Industrial style kitchens are a popular design trend that adds character and edge to any home. Often characterized by exposed brick, concrete, metal accents and “found object” decor, industrial kitchens blend old and new seamlessly. Whether you’re doing a full remodel or just looking to add some industrial flair, there are many ways to incorporate this urban look.
Benefits of an Industrial Style Kitchen
An industrial style kitchen offers many advantages:
- Durability – Industrial materials like metal, concrete and brick are built to last. This makes industrial kitchens very resilient.
- Texture – From the patina of worn metal to exposed brick walls, industrial kitchens add visual interest with varied textures.
- Cost-effective – Using salvaged and repurposed materials is budget-friendly. You can find items like vintage factory carts for a fraction of the cost of new furniture.
- Uniqueness – Every industrial kitchen is one-of-a-kind since salvaged and vintage items are used. This personalizes the space.
- Loft appeal – Industrial style brings an urban loft vibe, even in suburban or rural areas. This transforms kitchens into hip, modern spaces.
With smart design choices, you can gain all the advantages of an industrial style kitchen within your budget.
Elements of an Industrial Style Kitchen
There are many ways to add industrial appeal to your kitchen. Incorporate a few of these elements for the perfect blend of vintage and modern:
Exposed Brick Walls
Exposed original or faux brick walls instantly give vintage character to kitchens. For a modern twist, paint bricks white for a brighter, airier feel. Or leave bricks raw for an edgy, rugged warehouse aesthetic.
Strategically expose just one brick wall as an accent or go all out and expose multiple walls – the choice is yours. Exposed brick provides texture and personality in spades.
Add hits of metal for an industrial vibe. This includes stainless steel appliances, tin ceiling tiles, metal shelving brackets, and vintage items like factory carts or toolbox drawers used as cabinetry.
For counters, consider stainless steel, zinc or other metal alternatives to granite or quartz. Mixing metal finishes like nickel, black iron, and brushed aluminum provides visual interest.
Concrete makes an incredible industrial flooring choice for kitchens. Modern options like stained, polished and stamped concrete have a stylish, sophisticated look.
For a more aged, weathered warehouse appearance, go with an original poured concrete floor. You can also paint concrete floors in bold colors or patterns.
Found Object Decor
Incorporate unique salvaged or vintage items as decorative accents. Ideas include using an old luggage cart for an island, antique advertising signs on walls, and restaurant supply shelves for open storage.
Search antique stores, garage sales or Etsy for vintage kitchenware to display like scales, flour sifters and milk jars. This type of decor showcases the history of a space.
To add an industrial edge, opt for pendant lights made from pipes, cages, filament bulbs, clear glass and other utilitarian materials. Stainless steel and brass finishes keep things looking modern.
Install matching pendants in a row over a kitchen island or sink for dramatic effect. Mixing vintage and modern pendant styles creates visual interest.
Subway tile offers an affordable, classic way to get an industrial feel. Opt for simple white, or go bold with black, blue or gray colors. Stack tile patterns and textures for added dimension.
Consider laying tile in a herringbone pattern, or vertically versus horizontally. Subway tile makes a great industrial backsplash.
Industrial Style Kitchen Color Schemes
Color palettes play an important role in industrial design. While you can never go wrong with an all-white scheme, consider these color combinations to really make your industrial kitchen pop:
Black and White
A black and white palette keeps things clean and classic. Use black subway tile, concrete floors and white walls for contrast. Add pops of color with appliances and décor.
Warm earth tones like beige, brown and terracotta pair beautifully with industrial concrete and wood elements. Accent with greenery for an inviting, nature-inspired vibe.
Paint or stain concrete floors, walls and cabinets in bold colors like navy, maroon, forest green or burnt orange. This modern twist adds striking visual impact.
Metallics add major edge. Go for an all-over metal scheme in brass, copper, silver or chrome paired with concrete for rustic appeal.
Let original brick dictate your color palette. Pair raw brick walls with matching reds and oranges. A white brick wall pops against dark charcoal and black tones.
Get creative and choose colors that complement your specific brickwork. Vintage exposed brick provides built-in character.
Budget-Friendly Tips for Industrial Style
The key to achieving industrial kitchen style on a budget is creative sourcing. With the right salvaged, vintage and second-hand finds, you can create this look at a fraction of the price of buying everything brand new.
