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Industrial Chic The Hottest Trend in Decorating

Updated on January 3, 2015
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Tracey has been writing online for over 10 years. She also is a graphical artist for social media sites. She loves writing about home life!

Be a Trendsetter with This Bold and Unusual Look

Industrial chic is a term that you hear quite a bit in the decorating industry these days, but what exactly is it? Actually it can be many things, a all-encompassing style that you do a whole room, or home in, or it can be just small accent elements that compliment the rest of your decor. So basically, you can be in for a penny or in for a pound, it's your choice.

The industrial chic look is utilitarian. The pieces focus on function, but many times they are not used for the function originally intended. The look is comprised of rustic, welded metal mixed with aged, distressed wood. Much of the furniture have both wood and metal in the design. Basically, the industrial look is made of items taken from factory or manufacturing settings, warehouses, vintage business related pieces, and school or educational items.

Because the style tends to be a bit "heavy" and masculine, sometimes it can be difficult to decorate a whole house in this look without it looking hard and uninviting. When using industrial chic as your design style, many people temper the neutral tones and "roughness" of it with splashes of color, and flowers and plants. Circular pillows and rugs are another popular accessory for rooms done entirely in the industrial chic motif.

A more popular way of using industrial chic furniture and items are as accent pieces. Since the basis of this style is neutral simplicity and function, it really goes with any kind of decor, from traditional, to modern. Metal industrial shelving is commonly used for book cases, and caged lights add character to any den or media room. Wheeled platforms or carts make unique coffee tables and drafting tables are great to use as a desk in a home office. Just mix your industrial pieces in, wherever you feel they fit, and decorate around them. They will give character and history to any space you use them in.

Elegantly Industrial Cart Table - A Timeless Classic

This wooden, distressed, cart table makes a charming addition to any living space. Flat black trim and working wheels give it a solid industrial look that can be either softened or punked, depending on your choice of accessories. This table got great reviews and was said to be very easy to put together.

I love this look, I can hardly wait to get one for my family room!

Unique Side Tables - Wood and Metal

Reclaimed materials make up these unusual tables. Used as either side tables or end tables they will give your room character and unassuming charm.

Metallic Dark Bronze Metal Chairs - Perfect for Extra Seating, Indoors or Out

High quality Tolix reproduction all metal chair. Well suited as an industrial accent in a living room or office, or even outside on a deck or patio. Scratch and dent resistant powder coat finish, these chairs also come in silver, bright green and white. All steel construction.

Tolix Chairs

The Tolix style cafe chair was originally designed by Xavier Pauchard in 1934 France, and is a staple in most bistro style restaurants

The Perfect Accent Rug for Industrial Chic Spaces - Many Sizes Fit Almost Anywhere!

This beautiful rug comes in many sizes: 2 x 3, 5 x 8, 8 x 10, 9 x 12, and 2 x 7. It's beautiful under a coffee table, in front of a fireplace or down a hall. The form aesthetic goes wonderfully with industrial furniture or wall deco

Industrial Accents - Great for TV Stands, Buffets or Hall Furniture

Rustic finished metal with wood tops and accents. Perfect industrial stands for a flat screen television and electronics. Also a great accent piece for a dining room to display dishes or glass collections.

Industrial Look Lighting - Perfect Touch of Chic

Whether the pendant or the wall fixture, these lights will give any space an edge of industrial. If you are looking for a more vintage look, you may want to go with the pendant. Need a more modern flair? Go with the wall fixture. Either way, you will bring a big dose of character to any room you put them in.

Metal Shelves - Unique Styles

Both these shelves have loads of rustic elegance and would add character to a wall or hall. Add a touch of old industrial to either modern or traditional decor and add instant charm to any space.

What Is the Difference between Industrial Chic and Steampunk?

Is There a Difference?

Industrial and steampunk use many of the same elements, like gears, springs, wheels and items made of both wood and metal. The style of both is very similar, however I feel there are certain important differences that should be noted:

1. Industrial Chic can be very primitive and rustic, Steampunk is neither - Industrial chic pieces can be rusty, distressed, or just look like they have seen some hard use. Steampunk items are beautifully finished, all shiny brass, and lacquered wood.

2. Industrial chic makes heavy use of silver, grey, black, and white. These are colors you will rarely see in steampunk items. Steampunk makes almost exclusive use of brown, ecru, gold and copper.

3. The Industrial chic style tends to be simple in form and line. The pieces usually plain, made with the goal of usefulness and function more than beauty. Steampunk items are specifically made to be ornate and aesthetically fabulous. The designs can be very intricate and capitalize on movement, even if there really is no functional need. You could say that industrial chic puts function before beauty and steampunk puts beauty before function.

While there are marked differences between industrial chic and steampunk, many pieces would fit in with both, but just as many would not fit in both categories at all.

A Big Difference Is....

The decorative component of Industrial Chic is often applied to architecture, furniture, fixtures and art. Steampunk is much more than a design aesthetic. Many claim the varied facets of steampunk make it a genre and a subculture. As well as furniture, fixtures and art, it also inspires books, movies, it's own clothing style, jewelry, even a philosophy.

Round All Metal Patina Table - Gorgeous Finish Gives This Piece Plenty of Character

Textured patina finish, gives this unique end table a bright flair. Highly versatile, this 24 inch table can be used for an end table, a night stand or an occasional table in any small alcove. Rustically elegant, it will be eye catching in any room.

Industrial Chic Wall Clocks - Galvanized Steel

These clocks add industrial charm to any decor. Bold and elegant, each piece is hand finished, so no two will look exactly alike.

Machining Wheel Book Ends - Adjustable Wheels

Rustic, industrial style black bookends are perfect for a distressed shelf or bookcase. These pieces add unique character to the space of any book lover. Though they are metal construction, they are not as heavy as they appear, weighing about 5 pounds each, plenty heavy enough to hold up the most unruly books!

Industrial Organization - All Metal Baskets

Wire Mesh and Steel are what these factory style bins are made of. They are perfect for organizing anything from cleaners to clothes.They can also be styled up to hold gazing balls, puzzle cubes or other decorative items, keeping them together in plain sight.

Want some more great ideas about industrial chic decor? - Check out these videos!!

These videos are full of not only great stuff that you can buy for the industrial look, but also have ideas of how you can attain that look on your own, at a much lower price with a little knowledge, tools and materials!

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure. Jadelynx is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

How do you like the industrial chic look? - Love it? Hate it? Share your thoughts below.

Submit a Comment

  • profile image


    4 years ago

    I love this industrial chic style!


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