Industrial kitchen design is super-trendy right now, so we might refer to this design approach as contemporary. Exposed ductwork, high ceilings, exposed brick, and materials reclaimed from old factories are common elements.
To emulate industrial in a home that doesn’t have those things to expose in the ceiling, the focus would shift more to the accessories and fixtures you choose.
Most people, when they think about industrial, they probably don’t imagine living in a space that looks like a warehouse or a converted loft. What they’re really looking for is a warehouse-style pendant light fixture or smaller accents like hardware, drawer pulls, and faucets that have the industrial look and detailing. If this is the case, it’s easy to get the look without doing a major remodel.
For example, you could add bar stools for your island that have that styling – the worn wood and the patina metal – that’s the kind of stuff that really gives you that look. Since it’s a popular style, it’s easy to buy industrial-looking accessories. Because it’s trendy, some manufacturers already make furniture and shelves out of reclaimed wood and galvanized pipes and such – or, at least, make items to look like that.
Is It Industrial? Or Is It Farmhouse?
Industrial is more about using reclaimed materials that are left over from manufacturing, or from a commercial or industrial process. Farmhouse is somewhat like that, but on a much smaller scale. Farmhouse style features are not usually quite as bulky.
Industrial items, on the other hand, tend to be so heavy that they really need a larger space to do it in. It is so bulky and takes up so much visual space that sometimes, even though people initially set out to do industrial, they end up with farmhouse. It’s really just a matter of scale.
If you chose those kinds of things—meaning anything that’s not nailed down—and put them into a kitchen with white cabinets and a gray countertop, that’s where it starts walking that fine line between “kind of” farmhouse, “kind of” contemporary, “kind of” industrial.
For example, it might come down to the difference between having like a wire basket full of fresh eggs on the counter or having an industrial-sized clock on the wall. It’s the little stuff that really pushes it one way or the other.
One big differentiator is that farmhouse tends to be more cluttered looking. Often, you’ll have collections of old cracker tins or cookie jars in a farmhouse kitchen. Signs that say “grocery” or “farmer,” or whatever. In terms of decorative things, these are a bit more minimalist. They are functional, but decorative at the same time.
There is definitely a trend these days to blend industrial and farmhouse. You’ll often see hints of the modern industrial style punctuated with rawer farmhouse elements.
This approach is reflected in the choice of cabinets and flooring, with some exposed brick on the walls, or ceilings that are open to the ductwork. Cast iron anything, shelving made from galvanized pipes, and industrial-type pendants complete the picture.
The truth is, there is so much in contemporary design that overlaps different styles. Ultimately, you need to make it your own. If you have to live with it every day, you want to make sure it speaks to you in some way. You certainly shouldn’t get hung up on whether the style is this or that.
Adding Modern Touches
Just because you’ve got an industrial kitchen doesn’t mean you can’t have all the modern amenities you want.
Add an under-cabinet wine cooler, a dishwasher, an ice maker. If you don’t want the newness of it all to shine through, mount a cabinet panel to the front so it blends in with the rest of the décor. Many appliance models come panel-ready, or you can have them custom engineered.
Commercial-grade appliances are particularly industrial-looking on their own. Buying professional, if you can afford it, is never a bad idea.
Purely Industrial: Selections You Will Want To Consider
Wrapping up the industrial kitchen style discussion, here are the elements you will want to consider to achieve the look:
- Stainless steel for your hood fan, countertops
- Matte black accents, pendant lights, ductwork
- Reclaimed wood for cabinetry, island, shelving
- Stained concrete countertops, flooring, tabletops, island
- Concrete tiles for the backsplash
- Commercial-grade, stainless steel appliances
- Reclaimed wood beams for the loft-look
- Exposed brick if you’ve got it
- Galvanized pipes to support your shelving, the sitting-area of your island, or for foot rails
Are you thinking about an industrial kitchen makeover for your St. Louis home? Reach out today to speak to our designers. We’d love to show you what we can do.