- Check second-hand stores, garage sales and online marketplaces like Facebook, Craigslist and eBay for unique industrial items. Vintage factory carts, stools, cabinets and advertising signs add character.
- Use reclaimed wood from old barns, crates and buildings for open shelving and accent walls to add texture. Many salvage companies sell reclaimed lumber.
- Instead of replacing cabinets, paint existing cabinets a bold color like navy, black, grey or white for an instant industrial vibe.
- Use affordable subway tile, brick veneers or faux tin ceiling tiles rather than the more expensive original materials.
- Opt for concrete-look laminate flooring rather than poured concrete, which can be costly, for an affordable adaptation.
- Repurpose found objects like old toolbox drawers and luggage racks as unconventional shelving and storage.
- Shop discount home improvement stores for cheaper commercial-style sinks, lighting and hardware like barn door handles.
With creative sourcing and thrifty project ideas, you can create industrial kitchen style on a budget. Focus on a few key elements rather than overhauling the entire kitchen for a budget-friendly solution.
8 Inspiring Industrial Style Kitchen Ideas
Need inspiration for your own industrial kitchen revamp? Here are 8 inspiring ideas ranging from subtle to bold:
1. Exposed Brick Backsplash
Exposing original or adding new brick behind a stove or sink area instantly livens up mundane walls. This single brick accent has a big impact without overpowering the space.
2. Bold Concrete Island
Staining a kitchen island black or charcoal grey contrasts beautifully with light cabinetry. Concrete’s raw, organic texture makes a statement. Add vintage industrial stools for a unified look.
3. Salvaged Wood Shelving
Rustic reclaimed wood planks add warmth and texture. Repurpose old barn wood or fencing into wall-mounted shelves or cabinets for an eco-friendly accent.
4. Mixed Metal Elements
Combine stainless steel, chrome, brass and black iron finishes for an eclectic industrial edge. This could include a mix of appliances, cabinets, lighting and hardware.
5. Original Wood Beams
Exposing original wood ceiling beams adds authentic character. Wire pendant lights hung at varying heights from beams enhance the rustic appeal.
6. Factory Cart Island
A reclaimed factory cart makes a movable island packed with vintage charm. Try finding an old work table or warehouse cart and give it new life in your kitchen.
7. Herringbone Brick Floor
Laying a classic herringbone brick pattern on your kitchen floor oozes old world appeal. Complement with crisp white cabinetry and modern finishes for contrast.
8. Industrial Dark Palette
Go daringly dark with black stained cabinets, concrete floors, black hardware and iron accents for a sleek, modern statement with rustic warmth.
Whether you opt for subtle industrial accents or go boldly vintage, there are so many ways to add urban style to your kitchen. Focus on a few conversation-starting focal points to transform ordinary kitchens into edgy showstoppers.
Revamping Your Kitchen for Industrial Style on a Budget
If a full kitchen remodel isn’t in your budget, you can still achieve the industrial vibe with smaller scale changes:
Use faux brick wallpaper – Peel and stick brick wallpaper offers the look of exposed brick for a fraction of the cost. Use behind a stove, on an island or small backsplash area.
Paint cabinets – A coat of black or charcoal paint is an inexpensive way to transform cabinets into an industrial statement. Replace hardware with black iron pulls.
Add concrete-look laminate floors – Concrete laminate flooring achieves the look at a more affordable cost. For a patched, aged concrete look, use varying gray tones.
Incorporate black stainless steel appliances – Black stainless steel provides an affordable sleek, modern update to traditional stainless steel. It has an edgier, industrial feel.
Use cage pendant lighting – Vintage-style cage lights offer industrial flair. Opt for affordable reproductions, as originals can be pricey. Group over islands or tables.
Add a reclaimed wood accent wall – Use wood from old barns, crates or buildings as a textured accent wall. Many salvage shops sell reclaimed boards in various sizes.
Source vintage factory carts – Old factory carts add industrial flair and storage. Check antique stores, garage sales or online listings for discounted finds.
Display found object decor – Visit flea markets and antique malls to hunt for vintage kitchenware. Repurpose old soda crates, tins and jars as unconventional storage.
With clever reuse of materials and bold paint colors, you can achieve industrial kitchen style on any budget. Focus on accent walls, lighting and other high visual impact changes for an affordable kitchen refresh.
