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34 Industrial kitchen designs – modern industrial kitchen ideas

By Gianna Huesch

Updated: August 16th, 2021

It's all about mixing materials like brick, concrete and stainless steel.

Want a kitchen that is modern, elegant, simple to maintain, versatile and professional-looking? Then the industrial modern kitchen is for you! The industrial kitchen is defined by a professional aesthetic. It mimics the utilitarianism of a commercial kitchen used by trained chefs. But the industrial kitchen is not typically minimalist. instead, it juxtaposes an eclectic variety of materials. And it makes heavy use of personalisation to give the space its character. Industrial style dates back to 1950s America. When creative communities designed living spaces to make their work/life balance easier. Often old warehouses were sourced for housing. These featured plenty of open space and large windows with abundant natural light. Out in the mainstream, homemakers copied the use of tough and rustic materials like concrete and stainless steel. They learnt to take advantage of their spaces’ raw architectural elements.

It’s an aesthetic of unrefined, textural beauty married with functionality and efficiency. And it has developed into the stunningly popular modern industrial kitchen trend. It is typically sleek and stylish, but also incorporate vintage and salvaged elements. And industrial style results in a space that’s both edgy and full of warmth and individuality.

The industrial kitchen is also defined by the incorporation of multiple professional appliances. For example, counters often feature built-in fridges and dishwashers. It’s not uncommon to find numerous appliances nestled in together. For instance two dishwashers or several under-counter fridges scattered through the space. Another favourite for chefs in industrial-style kitchens is induction cooking technology. Cooktops with sous vide (a form of precision cooking using a bain maire) are de rigeur. And serious pizza chefs will, of course, want a pizza oven for pizzeria-quality pies. Here we’ve gathered more than # incredible ideas to inspire you in your industrial kitchen design journey…

1. Aim for raw simplicity

Industrial kitchens have a trademark ‘naked’ look. Unfinished, unrefined, unpainted. Have concrete walls or brickwork to expose? Go ahead and leave them bare to achieve an instant industrial aesthetic.

2. Take advantage of ‘the bones’

You may have a naturally industrial-looking space thanks to “the bones” of your building. The bones of your space are its architectural features and proportions. Think high ceilings, wooden beams, original floorboards, large windows. Industrial kitchens obviously work best in industrial-style spaces. But you can still model the aesthetic even if you don’t have a true industrial-style building.

Source: Photo by Ionut Vlad on Unsplash

Looking to make some changes to your kitchen? Get a professional to give you some hints and tips with your next kitchen renovation project.

3. Maximise open space

Ideally, your industrial kitchen will have a high ceiling and lots of wide-open space, giving an airy feeling. But you can maximise the feeling of space. Install clever storage systems and have smooth steel work surfaces. Blend stainless steel with rustic timber open shelving to juxtapose textures. Aim for a light, open atmosphere.

4. Embrace existing architectural features

Try to reveal existing architectural elements where possible. Exposed beams, metal pipes, air conditioning ducts, electrical systems and so on. These are elevated to being a design feature in industrial kitchen design. Rather than seen as an eyesore to be disguised. But if you don’t have something like pipes to expose, why not fake it! Install open pipe shelving for that industrial touch.

Source: Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

5. Install heavy-duty appliances

Heavy-duty appliances are essential in an industrial-style kitchen. In pursuit of that commercial aesthetic, it’s necessary for you to have as professional-grade appliances as possible. They’ll be noticed for the higher performance and superb functionality they deliver. Splash out on a five-burner range. Or install dual fuel models with convection and full extension oven racks. Residential safety regulations mean that a fully professional-grade range probably isn’t possible. But you can still definitely get a burner that delivers enhanced performance. Look for a wide spectrum of heat settings to really finesse your cooking. Whatever you choose, it needs to be high performance, extremely functional and durably finished.

Source: Photo by Jennifer Bedoya on Unsplash

6. Expose brick

Exposed brick always delivers on charm and personality. So if you can remove the plaster to expose brickwork, do so. Make sure you test a patch first to ensure the condition and type of bricks are suitable.

7. Mix black with brick

Many industrial kitchens feature the strong use of black. It may be in the flooring, cabinetry, counters or furniture. Choose bold black accents.

