and designs for other rooms in the house, including the Basement, Nursery, and Dining Rooms.
Best of luck with your industrial space.