The two staple materials of industrial interiors are wood and metal – and you can use one or the other, or a combination of both, to incredible success in your home furnishing and décor.
Let’s look at some options.
Before you jump into adding any wood or metal elements to your home, let’s take a very brief look at some of the other staples of industrial design you should have in mind, so as to make them pop:
Once you have your basics down, you can move onto the details.
The largest pieces of furniture in your home are the perfect place to mix your materials, namely wood and metal.
Beds with metal frames and wood panels, sofas in neutral tones with metal frames, wooden chairs, and tables with metal legs – all of these pieces provide plenty of room to play with.
When choosing the size of your new bed, make sure that your current mattress fits (double-check your measurements, as you can easily go wrong with “standard sizes”), and that the new pieces won’t cause too much clutter in your room.
Also try to stick to a sense of uniformity in the space. You might opt for a certain shade or pattern of wood, one type of metal you’ll use everywhere, or some other unifying element in the room.
Another way to make your wood and metal pieces even more industrial and vintage is togive them some age. You can do this with the help of a brush and some varnish, you can sand them down a bit, or you can simply hunt for your furniture at vintage shops or sales.
On the other hand, if aged metal and wood are not your thing, you can stick to sleek and modern wood (highly polished and with plenty of curves) or sleek metals in a trendy copper or rose gold.
You don’t have to stick to your main pieces to add wood and metal to your space, either. Shelves that combine the two are incredibly stylish and easy to make yourself if you arein a DIY kind of mood. But you can also aim for coffee tables, side tables, mirrors, smaller desks, and plenty of decorative items.
The trick, however, is not to overdo it. You still want the space to feel comfortable and hospitable – after all, it is your home, and not a coffee shop or a workspace.
Since metals are cool and cold, you want to balance them out with wood to create a specific harmony. That’s why you’ll want to stick with shades and designs of wood that go well with the metal. Try not to go for too much contrast (i.e., modern-looking metal and antique wood or too much of a clashing color palette), and find a balance that works.
Don’t forget that in order to achieve a sense of continuity, your bathrooms and kitchen need to match the overall style.
You can forgo the tiles and go for some wooden flooring in the kitchen, or you can choose a wooden panel for your walls. On the other hand, it will be easy to add in some metal with shelves, cabinets, or just the appliances you choose, which can be grey instead of white.
As for your bathroom, you can go for more of a wooden feel with wood-like tiles, you can do a wood ceiling, or just use it as your storage and mirror material. Metal elements can be added in with trinkets and smaller pieces, or with your waste basket, towel rack, and toilet paper holder.
Remember: when it comes to industrial interiors, the key is to aim for balance and counteract the coolness of the metal with some warmth from the wood. If you manage to achieve plenty of harmony in your space, your new home design can quickly become the talk of the town (or at least your friend group).
Holly Schaeffer is a long-time writer focusing on health, lifestyle, and home improvement. Originally from Georgia, she moved to California to pursue a degree in environmental studies.
For more design tips, check these out:
Love your Home: Interior design moves that turn a house into a home
The Psychology of Color on Interior Design