Industrial kitchen ideas – how to incorporate the edgy trend into livable spaces

Industrial kitchen ideas are more popular than ever, here's how to make them work for your space

Bright and minimal white kitchen with long stainless steel counters and industrial metal open storage
(Image credit: deVOL)

Now one of the most popular and well-loved trends in interior design – historically industrial kitchen ideas have taken their cues from old factories and industrial spaces that have been converted to lofts and other living areas. 

The hard-wearing and practical look lends well to open-plan kitchens and homes that are able to celebrate the structure of the building – think exposed bricks steel beams and concrete columns for dramatic effect. With some salvaged items, color, and craftsmanship industrial kitchens can also become characterful spaces for family life and chic spots for entertaining guests. From aged brass surfaces, lofty beamed rooms, and poured concrete countertops take a look at our industrial kitchen ideas.

Inspiring industrial kitchen ideas

1. Use metal patinas to create a statement

Striking black kitchen with oxidised metal backsplash

(Image credit: Hush Kitchens)

This magical-looking kitchen is equal parts timeless tradition and cutting edge industrial drama, incorporating a striking aged brass kitchen backsplash into the cooker hearth. Pairing matte black cabinetry and a vintage brass pendant light the effect is sophisticated and luxurious.

'The aged brass backsplash is a real statement piece in this kitchen design and complements the off-black cabinets beautifully,' says Hush founder, Chris Spink. 'The brass adds a  touch of luxury and the patina will continue to age and develop over time and only add to the  experience.' 

2. Mix rustic and industrial charm

Rustic wooden farmhouse kitchen with slate grey cabinets and large industrial pendant light

(Image credit: Leanne Ford)

If you're thinking about the industrial look but don't want to commit to overhauling your whole space, we think swapping out a few key pieces in an existing space can work really well. Rustic kitchens and the industrial aesthetic have a real synergy - both giving an opportunity to play with aged finishes and salvaged items.

This striking kitchen in a farmhouse by American designer Leanne Ford works in loose items like metal chairs, a statement vintage pendant light, and concrete vases into a natural interior creating a richly layered characterful look.

3. Opt for steel for pretty and delicate finishes

Bright and minimal white kitchen with long stainless steel counters and industrial metal open storage

(Image credit: deVOL)

Steel surfaces work really well to elevate traditional kitchens and give an edgy industrial look. This lofty apartment in an old schoolhouse in the center of Brixton in London has incorporated a cream kitchen by deVOL into what was once the dining hall. White painted brick walls, cool industrial height windows, and the original school floorboards fill this room with simple, original, and historic beauty.

An existing steel Bulthaup kitchen island was kept in place alongside a stainless steel run with sink and hob with a chrome fridge adding a subtle industrial layer that works really well in a historic space.

4. Exposed brick and black cabinets

A small kitchen with exposed brick walls and black cabinets

(Image credit: Eggersman)

Exposed brick and a classic black kitchen are a surefire way to achieve the on-trend look. Historically the industrial aesthetic takes clues from old factories and industrial spaces that have been converted  – it's a look that can be achieved on a budget as it plays on celebrating the bare bones of a space.

In this apartment kitchen by Eggersman Design the walls have been stripped of plaster to reveal a glorious canvas of brickwork underneath.

'Materials such as concretes, metal, and timber characterize industrial style,' says Gary Singer, Founder and Creative Director at Eggersmann Design. 'These materials, when allowed to age gracefully, take on their own patina and truly become unique to their setting.'

'Products often associated with this style would be oversized pendant light fittings - historically used to light large factory floors, bare bricks, exposed steel beams, concrete columns with surface mounted electrical conduits and exposed ventilation ducts.'

5. Style your pans using cool open shelving

Grey concrete kitchen with metal shelving system

(Image credit: String)

Weaving in an industrial look into a small or rental property is easily done with a cool good quality kitchen shelving unit you can take with you when you leave. Open shelving makes cooking easy and accessible and is an easy solution if you don't have enough space for pan storage elsewhere in your kitchen.

'If you are wanting to achieve an industrial style in your kitchen, the String System is an excellent option,' says Bo Hellberg of String Furniture. 'With sturdy steel shelves, it gives a rustic, industrial look that is also completely practical for cooking with. When you cook a lot, you want lots of open shelves, so everything is easily within reach. Alongside the range of smart kitchen accessories including hooks, hanger racks, and rods, all your utensils are at the ready.' 

6. Celebrate raw materials

Stripped wooden panelled room with a black marble sink unit in the centre

(Image credit: Roundhouse)

A move away from the loft-style look, this historic interior focuses on the raw grandeur of this Georgian property by mixing materials to create a minimalist gallery-like marble kitchen. A huge darkly veined marble island takes center stage in a room where wood paneling is stripped bare to give a simple look that is a celebration of materials.

'The industrial look is all about bringing out the raw the beauty of materials,' says Craig Matson, Managing Director at Roundhouse. 'At Roundhouse we’re seeing our clients becoming more adventurous in their choice of materials with antique brass or burnished bronze growing in popularity. And these finishes are being used with other textural materials like oak or work surfaces made of gorgeous textured stone or brushed stainless steel. '

7. Create a Sophisticated industrial Kitchen

An L shaped kitchen with wooden cabinets and tan leather bar stools with a row of opal glass pendant lights

(Image credit: Naked Kitchens)

An industrial look doesn't have to mean a worn and salvaged aesthetic, you can achieve a luxurious and sophisticated take on the look by opting for high-quality crafted furniture with visible grain paired with smart black kitchen cabinets and elements of retro styling.

'Our Guildford kitchen mixes gorgeous exposed Oak veneered ply doors at base level, with painted fronts at upper level in a grain visible finish,' says Elizabeth Sherwin, Senior Designer at Naked Kitchens. These honest materials add texture and character to this incredibly chic family kitchen.' 

8. Use poured concrete to break up a space

Brick loft space with mezzanine

(Image credit: Cosentino)

Concrete is one of the cornerstones of industrial design and is often used in abundance to achieve a striking on-trend look but we love how it has been used minimally in this eclectic loft space bringing the whole look together.

Poured concrete backsplashes, kitchen countertops, and a bar area creates a sliver of refinement in a large warehouse space filled with exposed brick walls, eclectic artwork, and colorful furniture.

What is an industrial style kitchen?

Industrial-style kitchens are simple, utilitarian spaces where raw materials and tough fixtures and finishes are celebrated. Highly-textured materials such as concrete, steel, brick, and wooden beams are often left exposed and used as part of the interior scheme.

What is industrial interior design?

An aesthetic trend in interior design, the industrial look takes its cues from old factories and industrial spaces. As the term industrial would suggest, the inspiration comes from workspaces, so industrial spaces will often have elements that are reminders of their hard-working origins – butcher's blocks used as islands, stainless steel used on countertops, rails, and hooks, all add that industrial touch. 

Rohini Wahi is Content Editor for Livingetc Online. With a decade-long career in the interiors and design industry working as a journalist for premium lifestyle publications then delving deeper into the business as a trend forecaster, Rohini has amassed a wealth of global design knowledge that informs her work. She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home.