The Key Elements That Define Industrial Modern Décor

After much thought, you have finalized the exact decor you want in your home: A vision to have an assortment of reclaimed wood pieces in the bedrooms, distressed tables in the living and dining rooms, and lastly industrial chic furniture around your home. It’s an ambiance that would be reminiscent of a factory from a bygone era. In particular, you want neutral tones from the ceilings to the walls to the flooring, plain metals in the kitchen and bathrooms as well in the sconces and registers. Keeping in mind that every piece of décor is utilitarian, both in function and form. Below we lay out the key elements that define industrial modern décor.



What defines the industrial modern, or industrial chic style? “Modern” furniture started production in the 19th century and continues to the present day. While modern may sound, well, modern, it has a different meaning in design. Here it represents a post-World War II sensibility that disappeared in the mid-20th century, along with the Modernist movement. Modernism sought to break with traditional and classical forms of expression, and profoundly influenced architecture and furniture design during its heyday.


The industrial look is essential to this style as well. Exposing materials others try to hide like brick or concrete, exposed beams, pipes and vents, and using monochrome colors, along with concepts like minimalism and utilitarianism all define important aspects of industrial design. If you incorporate industrial modern design into your home, it’ll feel like you’re in a newly mechanized factory in the early 1900’s. However, the contemporary industrial style combines modern aesthetics to create an excellent and unique contrast that pleases the eye.


An industrial modern style is characterized by a raw and unfinished look. Its aesthetics cut out the excess and lean towards practicality in form. Exposed hardware, unfinished metals and wood, distressed finishes, and factory-inspired pieces are what it’s all about. This style relies heavily on industrial furniture or furniture that looks like it was used in a factory setting. Items like a drill press stool, an old dentist’s lamp or a drafting table could all be considered factory furniture. This style adds to the industrial modern mindset with its clean lines and utilitarian forms.

Often, designers achieve the industrial chic look with reclaimed or rustic materials. Wood from old houses and barns, pipes or beams from industrial buildings, or finished products manufactured to look like them frequent use in industrial modern design. These types of materials can offer a distressed look, giving furniture the aura of a long life full of caring use, even if newly constructed. Reclaimed refers to a material that would otherwise be disposed of. Rustic refers more to a location than a period of time, unlike other descriptions used here. If something looks like it came from an old farmhouse, describe it as rustic with confidence.

Rustic, distressed and modern furniture with clean lines and a factory feel all characterize the industrial chic style. And you can pull it off despite the size of your space. Factory or modern industrial furniture will suit any size room or home. Whether focusing on a single piece in a small room or employing industrial chic in a large open concept kitchen and living room area, the clean lines and natural-looking details will suit your entire home inside and out, no matter what size.


A vintage look also plays a large part in industrial chic style. Creating a nostalgic atmosphere is essential to vintage design. This also proves necessary in order to cultivate the industrial modern feel in your home or office. Vintage furniture can be expensive and difficult to find, but it is not necessary to buy used to get the vintage look. Fortunately, current designers are taking cues from the past to create vintage style at a fraction of the price.

But the industrial modern style is more than just a vintage, industrial, modern, or rustic feel. It combines contemporary elements with mid-century aesthetics that range from refined to earthy, creating a unique, timeless and effortless approach to design certain to suit any home or office.