How to Fake the Industrial Look

How to Fake the Industrial Look |Colour Saturated Life

If you have been anywhere near Pinterest or watched a design show lately you would be aware that the “Industrial Style” is hugely popular at the moment in the design world and amongst interior design bloggers. The style is defined by its use of salvaged objects & raw exposed interior architecture. It really is about embracing the raw beauty of a space or an object. I am personally a huge fan of this style and I try to incorporate it into my home as much as possible. Now unless you live in a down town loft or converted warehouse it is hard to naturally create an industrial look. I still dream of one day owning a gorgeous warehouse conversion….like this Bakery Conversion in Melbourne, Australia  (it even makes sense that we should own this as my hubby is actually a Baker! That reason alone should motivate the owners to just hand it over to us, right?! Sigh…a girl can dream).

Bakery Conversion | Source

But until I come into my untold millions I will have to settle with faking it until I make it! Ha! So if you want to join me in this slight obsession I am going to give you my tips on how to fake the industrial look in your home.

1. Include Metals

This can be rusted, raw or painted metals. It can be incorporated through your lighting, shelving, furniture pieces. I use black metal a lot in my home both in furniture, shelving and lighting. Below the use of metal lights along with the metal chairs creates that industrial look in this dining room. (on a side note I plan to add similar lighting over our dining table no only to bring in more industrial elements but to create line of sight barrier between our living and dining…hopefully in doing so defining the two spaces more)

How to Fake the Industrial Look |Colour Saturated Life

Include Metals | Source

2. Have Exposed Lighting or Upcycle Lighting

By exposed I mean – show us your bulbs baby! I am absolutely obsessed with the Edison Bulbs at the moment and I have them in almost all my lights (expensive, yes but damn they are pretty!) I also like how in the below picture there are a collection of lights….it just makes more of statement. Another popular thing is to upcycle objects into lighting, I have seen mason jars and colanders used for lighting, there are plenty of DIY tutorials out there in Blogland to inspire you.

How to Fake the Industrial Look |Colour Saturated Life

Exposed Bulbs | Source

How to Fake the Industrial Look |Colour Saturated Life

Grouped Lights | Source

3. Let things be a Little Grungy

I don’t mean gross grungy….I am certain the below cabinet is food safe. They have, however, left the gorgeous patina on the cabinet and created a stunning and one-of-a-kind island bench for their kitchen. Without this, the kitchen would be just another generic white kitchen but with it we get that industrial vibe. (I am also convinced that if you stick anything on wheels you can call it industrial, I am thinking of sticking wheels on my house and just calling it done!)

How to Fake the Industrial Look |Colour Saturated Life

Leave it Grungy | Source

 4. Incorporate Typography

I am addicted to Typography in my home, I use it a LOT, like maybe a little too much, it’s an addiction, I am working through my issues. Whether it is the use of large letters, marquee letters, vintage signs or street signs anything with typography will help create that industrial look.

How to Fake the Industrial Look |Colour Saturated Life

Incoporate Typography | Source

5. Keep it Simple

I find this very difficult in my home, I like stuff, you know the stuff you want but don’t really need. I think if I owned a shop full of these type of objects I would be in heaven! But the industrial look is all about being pared back and not over styling the space with furniture and objects. I think the below space it such a great example of this (you should check out the link and see the full tour, this space is stunning!) they still have “stuff” but you can tell everything has been chosen to reflect the industrial style and it is not cluttered in anyway, your eyes are able to to take in all the different elements without being overwhelmed.

How to Fake the Industrial Look |Colour Saturated Life

Keep it Simple | Source

6. Use Dark Colours

Okay, the above room kinda breaks this “rule” but I believe adding dark timbers, blacks, charcoals & dark metals to your space gives it the illusion of the industrial look. This look is, after all, based upon warehouse conversions and lofts where you would naturally find old warn dark wood floors and black metal beams. I use a lot of black in my home (I know not everyone is a fan of black, but I happen to be going through that phase, I am sure I will grow out of it, eventually) and I believe it helps to convey an industrial feel. With my current office redo I am incorporating a lot of black metal and dark timber to create a semi-industrial look. The image below has chalkboard walls that help ground the rooms overall feel and the metal chair, industrial desk and other vintage elements just tie it all together with a neat little bow!

How to Fake the Industrial Look |Colour Saturated Life

Use Dark Colours | Source

 7. Upcycle

This one is my favourite, I am inspired by bloggers who use old items in new and interesting ways while incorporating them into their homes as though that was their intended purpose to begin with. I wanted to claw out Marian’s eyes (in a non-violent, super friendly way of course!) when I saw her post on this industrial find on her blog. She found a drool-worthy industrial cart in her foraging and now uses it as her coffee table. Now we can’t all be as lucky as she is but you can fake this look and make your own (see this post here I came across recently).  Like I said, fake it till you make it, or should it be make it so you can fake it!? (oh! I amuse me!).

How to Fake the Industrial Look |Colour Saturated Life

Upcycle | Source

So there you have it! Have you thought about incorporating industrial elements into your home? I would love to hear from you! If you need more inspiration feel free to check out my Pinterest board dedicated to all things industrial (here).


  • Robyn - May 14, 2016 - 1:19 pm

    Great blog! New follower from @robyns_frenchnest !!!ReplyCancel

  • […] If you loved this post you may also like to read my other post  in this series: How to Fake the Industrial Look. […]ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - February 28, 2015 - 6:22 am

    Great inspiration…love all the photos…my favorite style too!ReplyCancel

  • Christie - February 17, 2015 - 10:23 am

    Thanks for sharing these awesome tips at Totally Terrific Tuesday!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - February 11, 2015 - 11:41 am

    Gilly I’m like you this is right up my alley, and I too must fake if I want it!Love the examples that you collected for this post. http://www.thatblackchic.comReplyCancel

  • Sarah J - February 11, 2015 - 4:14 am

    Popping over from Totally Terrific Tuesday =) I probably won’t be redecorating soon… but this was very pretty to look at. Industrial is a look I do like. Be sure to share your crafts & DIYs at Two Uses Tuesday (Mon 11pm EST to Fri 11pm EST, February is a month long!) over at Sarah Celebrates if you don’t already!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ Dwelling in Happiness - February 10, 2015 - 2:42 pm

    OOOhhh I love every single photo you shared!! I totally want to incorporate more industrial type decor into my home, but like you said; it’s expensive! I love your tips! 🙂 Pinned!ReplyCancel

  • Susan - February 10, 2015 - 1:50 pm

    Love it. Er, you do realize that if you put wheels on your house, it is automatically a mobile home, don’t you? ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - February 10, 2015 - 2:15 pm

      HAHA! You had me laughing so hard Susan! I had not thought of that….I will now hove to rethink all my plans!ReplyCancel

  • Daena - February 10, 2015 - 12:39 pm

    Awesome post. I could look at industrial interior photos all day long. I love it.ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - February 10, 2015 - 2:16 pm

      Me too Daena!ReplyCancel

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