Industrial chic is a style that takes inspiration from old factories or warehouses. The industrial style takes something vintage and gives it a modern twist. An industrial design provides a minimalist look with natural materials and bold accents. It also provides the space with a unique style. Here are a few more reasons the style works within retail.

Why Industrial Chic Works for Retail

The industrial design offers originality for brands associated with systematic decay, like the tattered fashions of G-Star Raw. It also provides an edgy appearance that can draw in consumers, meaning the trend can work for luxury brands like Gucci, too.

With an emphasis on craftsmanship and quality, the brands appear more authentic.

For example, Gucci recently created their London flagship using industrial design inspiration. Industrial design also works well for the temporary nature of pop-up shops. This is because designers can turn props like crates into furniture.

The industrial style also works well due to its functionality and affordability. Factories were made with manufacturing purposes in mind. All the design elements serve a purpose, which creates a more productive space.

Retail stores can use this method to incorporate durable materials, such as exposed brick and metals. Another benefit is that the industrial trend doesn’t focus on flashy decor. The minimal style is more cost-effective, which is essential for any new business.

Another reason industrial trends are popular is because they promote sustainability. This can attract new clients and increase a company’s reputation. With the industrial style, designers use  recycled materials like reclaimed brick and steel.

The Features of Industrial Style

Industrial-inspired design focuses on vintage and natural elements. It uses a pared-down color scheme that has darker hues and lighter accents. Blacks, browns, and grays are common primary colors. The layout is usually open with tall ceilings. This makes it easier for consumers to wander around the store.

For decor, salvaged items like glass and wood are often centerpieces. Other popular materials include metals such as iron, brass, and copper. Wood paneling, exposed ductwork, and architectural beams are displayed.

The space often features texture surfaces like brick accent walls or concrete flooring. This speaks to the functionality industrial style offers building owners — concrete flooring is durable and is perfect for high-traffic areas. The final elements include modern finishes mixed with antique items like mirrors, which offer more style without adding onto the maintenance costs of operating a retail space.

 Industrial interior of a fashion store with concrete details

How to Incorporate Industrial Design

Start with the larger items first. Use darker tones on walls, such as deep blues. Neutral hues like  whites can also create a calming atmosphere for stressed shoppers. It’s also possible to create a unique look with metals, such as weathered steel and corrugated metal. Add metal or tin shelving for display sections.

Pebbled concrete is a strong material that can handle wear and tear. Also, leave concrete ceiling columns exposed to make a rustic appearance. In addition, add steel panels and metal gratings to divide product spaces.

Have stainless steel display cases topped with gravel for an edgy look. Metal grids also showcase merchandise and stick with the industrial theme. Another way to include metals is through hooks for clothing items or dressing rooms.

Make sure to also have accents of wood. These can be found in chairs, tables, stands, or countertops. Wooden beams or floors can also add character to your space. Besides the aesthetic appeal, wood is a sustainable material. It also acts as a good insulator, saving managers money on electricity bills.

Along with the decor, an open layout is critical. Open spaces and high ceilings are the hallmarks of industrial design. So, have multiple large aisles and fewer divided areas. Add vintage lighting, like rustic pendants, to the ceiling. This will create a stunning focal point.

How to Find Vintage Items

Antique elements are part of the older industrial style. Designers can find them at a variety of places, including:

  • Garage sales
  • Estate sales
  • Flea markets
  • Live auctions
  • Antique shops
  • Thrift stores
  • Online auctions

These items add a sense of character and personality to the minimalist design. Look for decor items such as mirrors, lights, benches, and even clocks. Before shopping, get familiar with period-specific terms to find items and bargains. Designers should also seek out more information about their favorite decor to ensure they’re getting a fair price.

Also, shop locally to find the best deals and help the environment. Use the internet to get started and save the pages of any especially interesting items. Before making a purchase, ensure the colors and style fit with the rest of the space. This creates a cohesive room and draws in more customers.

Industrial Chic Is the Newest Trend

Many retail designers want a functional and aesthetically pleasing space. The industrial style offers both practicality and originality. The open spaces and rustic decor easily catch consumers’ attention and make them want to know more.

Author: Evelyn Long is the editor-in-chief of Renovated. Her work focuses on interior and architectural design and has been published by Build Magazine, the National Association of REALTORS and other online publications.

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