How to Update Your Industrial Decor

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Teun van den Dries / E+ / Getty Images

Industrial is a design style that has been big for a few years now and, according to Victoria Redshaw, the Futurist at Scarlet Opus, isn’t going anywhere any time soon. However, it is evolving, and many who have lived with the pared-down, basic style are now looking for ways to update their décor, without undergoing a major renovation (let’s face it – with the concrete and brick that comprise a big part of the Industrial look, it can be a difficult style to change).

The answer, Redshaw explains, is to layer over the style. There are many different ways in which this could be done; at The International Surface Event 2015, Redshaw outlined four updated Industrial styles. All of these updates are relatively easy changes to make, and align with the current trend of highlighting the interplay between contrasting ideas (such as masculine/feminine, urban/nature, etc.).

Glam it Up

Adding a touch of glamour to an existing Industrial décor is a chic way to bring the space in line with current trends. This look can be achieved by adding a few luxurious items to your space – for example, a thick shag area rug, soft, textured throw pillows, and a sophisticated chandelier. These elements contribute to adding a bit of softness to the rather harsh look that Industrial style can otherwise present.

Minimalize

While an Industrial décor is already, to some extent, minimal, the idea of blending Industrial and Minimalism takes the look to a different level. Many Industrial elements feature rough, raw textures (such as brick and concrete). Smooth out the overall style of the space by adding smooth elements with a very subtle shine, such as polished marble and soft metallics. These, Redshaw explains, help add a “visual calmness” to the space, instilling it with a sense of serenity.

Go Global

In another form of contrast to the stark Industrial look, layering cultural pieces can bring a lot of personality to the space. This is a particularly great update for those who like to travel, and who like to display the items they’ve collected while travelling. Lay your favorite Moroccan rug on the floor, throw a colorful Mexican blanket over the sofa…the possibilities for this style are practically limitless. Even if you’ve never travelled, you can still get this great look by shopping flea markets or buying look-alikes at a department store.

Let in Nature

The fourth option for updating your Industrial style aligns with the emerging trend referred to by Redshaw as Wild Urbanism. This update is all about letting in nature, and blending austere, man-made features with soft, natural elements. Pieces made from natural materials (an antler chandelier, or a coffee table made from drift board) stand out against the cool Industrial backdrop, and celebrate an awareness of the natural world.