An industrial decor comes from the elements of construction: metal, brick, beams and other materials. The gargantuan factories from the 1800s served as the original inspiration for the industrial kitchen, and when these factories closed, the buildings later became homes for architects, artists and other creative individuals who enjoyed the opportunities that the open space gave them to make unique living spaces. You can bring many of these elements in your kitchen to take your guests back to the 19th century.
1. Use weathered wood.
Original factory floors and furniture were made of wood, and the environment was harsh on the texture. You can find weathered wood pieces at swap meets, flea markets and salvage yards, and making a breakfast nook table or a kitchen island that has a top of weathered wood makes an industrial statement right in the center of your kitchen or eating space. You can repurpose doors and window frames into picture frames or wall hangings, if the ceiling in your kitchen is high enough.
2. Utilize exposed brick.
Because of its longevity and durability, brick was one of the major materials adorning the walls of early factories in the United States. You might be lucky enough to have bricks lurking under your drywall. However, even if you don’t, you can take away the existing panels and add brick or even a brick veneer. Even if you don’t want to make an entire wall, you can convert your backsplash into brick instead of tile, yielding an industrial aura behind the counter. If you have already used weathered wood for the counters, you get twice the effect.
3. Turn the clock back with the right light fixtures.
Industrial factories featured some elaborate fixtures, with beautiful pendants sporting shades enameled with porcelain, as well as light bulb cages made of cast aluminum, or even ribbed glass or steel. There are many contemporary manufacturers that specialize in this look for those wanting an industrial kitchen. However, there are also many websites like Overstock.com and secondhand or surplus building materials stores that carry these items at a significant discount. Hang these fixtures over your island or breakfast nook table to add more industrial flair.
4. Don’t fear concrete.
There were few materials more durable than concrete in factory construction, particularly in the structural and flooring work. You can go all-in and have a concrete floor placed in your kitchen, and there are many options for polishing and staining that can spice up your finish. Set up shelving using cinder blocks and weathered wood to add industrial storage to your kitchen.
5. Be the man (or woman) of steel.
Some of the most impressive features of the 19th century factories were the steel trusses, beams and columns that ran the full height of the building. While you don’t need to put a massive steel pole in the center of your kitchen, you can bring in steel shelving, a steel rack to hang your pots above the island, and even steel cabinets. Make it simple, and keep your lines clean.
When it comes to creating the perfect industrial kitchen, these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. The only limits on your creativity involve the space you have to work with and your budget. Start working on your industrial makeover today!