Industrial Style Kitchen Ideas Add Character with Industrial Style

Industrial style kitchens are a popular design trend that adds bold character and a modern, edgy look to any home. The industrial design aesthetic is all about exposed materials, unfinished looks, and an urban warehouse vibe. Industrial elements like metal finishes, concrete, brick, and wood can transform kitchens from standard to stunning. If you’re looking to remodel your kitchen or build a new home, embracing industrial style is an excellent way to make your kitchen stand out. The unique blend of rugged and refined creates a dramatic yet livable space.

What Defines an Industrial Style Kitchen?

Industrial kitchens are marked by a blend of raw, utilitarian materials and sleek, modern lines. There are several characteristic design elements that create the industrial look:

  • Exposed brick, concrete, or wood on walls and ceilings
  • Stainless steel countertops and appliances
  • Metal finishes like silver, iron, and copper
  • Vintage-style lighting fixtures like pendants and Edison bulbs
  • Minimal ornamentation and decor
  • Open shelving and unfinished cabinetry
  • Black and silver color palette with pops of bold colors
  • Industrial hardware like pipes, pulleys, and barn door tracks
  • Stylish ventilation systems like metal hoods and exposed ductwork

The overall aesthetic has an edgy warehouse or loft-like feel. Industrial kitchens often incorporate slightly worn or distressed elements alongside polished modern features. This contrast of rough and refined is what gives industrial style kitchens their character and charm.

Reasons to Choose Industrial Style for Your Kitchen

Beyond just trendy aesthetic appeal, there are several practical advantages to industrial kitchen design:

1. Allows You to Show off Kitchen Features

Industrial kitchens highlight the inherent textures and materials of the space. Exposed brick, concrete walls, stainless steel, galvanized metal, and wood grain take center stage. Unique pipes, ductwork, and architectural elements are left uncovered rather than hidden. This showcases the bones of the kitchen in a stylish way.

2. Great for Open Concept Homes

The sleek yet eye-catching look of industrial kitchens naturally fits a modern, open concept floor plan. Unadorned surfaces and a neutral color palette allow the kitchen to seamlessly flow into surrounding living spaces. Strong lines and materials stand out without being too imposing.

3. Suits Homes with Higher Ceilings

The abundant vertical space of industrial kitchens prevents them from feeling cluttered. Taller ceilings let you expose overhead pipes and ventilation without the space feeling cramped. So for homes with soaring ceiling height, industrial design can maximize that verticality.

4. Easy to Clean and Durable

Industrial kitchens favor materials like metal, concrete, brick, and wood over more delicate surfaces. This inherently makes them lower maintenance and easier to clean. Fewer cracks and seams mean less places for grime to hide. The durability also makes this style well-suited to busy family kitchens.

5. Relatively Affordable Design Option

Depending on the finishes you select, achieving the industrial look can be more budget-friendly than some other kitchen aesthetics. The style allows you to leave some surfaces unfinished or expose humble materials like plain wood. Opting for concrete floors or exposed brick over tile or wallpaper saves dollars. Creative use of plumbing and ductwork also curbs costs.

Popular Industrial Kitchen Design Elements to Include

From subtle to standout, there are many detail-oriented industrial design choices to make your kitchen unique. Consider incorporating some of these popular options:

1. Exposed Brick Walls

Exposed original or faux brick makes an edgy, urban statement in industrial kitchens. Leave interior or exterior facing walls bare brick or paint in muted tones to allow the texture to show through. Brick backsplashes behind stoves and sinks are also common.

2. Galvanized Metal Finishes

The gray sheen of galvanized metal brings an industrial vibe through ventilation hoods, shelves, cabinets, and counters. Rearrange metal storage containers of different sizes to mimic an industrial aesthetic on a budget.

3. Stainless Steel Countertops

From prep sinks to chef’s tables, stainless steel countertops are the quintessential industrial kitchen element. Paired with exposed brick or concrete, the look is strong and sophisticated. Durable stainless steel is ideal for busy kitchens.

4. Concrete Floors

Concrete floors seamlessly suit the raw, urban feel of industrial kitchens. For a more polished look, stained, sealed concrete has color options like gray, brown, and black. Concrete together with exposed ceiling beams or pipes is a popular combo.

