Industrial Kitchens at Home: How to achieve the look

Your kitchen is probably like many other kitchens, the center of the house both functionally and aesthetically. Now you are seeking a more stark, clean designed industrial looking kitchen to not only add value to your home, but offer you an amazing work space in which to create your masterpiece meals and gather with your family.

Achieving that industrial looking kitchen
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Achieving this look takes some planning and some vision.  By using complimentary materials and textures, function can meet fashion.

Things to consider:

  • Your budget
  • Space constraints or structural considerations
  • Choices of wood and materials
  • Preferred workspace layout

What is so appealing about an industrial designed kitchen is that it works with any style of living space – but definitely appeals to the Urban dweller who wants a smaller space to appear brighter and larger than it is. The abundance of open counter space, functional design and clean lines, means this kitchen style is all business.

Distressed wood flooring, highly textured natural materials bring a piece of the industrial restaurant-like kitchen into your beautiful, creative space.

Wooden flooring, wooden countertop to soften stainless steel and concrete for industrial kitchen look
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Abundant storage and generous seating, is often part of the industrial design. Urban space is often limited and offers any constraints when designing.

The use of unusual materials and unique furniture pieces will add a personal layer of your style signature on the space.

Even a partially complete kitchen has its charm.  Using natural wood grains, rougher hewn counter tops and reclaimed commercial sinks, faucets, vents and oven hoods can become a style of its own.

Did you know?

Quite often, restaurants that go out of business will have auctions or clearance sales to unload their fixtures and equipment.  These can be procured at a highly reduced price or negotiated.

Sometimes a little touch-up or resurfacing can bring these old treasures back to life and add a special flair to your kitchen space.

Sometimes, you can leave such things as exposed brick walls, concrete floors, aged wood, HVAC pipes, and exposed metal as-is or simply add a surface finish to enhance them.

Enhance your industrial designed kitchen
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If these features are not in your design space, you can use embellishments to fake them. Adding tin panels, stainless steel back-splash sheets, faux stone tiles and industrial hooks upon which to hang pots and pans.

A few things that will help you enhance your industrial kitchen

Feel free to use the links below to access the different options available to you under the different headings on the Internet.

  • Retro appliances. There is a movement toward products coming out from the major appliance manufacturers tapping into old, vintage designs, but with all the features of a modern appliance.
  • Light fixtures. Many second-hand stores, restaurant equipment auctions and yard sales have an abundance of funky fixtures and lighting option. Best to have an electrician look them over before installing to make sure they are safe.
  • Kitchen island. Central kitchen islands can be a great gathering place and a spectacular work space. These as well can be made from reclaimed materials, portions of structures or even polished concrete.
  • Kitchen faucets. There are many options now available that have more of an industrial feel and function. They are usually more expensive than standard faucets.  Again, they can sometimes be procured at auctions or second-hand stores.  Best to make sure there are no cracks in them and that they are in good enough shape to install.
  • Exposed metal pipes. In place of the usual shelving supports, metal pipes and other industrial materials can be used as covers for any wires that may be exposed (as conduit) and to use as supports from which to hang pots and pans from.
  • Commercial grade appliances. These more robust pieces of equipment will allow for heavy duty usage and add an element of ‘professional’ to you new designed space. Some require special electrical receptacles, so it is best to confirm what is needed before you install them. For the stove, you need to decide if you prefer gas (the usual choice of industrial kitchens) or stoves with traditional hobs.

Why not use the headings above to plan your own industrial kitchen. Whether it is fixtures, appliances or furnitures; create your own checklist by add the possible items that will go under each heading. Use a visual app like Pinterest and pin your collection together for an idea of how they sit and work together.

Furniture to enhance your space

Adding chairs, bookshelves or storage units will allow you to add colour and texture to the space. Old photographs with interesting frames in bright colours will also add a spectacular element to your kitchen.

Industrial Kitchens - Book Shelf
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Mobile carts also allow you to have extra workspace as it is needed and allow you to tuck it away when not in use. Industrial, metal cabinets as well as repurposed antique cabinets can serve as great storage areas so your space remains neat and tidy.  Mismatched stool or chairs can also add a certain charm to you design.

Materials to consider for industrial kitchens

Your choice of materials will shape the overall design and style of your new industrial kitchen space.  You have to love the colours and textures as you will be looking at them every day. Use the links below to explore your options online.

  • Materials to consider for industrial kitchen
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    Back splash
    : There are multiple options for a back splash – obviously it must be resistant to moisture and be easy to clean.  Smooth tile is often best or flat stainless-steel panels.
  • Floors: A rough, natural wood will often add a beautiful ambience to your new space.  Leaving it natural or adding a light stain can add a beautiful warmth.  Alternately, heavy duty tile or cork flooring will allow for a durable addition.
  • Counter surfaces: There are many choices for you for a counter top.  Stainless steel, wood block, marble, granite, Corian and linoleum are all viable options.  For the industrial look, stainless steel or wood block would bring that vibe into your space – and they are easy to keep clean and maintain.
  • Cabinetry:  As mentioned previously, reclaimed cabinets or ex-restaurant cabinets can be used.  As a fast and dirty solution, stainless steel plates can be applied to existing cupboards to give the industrial look.
  • Appliances: Stainless steel appliances, gas stove, large capacity refrigerators/ freezers and wine fridges will make your industrial kitchen a highly effective, beautiful and functional space.
  • Hood/Vents: Chimney style vents and hoods can be installed in place of traditional vents over the stove

Final Thoughts

Your new industrial style kitchen will give you the workspace, storage space, and the aesthetic you have desired. With unusual décor, furniture and industrial, stainless steel appliances and equipment, and the beautiful materials you have selected, you will add an enviable richness to your favourite space in the house.

When choosing a design, you have an excellent opportunity to add your personal signature to it by selecting the materials, appliances and décor that makes your kitchen workspace a warm and gracious place to spend your and your family’s time.

Edited by Li-ling Ooi