One key lesson we've gleaned over the years is that cooking shouldn't involve a scavenger hunt in order to complete the meal we're dishing up. After all, a recipe's estimated preparation time doesn't include digging around the pantry to find the dried oregano you could have sworn was in your spice rack.
For practical-minded types and interior designers in the know, that's where an industrial-style kitchen comes into play. Modeled after commercial spaces or even old factories of yore, it tends to feature exposed pipes and HVAC ducts, brick walls, visible beams, and Crittall-style doors and windows, along with materials like distressed wood, iron, stainless steel, and concrete. Most importantly, this setup prioritizes ease (hanging pots and pans, utensils out in the open). Although sometimes vibrant color makes an appearance, the hues tend toward dark neutrals: think black, gray, earthy browns, and rich wood finishes.
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According to the website HomeGuide, the average cost to remodel a kitchen nowadays is anywhere from $12,800 to $21,200. We'll also break things down by industrial-style touches for your kitchen:
- HomeAdvisor reports that the typical price range for concrete countertops is $5,000 to $10,000.
- A range hood, which can be outfitted in metal showcasing industrial details, costs $714 on average, according to Fixr.
- Porch reports that decorative beams, like the well-loved wood variety that is often seen in industrial kitchens, can cost between $1,762 to $2,464.
So, with all of that in mind, if you adore farmhouse interiors, but you're looking to add a bit more edge to your cook space, industrial-inspired kitchens are right up your alley. Below, you'll find 30 design ideas that will have you feeling like a professional chef.
1. Bring together light and dark tones.
An entire wall of steel-framed windows instantly opens up any kitchen and injects the room with some industrial flair, too. Also known as "Crittall windows," they're a nod to the factories of yore. (FYI: You don't need this many windows to get the same effect.) This more modern take on the industrial look from Chango & Co. — just peep the slate-colored cabinetry — also relies on open shelving and wood ceiling beams.
2. Go for a balanced look.
This California home by Dichotomy Interiors puts mugs, utensils, and even salt and pepper shakers on constant display with the help of rustic wooden shelves and sleek countertops. This is a more tempered industrial look thanks to a luxe, geen marble waterfall countertop, but the subway tile backsplash and hammered dome pendant lights ensure that the aesthetic still shines through.
3. Incorporate a distressed look.
A distressed wooden barn door and exposed brick instantly bring an industrial appeal to this white kitchen from Christine Zeiler Interiors. Hardware, light fixtures, and even the range hood rendered in iron make things look grittier than your average modern farmhouse setup.
4. Opt for Edison light bulbs.
The right lighting choice can take your space into industrial kitchen territory in no time — and this gorgeous design from Devi Dutta Architecture is proof. Go for a fixture that incorporates 1900s-inspired Edison lightbulbs (features include visible filaments and a warmer glow). The exposed bulbs can also be swapped into many existing fixtures if you're not game for a totally new fixture.
5. Utilize well-worn open shelving.
In the name of functionality, everything should be within reach of the chef's (and sous-chef's) fingertips. So why not follow the lead of this industrial kitchen idea by EyeSwoon and install rustic open shelving? A wall-mounted magnetic knife holder is also a practical choice that allows your collection to double as home decor.
6. Hang a statement-making range hood.
An eye-catching range hood in the kitchen is the design equivalent of a fireplace in the living room (read: a dreamy luxury). This cook space by Smith Hanes Studio makes the feature a focal point by framing it with open shelving.
7. Focus on the finishing touches.
To try out the industrial aesthetic, you don't always need to focus on just one major change. Instead, try a few smaller tweaks. One of our favorites is installing a stainless steel sink with an industrial faucet. And if you want to take it a step further, you can also add a pop of stainless steel through your appliances to break up a bank of dark cabinets, as seen in this cook space by Monique Gibson.
8. Don't forget your storage.
Like any kitchen design, your industrial cook space will greatly benefit from storage — but that doesn't mean you have to skimp on style. Take a page from Niki's book of My Scandinavian Home and bring in cool, industrial shelving, complete with casters.
9. Include rough-hewn details.
To really tie everything together in your industrial cook space, anchor the visuals with the help of a kitchen island. For instance, in this kitchen showcased by Sarah of Rocky Hedge Farm, the island blends in seamlessly, with its knotted wood planks and exposed metal screws.
10. Weave in accents with a weathered look.
While the major design features in an industrial kitchen tend to steal the show, you can also focus on the smaller details, too. Look for timeworn pieces, like the rustic barstools spotted in this white kitchen showcased on Liz Marie.
11. Experiment with color.
As mentioned, an industrial-chic kitchen tends to stick to a dark color scheme, but every once in a while, pops of color do make their way into the mix. A prime example is this beautiful blue design styled by Erica of Buttered Side Up.
12. Invite rusted metal features to the party.
While some contemporary devotees might not love rusted anything in their modern spaces, in an industrial kitchen, a patinated finish will look flawless. Find creative ways to include the look like the range hood in this moody scene by Decus Interiors.
