The industrial design philosophy began in New York in the 1950s and swiftly made its way to the home kitchen. Now, industrial design has found a new base for inspiration in the bathroom.
Industrial bathroom design has a focus on strong, tough materials. Think less sleek chrome, more brass, copper or steel. If you're going to include any other materials such as wood, think aged woods with a slightly tarnished look. Industrial design will often feature a contrast of light and dark fixtures and fittings, perhaps white wood with black tiling, or metals contrasting with wood floors.
As the industrial look can be quite harsh, many people will opt for a soft industrial style. This involves taking some of the characteristics of an industrial bathroom, but using them in a toned-down way. A bare brick wall might be too much for a lot of people, but it's easier to get on board with a darker design style and brushed metallic taps.
Bare Brick Wall
A staple of the industrial interior is the bare brick wall. This will really give your home that New York loft apartment look, synonymous with industrial style. We wouldn't recommend having all your bathroom walls in bare brick, just one, potentially the exterior wall as in the bathroom below, will be enough.
Grey is a colour which has seen a huge increase in popularity over the last couple of years and it's a colour perfectly suited to industrial bathroom design. When looking to add grey into your industrial bathroom, look for darker grey tones, or as in the image below, add greys with a slightly ‘rougher’ texture. Choosing modern, sleek grey fixtures and finishes isn’t going to give you that industrial aesthetic you’re looking for.
Black Frame Shower Screens
Alongside grey, black bathroom fixtures and fittings have seen a recent surge in popularity. Luckily, this colour is perfect for your industrial bathroom so you’re going to have lots of options. We recommend a black frame shower screen. These have the same aesthetic as the old windows in a New York apartment (think Monica's apartment in Friends), giving your shower that slightly rustic look.
The industrial bathroom is all about moving away from sleek, built in furniture and embracing a slightly more rustic, chaotic design style. One easy way to get this look is fitting open shelving to hold all your bathroom essentials. If you want to go one step further, refurbish an old piece of wood and install your shelves using steel tubing.
Subway tiles, given their name due to their similarity to tiles used in stations across the world, are becoming an increasingly popular choice in homes. These are ideal for anyone who wants to embrace the industrial look in a subtle way.
Copper & Brass
Metals are a staple of industrial style, but getting the right type is crucial. Sleek, shiny metals such as chrome won’t give you the raw look needed for an industrial bathroom, which is why we recommend copper and brushed brass finishes for your taps and shower fixtures. Both of these finishes have a much more rustic look and will add a different shade of colour to a room which could otherwise be quite dark.
The Tap Factory Vibrance Copper WRAS Approved Concealed Thermostatic Shower Valve with Fixed Shower Head and Shower Handset
Although you will usually find it in your heating system, we’re seeing more people use copper pipes in ingenious ways. Whether it’s a handy robe hook or the towel holder in the image below, it’s these small touches that can really help to complete the look of your industrial design.
Ceiling Hung Lighting
If you want to give your bathroom lighting an industrial flavour, ditch the built in lights and go for lighting hung by wires from the ceiling. Whether this is just a bulb or a metal lampshade, it's an easy way to move from a classic built in bathroom in favour of the slightly more chaotic industrial style.
Concrete Vanity Units
Aside from metal, there are few materials more synonymous with industrial design than concrete. Once a material only found on construction sites, more recently its unique textures and strong aesthetic have been introduced into homes. At Drench, we have a great selection of concrete vanity units which will help you introduce concrete into your bathroom without the huge costs involved in poured concrete furniture.
If a concrete vanity unit isn’t for you, then we recommend a washstand basin. The exposed metal gives the open, non-fitted look seen in many industrial bathrooms. These are also ideal for anyone who wants to create an industrial bathroom with a more traditional feel.
Dark & Aged Woods
Although we love industrial design, it can sometimes feel quite cold and clinical. One way to add an organic touch whilst keeping the same design style is the use of darker or aged woods. These will give your bathroom a more rustic look and the texture of the wood will be a welcome change from the darker and metallic materials in the rest of the bathroom. We've mentioned darker and aged woods as this is crucial for the industrial look, with lighter woods such as pine being too modern.
That concludes our guide to industrial bathroom design. Whether you want to go all out or just have some smaller industrial touches, we have a fantastic selection of vanity units, showers, taps and heated towel rails for you to choose from.