If you’re dream home is a loft in an abandoned warehouse or if you make yourself comfortable in hipster coffee shops, chances are you’re an industrialist at heart. Beloved for its no-frills aesthetic, functional appeal, authentic quality, and remarkable modernity, industrial style has quickly become a cornerstone in interior design.
Industrial style is all about being out in the open. Large, uninterrupted spaces feature minimal furnishings, letting bare, structural details stand out. From tall, exposed beams and floor-to-ceiling windows to brick walls and revealed HVAC ducts, an industrial-inspired space has nothing to hide. Since most of us don’t have the luxury of living in a repurposed warehouse or renovated loft, you can achieve these elements with salvaged but spare decor.
Materials that hint at commercial origins will most likely be great candidates for industrial design. Metals like stainless steel, aluminum, and iron all feel right at home in an industrial space, which you’ll often find in lighting, frames, and appliances. You’ll also often find concrete as a popular flooring option. Weathered wood and pretty much any material with a patina can also add a distinctive, masculine element to a space.
As you’ve probably come to realize, an industrial palette should be as stark and spare as the interior design. That means whites, grays, browns, and metallics. Layering various textures and patinas help to give these straightforward hues extra depth so it doesn’t feel one-dimensional. You can lighten the look with a contrasting accent color like blue or yellow, but do so sparingly if you want a truly industrial look.
Image: Design Collector
Tile for Your Industrial Kitchen
Tile looks right at home in an industrial-style space because of its commercial quality. Durable, lasting, and easy to maintain, tile can take cues from restaurant quality kitchens and urban eateries that have also taken on the industrial trend by storm.
You’ll often find white as the most popular tile color in industrial kitchens. Crisp, fresh, and fail-proof, it lightens a space while maintaining the industrial feel. We love the way it contrasts with the drywall in this chic kitchen.
Tile color shown: White Wash
If you love the look of whitewashed brick as much as we do but don’t already have it in your home, our Glazed Thin Brick an help you achieve a similar effect.
Brick color shown: Cotton
For an ultra contemporary look, our EDGE series features sleek, rectified tile edges for seamlessly straight grout lines.
Image: Planete Deco
EDGE color shown: Calcite
Brick color shown: Cotton
Tile color shown: Pitch Black
A mosaic will normally take your industrial style kitchen into eclectic territory. However, a monochrome mosaic can help bring striking visual appeal while maintaining the strong, masculine look (read more on solid color mosaics). Consider using glass mosaic tile to add a reflective finish and visually expand your space.
At this scale, even a simple white straight set mosaic can make a huge impact despite a no frills design.
Image: Est Magazine
Slight color variation in this straight set tile lends to the raw authenticity of this space. A cool gray-blue like our Powder Blue is subtle enough to blend in among dark and industrial appliances, while a crackle glaze incorporates touches of texture.
Taking cues from urban art galleries, tile can make a contemporary statement in your home while maintaining a loft feel. Our Handpainted Contemporary Collection features cool gray motifs that blend well with industrial palettes.
Handpainted pattern shown: Palmera in the Neutral Motif
Despite its spare palette, industrial kitchens invite you to layer on textures and shapes in varying scales. If your space is feeling a little too drab for your taste, a patterned tile can be a visually striking way to incorporate some oomph. Hexagon tile takes inspiration from Victorian style while still feeling fun and modern.