The industrial kitchen has become a staple design style. In this article, we take a look at the origins of the industrial style along with the iconic features of the style to inspire you to create your own industrial scheme. We also share a selection of industrial kitchens that demonstrate new, alternatives ways to incorporate the style into your design.
The Origins of the Industrial Style
It is widely thought that industrial décor began during the early 20th century at the end of the 2nd industrial revolution. As businesses started to operate on a more global scale, the original factories were closed down leaving behind buildings with tonnes of liveable space and architectural potential. In the transformation of industrial properties into residential homes, the industrial style was born.
Abandoned factory with tonnes of potential and industrial features such as brick walls, crittal windows and original steel beams.
Part of what makes industrial interior design so popular is that it’s a highly versatile and functional style that can be tailored to suit the unique needs of the owner. For those that appreciate and love a number of furniture styles and interior design disciplines, the industrial style offers the opportunity to incorporate multiple styles into one cohesive space.
Industrial decor is a marriage between contemporary and rustic design which creates a space that feels more lived-in and casual. A living space that plays between the two design contrasts. Industrial kitchens are the perfect place to showcase your possessions from inherited pieces, contemporary accessories, and vintage finds. All can work within the space to create a vibrant and eclectic environment.
If you take anything away from this article it should be that industrial designs focus on practicality. All good industrial kitchen designs will focus on simple and practical principles that create a fuss-free design style focusing on functionality over clinical perfection. Simple raw features such as exposed brick walls, freestanding furniture, exposed pipes, and conduit create an industrial look synonymous with factories and workshops. These practical industrial elements were naturally occurring in loft, warehouse, and barn conversions due to how these properties were originally used. However, these features have become popular as part of the industrial style trend and so more conventional residential properties are incorporating these elements to create an urban commercial design story.
The Apparatus Room / Detroit Foundation Hotel - Originally Detroit's Fire Department HQ.
Industrial kitchen designs are renowned for their spacious layouts. The original large industrial spaces were the ideal template for open plan, casual living. Open plan designs create the perfect social hub for the home, ideal for families that want a social space to cook, work, entertain and spend time together. Since the original industrial buildings offered vast oversized spaces with grand proportions, it’s easy to think that industrial design would be better suited for larger spaces. However, industrial style is not about the size of the space but rather the principles of practicality, efficiency and economy. These core principles work well in spaces of all sizes.
When converting industrial properties into residential buildings, architects and designers celebrated the original industrial features. If you are researching industrial styles you will see an abundance of brick, concrete, raw plaster and tiled walls. Bare, utilitarian and unconcealed walls create a sense of simplicity in the space whilst adding a rugged sense of practicality.
If this iconic style has piqued your interest, we've curated a selection of KCA projects that were designed on the principles of this versatile trend. Read on for beautiful industrial kitchen inspiration, covering classic interpretations of industrial kitchen decor to more subtle and contemporary takes on this timeless look.
In this KCA kitchen, the client has opted for an exposed brick wall to add industrial charm to the scheme. The minimal wall cabinetry celebrates the brick wall, making it a bold feature within the room and providing an industrial-inspired backdrop for the shaker kitchen. For properties without natural industrial features, a faux brick wall, concrete texture, raw plaster or even a tile can be used to get the industrial look. The exposed filament pendant lighting is a popular choice for industrial interiors and here it fills the space in front of the wall, creating a stunning design feature that draws your eye to the texture of the brick.
The material palette uses a combination of finishes chosen for their ergonomic principles, whilst also delivering on characteristically industrial textures. This kitchen design finds a delicate marriage between classic contemporary and rugged textures, pairing raw, rusting metal-inspired laminate on the island with grey soft laminate shaker doors and cabinetry.
The kitchen design balances classic shaker storage with exposed chunky shelves, perfect for displaying your cherished collections, recipe books or indoor plants.
Follow this link to see more photos of this industrial kitchen.
This modern kitchen with industrial accents is a striking example of how a contemporary kitchen design can incorporate industrial features in a more subtle way.