How to Maintain Your Industrial Style Kitchen
While industrial kitchen materials were originally made to withstand wear and tear, proper maintenance is still needed to keep things looking their best. Follow these tips:
Seal concrete regularly – Since concrete is porous, seal it annually to prevent stains. Use a penetrating sealer, applying 2-3 thin coats for best protection.
Clean metal immediately – Clean up spills on metal surfaces like stainless steel right away to prevent corrosion and rust. Use a stainless steel cleaner and microfiber cloth.
Avoid harsh brick cleaners – Use mild soap and water to clean exposed brick. Harsh chemicals can damage brick surfaces. A clear sealer protects bricks from kitchen messes.
Dust lighting routinely – Dust accumulated on the nooks of pendant lights detracts from the industrial look. Wipe lights regularly with a microfiber cloth.
Use floor protectors – Attach felt pads to the bottom of stools and furniture legs to avoid scratching concrete floors when moved.
Oil salvaged wood – Apply food-safe butcher block oil to reclaimed wood counters annually to condition and protect. Avoid letting water sit on wood.
Clean finishes gently – For fixtures with antique brass or natural metal finishes, use gentle cleaners and polishes made specifically for the finish to prevent removal of patinas.
With the right care and maintenance, your industrial kitchen will maintain its character and function for years to come. Be sure to properly seal and regularly clean your floors, surfaces and fixtures.
Here are some frequently asked questions about achieving industrial style kitchens:
Is an industrial style kitchen expensive?
It does not have to be expensive. Many elements like exposed brick, reclaimed wood and concrete can be adapted more affordably. With second-hand decor and DIY project ideas, industrial kitchens can suit a range of budgets.
What colors work well in an industrial kitchen?
Black, white, greys, browns and metal tones like brass, copper and silver work well. Bold colors like navy blue, forest green, red and orange can also make great industrial accents.
How do I add color to an industrial kitchen?
Add color through kitchen islands, bar stools, appliances like refrigerators and ovens, cabinets and kitchenware like canisters. Backsplashes, statement walls and floors are also options for bold color.
What flooring works best for industrial style?
Concrete, stained concrete, brick, and wood are top choices. Concrete or faux-concrete laminate flooring has an authentic warehouse vibe. Hardwood adds warmth. Tile like subway, black and white checkered, or encaustic tile works too.
How do I add vintage character to my industrial kitchen?
Source authentic salvaged materials like factory carts, lockers, ladders or shelving units. Display vintage-inspired kitchenware. Add reclaimed wood beams and accents. Use items like barn doors and antique-style cage pendant lighting.
What type of countertops suit an industrial kitchen?
Concrete, stainless steel, zinc, and wood countertops complement the aesthetic well. Butcher block, hardwood, reclaimed wood, and concrete replicates the industrial vibe. Quartz and granite in muted tones can also work.
How do I incorporate metals into my kitchen?
Metals to incorporate include stainless steel appliances, tin ceiling tiles, nickel and iron finishes on lighting and hardware, zinc or metal countertops, and decor items like factory carts and toolbox drawers for storage.
How can I add industrial flair on a budget?
Opt for concrete-look laminate flooring, paint existing cabinets a bold color, seek reclaimed materials at salvage yards and antique/thrift stores, use affordable subway tile or faux tin ceiling tiles, and purchase vintage-style reproductions vs. originals.
What elements should I avoid in an industrial kitchen?
Avoid overly ornate designs and finishes like intricate carved wood trims and baroque style hardware. Stick to a simpler, pared-down aesthetic using salvaged, vintage and recycled materials for authenticity.
Industrial kitchens blend old and new with salvaged patinas, raw textures and sleek finishes. From concrete counters to reclaimed wood walls to retro-fitted lighting, industrial style adds comfortable, lived-in character.
Whether you’re doing a full remodel or simply introducing industrial elements through open shelving, factory cart islands and pops of color, this adaptable style brings an edgy, urban twist.
With clever use of materials like brick, wood and metal paired with creativity and resourcefulness, industrial kitchen style can be achieved on any budget.
So embrace exposed beams, unfinished walls and understated charm to transform your kitchen into a modern showpiece with timeless appeal and a thrift-store edge. Let your design tell a unique story!