Industrial Strength: Raw, Utilitarian Elements for a Bedroom with Character and Style

The exposed, unrefined warehouse feel of industrial style design brings a modern, no-frills look to your bedroom.

By K. R. Cole

 

Modern industrial style eschews the finished, polished characteristics of many modern trends and embraces exposed, basic elements to achieve a look that’s reminiscent of industrial spaces and old, open factories. Surfaces usually considered cold or stark, such as metal, unpainted wood, and brick, are incorporated into an overall theme that unites utility and comfort.

 

In a bedroom, bedding, furniture, and decor perfectly soften this rough, minimal aesthetic.

 

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Color Code: Choosing the Right Paint Colors

Painting is a project most of us can easily tackle, and it can be the first step in developing your new space. Modern industrial style generally works best on a neutral backdrop. Shades of gray or other neutral colors will allow other aspects of your design and decor to really stand out. You’re aiming for a color that opens the area, so keep it light.

 

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Brick, Concrete, and Wood for Hard-working Walls

Nothing says industrial like a worn brick wall, weathered wood, or cool concrete.

 

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Brick gives an industrial vibe whether it’s in the raw or painted. If you don’t live in an old building with a built-in brick wall, that’s not a problem. Brick accent walls can be created in any room with brick tiles. While this is a more extensive undertaking than paint, it’s not complicated and can add quite a bit to the overall look of the room.

 

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Similarly, you can purchase lightweight concrete panels that simply fit together and fasten to your existing walls with screws. This gives the contemporary cool look of concrete without the weight or installation struggle.

 

Wood walls, especially weathered barn wood, fit right in with the industrial trend. While you could spend a lot and buy real wood, you can also get the same look and save by putting up faux wood panels cast from genuine old wood. You’ll have the rugged, unrefined appearance with less cost and easier installation.

 

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Adding Industrial Feel to an Established Space

One of the key features of industrial style is the showcasing of exposed structural elements that would usually be covered, such as beams, pipes, and columns. If your bedroom doesn’t have large, open ceilings or heavy structural aspects to work with, furniture and other items are a great way to accomplish the look.

 

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When considering what to use in your new bedroom, keep this stripped-back approach: There’s no room for clutter or polish in industrial design. Space is open, and the impact comes from elements that offer a heavy, utilitarian feel and also from furniture and decor with bold, vintage appeal.

 

Furniture pieces that are wood, metal, repurposed, and eclectic give an instant industrial effect. Metal and rough wood offer the most “industrial” surfaces and textures. Be on the hunt for cast iron, stainless steel, old wood, and raw wood. Metal lockers, nightstands made from wooden crates, old card catalogs as dressers, wooden pallet headboards, and furniture with hefty metal hardware are ideal.

 

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Industrial furniture and decor are simple and bold. Elements suggest practicality and productivity. Utility is key when making an industrial impression, so be open to heavy clocks, large metal table or pedestal fans, stools with exposed mechanical parts, stark lamps and lights, rough-hewn wooden furniture, repurposed storage pieces, and salvaged vintage equipment. Creative use of unfinished building materials also gives an authentic raw appearance.

 

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Dark and light metals, warm or worn woods, and austere fixtures are indispensable components in an industrial style room.

 

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Raw lighting and lighting with prominent metal fixtures are affordable touches that give a space a true industrial atmosphere. Bare bulbs, hanging Edison bulbs, caged bulbs, and large metal pendant lights are just a few of the many options.

 

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Softening the Edges

Most of the high-impact design elements of modern industrial style will lean toward the cooler colors of metal and concrete. To soften the look, use warm colors and soft textures for textiles, rugs, and bedding.

 

Warm, neutral colors like tan, brown, and soft gray will maintain a monochromatic theme, while more vivid colors like red, blue, and green will enliven the atmosphere and give your predominantly utilitarian room a comfortable, inviting quality. Muted pinks, minty greens, and powder blues offer subtle color without drawing too much attention.

 

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In a design that builds on a stark, unrefined aesthetic, textures of bedding, rugs, and cushions make this style work in a bedroom. Soft, solid comforters and pillow shams, thick woven blankets, and similar bedding pieces best compliment the minimal approach of industrial style. If there’s enough space, accent with an armchair, a club chair, or an upholstered occasional chair.

 

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Rugs in all piles and patterns can personalize the space. Shaggy and solid, woven and natural, unusual-shaped, or boldly patterned rugs are all welcoming in their own way.

 

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If you’re looking for a bedroom that’s edgy and open, with warehouse feel and vintage appeal, the industrial style fits the bill.

 

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Images used with permission, courtesy of www.shutterstock.com

Next: Using Color to Customize Bedroom Ambiance