How to create the industrial look

Sarah Warwick 25/03/2015 08:47:30 DIY and How-to Guides

Picture: Ikea

Dress the window

Industrial style is all about a pared-back look and big windows, so voluminous curtains and fussy blinds are out, while plantation shutters with the widest possible slats are in. Which shutter style to choose? Solid, tier-on-tier or full-height shutters are all a good choice – you can use our Colour Match service to get just the right shade to suit your scheme (more of that later), or just trust the timeless, cool style of our designer range.

Pick the furniture

Picture: Loaf

If you love to trawl flea markets, vintage shops or online auction sites, you’ll be in heaven… This style demands furniture that looks like it’s been around a bit. That doesn’t mean you can’t buy new, but a few weathered finds will really add to the authenticity of the finished room. What to hunt for? Upcycled school lockers for storage; metal tables and chairs for dining spaces; battered leather sofas and armchairs; wire or metal shelving; scrubbed, worn wood for benches and consoles. Getting the picture?

When it comes to shape, choose pieces with plenty of sharp edges or lots of curves – a mixture of the two will give your rooms a vintage industrial feel with a softer side that will make it appealing and comfortable. And don’t stick to just one material – all metal will look unwelcoming, so warm it up with wood and soften it with leather, and even faux fur.

Get the colour scheme right

Picture: Marks & Spencer

Forget cute pastels or warm bolds – cool, traditionally masculine colours, such as deep greys and blacks, are what to shop for, although white makes a wonderful backdrop, too, and is the best choice if your room is north-facing or light-starved. How to warm this look up? Use a textured finish for at least one wall, such as exposed brick, polished plaster or worn wood panelling, and natural wood for mouldings, doors and skirting boards. Or, create your own texture with painted panelling, like in this picture; you can make it by pinning and gluing MDF to a wall then painting it to match the wall behind.  

For flooring, you can add a level of comfort with rugs or carpets. Deep pile or shag works well for this look, as do faux hides; choose natural colours for best effect, using paler shades for small or dark spaces or deeper tones for rooms you want to feel dramatic or only use in the evenings. Paint window frames to match your wall colour – or choose a contrasting metallic shade, such as a gritty dark grey – and if you’re going for shutters, opt for the palest grey over white or a deep, dramatic shade of grey or even black if the room gets plenty of warm daylight (use our Colour Match service to get it just right).

Choose your accessories

Picture: Vincent and Barn

Industrial-style accessories tend to look like they’ve just been dragged out of a decommissioned factory and are often highly practical, too. We’re talking wirework shelving units, huge metal lamps, ex-display warehouse shelving, signs that wouldn’t look out of place on a 1950s bus, mirrors with antiqued glass…

But getting the balance right is all-important if you want the room to feel welcoming and homely – and not just like a showroom of flea market finds. So, if you’ve not managed to work wood or leather into your scheme with furniture, now’s the time to do so with chunky bowls and a worn but plump leather footstool or two. If you want the space to feel glamorous, too, look for bowls, plates, throws and cushions in a copper finish or with bronze tones, and soften the look further with large, glossy-leaved house plants. 

If contemporary style is more up your street, check out our style tips here or find out how to get the traditional look here.

Get in touch to find out more about our Custom Colour Match Service and selecting shutters. Contact us online or call 0800 012 6009.

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