The kitchen pairs oak cabinetry and framing with clean and modern grey doors to create a fuss-free, minimalist look. Following industrial design principles, the kitchen uses durable and functional materials such as veneer doors and ceramic worktops which create the appearance of Carrara marble, whilst offering exceptional resilience.
Although the industrial decor features in this kitchen are indeed very subtle, the industrial influences can be clearly seen with the presence of the filament pendant lighting above the island and the stunning Crittal doors. Although Crittal doors are not exclusive to the industrial design style, they did feature heavily in factories during the early 20th Century and have since featured in many industrial decor interiors.
As with any successful kitchen design, the kitchen must work in harmony with the interior scheme and architecture of the room. The same is true of an industrial style kitchen. By considering all of these elements together, you can ensure that your industrial kitchen finds the right balance to suit your style.
This kitchen design was part of a project in collaboration with EAB Homes for their newly built property Beechmont. Luxury isn't always associated with the industrial style trend, however this was the design brief for this project. The kitchen design blends traditional industrial influences with luxury contemporary materials and technology. Much like the grand spaces found in original industrial properties, the large footprint of this home served as the perfect template for open plan, casual living.
This kitchen centres around a large U-shaped kitchen island serving as the ultimate social hub for cooking and entertaining, whilst offering a great deal of practical storage space. The island uses a combination of light-textured quartz worktops and stainless-steel accents, striking the perfect balance between modern refinement and lasting industrial style. Inspired by the chunky oversized features found in industrial properties, the island has been designed with an 80mm thick stainless-steel worktop bridge that links the two runs of furniture and creates a breakfast bar seating area.
The material palette includes a variety of finishes and textures, however, the single-toned grey colour palette gives the kitchen a look that is more understated than eclectic. The cabinetry itself features three different materials, including dark grey concrete effect laminate, grey oak and light grey lacquer.
The accessories in this kitchen intentionally move away from the industrial style in favour of more classic contemporary pieces such as the stainless-steel bar handles and geometric pendant lights. This curated fusion of styles works to create a timeless industrial kitchen fit for a luxury home.
This KCA kitchen was designed for a holiday home in the Cotswolds. This kitchen design could find itself in a number of interior design disciplines, blending a fusion of contemporary furniture with rustic textures and industrial themes. This design epitomises the versatile nature of the industrial style. The fusion of materials creates a warm space that feels natural and lived in, whilst providing a wonderful sense of enveloping quietness.
Like many industrial kitchen designs, the scheme uses a combination of the big three materials textures - concrete, wood and metal. The wood cabinetry, crafted from sun-dried aged fir wood, creates a raw textural beauty. The fir wood conjures ideas of reclaimed timber, railway sleepers and beams which are suggestive of industrial style. The fero metal wall cabinetry feels reminiscent of industrial lockers yet with an elegant contemporary finish. These materials are paired with a large, chunky island featuring a 60mm thick Ceramic waterfall worktop in a matte texture inspired by classic cement floors.
The accessories further accentuate the contemporary industrial style, with black metal handles and big and bold metal dome pendant lights evocative of factories.
Our Design Consultants are experts at creating kitchens in all trends and styles to suit your personal taste. If you would like to know more about creating an industrial style kitchen or meet with a KCA designer for a safe design consultation, please get in touch.
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KCA have been a pleasure to work with from the very start of the project. They listened to my requirements, designed a beautiful kitchen and built it on time and to budget. The whole team have an excellent eye for detail and a great sense of customer service; I could not recommend them more highly.Mrs. Alexandrou
It really is an excellent service. No detail is left unchecked. Everything from the beginning has been amazing. The initial design was well thought out, imaginative & exciting. All our questions no matter how silly were answered. Measurements on site were checked very carefully which meant when issues were found they could be resolved before the kitchen was ordered. It arrived on time & was fitted with the same care & attention we'd come to expect. The kitchen itself - WOW!Mrs. Scott
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