5. Vintage Lighting

Vintage-style lighting fixtures contrast with the sleek lines of industrial kitchens. Bulb or cage pendant lights, exposed Edison bulbs, and sputnik chandeliers are all popular options that align with the aesthetic.

6. Black and Gray Color Palette

From cabinetry to walls to flooring, black, gray, and silver serve as the base palette for industrial kitchens. Pops of another color like blue, red, or yellow are often added through appliances, stools, decor items, or an accent wall.

7. Unfinished Wood Cabinets

Wood cabinets are often left in their natural state, rather than painted or stained, in industrial kitchens. Unfinished maple, oak, or pine boards offer an organic, raw contrast to stainless steel and concrete. Open shelving also spotlights wood’s grain.

8. Exposed Ductwork

Embrace ventilation and other overhead mechanical systems by leaving ductwork uncovered. Painting exposed ducts black or silver color matches the industrial scheme. It can also visually raise ceiling height.

9. Architectural Pipes

Incorporate gas, water, or electrical piping into kitchen design rather than hiding it. Clean copper or iron pipes make especially attractive accents when left revealed. Pair with brackets or supports in black iron.

10. Large Barn Door

A sliding industrial-style barn door makes a serious style statement leading into the kitchen. Opt for a door with metal rail hardware and visible woodgrain. Leave the door front minimalist without ornamental trim.

Clever Industrial Kitchen Storage Ideas

While industrial kitchens have a sparse, decluttered look, you still need adequate spaces to tuck away cooking equipment, pantry items, and the usual kitchen odds and ends. Get creative with storage that aligns with the industrial design scheme:

  • Install wall-mounted metal rails or pipes with S-hooks to hang frequently used pots and pans. Leave enough space between rails for hooks to slide freely.
  • Incorporate metal factory carts or wire shelving units to add movable storage. They bring an industrial warehouse vibe while keeping items accessible.
  • Opt for open shelving with galvanized metal brackets rather than upper cabinets. Group items decoratively by color or use.
  • Attach a magnetic strip to the wall behind a stainless steel prep area to hold knives and other metal cooking utensils.
  • Use galvanized metal bins, crates, and canisters in different sizes for pantry storage. Labels can identify contents.
  • Hang a pulley system from the ceiling with rope clips to store bulk dry goods like flour and sugar in vintage style.
  • Add industrial storage appeal by leaving lower cabinets open with just a curtain panel rather than doors.
  • For dishware, open metal shelving lets you creatively display plates, cups, and bowls rather than hiding them behind closed cabinetry.

Industrial Kitchen Countertop Ideas

Countertop surfaces make a strong industrial statement. Traditional options like granite, marble or quartz don’t fit the aesthetic. Embrace these countertop ideas that align with the utilitarian, imperfect vibe:

Concrete Countertops

Poured concrete counters come in gray, white, black, or other custom tints. The matte, textured appearance suits industrial kitchens. Concrete is heat resistant and stands up well to heavy use. Consider acquiring reclaimed concrete from old construction or demolition sites to save dollars.

Wood Countertops

Unfinished wood slabs like oak, walnut, or maple bring natural warmth that contrasts cool stainless steel. Choose a durable wood species like maple or use extra thick boards. Coat the surface with food-safe varnish, oil, or wax to add protection that preserves the raw look.

Stainless Steel Countertops

This versatile metal material has a sleek, neutral tone that pairs well with any kitchen scheme. Brushed or polished finishes both suit industrial style. Stainless steel offers superior durability and an easy-to-clean surface. Use it for light prep areas, not under major appliances that generate more heat.

Soapstone Countertops

Soapstone is an attractive natural stone with earthy gray and brown color variations. While not indestructible, it is stain resistant and stands up well to hot pots. Soapstone adds an organic element and ages gracefully, aligning with the industrial aesthetic.

Reclaimed Wood

For a sustainable, thrifted option, use reclaimed wood from old barns, fencing, construction, or furniture. Sand surfaces smooth and finish the wood for protection. The well-worn patina of salvaged wood adds distinct character not found on new boards.

