Industrial Design

Interior Design Styles Explained: #1 Industrial

Nov 2, 2017

For our first edition of “Interior Design Styles Explained,” we’re featuring one of our favourite design concepts for an interior space: Industrial. This style is like no other, and because of this, we’ll explain exactly what industrial design is, why it works, and how to achieve its ever-so-modern look. We caught up with Kelly Cray, one of the principals from the interior design firm U31 to get his take on this style.

What it is.

Industrial Design

If you haven’t heard of it, industrial design is the fad of the century, and we’re not complaining. Essentially, Kelly explained it as a genre that was built around the appreciation of the early-20th-century industrial factories and workplaces – where materials and building foundations are exposed and celebrated, rather than concealed.


“Industrial design is all about adding a raw, unfinished look to the most thoughtfully-designed homes and selecting pieces that are as much about function as style”.


This ultimately results in a “‘warehouse look”, that combines a range of styles, from the earthy to the polished – all of which are more achievable and affordable than you may think.

How it’s different.

Industrial Design

Kelly loves industrial design mainly because it is a unique style – he said it’s minimal, visually-interesting, and allows each building to tell a special story that can never be duplicated. There aren’t many other design styles that highlight structural elements, which is why industrial design is famous for its exposed brick walls, pipes, ducts and concrete floors. Ultimately it is about the beauty that is created when both the “old” and the “new” come together to achieve a seemingly-unfinished, yet cohesive and chic look.


What it looks like.

Interior Design

Industrial design is known to typically feature neutral tones, utilitarian objects, wood and metal surfaces. For example, when describing a common “industrial kitchen look”, stainless steel countertops are blanketed over a roughly-hewn wood island with a metal base, elements like caged metal light fixtures, open-metal shelving, and so much more.


When it comes to furniture, the selection can be either authentic vintage, or inspired by old factory and laboratory pieces. It comes as no surprise that brown and grey are the most-common colours, as they provide continuity of the style’s wooden and metallic themes, while also lending ever-so-nicely to the many earth tones incorporated in the overall scheme.


There you have it! We hope you found our first issue of “Interior Design Styles Explained” as inspiring as we did. Stay tuned for the next issue to learn more about our other favourite interior design styles. If you would like to learn more about how you can achieve this look, or more about Marlin Spring, please visit us here.