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Industrial Style Living Room: Guide and ideas

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Lottie Leggett
industrial style living room

Are you looking for a change of style for your living room? Tired of the same old comfortable but uninspiring style? Then it might be the ideal time to update your home decor with the latest Industrial style ideas for your living room.

Take a leap and choose a style a little out of the ordinary, combining an industrial aesthetic with stripping back unnecessary materials and mid-century furniture for a chic and cool modernist appeal. But just what is industrial style and how does it work in your living room?

What is industrial style?

When people talk about the industrial style, it’s not about filling your living room with old machinery and oil stained furniture (although the worn look can be very much part of the appeal). The industrial look is about stripping back a space to its functional elements.

Think about modern warehouse or open plan living, with exposed brickwork and ducts, and using industrial materials such as polished concrete and metal. These are not the kinds of things you would traditionally associate with a living room but that’s precisely the point. The aim is to create a space that approaches comfort and style from a completely different angle.

Industrial style light

Creating an industrial lounge area

When you’re creating an industrial lounge area, the choice of materials is key. Think finishes you would associate with a more practical and hard-wearing environment, like metal and concrete, but that can be repurposed for a living room space.

A key part of the industrial aesthetic is the worn look. Keeping the signs of wear and tear, with worn floors, exposed brickwork and exposed fittings, helps to create the industrial feel. But the key to making an industrial style living room work is to mix up these materials. Rather than creating a concrete or brickwork box, use these industrial elements as features.

So, have one exposed brick or polished concrete wall mixed with other finishes. Choose industrial or repurposed shelving units or furniture, which you can often find in salvage yards, but combine this with more luxurious soft furnishing and seating.

Industrial style lighting

Lighting is also key to the industrial look and an easy way of adding a touch of industrial style to any home. Pendant lighting and filament bulbs create that retro, loft apartment feel. Rusted and painted metal wall and table lamps are also a nice addition. Cage lamps are a versatile option and an affordable way of adding that industrial touch.

Lighting, like all electrics, heating and other utilities in an industrial space, is not afraid of showing its workings. Exposed cable and heating ducts and wall mounted fixtures and fittings can all be part of the look. Just ensure everything is fitted in line with building regulations by a qualified engineer or electrician.

Industrial style living room furniture

We’ve mentioned above how you can soften an industrial look with a few well chosen pieces of furniture. The industrial lounge lends itself towards a more retro, mid-century style of sofa. The clean lines and block colours really work well in this setting. But these can serve a comfort as well as a practical and style purpose.

Other furniture in your industrial style living room should ideally reflect the industrial design theme. Try and use reclaimed office or industrial furniture, which you can often find in salvage yards or online. Repurposed industrial or commercial furniture, such as old filing cabinets and retail storage, can also work. The idea behind industrial style is practicality and hard wearing, which means choosing furniture that wears its age well.

Industrial style living room chairs

As mentioned above, mid-century designs work well in the industrial living space. That’s because the concept of warehouse or industrial space living really took off in the mid 20th century. There was a move away from the traditional idea of comfort in the living room towards spaces that could be more practical and versatile. The mid-century design ideal of clean lines and celebration of materials over detail works particularly well. Check out these industrial interior style armchairs which would be ideally suited to an industrial style space.

Industrial style living area

Industrial style living room ideas

Style ideas for your industrial style living room include choosing large furniture that can be used to create natural divisions in open plan spaces. Add warm touches by using rugs and fabric elements on your sofas and chairs to contrast with the colder, more industrial elements such as exposed brickwork and polished concrete.

Industrial colour scheme ideas

Colour schemes tend to be more neutral, focusing on whites, blacks, greys and browns. These are the colours of more industrial materials such as concrete, brickwork and metal. However, this base palette gives you a lot of scope to add other accent colours across your space according to your own tastes.

Industrial flooring ideas

Industrial flooring is hard wearing and practical. Think well used floorboards, polished concrete and other high traffic solutions. The idea of industrial living spaces is to use materials that place practicality above style. Industrial areas need to be hard wearing and tough, but the aim is to take joy and beauty from using these kinds of materials in a living space.

Industrial wall decor

Much of the wall décor and design in an industrial space comes from the practical materials. Exposed brickwork, ducting, cabling – these are all wall features in their own right. Of course, you can also add your own selection of artwork and prints to any available space. You can also try and repurpose industrial items as wall décor, using salvage yards and online sites to find suitable pieces.

Industrial style sofa guide

If you’re choosing a more industrial style for your living space and want some help choosing the right sofa for your space then you can check out our handy fabric sofa buying guide to help you make the right choice.

The industrial look is not for everyone but you might be surprised how relaxing and comfortable it can be to create a living space without the frills and frivolities of some living spaces. The industrial look aims to take joy and pleasure from the materials themselves, without having to hide them or cover them up. Which removes a lot of the pressure on achieving perfect finishes. Industrial spaces can also make great kitchens and home offices.


What is an industrial style living room?

An industrial style living room is one that makes use of materials and design ideas more commonly associated with working environments. That means an emphasis on materials that are tough and hard wearing, such as metal and concrete, as well as a more open plan and practically designed space.

How can I make my living room look industrial?

By using more industrial materials such as metal and concrete, and creating a space that places practically over finesse. That means exposed brickwork, visible cabling and utilities, industrial lighting features and mid-century furniture.

What is industrial style décor?

Industrial style décor is furniture and styling that is not afraid to show its practical side, either in terms of the materials used or the way it has been used over time. Reclaimed and repurposed furniture, exposed brickwork and utilities, cables and ducts - it’s all about focusing on the practical side of living.

Still undecided on your living room style? Why not check out 12 living room lighting ideas to ignite some more inspirational ideas.

If you’re a fan of industrial colour schemes, then why not check out our very own model 01 ‘brick’ sofa or soften it down with our classic model 01 linen sofa.

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