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12 min read

The Unique Look of an Industrial-Style Kitchen


12 min read

The Unique Look of an Industrial-Style Kitchen

KitchenThe Unique Look of an Industrial-Style Kitchen

The industrial-style kitchen has been making the round for close to five years now. More popular than ever, its charm is no longer limited to city-centre lofts or condos and is now also prominently featured in rural or suburban homes. It’s both cozy and authentic, and functional and robust. Suffice it to say: it has a little something that pleases all. 

It’s an ideal design concept for kitchen renovations. While it allows for all the architectural structures to remain as they are, it still conveys a universe overhaul. Don’t miss out on this new, timeless trend!

What’s an industrial-style kitchen?

industrial kitchen

Source: Canva

Inspired by New York lofts, industrial kitchens heavily rely on the meshing of recycled materials and sombre colours to create a factory-like look, one that’s straight out of those 19th-century manufacturing plants that were rampant in the United States during the Industrial Revolution. 

A pragmatist’s and culinary enthusiast’s dream, the industrial-like kitchen is highly functional and perfectly designed for large family gatherings. The storage space is optimized, the countertops multiplied, and one can enjoy a comfortable sit-down meal. 

This style blends industrial, functional, and trendy furnishings with unfinished materials like wood, concrete, stone, metal, and glass. The modern-looking, industrial-style kitchen has nothing to do with the traditional kitchen, per se, meaning that it lends itself to the creative mind. It’s an open-space concept that features storage options and also highlights trendy items. 

Industrial-style kitchens also favour big spaces. In smaller homes, we can trick the eye into thinking the area is more extensive by knocking down the wall adjacent to the living room or dining room. It can be replaced by a partition that will allow more natural light to seep in.  

The Different Industrial-Style Kitchen Designs

industrial kitchen

Source: Canva

While the industrial-style kitchen has been trending since 2018, it still has evolved since then. It’s been adapted to suit new trends to remain relevant year after year. 

While original and cozy, it’s also authentic and animated; its various looks continue to dazzle. If you haven’t yet landed on a specific tone and design inspiration, I bet the next few looks will help with that!

New York-inspired, industrial-style kitchen

When we picture an industrial kitchen, we first think of those swanky New York lofts with red brick walls, open-concept spaces with wooden beams and exposed piping. Said version is factory-inspired—the latter favours open-concept and spacious rooms.  

A classic industrial kitchen

classic industrial kitchen

Source: Canva

Now this is what we call an authentic industrial look: Concrete floors, walls swapped for partitions, dark or neutral-coloured furnishings, and raw materials. 

The creative, industrial kitchen

Let your imagination run wild, and create a very tailored-to-your-likings space. Signs, blackboards, posters… whether it’s used to showcase the weekly menu or daily quote, the industrial-style kitchen speaks to our soul. 

The retro-inspired industrial kitchen

retro industrial kitchen

Source: Canva

Inspired by furnishings from late 19th-century American factories, the vintage version of said kitchen takes on a unique and striking setting. Thrifted furnishings, retro appliances, vintage-inspired décor, and a boho-chic style meshes colours and patterns to slightly defy the unfinished-looking features of wood, steel, and concrete.

The all-black industrial kitchen 

all black industrial kitchen

Source: Canva

The all-black look is audacious and timeless and adds character. It’s all about the subtle play between various shades and materials, which gives light to a minor contrast. You can do so much with black, especially since a lot of decorative materials and items are available in the said colour that’s mysterious yet elegant: flooring, wallpaper, countertop, sink, faucet, etc. For all metallics, matte finishes are preferred. 

The family-friendly, cozy industrial kitchen

With this one, we’re heavily relying on one’s whimsy, playful mindset with a slate-finished wall where one can leave behind a chalk imprint. As a gathering spot, the kitchen island looks a little bit like a long, unfinished-looking table, surrounded by mismatched stools or chairs. With this look, you can also add a paint colour to the cabinet doors if you’re going for a more friendly setting. 

A modern yet industrial kitchen

modern industrial kitchen

Source: Canva

For those who prefer straight lines and refined décors, this modern version of the industrial kitchen combines colours and exquisite items. One opts for shades of white and cream, natural wood, and a few hints of black. We’re swapping out everything that shines with brushed gold, black, or a gunmetal finish. 