13. Lean toward minimalism.
While industrial kitchens can look maximalist, it's also completely okay to lean minimalist, too. Follow the lead of this kitchen spotlighted by Sarah of Room for Tuesday, and stick to a simple color palette, only display your essentials, and wrap in straightforward industrial materials, like concrete.
14. Put open shelving to work.
Go beyond the tried-and-true industrial-style colors (like gray, white, and black) and take things up a notch with cabinets painted in a vibrant hue. We love the combination of light wood with the dark blue-green shade used in this industrial-farmhouse design.
15. Get choosy with barstools.
Barstools can be an ideal opportunity to reinforce the industrial styling in a kitchen since they're often rendered in complementary materials, like wood and metal. They'll bring instant character to a bar or island, as proven by the pair in this black cook space belonging to Erin of Holtwood Hipster.
16. Invest in stainless steel appliances.
Your appliances are an easy way to rock the industrial look. Splurge on professional-grade stainless steel options, like the ones selected by Elizabeth Roberts for this stylish New York loft.
17. Or, opt for white appliances instead.
If stainless steel isn't really your cup of tea, opt for white appliances instead — you can weave industrial finishes into your design in other ways. And bonus: If you have white cabinets, your appliances will blend right in, as proven by this light-filled culinary space.
18. Put in a concrete countertop.
Industrial interiors and concrete countertops truly go hand-in-hand, confirmed through this cook space designed by deVOL Kitchens. Not only does it look cool, but it makes for a durable worktop as well.
19. Embrace ductwork.
So, your kitchen has exposed ducts. In the case of an industrial space, it's not the end of the world! In fact, it only makes the room look better and more authentic. Complete your culinary headquarters with a stainless steel sink, caged pendant lights, and (if possible) a steel door.
20. Play with raw materials.
If your home has been blessed with brick walls or even just a brick column, as is the case in this small kitchen belonging to Tessa and Guy of Kindred Homestead, embrace them. Raw, construction materials — like steel, concrete, iron, copper — will only make your industrial cook space look that much better and unique.
21. Let the faucet have its moment.
In most kitchens, the faucet tends to be an afterthought, right? Not so in an industrial space. Since you'll be bringing in metals and utilitarian pieces anyway, let the faucet shine and work as a design touch in its own right. That's exactly what Bria Hammel Interiors did in this culinary space.
22. Mix design styles.
You'll be glad to know that when it comes to an industrial kitchen, you can mix a variety of interior design styles. For example, in this setup by Studio McGee the hardware and lighting play nicely with the light wood, farmhouse-leaning cabinets, and French country-inspired decor, all bathed in natural light.
23. Don’t be shy with lighting.
An industrial kitchen is an opportunity to go for broke with your lighting, whether you purchase them brand-new or score them at a salvage shop. Think: pendant lights that look as if they've been pulled from a real-deal factory. Not only will they make a statement, but oversize fixtures can help anchor an open space, as they did in this design by Sneh of Cook Republic.
24. Put high ceilings to good use.
High ceilings are customary in bygone factories and industrial lofts and you can bring that same look into your kitchen. If you're starting from scratch, splurge on a vaulted ceiling complete with an oversize ceiling fan, exposed HVAC ducts, and modern lighting à la this warehouse-turned-residence showcased by The Design Files.
25. Consider concrete walls.
Sure, concrete countertops can be a must-have in industrial kitchens, but have you thought about concrete walls? Or painted walls that look like concrete? In this Lobster & Swan design, the look is absolutely head-turning and offers a soft textural quality that you won't get with tile.
26. Use a kitchen cart.
Kitchen storage carts are currently having their day in the sun, and they happen to look great in industrial kitchens, too. Pick a stainless steel option, like Ashley of Cherished Bliss did, to complement your culinary design.
27. Get creative with pipes.
Metal piping screams industrial design, and there are so many clever ways to incorporate them in your kitchen. Carole of Dear Designer's Blog used copper pipes to hang cups and utensils and to complement the pipes from the faucet that run up the wall instead of below the counter.
28. Amp up the drama with black cabinets.
For a moody industrial kitchen that brims with drama, look no further than black cabinets. In this Scandi-inspired setup showcased by Vipp, concrete walls and stainless details add to the edgy look, while light wood furniture and flooring soften the look and add a sense of balance.
29. Ponder a statement backsplash.
Drama can fit easily into an industrial kitchen, with its black hues and rich wood finishes, and the backsplash tile is no exception. Consider one with a graphic black and white pattern, similar to the geometric design used in this lofty kitchen by Bobby Berk for West Elm.
30. Welcome ceiling beams.
Sturdy, wood ceiling beams, reminiscent of the ones installed in traditional factories, can also offer a rustic ambiance for your industrial kitchen. deVOL Kitchens shows us how it's done.