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Industrial Interior Design: History, Key Features, and Cues

Updated: 9 hours ago

‘Rustic modern’ with exposed brickwork, metal details, and industrial accents has become one of the most popular trends for residential and commercial interiors. However, this style had a long history of development, starting with the functional need for material and ending with the aesthetic desire for a beautifully rugged design. So, let’s dive into industrial design where we will look at its history, major characteristics, and tips on how to use it in interior design.

A  History Rooted in Urban Renewal

The history of industrial interior design began in the late 1800s and early 1900s. During the Industrial Revolution, several factories were founded across the globe to leverage the most of new manufacturing technology. These factories were very pragmatic with little decoration and certain architectural elements like exposed pipes. With the development of manufacturing technology, many factories were shut down but remained standing. These industrial spaces demanded a fresh purpose, and therefore, became industrial-style housing. 

The industrial interior embraces the original factories’ design and motive. Instead of covering up the interior works of the home, this industrial interior design style is left on display. Despite their pragmatic origin, you will mostly find industrial interior design offers a laidback and minimalistic feel.  

Modern industrial design contains the essential characteristics of exposed brick, metal accents, and open layouts, but with an emphasis on functionality and comfort. Leather sofas, reclaimed wood tables, and industrial lighting fixtures create a visually appealing and welcoming setting.

Industrial Interior Design: History, Key Features, and Cues

Fundamental Features of Industrial Interior Design

1. Exposed Elements: The principle of industrial design is most envisaged through the aesthetics of preserving the naked frame of the building. Thus, elements like brick walls, concrete floorings, and even the systems such as the mechanical duct works are left to be seen; thus, giving the place an historical feel.

2. Open Floor Plans: Manufacturing buildings were initially built to be utilitarian structures for housing assembly lines and equipment. This translates into open floor plans in the contemporary industrial setting, due to the sense of openness that it gives as well as encouraging teamwork.

3. The Power of Metal: Industrial design is often marked by the use of metal material which adds an industrial touch. Whether incorporated into the building structure in the form of exposed and illuminated pipes and vents or manifested in metal furniture and lighting fixtures, metallic elements offer a sense of integrity.

4. Reclaimed Materials: Sustainability and appreciation of history as well as culture are some of the important facets of the more contemporary ideas in industrial design. The use of recycled timber, retro furnishing and items from the industrial era are an essential part of the design, as they make the place more charismatic and come with a history.

5. Lighting with Purpose: Industrial lights include either large pendants or hanging lamps which comprise of exposed bulbs and thus offer enough light and an industrial touch to the environment.

Design for a Modern Industrial Look

Design Tips for a Modern Industrial Look

If you want to incorporate the industrial vibe into your home or commercial environment, here are some design ideas to get you started:

  • Embrace the Raw: Show off existing brick walls or concrete flooring, or try adding textured wallpaper or concrete tiles to achieve a similar look.

  • Metal Magic: Use metal elements in furniture, lighting, artwork, and even industrial-style wall panels.

  • The Warmth of Wood: Balance the coolness of metal with the warmth of wood. Reclaimed wood tables, wooden beams, and vintage furniture can offer a sense of warmth and texture.

  • Lighting for Ambiance: To create a functional and visually pleasing lighting plan, choose industrial-style pendant lights, large sconces or track lighting.

  • Pops of Colour: While industrial design typically uses a neutral colour palette, try introducing pops of colour to the area with artwork, throw cushions, or accent furniture.

  • Vintage Accents: Use vintage furniture, artwork, or industrial artefacts to bring history and character to the space.

Studio Interplay: Your Partner for Creating a Modern Industrial Space

A successful industrial interior design project necessitates thorough planning and skill. Studio Interplay, a premier interior design firm in Gurgaon, can help you navigate the process. Our team of experienced commercial interior designers understands the complexities of industrial design and can assist you in creating a place that is both functional and visually appealing. So, when are you indulging in some industrial interior design and turning your space incredible? 


1. What is the history and origin of industrial interior design?

Industrial interior design originated from late-18th-century industries, which featured vast, open rooms and utilitarian materials such as exposed brick and steel. These functional aspects were reinvented in the twentieth century to create a distinct style for contemporary living spaces.

2. What are the key characteristics and features of industrial interior design?

3. How can I incorporate industrial interior design into my home or commercial space?

4. What role does Studio Interplay play in industrial interior design projects?


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