Love this black kitchen but would like to see how it works well with other interior design styles? Check out our black kitchen ideas.

Source: Photo by House Method on Unsplash

8. Focus on concrete

One material that screams “industrial” is concrete. Its colour, texture and finish are all highly suited to the bold, utilitarian look. Use it to act as a focal point in your industrial kitchen. Whether on the walls, the counter or perhaps a kitchen island.

9. Combine a variety of materials

Key to the industrial kitchen is the eclectic combination of different materials. This provides a range of textures and colours. So the industrial kitchen may mix stainless steel, concrete, marble, metals and wood. All stimulating visual interest and allowing a high degree of personalisation.

10. Use distressed metal

The use of distressed metal works very well in an industrial kitchen. For example, a honed black stone backsplash paired with French metal, and paired with a distressed black vent hood.

11. Have copious stainless steel

It’s one of the most prominent materials used in the industrial kitchen. Stainless steel is just so hygienic and easy to clean. It can be incorporated into counters, drawers and cupboards, shelving, and freestanding islands.

Source: Photo by Chastity Cortijo on Unsplash

12. Go for original floorboards

Original floorboards look amazing in an industrial kitchen. The warm timber contrasts so beautifully with other materials. Not lucky enough to have original boards? Consider recycled native Australian timbers like spotted gum or blackbutt.

13. Or stained concrete flooring

Polished concrete flooring is a common choice for the industrial kitchen. It’s very practical and durable and instantly conveys industrial style. Stained concrete can be made more luxurious by the addition of underfloor heating. (Electric or hydronic, it’s installed when floors are poured).

14. Or high gloss flooring

Another trademark feature of the industrial kitchen is practical, easy to clean flooring. Going with high gloss flooring means you’ll also mirror the shine of all the stainless steel.

15. Or have a tiled floor

Or you could contrast your sleek stainless industrial kitchen with gorgeous floor tiles. Striking patterns looks superb against the plain surrounds.

16. Embrace brickwork

When it comes to brickwork, a colour palette of tones of mid to deep brown suit the industrial look best.

17. Have open shelving

Open shelving is a strong element in industrial kitchen design. It reinforces the utilitarian, hard-working, practical vibe. Installing thin shelving helps you keep your useful kitchenware within easy reach. And it can hold displays of vintage treasures to help personalise the space. These types of shelves can be tricky to install sometimes. But luckily there is always someone who can help you out with your floating shelves installation.

Source: Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

18. Mix closed and open shelving

Use a mix of closed cabinetry and open shelving. This takes advantage of the benefits of each. And finds a place for absolutely everything. Open containers (eg racks, tray shelves, boiserie panelling etc) are versatile to. They offer many possibilities for idiosyncratic styling.

19. Add timber touches

Contrasting beautifully with many modern kitchen materials is timber. It immediately brings nature in and provides warmth. This kitchen’s wood counters balance the timber in the exposed beams beautifully. The timbers add personality and a sense of tradition. And they contrast with popular subway tile walls.

20. Have easy-clean surfaces

Cabinetry and countertops in an industrial kitchen should be as functional as possible. And be extremely easy to clean, as you’d expect in a commercial kitchen. A high gloss finish on cabinets is always easy to clean.

21. Make a feature wall

In an industrial kitchen, the walls should be a feature. They might be naked, as described above, or dressed up with luxe materials. You could even consider some of the industrial-look wallpapers on the market today. For example, those that mimic a cement or stonework finish.

22. Try pressed tin

Pressed metals such as tin are becoming more popular to dress up a feature wall of your industrial kitchen. Metal always complements the industrial aesthetic. It can be left silver or painted in the colour of your choice. You can use it on a feature wall, the ceilings, splashback, or as cladding under a breakfast bar. It’s another industrial-style you could consider for your industrial kitchen.

23. Install statement lighting

Industrial style lighting is widely available. It’s easily identified by its fusion of classic design elements with added functionality. (For example, pulleys or scissor arms). Large pendant lights are popular and metal ones can even be painted in any colour you desire. Transparent glass pendant lights are also a popular choice. These complement other materials rather than compete. And when several pendants are hung in a row, the effect can be really dramatic.

24. Hang vintage filaments

Add industrial style by stringing vintage LED filament bulbs across the kitchen. These feature the timeless classic bulb design with visible glowing filaments inside the clear glass. They’re very much in keeping with the Mid-century Modern roots of industrial style.

25. Use metal and wood furniture

Industrial kitchen and dining furniture often means weathered, worn secondhand wooden tables and vintage bar stools. These look great paired with metal chairs of some kind. This is because wood and metal reflect the industrial aesthetic so well.

26. Go for freestanding units

A modern, fresh industrial kitchen space incorporates plenty of stainless steel. And an easy way to inject industrial flavour is to add a freestanding stainless steel island or unit. Freestanding units are much prized in commercial kitchens for their versatility and flexibility. They can even take the place of standard cabinets.

27. Have an industrial island

Your kitchen island doesn’t have to be stainless steel. Maybe you already have a lot of stainless steel in your kitchen. You could also try an old wooden or distressed metal table as an “island” to create a mix of materials. Or go for something highly contemporary like a polished concrete island.

28. Add vintage kitchenware

For character and industrial vibes, use interesting vintage kitchenware and appliances for decor.

Source: Photo by Maria Krasnova on Unsplash

29. Install a functional farmhouse sink

Who would have thought you could get that industrial feel through a farmhouse sink? But the experts say to consider the farmhouse sink for your industrial kitchen. Not only does it look stylish but it is big enough to handle any commercial-sized mess you make. The straight sidewalls and flat bottom offer more usable space as well as appearing modern. Similarly, the taps and faucets of farmhouse sinks usually have clean, modern lines. You can also steal the idea of a wall-mounted faucet with a flexible hose from the commercial kitchen.

Source: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

30. Introduce colour for character

You can introduce colour in a range of ways, whether in a painted door, in textiles and accessories or in tiling. The most commonly used colour palette in an industrial kitchen is a suite of muted natural colours (greys, browns and blacks). Choose natural tones inspired by reclaimed materials. And supplement them with dimmed-down tones of reds, yellows and even teals. And one great way to add colour and warmth is with a display of copper kitchen wares.

Source: Pixabay

31. Play with contrast and texture

Industrial kitchens are defined by their fusion of different materials. It’s what gives that pleasing contrast of texture, colour and styles. For example, metal cabinets contrast wonderfully with the tactile, organic nature of a wooden table. Mixing very different materials gives a striking, graphic twist. It creates a multi-layered, used appeal.

32. Create a lived-in, personalised space

Ideally, your industrial kitchen shouldn’t come across as all shiny and new. Instead, industrial kitchens should best have a used, “lived-in” look. You can achieve this by adding touches of personalisation. For example, with a restaurant-style chalkboard pantry door with a strong vintage flavour.

Source: Photo by Sabrina Mazzeo on Unsplash

33. Be particular about the details

The details are important in an industrial style kitchen. They can make all the difference when generating an industrial mood. Little things don’t go unnoticed. For example, the robustness of knobs, how heavy-duty handles are, quality of your extractor hood, or even your preparedness for a kitchen fire with extinguishers and fire blanket handy.

Source: Photo by Max Whitehead on Unsplash

34. And finally…you don’t need a full industrial kitchen to get an industrial look

You don’t have to boast absolutely all the elements of an industrial space. You can still get the overall effect using the raw, unrefined, eclectic materials that define this style. Combine timber, concrete, steel and stone materials. Choose a statement piece of vintage furniture. Add in commercial-grade appliances. And incorporate dramatic, gorgeous pendant lighting. It all adds up to an industrial kitchen you will love.

Source: Photo by Artur Rutkowski on Unsplash

So that’s a wrap on our tips for creating a modern industrial kitchen. If you have any feedback on this blog, I’d love to hear it. What are your favourite industrial kitchen design ideas?



I'm an interiors writer living in coastal Australia and discovering all the joys of DIY renovating.

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  1. Cheryl

    Exposed pipe looks amazing (especially when functional ?? eg: railings ) great read !

  2. Rebecca

    I enjoyed looking at the different options and materials. Don’t want to be that cookie cutter, model homes designs.