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10 Common Industrial-style Elements

The Industrial Revolution ushered in an era of machinery, factories, and mass production. Many warehouses became established at the start of the Industrial Revolution and still stand within prime locations of a city’s metropolitan area - usually near railroads and wholesale market districts for easy distribution.

Waves of economic changes, have rendered these warehouses' previous uses obsolete. Under these circumstances, many warehouses were neglected for years.


Adaptive reuse converts an old building into something new, while preserving the look and feel of the structure's industrial style. This helps maintain historical value, keeps core aesthetics intact, and pays homage to the site's industrial past. This includes open spaces with high ceilings and large windows, oftentimes supported by exposed bricks, concrete and steel beams. CC Vintage casters are a great compliment to this aesthetic.

Read on to learn more about the 10 common industrial-style elements.


Wood is (obviously) one the oldest building materials of all time. For years, wood has been used for beams, barn doors, tables, floors and more. Wood is an easy element to incorporate into any space to give it an industrial look. If you find the typical industrial style elements uninviting and dull, wood can be added to your space to include vintage and industrial chic elements while still allowing it to be warm and inviting. Wood is a great example of rustic chic element since it enhances the warmth of a space while still embracing traditional industrial décor aspects.



Another traditional building material with an industrial look would be brick. As shown above, brick walls can help add texture and warmth to industrial style. Exposed brick walls have become a popular trend in the industrial design movement. They allow homeowners to appreciate the original construction of the space and pay homage to its historical value.



Exposed steel beams show the functional strength of the Industrial Revolution. Steel beamed ceilings are popular for the charm they add to a space. Although this industrial element is not too overpowering, when it is noticed it can be appreciated. Leaving the already present steel beams in ceilings exposed can be an inexpensive way to incorporate industrial style in your space.



Pipe fixture, furniture, and décor are drawn from raw elements of the industrial style. Similar to steel beams, pipes are already present fixtures in most homes. Modern designs often camouflage or cover pipes, so they don’t catch your eye. However, with the recent trend of industrial elements, you can enhance your space by leaving them exposed. If your space does not have any preexisting pipes in it, they are also a great fixture that can easily be added to furniture to complement industrial style.



Concrete is a low maintenance, inexpensive option for factory floors and walls. At the same time, concrete can serve as an excellent alternative option to brick walls and wood flooring. The industrial design movement consists of taking seemingly dull features, incorporating them into your space, and appreciating the historical beauty in them. Although concrete may sound too drab to add to a home, it is a genius way to inexpensively elevate the industrial aesthetics of your space. Minimalism is another design movement that appreciates the use of low maintenance and low contrast elements, such as concrete. If you are looking for a cheap alternative to wood floors that would give you that same natural look, consider concrete.



For warehouses, high ceilings are made for proper storage clearance and sustaining future growth. For residential spaces, these high ceilings may give our brains a sense of liberation. High ceilings can allude to a space being larger than it typically would appear with low ceilings. Not only will high ceilings create an illusion of more space, but they would give you more space on your walls. Although large walls can seem daunting to fill, an easy way would be to incorporate some of the industrial elements previously discussed. An exposed brick wall with a high ceiling is an easy way to open a room up while still maintaining its character.



Large windows were ideal for old warehouses to flood the space with natural lighting. Not to mention, massive windows can serve as an extended entry to move in larger cargo. Although these benefits were originally intended for a workplace, they can still be beneficial for your home. Allowing natural light into a space will enhance any of the colors and textures you may already have in it. The light from large windows can be utilized to elevate your home as well as the actual elements of the window itself. The framing on a window can be designed to cater to industrial elements. A large metal frame with an abundance of panes in it embraces the industrial design style.



Edison lighting fixtures enable lighting accents of industrial elegance. Many of the rustic industrial features we’ve discussed would involve drastic changes to your space, however, an old-school lightbulb is quite a simple solution. Edison lighting fixtures can be added to any space, indoors or outdoors. Due to its notability in American history, the Edison lightbulb is very recognizable. It can be added to a room and immediately encompass industrial elements since it is associated with that era in history. Industrial lighting is a simple yet effective way to incorporate industrial chic elements to any sort of space.



When done right, factory-inspired furniture can make a bold statement. With the increase in popularity of the industrial design movement, reclaiming old furniture has become a craze. Although restoring vintage furniture is considered a hobby to some, it can also be just a quick weekend project. Reclaiming old furniture can be an inexpensive way to fill your space with staple pieces you appreciate. You can restore the item to its original state, or even add other features to it to enhance its original charm. An easy industrial feature that can be added to almost any kind of furniture would be a vintage caster wheel. Antique trolley wheels would be another great industrial addition to any furniture restoration projects you might be considering in the near future. Not only would the addition of a retro wheel or old-school caster allow for furniture mobility, but it would also add an additional industrial style element to the piece.



Functioning, antique casters can strengthen the details of an industrial-style environment. Similar to the Edison lightbulb, retro casters are a simple industrial element you can add to any preexisting fixtures in your home. The ability to allow your furniture to move is not only functional, but also similar to the industrial revolution. In warehouses, everything is on wheels to optimize production. With vintage caster wheels, you can incorporate these optimal and functional features, while still encompassing the industrial style, into your home. Antique trolley wheels are another great alternative to vintage caster wheels and have similar functions. If you feel any of our vintage-inspired casters matches the look for a project you have in mind, you can learn more here.