5 Ways to Create an Industrial Living Room

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on August 1, 2020

You might think you need to move to an open-concept loft space or warehouse to achieve the industrial look. In reality, the style is about more than exposed ductwork and floor to window ceilings. With just a few accents and touches, you can make even the most traditional living room feel industrial.

This quirky, Salem, MA home beautifully mixes influences to showcase both the owner’s personal style and traditional architecture of the eighteenth century home. Ornate decor, like the glass orb on the coffee table, and mixed metal chandelier, lend just a touch of industrial influence to the home. Both pieces feel vintage or aged, calling back to the industrial age. The room’s design draws from many eras of decor, including the industrial age.   

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This contemporary, farmhouse living room, is another example of vintage Industrial touches, albeit with a very different end result. The room feels like a contemporary cabin and the metal-framed windows lend an air of industrial design. It’s a much more modern feeling than the first example, but the vintage flare rounds out the feel of the room. 

Decorating the room with modern furniture might’ve taken the design too far, making it feel cold or unfriendly. Instead, bringing in retro feeling furniture balances the vibes of this modern cabin. 

The pair of swivel armchairs feel both modern and classic, and the tufted chesterfield sofa’s metal accent ties in the industrial feel. Add in a sculptural floor lamp and brass table, and the room feels both modern and classically industrial.

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Modern industrial rooms showcase what’s often hidden in other design styles. In a loft or warehouse, you’ll notice exposed ductwork, beams, and even electrical wiring high up in the tall ceilings. 

You don’t have to tear out the ceiling of your industrial living room to achieve the same feeling. Instead, bring those materials into the accent of the room, allowing the structure of objects to be exposed. 

This mid-century modern living room feels slightly industrial, even though the overall design isn’t. That’s mostly thanks to the iron-framed ottomans and nesting tables placed across the room. The materials allow you to see the structure of the furniture, which mimics seeing the inner workings of a room on its ceiling. Top it off with a single industrial lamp, and the room blends the two influences seamlessly.

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Industrial room design mixes and matches easily with other styles, like in this bohemian, mid-century modern, and rustic-feeling living room. There’re many different design styles at play, but they all balance together with contrasting touches, and a well-executed color palette. 

Bringing in industrial vibes was as easy as sticking to a cool neutral color scheme. The brown, gray,  Metal, and industrial-feel finishes play well with the wood accents in the room. 

It only takes a few touches, like the set of iron base accent tables, wooden coffee table with metal pin legs, and oak and metal TV stand to bring some industrial inspiration to this cozy-feeling living room.  

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The right choice of lighting can solidify any room’s design and an industrial living room is no exception. 

Amy’s eclectic condo has an industrial feel to it with the help of the set of industrial lamps mounted to the wall. They both frame the art of the wall and serve as a focal point in the room. 

Industrial lamps can be mounted to the wall, or placed on the floor. While you’ll often see them in a matte black finish, you could also opt for other metals like brass or zinc. Industrial lamps boost the design of a room because they not only add visual interest, they’ll also help illuminate the space. As a bonus, many industrial wall and floor lamps swivel and pivot, making it easy to change the lighting scheme of the room with a simple adjustment. 

These lamps can be added to almost any style of living room, and instantly add a subtle industrial feel that doesn’t instantly translate to warehouse.  

If you want the industrial look in your living room, you don’t have to live in a converted loft or warehouse. By adding simple design elements, you can fake the feel of these spaces, will still feel at home.

Not sure if industrial is the right fit for you? Take Havenly’s quiz to determine what design style suits you.

Words by Emma Diehl