The 100% “thrifted” industrial kitchen

Remodelling or renovating a kitchen can be expensive. Luckily, in the spirit of the industrial look, the “thrifted” trend suits it perfectly. This gives you the opportunity to revamp cast-aside items, going from one thrift store to the next and perusing ads to find hidden gems. People are also browning through online DIY websites for inspiring ideas that will help them transform their new finds into unique objects.

Industrial-Style Features

colourful industrial kitchen

Source: Canva

In its industrial state, the kitchen isn’t solely viewed as an area in which meals are prepared, but a cozy gathering spot to spend quality time with family or friends

With a well-balanced mix of rustic, retro, and modern decorative items, the industrial style, which was once reserved for large areas, nowadays was reimagined for smaller spaces. If need be, it blends in other styles to create creative, open-concept, and cozy settings.

This style automatically gives character to a kitchen. While it’s often associated with a structured layout, prevalent structural materials, and a more masculine look, the industrial style is actually designed to break away from mainstream, conventional looks. 

An industrial-style, functional, robust, and cozy kitchen rarely exists without retro-looking pendant lighting, a big stainless steel sink, and long, black or tarnished copper cabinet handles. Typically, we’ll see a harmonious and striking composition that highlights unfinished, original, or recycled materials, partitions, concrete floors and stainless steel countertops. 

Since it favours objects that are both sombre and dark, the industrial-style kitchen suits bright rooms just right. As such, we’ll offset the rather raw and cold materials by allowing plenty of natural light to seep in and multiplying the light fixtures. To create open spaces, we recommend either replacing a wall with a partition or building out a cathedral ceiling.

The Colours that Define the Industrial Look

modern industrial kitchen

Source: Canva

Fundamentally speaking, the industrial look is neutral. Therefore, it can be quite easy to personalize such a design by adding a touch of colour, whether it be to existing furnishings, the materials used, or the knick-knacks added. 

While neutral colours are prevalent, avoid bright colours, unless it’s simply hinted, here and there. Nothing prevents you from using colour to personalize the setting, provided you use it wisely. As for blending in blacks and whites, a true classic when it comes to interior design, they can easily serve as a basis for any décor. 


Black metal, oftentimes matte, is very used. Glass is often used to separate the kitchen from the living room or dining room. (Walls can also be painted or wallpapered in black when the lighting in the room allows for it.) The furniture is also black, juxtaposed with wood or posters with industrial prints (motivational words, numbers, symbols, etc.). Overall, it colours the countertops, faucets, cabinet knobs, door or window frames…

White or cream

White or cream is often used in combination with black, which is normally a non-negotiable. Rugs and throw pillows, frames, and such shades come together and brighten the room. To follow along with current fashions, exposed brick walls can be painted white or covered in lime.


Flooring, walls, piping, sink, and faucet, whether with a matte or metallic finish, we really see it everywhere, floor to ceiling. It’s a manufacturing plant-inspired look that highlights plumbing features instead of concealing them. From steel to anthracite, by way of concrete, grey always seems to be just the right colour. 


A lot of neutral-tone seating areas, whether it be chairs, armchairs, or stools range from maroon to tan, to cognac, rust, and chocolate brown. Both irresistible and masculine, these shades match raw materials perfectly, whether it be wood, cement, or metal. 


There are so many different shades to choose from: brick red, Bordeaux, wine, but there’s also Coca-Cola® red! As for décor pieces, red once again steals the show, setting off throw pillows, lamps, tapestries, stools, etc.

The Materials that Define Industrial Designs

white and modern industrial kitchen

Source: Canva

The keywords here are raw and authentic. Four materials are at the heart of this trend: concrete, brick, glass, and metal (iron, steel, copper, etc.). These are paired with leather to create a setting that’s both cozy and masculine. 

Paired together, wood and iron make dining sideboards, shelves, kitchen islands, tables, and stools. At times, untreated lumber can also bear wordings reminiscent of old workshops or antique signs.

The Must-Haves of an Industrial-Style Kitchen

industrial kitchen

Source: Canva

As mentioned earlier, the industrial-style kitchen runs amock, allowing creativity to take over.

In open-concept spaces, where partitions are used, feature refined and functional furnishings. Patrons of said design tend to swap their traditional kitchen islands for a long, workshop-like table. Countertop surfaces are multiplied and open-concept storage areas are all the rage. Shelves with a rustic finish, made with metal and wood, are used as a pantry. Most everything can be exposed, so the choice is yours!