Metal Sheeting

Corrugated and galvanized metal offer an affordable industrial look. The ridged textures add visual interest. For counters, stick with steel or tin over aluminum, which dents more easily under daily use. Finish raw edges for safety.

Inspiring Industrial Kitchen Backsplash Ideas

While all-white backsplashes are common in contemporary kitchens, they aren’t the best match for industrial style. Make a bold backsplash choice:

Exposed Brick Backsplash

Allow original or faux brick on the wall behind sinks and stoves to remain uncovered. The uneven texture suits the aesthetic. Use a food-safe sealant on faux brick backsplash for added protection. Extend brick from countertop to ceiling for full impact.

Stainless Steel Backsplash

Like stainless countertops, stainless backsplashes tie in appliances and fixtures nicely. Use brushed or polished sheets of stainless steel behind prep and cooking areas. Consider riveted metal sheets for added interest. Easy-clean stainless minimizes grease buildup.

Rustic Wood Panels

Arrange unfinished reclaimed wood boards in a geometric pattern for a textured, natural backsplash. Leave varying grout widths between planks for character. Use durable boards like maple or hickory.

Stone Accent Backsplash

Slate, travertine, or tile stone backsplashes in dark hues like black, gray, or brown pop against industrial finishes but aren’t overpowering. Use stone sparingly as an accent behind the range rather than floor to ceiling.

Exposed Pipe Backsplash

Leave drain and supply lines uncovered and arrange neatly against the wall behind appliances and the sink. Copper offers a rustic accent, while stainless, iron, or galvanized metal ties into other industrial elements seamlessly.

Stylish Industrial Kitchen Lighting Ideas

From pendants to sconces to exposed bulbs, lighting plays an integral role in achieving the signature industrial vibe:

Vintage Pendant Lights

Clusters of retro-style pendant lights add industrial flair over kitchen islands and dining areas. Bulb, cage, or bell-shaped pendants work well. Using pendants of mismatched shapes and sizes enhances eclectic character.

Track Lighting

Parallel metal tracks with adjustable spotlights enable targeted task lighting over prep and cooking stations. Tracks disappear against concrete ceilings and direct light precisely where needed. Choose utilitarian fixtures with metal mesh shades.

Exposed Filament Bulbs

Visible glowing filaments are a hallmark of industrial lighting. Use Edison bulbs in pendants, sconces, or ceiling fixtures. Pair with metal shades and hardware to coordinate. Opt for LED bulbs to reduce energy use and bulb changes.

Recessed Ceiling Lights

Recessed can lighting provides overall ambient illumination. Keep fixtures small and minimalist. Arrange recessed lighting in neat parallel rows for an orderly, geometric arrangement suited to industrial style.

Sputnik Chandeliers

The futuristic look of tiered sputnik lighting became popular in the industrial age. These statement chandeliers suit spaces with extra vertical room. Position it as a standout focal point over kitchen islands, tables, or seating areas.

Wall Sconces

Mount utilitarian wall sconces centered over counters, stoves, and sinks to directly supplement task lighting. Opt for shades made of clear glass, metal mesh, or curved steel. Use articulating arms for adjustable direction.

Under Cabinet Lights

LED strip lighting or low-profile fixtures under cabinets and shelving illuminate essential prep and cooking surfaces. Choose slim, unobtrusive styles rather than bulky options. Use hardwired lights for continuous illumination.

Barn Light Fixtures

Vintage warehouse or barn lights with protective cages add industrial personality. Use them over islands, sinks, or ranges. Galvanized metal, powder coated steel, or aluminum shades are all durable options to consider.

Creative Industrial Kitchen Island Ideas

At the functional heart of most kitchens, the island deserves special design attention. Try these inspirational ideas:

Wood Top Island

A natural wood countertop juxtaposed with black metal base cabinets or legs makes an organic yet industrial statement. Opt for unfinished maple, walnut, or oak. Add barstool seating for casual dining.

Concrete Island

Integrate a concrete top or base into the island design to mimic warehouse or loft style. Molded concrete paired with open wood shelves makes an attractive combo. Consider embedding bits of aggregate or color tints into poured concrete for character.

