Exposed walls, bare floors and metal fittings are the chief components of modern industrial interior fitouts. The style is adapted from late-19th and early 20th century factories and warehouses, and their structural elements are now showpieces of modern industrial interior style.
Here’s how to create the modern industrial style and its essential components in an interior fitout.
Interior fitouts go raw
Although brick walls, steel girders and bare floors form the basis of modern industrial style, there’s an important fourth element: rawness. There’s no plastering over the bricks and mortar, copper gas and water pipes are exposed and furniture’s chosen for its industrial simplicity. Function beats decoration every time and there’s no hiding the structure under plasterboard or false ceilings.
Another modern industrial theme is age. Over time, concrete becomes stained, bricks crumble and iron rusts – the heavy hand of time lends authenticity to a modern industrial fitout (even if you have to fake the effect!)
Warehouse living at home
The good news is that if you want a modern industrial look, you don’t have to move into an actual warehouse. You can bring elements of it into a space via an interior fitout.
Embark on a modern industrial makeover by ditching the carpet. Underneath you’ll find concrete or wood. Grind and polish the concrete to bring out its natural beauty. You can even add a stain to make it look aged. Wooden floors need cleaning and staining – don’t sand out those wonderful imperfections.
Expose those walls
Unplastered brick walls are a big part of modern industrial style. Warehouse and factory owners kept construction costs down by leaving the walls just as the bricklayers left them, with uneven mortar and chipped bricks.
Modern manufacturers do a good job of imitating the raw style of 19th century bricks. Brick facades can be placed over existing interior walls to give a modern industrial look to non-brick structures.
If you have a concrete structure hidden by plasterboard walls, removing the plasterboard and polishing the exposed concrete is another modern industrial option.
Industrial lighting magic
A major trend right now is industrial lighting fixtures. Stores are filled with floor lamps boasting metal shades and Edison light bulbs with their large filaments.
Robust lighting sources fit the warehouse theme, where practical sources of illumination – rather than elegant decorations – were needed. The metal shade, with its durable, black powder coating, withstood the heat generated by early light bulbs.
Pendant lamps, once suspended on chains from warehouse girders, are a signature of the modern industrial look. So too are floor lamps that can be moved around the warehouse or factory as needed.
Furniture and fittings
The modern industrial look frowns on decoration, delicacy and ornate patterns, so look for chunky furniture in hard-wearing, single-colour fabrics.
Plain wooden surfaces with black metal frames dominate the design of tables, desks and shelves. Since ‘furniture’ wasn’t exactly a big concern of the original warehouse designers, this component can be difficult to get right! Where colour is used, palettes feature white, grey and black. How much modern industrial you want to ‘dial in’ is up to you. You don’t have to go completely without colour or decoration to suggest the aesthetic. For expert advice on a modern industrial fitout, contact us at Formula Interiors. We can find the components that turn your space into a modern industrial showcase.