Industrial chic. It’s a design trend that isn’t going away any time soon. Popular for its focus on functionality and simplicity, the style takes its cues from the old factories and warehouses of the industrial revolution, adopting elements like raw concrete, exposed brick, steel beams and industrial lighting fixtures.
Read on for our tips on adding an edge to your interior with industrial lighting.
Pay homage to the industrial revolution
Industrial design is all about reclaiming and repurposing vintage items that wouldn’t look out of place in an 18th-century warehouse or factory, such as old lamps, workbenches and warehouse shelving.
So when it comes to industrial lighting, take your cues from the light fixtures that would have illuminated the factories of the industrial revolution - industrial pendant fixtures with ribbed glass shades, cool metallic colours and wire cages are all popular choices.
Get the look with an industrial pendant
Large industrial pendants are perfect for the modern industrial home. Giant metallic pendants above a kitchen island make a visual statement, while still providing task lighting so you can cook and clean with ease.
Oversized industrial pendants over a dining area, kitchen island, entryway or hallway add a subtle industrial element. But if you’re using smaller pendants, you can clutter them to achieve the same sense of mass. Pendants with porcelain enamel shades, cast aluminium, bulb cages and steel or ribbed glass shades are all popular industrial choices.
Soften the look
One of the biggest challenges of the industrial trend is creating a space that’s warm and welcoming. If not done well, industrial-style spaces can come off as cold and sterile. Soften the space by contrasting raw concrete and exposed beams with softer elements, like a rug or timber furniture.
Lighting will play a critical role here too. Too bright or too cool lighting can cast harsh shadows or wash out a bare space, so it’s best to soften the design with warm ambient lighting. That’s why warm LED filament bulbs work well in industrial spaces - not only do they look great, but they also give off a warm glow that radiates throughout the room and softens harsh edges and plain walls. Swapping out your light bulbs is one of the easiest changes you can make.
Choose cool colours
As a general rule, industrial spaces favour neutral colour palettes - white, grey, black and tan are all good options.
That being said, pops of bright colour can offset the rawness of exposed materials. Federation greens, bright oranges and striking reds are popular choices and contrast well with neutral walls and furniture.
Concrete lighting is a raw and stylish option that looks great in a loft or warehouse apartment. This minimal, industrial-chic option looks striking hung as a pendant over a warehouse kitchen.
Add texture with recycled glass
Pressed glass pendants made with recycled glass have a raw look that’s industrial-inspired. These can often be found in similar shapes to the concrete and other industrial shades.
Add steel and metal
To get the industrial look, be sure to add lots of steel and metal. A black steel lighting fixture feels raw and natural, while complementing a cool or neutral colour palette. Raw steel also contrasts well with the timber finishes that you often find in industrial spaces.
Combine modern technology and vintage style with exposed LED bulbs
Nothing says industrial quite like the Edison bulb. Exposed filament bulbs have been big for a while, and it’s an easy way to add an element of cool industrial style to your space. To get the look, choose a pendant that pairs an exposed filament bulb with brass or black steel.
Not only do exposed bulbs look great, but they also provide warm lighting that can soften spaces that might otherwise appear cold and uninviting. These fixtures work well in contemporary, minimal and industrial-style homes.
Filament-style bulbs are now being made with LED technology, which is a safer and more energy-efficient alternative to traditional filament bulbs. They don’t emit as much heat, and they’re long-lasting, so you won’t have to replace your bulbs nearly as often.
Add a rustic edge with metal mesh and wire cages
Wire cages and industrial mesh shades are both popular choices for industrial lighting. Industrial mesh shades come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but oversized-dome lights look great while also providing a good amount of light.
Go vintage with a pulley lighting system
If you really want to bring that warehouse-style into the home, consider a pulley lighting system complete with pulley wheels and counterweights. It’s sure to be a conversation starter.
Make it minimal
Industrial styling is all about simplicity and rawness. That’s why it works so well with minimalist interiors. Much like the minimalist design philosophy, industrial style favours functionality and practicality above all else.
Create an industrial home free from clutter and bulky furniture, and choose lights that celebrate raw materials, clean lines and minimal detail, rather than over-the-top embellishments.
Mix it up
One of the great things about the industrial trend is its versatility. Industrial elements complement so many different interior styles, from modern to retro, rustic, country, minimalist and contemporary.
So if you want to add an edge to your space, but you’re not fully committed to the industrial style, it’s easy to create something that’s not too overbearing by mixing industrial elements with more modern or contemporary finishes. For example, a large Edison pendant light over a modern table setting.
Don’t forget floor lamps
While pendants are the go-to industrial lighting pick, they’re not the only option. Industrial-style floor lamps featuring steel and glass can give your space an instant industrial kick.
How to get the look with industrial lighting
About Space stocks a range of contemporary industrial lighting. Shop our comprehensive range of lights to find the perfect industrial lighting solution for any room in the house.