Stainless Steel Island

Fabricate a sleek island using stainless steel for the countertop, cabinets, and legs. It mirrors the shine of appliances for a pulled together look. Use stainless with brick walls or concrete floors to offset the cool tone.

Galvanized Metal Island

Fabricate the entire island using galvanized sheet metal for an affordable industrial option. Layer galvanized panels to form shelves and cabinet sides. Riveting metal together adds visible lines and interest. Use galvanized partitions inside cabinets as well.

Salvaged Cart Island

Repurpose a vintage metal shop cart or wire cart as an industrial island. Load the cart with baskets, shelves, and storage bins to customize. Just be sure to lock the wheels once in place. The well-worn patina of salvaged metal adds character.

Pipe-Base Island

Construct an island with a thick solid wood top balanced on black iron pipe legs. Use substantial 4-inch pipes and flanges so the island feels grounded. This attractive open base design leaves room for stools or chairs.

Inspiring Full Industrial Kitchen Ideas

These complete kitchens demonstrate how all the individual industrial elements come together for holistic wow factor:

Exposed Brick & Black Steel Kitchen

Charcoal cabinets, brick walls, and black steel accents form the dark, moody backbone of this striking kitchen. Pops of polished metal, white stone, and light wood keep it livable. Exposed ventilation hood shows off the bones.

Rustic Warehouse Kitchen

This light-filled kitchen utilizes brick, rough-sawn pine, galvanized metal, and concrete for raw utilitarian style. A vintage sputnik chandelier ties the eclectic elements together elegantly. Abundant windows prevent it from feeling cave-like.

Steel Gray & Wood Industrial Kitchen

Cool steel gray cabinets, stone tile, and weathered wood surfaces play off each other in this kitchen. Stainless appliances, metal shelves, and cage pendants polish the look. White walls bounce light around and keep the space feeling open.

Minimalist Black & White Kitchen

Crisp white walls, soapstone counters, and black cabinetry create an elegantly restrained industrial space. Exposed beams, silver hardware, and unadorned surfaces align with the no-frills aesthetic. Pops of greenery soften the palette.

Brick Floor Industrial Loft Kitchen

Matching brick floor and wall paired with stainless cabinetry makes a bold industrial statement. Integrated wood shelves and counters add warmth. Abundant light fixtures illuminate every surface of this urban loft kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions About Industrial Kitchens

What flooring works best in an industrial kitchen?

Exposed brick, concrete, and weathered wood are go-to industrial floors that stand up well to heavy use. For softer feel underfoot, consider porcelain or ceramic tile imitation wood planks in grayish brown tones. Avoid overly fussy or colorful patterns not in line with the aesthetic.

What industrial accents can warm up my small kitchen?

Salvaged wood shelving, vintage pendant lights, and an unfinished wood island are all easy ways to add industrial style without overwhelming a compact kitchen. Black metal bar stools, a matte black sink, or hammered metal hardware also subtly tie in the look.

Do industrial kitchens work well with kids and pets?

Absolutely, if you select durable, easy-to-clean finishes. Stainless steel, sealed concrete, metal, and wood surfaces minimize staining and stand up well to daily wear-and-tear. Open storage helps corral kid clutter. Just avoid sharp unfinished edges and delicate materials.

What style of cabinets complement an industrial kitchen?

Traditional ornate cabinetry doesn’t jibe with the industrial look. Opt for streamlined slab cabinets in black, white, gray, or silver metal finishes. Incorporate visible hardware like rivets or bolts. Open shelving and mixed cabinet styles enhance the warehouse feel.

How do I warm up an industrial kitchen so it isn’t too cold?

The key is balancing your metal and concrete elements with wood tones and textures. Add warmth through a reclaimed wood dining table, open wood shelving, butcher block islands, and pendant lights with wood panels. Use wood backsplashes and wood flooring with area rugs. Houseplants also help soften an industrial space.

Bring Industrial Character into Any Kitchen

Industrial kitchen design brings edgy, urban style home through raw utilitarian materials and minimalist lines. The blend of imperfect textures and sleek finishes creates inspired kitchen spaces brimming with personality. Exposed pipes, gal