How to use industrial decor in your kitchen and bathroom

Industrial style kitchens and bathrooms have evolved - find out how to use the 'softer' modern industrial look in your home

The industrial look first caught on in the noughties, when exposed pipes, steel worktops and metallic expandable taps were all the rage in the glossy pages of decor magazine. While the look hasn’t never gone away, industrial style has evolved over the years.

Advertisement

This is a look that works best in kitchens or bathrooms, so read on for our guide to using modern industrial decor in those rooms.

Industrial kitchen ideas

According to designers Kitchens International, the latest take on the style is what’s termed ‘soft industrial’, using paler metallic tones and combining them with white surfaces to create a lighter and brighter space.

Incorporating softer textures like wood is also increasingly popular and helps to dampen the potential harshness of industrial features.

Diesel Open Workshop kitchen by Scavolini with Landscape Oak textured melamine and Ribbed Glass doors. Bronze aluminium has been used for the door frames and Stock Rack open shelving above, while the worktop is Muné Grey laminate
Diesel Open Workshop kitchen by Scavolini with Landscape Oak textured melamine and Ribbed Glass doors. Bronze aluminium has been used for the door frames and Stock Rack open shelving above, while the worktop is Muné Grey laminate

‘Our designers are increasingly hearing from clients who want kitchens with simple style and really good functionality. This look fits that brief perfectly,’ says Paul O’Brien, brand director at Kitchens International.

Currently, handle-free cabinets that open at the touch of a finger are trending in the industrial and minimalist sphere; they provide clean lines and a linear, understated look.

When it comes to choosing metals, be aware that matt or brushed finishes will be much easier to keep clean and mark-free, while polished finishes, ironically, will develop more of a natural patina over time.

We also recommend spending some time when choosing your kitchen lighting. It’s central to achieving the simple, clean appearance of an industrial kitchen. Stylish filament light bulbs and wiry strips of lighting are a good place to start and create a functional, unfussy look.

Industrial bathroom ideas

It took a little longer to catch on than industrial-look kitchens, but a glance at the emerging material and style trends for contemporary bathrooms will confirm that the industrial bathroom has arrived.

Tiles from Bert & May
Tiles from Bert & May

Concrete is becoming increasingly popular for basins, as advances in manufacturing over the years have made the material more water-resistant. These days, raw and rough has become much more of a go-to than the crisp, white and glossy look that has dominated bathrooms for the longest time.

Metal baths are also a popular piece for both contemporary and traditional space.  If you prefer the more natural ‘soft’ industrial look to a sharper version, you’ll find some retailers already sell these baths in distressed styles, with oxidised and watermarked finishes that embrace the natural properties of the metals used.

Thames copper bath, London Encaustic
Thames copper bath, London Encaustic
Advertisement

Words by Hannah Caton and Luke Arthur Wells