You're a proud new owner of your very own BTO, and you want a home that looks like it belongs in the hippest parts of New York City. The good news is, with some clever design tricks you can easily achieve an industrial chic style in your BTO. Forget cookie-cutter furnishings and embrace the gritty character of exposed brick walls, metal accents and minimalist decor.
With the right touches, your BTO will be channelling downtown Manhattan in no time. This style is all about simplicity, creativity and a rough luxe aesthetic.
Here's how to master industrial chic and make your BTO an urban retreat you'll love coming home to.
The Birth of Industrial Chic
Industrial chic design draws inspiration from the factories of New York in the 19th and 20th Century, in a period of significant technological advancements that shaped the modern world. Factories and warehouses served as the primary influence for this style, with their utilitarian yet visually intriguing features. Eventually these factories were converted into vast spacious living quarters and lofts.
These industrial buildings were constructed for function over form, resulting in an authentic aesthetic with exposed brick walls, metal accents, pipes, and ductwork. This unpolished yet visually striking industrial style has since made its way into homes and commercial spaces. By incorporating elements from warehouses and factories, industrial chic design embodies an appealing mix of grit and glamour.
Key Elements of Industrial Chic Design
Exposed materials play a pivotal role in industrial chic design. To create an industrial aesthetic, embrace raw and unfinished materials such as brick, concrete, and metal.
Exposed brick walls, concrete floors, metal accents, and ductwork are all key features of industrial style. Keep an open and spacious layout to maximise the use of space while maintaining an uncluttered feel. You can't have high ceilings in normal BTOs (unless you're lucky enough to have a 3Gen BTO with actual stairs), but you can have minimal partitions, where an open-concept design will allow industrial elements to shine through.
Incorporate vintage and salvaged items to add character and charm. Items like reclaimed wood tables, vintage lighting, antique rugs, and repurposed stools or chairs inject authentic industrial flair. Focus on functionality and practicality, and keep the colour palette minimal, with neutral tones and occasional pops of industrial-inspired colours like deep red, grey, and black. Streamlined furnishings with little ornamentation complete the pared-down industrial chic look.
Other Ways to Enhance the Industrial Style Include:
- Bare brick walls. Expose any brickwork under plaster and paint for a rugged, textured look.
- Metal accents. Include metal lighting fixtures, staircases, furniture and accessories. Copper, steel and iron all work well.
- Minimal decor. Keep clutter and knickknacks to a minimum. Opt for open spaces, simple furnishings and a muted, neutral colour palette.
- Wood and concrete. Use reclaimed wood, concrete or stone for flooring and surfaces. These natural, hardwearing materials complement the industrial vibe.
With the right exposed features and furnishings, you’ll have an edgy, stylish space that looks like an urban loft in no time.
Creating an Industrial Chic Look in Your BTO
In a BTO, there might not be exposed brick walls, but there might still be existing architectural elements like concrete floors or exposed pipes that you could use to work in an industrial look in your space.
Choose lighting fixtures that reflect the industrial style, such as Edison bulbs, metal pendants with a minimalist aesthetic or vintage-inspired glass globes. Select furniture and decor that embody the industrial aesthetic, such as metal-framed pieces, old factory carts turned into dining tables, stools or side tables and reclaimed wood accents. Add texture through distressed surfaces, weathered finishes, and tactile fabrics like burlap, canvas or leather.
To strike a balance, pair industrial elements with softer textures or natural elements like live plants. Plush sofas like the Kaiteki, antique area rugs, and potted greenery help soften the harder edges of industrial decor. Their presence makes a space feel cozy and liveable without detracting from the industrial style.
How to Incorporate Industrial Chic in Different Rooms
In the living room, you can choose to incorporate statement pieces like a leather sofa, industrial coffee table, and vintage artwork. Exposed brick walls or metal accents also help convey an industrial vibe.
In the kitchen, combine sleek stainless steel appliances with rustic open shelving and subway tiles. Add an industrial-style lighting fixture or bar stools to complete the look.
Exposed Concrete Walls
The raw, unfinished look of concrete walls is a hallmark of industrial style. Leave your BTO’s concrete walls exposed for an edgy, minimalist vibe. Concrete walls provide a perfect neutral backdrop for vintage-inspired decor and industrial accents.
- Consider concrete wallpaper for a faux concrete wall look. Concrete wallpaper, contact paper or wall stickers are easy, budget-friendly options to achieve the industrial concrete wall look without the mess or commitment of painting.
- Add warmth with wood accents. The natural texture of wood pairs well with the coolness of concrete. Incorporate wood furniture, flooring, beams or panelling.
- Include industrial metal lighting. Pendant lights, sconces or floor lamps made of metal, especially copper, steel or iron, complement concrete walls.
- Add greenery. Plants help soften the hardness of concrete and create an urban oasis feel. Wall planters, hanging plants or large potted plants are all great options.
Concrete walls may require some extra care and maintenance to prevent stains. Apply a concrete sealer to protect the surface. For high-traffic areas, consider a concrete stain, paint or wallpaper for easier cleaning and protection.
Raw Wood and Metal
In addition to concrete, raw wood and metal are also commonly used in industrial design.
- Wooden beams, floors, furniture and accents add warmth. Distressed or reclaimed wood with visible grain and knots has an authentic industrial vibe.
- Metal lighting fixtures, furniture legs, staircases and accents create an urban, minimalist feel. Copper, steel and iron are popular metal choices.
- Combine wood and metal for visual contrast. A wooden tabletop with metal legs or a metal pendant light hanging above a wooden bar counter are simple but stylish examples.
- Metal panels, tiles or corrugated sheets make eye-catching feature walls. A steel feature wall creates drama in an open-concept space. Copper or zinc feature walls give rooms a warmer glow.
With the right combination of materials like concrete, wood and metal, you’ll be well on your way to transforming your BTO into an industrial oasis. Keep things minimal, raw and imperfect for an authentic look.
Add Greenery for an Oasis Vibe
Having plants in an urban space helps create an oasis feel and brings nature indoors. Here are some tips for selecting and caring for greenery in your BTO:
- Choose plants suitable for indoor conditions. Look for species that can tolerate low light and humidity, such as pothos, cast iron plants, peace lilies, and snake plants. These plants clean the air and produce oxygen, perfect for small spaces.
- Group plants together. Clustering plants on tables, shelves, and in corners helps them share resources and creates an urban jungle vibe. Use plant stands at different levels for height and interest.
If you're worried about not being a green thumb, try using self-watering planters. Self-watering planters help ensure your plants get the hydration they need if you’re away for a few days. They slowly release water to the plant roots, preventing both overwatering and underwatering.
Adding greenery is one of the easiest ways to transform your BTO into an urban oasis. With the right plant choices and care, you’ll have a lush, relaxing space in no time. Your new urban jungle will clean the air, boost your mood, and become a refuge in the city.
Industrial Chic Accents and Finishing Touches
Add touches of greenery with potted plants or hanging terrariums. Incorporate unique industrial furniture or repurposed items as statement pieces. An antique factory cart, retro stool or architectural salvage piece transforms a space instantly.
By embracing industrial chic design principles and incorporating products that complement this style, you can transform your BTO into an urban oasis. Embrace the raw beauty of industrial aesthetics and embark on a design journey that combines urban sophistication with functional charm, but remember to make it a little more personal by displaying items that reflect your personality and the memories you've built in your home. Your space, even an industrial chic one, should tell a story about you.