At The Idealist, we’re always searching for new and distinctive looks. Right now we love the vogue for industrial chic.
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Large scale metal and wood pieces are perfect for loft-style living. But they also play well with many styles of decor. Industrial-style furniture and accessories can appear solidly bold or deceptively delicate, but they have an integrity and hand-made authenticity that contrasts nicely with contemporary shine and polish.
Not sure where to start? Look for pieces with distressed surfaces (that recall the factory floors of the early 20th century).
It can be hard to find these striking pieces on the high street. And they can be super expensive in antique stores. So we’ve done the heavy work and found some great and unique-looking industrial chic pieces online.
Our favourite industrial chic finds
Patina, worn textures and utilitarian construction are hallmarks of the industrial style. These vintage stacking chairs would make great extra seating for guests. I can also see them on an outdoor patio, their edges softened by greenery. Each chair is uniquely aged and they come in a variety of colours and shapes. £38
Weathered wood combines with a sturdy black iron cross frame for a classic of Industrial Chic – the really big table. This dining table from Artisanti could easily anchor a dining area in a loft space, but is also sleek enough for more contemporary environments. We can also see it holding down one end of a kitchen space in the Scandinavian style. £450
The mango wood and iron matching bench uses the same materials and adds a touch of the communal for dining. Great for kids on one side of the table, perhaps with mismatched chairs on the other. £225.00
Add atmosphere to that dining area with this 35.5" x 24" 3-dimensional posters that harken back to the early days of elegant travel. We love Hamburg – a weathered depiction of the Hamburg Amerika Linie fjord cruiser – it would look great in an office or study space as well. £55
Another option in the vintage travel poster department is the Orient Line Cruises of Norway. Great for adding a hint of colour and graphic punch to all that weathered wood and steel. £55
Tolix was a line of metal chairs designed by French pioneer of galvanisation Xavier Pauchard and trademarked in 1927. Light, yet solid and available in bright pops of blue and orange from Maisons du monde, this modern-day Tolix style metal stool features a cutout carry handle built in. We love that it can pull double duty as seating (in your artist's studio?), or as an occasional table for lamps or books. £49.99
Train travel was an integral aspect of the Industrial Revolution and this metal calendar clock in black from Maisons du Monde is a perfect example of early train station aesthetics. We love its date display flaps and distressed face. It can add of note of nostalgia to any room, but it would work great in a study or home office, wall-mounted or placed on a sideboard. £99.99
A statement metal piece with the subtle matte and mottled finish that typifies the industrial look, this Stepney tallboy chest of six drawers from Swoon Editions could work in almost any room that needs storage, but is especially appropriate for a bedroom or dressing room. We love the contrasting brass plated handles. £359 (down from £499).
Rustic yet with simple, more contemporary lines, this coffee table set from Swoon Editions has the hand-crafted look that typifies industrial chic decor. Lightly distressed, the 3-piece set looks great and is practical as well – you can tuck the sidetables neatly away when they are not needed. £329
With twelve drawers and nine fixed shelves, this Germain dresser from Maisons du Monde looks like it came straight from the warehouse floor or turn of the century haberdasher. Made from solid mango wood and metal, this is a robust piece of furniture that could anchor a living room, or the living or study area of an open concept loft space. We love the industrial details – sliding panel door, metal handles and label holders. £1,999.00
Industrial chic is becoming more and more coveted as vestiges of the golden age of industry are replaced by the laser tooled shiny surfaces and pristine edges of modernity. You don't have to all-out embrace the aesthetic as a total decor. As these striking pieces attest, a little industrial chic can go a long way.