Industrial Inspired Urban Chic

Industrial inspired design is everywhere you look in the interior design world at the minute.  And it’s not a new craze to have stumbled onto the design scene but it has had tremendous staying power.

What is it about this simplistic, urban and rustic aesthetic that has captured the imagination and inspired legions of Designers and consumers alike, to the extent that it has infiltrated the High Street? 

Industrial Board

Photoshop may have been involved in the creation of this graphic. Ok, more than just a little.

I can’t speak for all Interior Designers but I am sure of one thing: its appeal is in the simplicity of its construction and design.  Of that, I have no doubt.

As an Interior Design student, I’m taught about the importance of combining pattern, texture and colour.  Of being aware of spatial properties and the use of form and light.  But nothing is more refreshing than witnessing an object that has been stripped back, is minimal in appearance and is constructed of raw material.

Are you with me?

But then again, (there’s always a ‘but’), combining industrial inspired designs with items and materials that are perceived as less ‘extreme’ provides a very effective contrast.  Why?  Because this form of design provides depth, visual stimulation and prevents a space from appearing too one dimensional.

Plus, many of the items and furnishings that are considered ‘industrial’ are not only a quirky addition to a space but they can also provide a glimpse into times gone by.

Factory Pendant Light

Industrial inspired design; it’s more than just nuts and bolts

Which brings me (very conveniently) onto the subject of my most recent design scheme.  I uploaded images of 3D visuals in a previous post but I never actually explained the design concept of the industrial inspired guest bedroom in full.

Here goes.

This room had a generous expanse of wall that could easily showcase statement lighting either side of a bed.  That was my starting point.  Initially I had considered the hotel chic inspired look of hanging pendants above bedside tables but I had a swift change of heart.

This was a city centre apartment.  It was situated in the heart of Belfast and in an area that had an industrial and manufacturing history.  In my mind, the interior should reflect the exterior, to a certain extent.  Therefore, I decided to incorporate industrial inspired lighting in the form of suspended bulbs attached to copper cable.


Guest Bedroom

To ensure that this lighting treatment wasn’t going to appear too harsh (something I’m always mindful of when it comes to industrial inspired styling), I decided to hang them in clusters of 3 at varying heights.  This would add a multi-dimensional quality and provide lots of eye candy.

A bit like this.

Guest Bedroom 1 310114

The use of copper would also help to add visual relief from the simplicity of this lighting.  I extended the use of metallic accents to the textured wall covering but to increase the sense of drama, I used a dark pewter shade.  A Wenge floor-to-ceiling headboard was incorporated to help raise the eye and was anchored by  simple Wenge bedside tables.  This dark tone added richness and an overall luxurious quality to this overall design.

Hanging Bulb colour

Always remember to inject added warmth and softness to a space, when industrial elements have been incorporated.  This will ensure that the overall look isn’t too harsh.  In this instance, I included shots of orange.  I’ve always thought that pewter and orange were a match made in heaven, it’s a very rich combination.  To further underpin this hue I have suggested a simple black ceiling pendant with a copper satin inner (which also helps to tie in the copper cables).

And lastly, I included statement Art.  Nothing can reinforce a sense of drama and help to underpin a colour palette better than some inspirational, abstract Art.

Industrial Inspired Bedroom

For a little bit of extra design style, an Andrew Martin retro inspired cushion has been included. A room that has modern, retro AND industrial styling. The secret? Strike the right balance.

I hope I have helped to banish the perception that industrial inspired design elements within an interior are harsh, cold and uninviting!

I. Love. This. Room.


  1. guest says:

    Hello Anita,
    I am doing a research project on the influence of technology on hotels and would really appreciate it if you would please fill out my online survey. Here is the link:

    Nice renderings! They look almost real – especially the lights!!
    A fellow NDA student


  2. Kate says:

    Hi, Love your work. Currently doing design diploma through NDA. Stumbled across your blog and think you are great.. love reading it. (at work. shhhhh don’t tell my boss). Just wondering if this industrial apartment went ahead. I LOVE the bedroom. Was in B&Q on the weekend and bought some of the lights!! LOVE!


  3. anitadesignstudio says:

    Hi Kate! Thanks for dropping by and also for your very kind words 🙂 I’m so glad that I’m providing you with such a useful distraction at work! You’ll have that Diploma finished in no time 😉 Unfortunately the scheme didn’t go ahead – the client had a change in his circumstances 😦 Yep, those hanging bulbs have a very special place in my heart. I hope your lighting design looks awesome! Feel free to drop me some pics and I’ll do a wee post on it!


  4. Kate says:

    Will Do! Just got to get my boyfriend to wire them in for me! He doesn’t feel the love as we do…


  1. […] a fan of urban, contemporary design that includes industrial inspired elements, with a little bit of vintage thrown in for good […]


Start the Conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: