Old brick walls, exposed beams, rustic furniture, staggered metal doors and antique light fixtures, are now gaining popularity as part of a new décor trend. This rustic look is referred to as ‘industrial décor’ and is preferred for the lounge areas at home, living rooms, studio apartments, restaurants, offices and showroom interiors.
Initially, this theme started being adopted, when the spaces inside a defunct factory or warehouse were converted, from industrial use to residential or commercial use. “It was prudent and cost effective, to add on to or modify and use the existing architectural and structural elements, for decorative purposes. For example, if an abandoned warehouse was being converted into a showroom, the steel trusses, high walls, skylights, steel stairs, steel mezzanine floors, etc., were used as a part of the interior décor, by giving them a new look with different colours and finishes. Even converting industrial buildings like factories into residential buildings, were not uncommon. Nowadays, however, buildings are deliberately given the industrial look, just to make them look more interesting,” explains Anil Bhaskaran, managing director, chief architect and urban planner, IDEA Centre Architects Pvt Ltd.
What constitutes an industrial décor?
For this kind of décor, a high ceiling is a must. “The roof can be designed using structural steel and mild steel sheets. One can opt for skylights on the roof for extra light and ventilation and construct the walls with exposed brick or concrete blocks,” suggests Bhaskaran.
The walls can be done up in many ways, to give an industrial feel, agrees Prashant Chauhan, creative director of Zero 9 design firm, Mumbai. “One can opt for Bison board (cement bonded particle board) paneling, grey cement plaster, exposed brick work and even concrete micro topping for the walls. Even corrugated metal sheets and asbestos sheets, can be used in this décor, with highlights in trendy colours,” adds Chauhan. Alternatively, movable wall panels can also be used.
The flooring can be given a rustic look, by using a variety of materials such as suitable ceramic tiles, designer laminated or raw wooden flooring, or flamed or leather-finish granite. Decorative elements, such as metal lamps and shades, metal and wooden furniture and matching soft furnishing items, can accentuate the décor. Colour plays an important role in creating an industrial theme in any interior. Using bright and bold colours, to highlight certain architectural elements and features, can be an excellent idea.
Atul Shah, a Mumbai-based businessman, who opted for an industrial look for his entertainment room, shares that “I love the look of old wood and so, for the roof, I used bamboo cladding along with wooden rafters. For the flooring, I used rough kota stone. On the walls, I created a graphic pattern, with the conduits that carry the electrical cables. I used wooden ladders for shelves and sleeper wooden benches with visible steel bolts, for seating. The ceiling lamps with metallic finishes and exposed bulbs, are from Chor Bazaar. I picked up old maps, a globe and antique fans with wooden blades, to complete the look.”
Dos and don’ts for industrial theme décor
- Opt for the industrial look, only when the space has good ceiling height.
- If the room is spacious and has ample height, you can opt for mezzanine floors, with stairs and handrails in structural mild steel.
- Distressed and decadent looking furniture, adds to the décor.
- Opt for matte finishes and non-glitzy fittings.
- Since an industrial décor uses darker tones, pay extra attention to lighting. Proper task lighting along with service lights, are ideal for this theme.
- Use rustic elements as accent pieces. For example, you can use artwork, such as posters of yesteryear movies, post-war movies and black and white printed photographs.