Industrial furniture is used to describe workshop and factory furniture from the beginning of the 20th century. Industrial bar stools, wooden tables, ceiling lamps and the like were typically used by workers and played a part in improving working conditions. Nowadays, such vintage furniture is repurposed for use in the home.
Where do industrial design furniture pieces come from?
A story which begins in workshops and factories
Industrial furniture was originally made of wood and steel because at the time, these two materials were very easy to work with. During the Industrial Revolution at the end of the 19th century, workers' working conditions started to improve, partly due to the use of these more appropriate materials and furniture.
Industrial lighting provided a powerful light source, allowing workers to continue to work after sunset; stools and chairs became more comfortable and the large tables employed were very robust.
This kind of industrial furniture had a positive impact both upon the quality of the work in hand and upon productivity.
Industrial style furniture for offices
Factory furniture became popular and more and more people who were not connected to the workshop environment started to take an interest in it. Industrial furniture began to spread to the tertiary sector and gradually appeared in offices. Such furniture created a more user-friendly environment for both employees and customers.
Large leather sofas, vintage coffee tables, wall lamps - all these new furniture trends improved comfort and facilitated customer relations and negotiations more generally.
The popularity of industrial design and vintage furniture
New interior looks with factory furniture
In New York at the start of the 1980s, architects, artists and designers settled down in lofts, created in former factories. They needed plenty of space and had to have a combined workshop-living area. They kept the original furnishings and materials such as wood and metal, and this is how industrial design was born.
Industrial furniture becomes an integral part of the home interior
Brick walls, concrete floors and steel frames are retained in their entirety, making a perfect match with the industrial design furniture in the kitchen, the living room and the bedroom. After the advent of the era of mass-produced, disposable, poor-quality consumer goods, this new kind of robust décor was just what people wanted. A return to classic furniture items inspired by workshop designs was part of a new way of thinking which became very popular. Nowadays, industrial furniture is classed in the vintage and retro furniture categories.
Different examples of industrial style designer furniture
The leather sofa, a must-have in the living room
Leather sofas and armchairs are the great classics of the living room. They create a warm atmosphere, ideal for a family or to welcome friends. The main characteristics of leather sofas are incredible comfort and real sturdiness. Another advantage is that leather does not absorb odours as much as some other fabrics and is easy to clean.
Vintage coffee tables
To furnish a living room, you?ll need a coffee table along with a leather sofa. Nowadays, various shapes of coffee table are to be had. Made from wood or metal, the retro coffee table combines elegance and the unfinished look which is a major component of an industrial style décor. Like all industrial furniture articles, coffee tables are robust and go perfectly with any interior design.
Retro lighting, wall lamps and ceiling lighting
Choosing the perfect lamp is an essential aspect of interior design. Lighting sets the tone for a room's atmosphere and it should fit in with the rest of the room's furniture. It is generally recommended you choose an industrial wall lamp and one or two other light fixtures such as vintage reading lamps or desk lamps.
Shelves, cabinets, consoles, find your perfect industrial design storage unit
To complete your industrial décor, you can pick industrial items such as designer mirrors, storage boxes or cushions for a cosier touch. For all your storage needs, choose your favourite vintage shelving, retro console tables or industrial cabinets.