Perfecting the modern industrial kitchen

It’s a balancing act that can be difficult to master. On one hand, you want an effortlessly sleek contemporary kitchen, on the other, you’re using materials and tones more often associated with warehouses, professional kitchens and the Clifton suspension bridge. However, done correctly an industrial look can work fantastically well in a home kitchen, no matter the size. If you’re considering an industrial kitchen style (and you really should) then pay attention, we’ve assembled the best pieces of advice from the Squarepeg designers to help you put together the perfect space.

Going for a lighter look

One of the hardest parts of an industrial look is making the heaviest and durable of materials look airy and light. Part of this is keeping the tones pale and fairly neutral, with darker areas put in place as lowlights. For example, concrete can form the basis of an exceptionally stylish and hard-wearing countertop but doesn’t have to be the charcoal grey associated with many constructions. Instead, an option with less pigment can be smoothed down to create a wonderful, almost smoky tone, much like the calming pebbles used in a zen garden.

To accentuate design features such as a sink or hob, a darker grey, blue or black-tinted concrete can be used for dramatic effect. Introducing aspects such as glass fragments or crushed stones creates a visual pattern that compliments the otherwise minimalist surface. The dark-light pattern of such an arrangement helps to truly define the look of a kitchen, all without the need for more obvious features.

Head to the dark side

Alternatively, an industrial kitchen is a great way of embracing darker colours without the cramped feel one might expect with other kitchen styles. The key here is to use reflective tiles in the flooring, to help light bounce around the room. In addition to this, statement lights can really stand out against this kind of background. Consider installing stylistic filament bulbs over the counter or island, paired with a reclaimed metallic light shade, they provide atmosphere and a talking point for any guests.

It’s important to remember that a dark scheme needs relief, just as light kitchens do. With this in mind, try fitting lighter cabinets that draw on a little natural inspiration. As a general rule of thumb, pale neutral tones tend to work well here. Good examples include birchwood or bleached pine, while more saturated woods such as rosewood or mahogany can look out of place, finding a better home in a traditional shaker kitchen.

Getting functional


The materials used in heavy industry are used for a reason, they’re exceptionally good for their purpose. It’s why stainless steel is used by professionals, in hygienic, super-tough restaurant kitchens. Using these in your kitchen can not only make it look great but only mean it’s more friendly in day-to-day use. Should you be serious about your fry-up an industrial look kitchen is fantastic for installing professional grade equipment, without it dominating the room.

Another great advantage of the modern industrial style is the fact that external storage tends to work well, often serving as features in themselves. A hanging pan rack, displaying a range of silver or copper pans can really compliment a kitchen for example. Likewise, investing in a chef style magnetic knife board doesn’t just help when serving up five-star fruit salad, it also acts as a high-quality art piece - in the same way a champion rower might display their oars.

Finding the right furniture

When it comes to furniture, those that incorporate metallic elements tend to work best. Clean lines, high contrast and practicality go a long way to forming the basic rules that should govern the look of any industrial kitchen. Often these features are also those in vintage furniture, running from the late Victorian era all the way through to the nineteen-forties. Indeed, having a rummage through second-hand and antique shops can help unearth some real unexpected gems, often unique in their nature.

On a similar theme don’t be afraid to embrace bold features, the industrial look is a highly stylised one that acts as a real statement in a home. If you want a more consistent theme to run through your kitchen it may be difficult to get hold of an identical set of vintage stools for example, don’t panic though, industrial style furniture is increasingly being produced by modern manufacturers, with some even available to be made bespoke for you.

Speaking of bespoke...

Here at Squarepeg we know that every kitchen is different. While an overall feel can be described as “industrial”, it’s important to note that this can vary wildly from kitchen to kitchen, with the real character defined by the person who makes it. With this in mind, our designers put you first and foremost when it comes to putting together the ultimate kitchen, creating bespoke industrial designs unlike any other. If you want to find out more get in touch! We’d love to talk.
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