Great DIY Industrial Design Ideas

industrial design

Interior design is forever evolving. One of the newest trends we are seeing is what most people refer to as Industrial design, or in some cases it may even be referred to as steampunk. Industrial design involves the use of old salvaged architectural elements, simple lines, and hard surfaces. You will find rustic weathered wood, old exposed brick and concrete elements. Iron and steel seems to be the structural and design material that dominates the area or furnishings. This leaves an open door on what can be done, and there is really no status quo on what works and what doesn’t. Some may say that it is borderline Modern. I guess what is old is new again. The result is a design that is practical, useful, comfortable, and one that takes us back to the vintage look of days gone by.
Here are some DYI industrial design ideas that you can use to decorate your home or office.

Industrial style furniture

These days you can find new industrial style furniture and décor at most stores. They usually are made to look old and rustic, and can be purchased easily. Some people prefer to scout out original pieces from auctions, flea markets, garage sales, estate sales, or even junk yards. It can be a very rewarding hobby to find misc. objects to use for décor, or combine them to make useful items. Weathered wood, rusty iron, mechanical parts, old stone and glass is used a lot for Industrial design. An old metal or wood workbench can be used as a desk highlighted with a vintage desk lamp.
If you lack storage space, you may opt for some metal shelving, or make your own with iron pipe and fittings topped with wood shelves.

industrial design

Industrial style lighting

Industrial style lighting is ever popular right now. We see most lighting manufactures coming out with their own versions. A lot of people are making their own lighting as well from found objects or used salvage materials. There is no end on items that can be used as light fixtures. Old wine bottles, chicken feeders, wash tubs, you name it. I even saw an old rusty mattress frame with all the exposed coils suspended from the ceiling infused with lots of low voltage lighting.

There are suppliers out there that offer the vintage twisted cloth covered wiring and Edison type bulbs that add an authentic antique look. Some of the bulbs are even LED which use very little electricity. Take an old rustic beam and hang some lighted wine bottles from it. I have made several table lamps from found objects and mechanical parts.

industrial design

Industrial style flooring and surfaces

Go to any floor tile shop or big box DYI store, and you will find that they are offering rustic wood flooring and tile. Both wood and laminate flooring can be purchased that looks like it was salvaged from an old barn or factory floor. You can even see some circular saw marks in it from the old sawmill.

Ceramic tile is now available to look like weathered wood. These materials can be used as flooring or even as an accent wall in your room. The ceramic tile gives you a good wearable surface without the care that comes with working with real wood. It is great when you want to cover your concrete basement floor with a wood look. Real wood can warp from humidity.

Concrete floors and counter tops are very popular right now as well. They can be sealed natural or stained with concrete stain for that interesting look. Counter tops can be poured right over your existing cabinets. You must create the temporary wood frame to work the concrete into. There are companies that offer useful kits for this.

industrial design

Rugs for your industrial design décor

Most industrial style rooms won’t be wall to wall carpet. Most people will prefer hardwood or tile floors. A rug can add some color and comfort for your feet as well as be great for absorbing sound if you have too many hard surfaces. Solid neutral colors work well, or you might want to put down a rustic worn oriental rug.  Rugs with geometric shapes and different hues can add a good splash of color to the room. Some new oriental rugs are already pre-aged to give that rustic look. Just make sure that the colors will work well. Some companies who specialize in rugs may allow you to take them home to try prior to purchasing them.

Industrial style room colors

When it comes to the industrial style color palette, most people opt for mostly neutral gray tones, browns, or a simple white color for their walls. Since most industrial style furnishings tend to be colored in darker tones, the lighter shades look better. You don’t want the walls to be too dark. Lighter walls will make the room feel bigger and more open. Walls and ceilings can also be covered with rustic wood, rusty barn tin roofing, or fancy Victorian stamped metal panels.

Industrial Style Fabrics.

When it comes to Industrial style fabrics, most people keep is simple with solid colors of cotton, linen, and leather. Simple rough woven linen drapes, blend well with all the other industrial elements. Chair seats can be covered in a plain black or brown vinyl or leather, with optional decorative nails as an outline. Cloth materials can even be stenciled with images or numbers to give it a unique look. Tablecloths and linens are usually done in a cotton or spun polyester fabric which has a matte sheen. A runner made from real burlap can make for a great center piece. You can find the tablecloths and burlap runners at

industrial style

Other Industrial design elements

For Industrial style decor, there are so many other items that can be used. Vintage fans and typewriters are very popular and easy to come by. Metal gears and sprockets can be used as wall décor or candle holders on a table. Antique metal birdcages can contain lighting or a floral arrangement. Old carts on rolling casters can be used as coffee tables, or working islands in the kitchen. Aged metal signs and large lighted sign letters can add a great focal point to the room.

Used Pallets can be used for may projects and they can be picked up for free. Antique wooden ladders can be hung as wall art, or turned into a working piece of furniture. Old steel gym lockers can be bought cheaply which make great storage cabinets. Older bicycles mounted on a wall or suspended from the ceiling make for a super neat look. Rustic sliding barn doors have been very popular and are great for when you want to save space. Stained glass windows can be used as wall art or suspended in front of a window to bring colors into the room.

More thoughts about Industrial design interiors

When decorating industrial style, larger more open floor plans tend to come to mind. It lends well to older lofts and studios, but to can give a normal room that loft and studio feel. I don’t see this trend coming to an end any time soon. Decorating with an eclectic industrial style, shows people your creative side and what you like. I hope you could find some inspiration from this post. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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