The walls are endowed with faux brick panels or concrete, or simply painted in black, grey, or another neutral shade. Whimsy just isn’t a match for this one. 

People aren’t going out of their way to conceal exposed piping. Homeowners choose to have a large stainless steel sink and a matte or brushed finished faucet, whether in black, gold, or copper. 

You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to design your kitchen as such. Most hardware and department stores, warehouses, online retailers, and thrift shops are filled with must-have industrial kitchen items. Some specific items can really set the tone as a whole, like retro kitchen stools, monochrome checkerboard tiles, metallic pendant light fixtures, black Dekton countertops with copper veining, black door knobs, unfinished wood panelling… It’s all about making the right choices. 

If you happen to be crafty, you can save a bit of money by going the DIY route and making your partition, workshop-like kitchen island, wooden shelves…If you’re a collector, you most likely already own a few precious gems that would add a nice, personalized retro touch to your new kitchen: metal signs, a Coca-Cola cooler, an antique clock, etc.

Have you landed on concrete floors, walls, and countertops? We highly recommend hiring a professional to carry out such installations since they’re more complex than you might think.

Workshop-Like Décor Ideas

modern industrial kitchen

Source: Canva

Both retro and contemporary, this décor style is simply timeless. And, since unfinished materials mesh with metallic, factory-like structures, the possibilities are endless. That’s probably why all industrial-style kitchens are unique and tailored-made to ones liking! Feel free to draw inspiration for the following…


A little, a lot, passionately…for a painting, cabinet door, or wall! People really get a thrill out of using it to write the daily menu, little reminders, or leave it up to budding artists to express themselves.

Stainless steel furniture and metal shelving

Since it reflects light, it often better suits small industrial-style kitchens rather than wood and sombre metal. Not unlike restaurant kitchens, it allows for all essentials to be readily available. 

A stainless steel kitchen island on wheels

Wheel-mounted, this apparatus serves as a table, storage space, service counter, and countertop. Since it’s easy to move around, when wheeled out, it gives small kitchens more space and ensures that all essentials are readily available in larger kitchens. It fits anywhere, matching any cabinet, regardless of colour, finish, or material.

Authentic lighting fixtures

The light fixtures are reminiscent of those found in old-fashioned factories and manufacturing plants. Also, pendant lights are featured. As for fan favourites: oversized metal domes and string bulb lights, lined up on a wire. The light bulbs should be bright enough to light the entire room. Add wall sconces if need be.

Bar chairs and stools

In line with the Chesterfield sofa, the Tolix stool is a staple industrial design piece. While often available in black or steel grey, bright hues or pastel colours add a cozy touch to the room.

Vintage-looking appliances

Red and black are favoured for their elegance, while pastel hues are rather whimsical. KitchenAid retails several small appliances designed with a retro look yet with modern-day efficiency.

A thrifted look

We want to make our kitchen look like a mismatched masterpiece where contrasting furniture pieces, gleaming, and simple pieces are featured, as well as new and thrifted pieces. Pots and pans and kitchen utensils are left out in the open, and displayed in bulk.

Antique posters and signs

Vintage botanical prints, antique Coca-Cola® signs, enamel signs, old-fashioned etchings... Now's the time to personalize your décor. You can also adorn your furniture with stickers, emphasized by retro-inspired artwork.

A few feminine touches

Girly details are thrown into this once-masculine world... From baby pink to hot pink, tableware and linens to throw pillows and stools. A Persian rug, bright bouquets and floral prints. Colours and a touch of femininity echo natural materials in a setting that's both cozy and welcoming.

Check out our article on the Kitchen décor trends.


Leading Industrial Design Brands

modern industrial kitchen

Source: Canva

Want to splurge a little? Here are a few companies that retail very on-brand and must-have industrial-style pieces. 

  • Tolix: Unfinished or colourful chairs and barstools.

  • Jieldé: Designed first for industrial use, the Jieldé lamp is now making its way into our homes.

  • Chesterfield: Timeless leather sofas and armchairs that will keep you happy for years. 

  • IKEA: When well matched, a lot of their products can create trendy, affordable designs. 

Still unsure? Note that the industrial style can be perfectly blended with a Scandinavian, boho-chic, or Art Deco look. With these newer looks, white is prevalent and showcased using light wood essences and stainless steel. 

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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