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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Rihmland

Industrial Flooring

Timeless Charm of Urban Aesthetics

The industrial interior design trend emerged in the 20th century, inspired by the Bauhaus movement. Drawing inspiration from this movement's legacy, industrial design celebrates the natural beauty of urban environments by incorporating abstract, geometric, and angular elements, much like the transformation of abandoned factories and warehouses into stunning living spaces. Especially in a particularly industrious city such as Pittsburgh, this look is bound to stay relevant for years to come.

Initially, the repurposing of factories and warehouses was intended for artists and creatives looking for affordable, spacious accommodations for both their studios and living quarters. These inhabitants learned to incorporate their utilitarian environment into their design choices. They skillfully incorporated exposed ceilings, brick walls, and metal elements into their design choices, rather than trying to conceal them. Over time, the industrial aesthetic gained popularity, leading to the intentional incorporation of industrial elements. The versatility of this design trend allows it to transcend time and adapt to changing design preferences.

Industrial Design Elements

Industrial design has captured the attention of homeowners, interior designers, and architects worldwide. Its appeal lies in its ability to blend together functionality, aesthetics, and a sense of history. One of the key factors that contributes to the popularity of this design trend is its adaptability to a variety of different spaces. Whether you live in a converted loft, a modern apartment, or a suburban home, industrial elements can be incorporated in your living space in various ways.

Exposed Brick and Concrete

An integral piece of the industrial aesthetic, exposed brick and concrete provide a rugged and authentic look. These elements showcase the building’s original structure, adding character and warmth.

Metal and Steel

Incorporating metals like iron, steel, and aluminum further enhances the industrial look. From exposed ductwork and piping to metal accented furniture and fixtures, the strategic use of metal accents adds an urban touch.

Reclaimed Materials

Incorporating reclaimed materials into your space not only adds a unique and rustic charm but also aligns with the principles of sustainability. Reclaimed materials such as salvaged wood, repurposed metal, and vintage fixtures each have a story to tell and a history that adds depth to the space. Choosing to use reclaimed materials not only contributes to the character and authenticity of the space but also promotes a more environmentally conscious approach to interior design.

Open Floor Plans

Industrial design favors open, unobstructed spaces, mimicking the expansive layouts of warehouses and factories. This allows for flexibility in furniture placement and encourages a seamless flow between different areas of the home.

Neutral Color Palettes

The most common color schemes in industrial interiors generally revolve around neutral cool tones. Whites, cool beiges, and grays of all shades dominate this design trend. Subdued hues serve as a backdrop, allowing the focus to remain on the raw and angular textures of the architecture.

Statement Lighting

Industrial design is best known for its use of statement lighting. Along with the rise of this design trend, exposed filament bulbs, pendant lights, and metal sconces began to flood the market. These unique lighting choices add industrial flair while providing bright warm light that showcases the design.

Soft Elements

To create a harmonious space, balance the industrial elements with softer touches. Introduce texture into the space with plush rugs, cozy throws, and comfortable pillows to add warmth and softness. Incorporating natural elements such as potted plants and fresh flowers help to bring life into the space.

Industrial Flooring Options

When it comes to industrial flooring, there are numerous options to choose from, each with its own unique charm and impact on the overall design. Here are some key choices to consider:

  1. Concrete Flooring: Concrete stands as a hallmark of industrial design. Its rugged, minimalist appeal adds an authentic touch to any space. From polished to stained concrete, this flooring option offers versatility and durability, making it a popular choice.

  2. Exposed Brick Pavers: Brick pavers exude a timeless elegance that perfectly complements industrial design. With their rich, earthy tones and textured surfaces, they add warmth and character to the environment, creating a captivating visual contrast.

  3. Weathered Hardwood: Reclaimed hardwood flooring, with its aged and weathered appearance, tells a story of its own. Salvaged from old buildings or industrial sites, this flooring option brings a sense of history and sustainability to your space.

  4. Industrial Tiles: Tiles that mimic the look of concrete or worn metal can be an excellent choice for industrial-inspired flooring. These tiles offer the aesthetic appeal of industrial materials while providing practicality and easy maintenance.

Dark hardwood in herringbone pattern
Dark hardwood gives a rustic feel

Striking A Balance

To achieve a cohesive and captivating industrial interior, it's crucial to strike a balance between flooring choices and other industrial elements. Here are some tips to consider:

  1. Harmonize with Materials: Select flooring options that harmonize with other industrial elements in the space. Whether it's exposed brick walls, metal accents, or reclaimed wood furniture, ensure that the flooring choice complements the overall aesthetic.

  2. Embrace Neutral Tones: Industrial design often favors neutral color palettes. Consider flooring options in shades of gray, beige, or brown, as these hues seamlessly blend with the industrial ambiance and allow other design elements to shine.

  3. Play with Textures: Industrial flooring can incorporate a range of textures, from smooth concrete to distressed wood. Mixing textures adds depth and visual interest to the space, creating a captivating environment.

  4. Prioritize Durability: Industrial spaces demand durable flooring that can withstand heavy use and foot traffic. Look for flooring options that are not only visually appealing but also built to last, ensuring your space remains functional and visually stunning.

Industrial flooring options form the very foundation of the timeless design trend that has captivated homeowners and designers worldwide. By carefully selecting the right flooring materials, you can elevate your space, infusing it with the authentic charm of industrial design. Embrace the history and character of the industrial era, creating a sanctuary that embodies your unique style. With its ability to create a visual narrative and its enduring appeal, industrial flooring ensures a harmonious fusion of urban aesthetics and modern living, leaving a lasting impression on anyone who walks through your door.

Industrial Flooring: Timeless charm of urban aesthetics
Industrial Flooring Trends

For more inspiration on industrial design, head to our Pinterest board. Here you will also find inspiration for other styles, such as retro, modern, and art deco.

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