When you think of industrial design, your mind probably immediately jumps to a cool, urban loft (probably in Soho, NYC), exposed brick walls, metal and iron for days, and likely furniture from Restoration Hardware.
You wouldn’t be entirely wrong, but there’s so much more to it than a hipster hangout you literally do not feel cool enough to pull off.
Industrial design is the style au courant, so you might think it’s as new as millennial pink, but its history actually dates back to the early twentieth century. As Western European factories closed down at the end of the second industrial revolution, they left many large, vacant buildings behind.
As cities grew and space became limited, old industrial areas were converted into residential neighborhoods. “Industrial style design incorporates elements of historic commercial spaces into a living space. Think building materials like steel, wood, iron,” says Kate Arends, the design professional behind the blog Wit & Delight.
Rather than covering up the innate design tenants of warehouses and industrial-type spaces, residents/architects/designers choose to highlight it. This means lots of exposed pipes, beams, and brick, with bare walls, concrete or wood floors, and rough ceilings.
There’s nothing soft and intimate about industrial design, but it has tons of character. And back when these warehouses were being converted into residential spaces, leaving these components saved some major construction.