How to Achieve a Showpiece Industrial Kitchen

‘Industrial’ generally brings to mind a combination of the Brutalist raw concrete of 1960’s car parks and rusty mechanical parts. It certainly doesn’t sound warm and inviting.

I’m glad to see you haven’t fled at the thought of making industrial warm and inviting. There are steps involved but it can be done and the effect is worth it.

Industrial style interiors gained momentum with the conversion of warehouses into homes. Savings were made in conversions by allowing venting systems, plumbing and wiring to remain exposed. These economies and the exposed utilities were celebrated and carefully styled to become features.

The modern take on industrial is far more inviting and warm than the name may suggest.

Sleek Industrial Kitchens

Industrial Style Kitchen Canterbury

Matte black shaker style cabinets, red highlights, feature grain timber and zinc covered dining table pull this industrial kitchen and library together.

Sleek industrial kitchen style includes antique, reclaimed or replica elements of heavy duty industry in combination with modern ergonomics and refinement.

So, how on earth can you achieve sleek industrial style without it looking like a cheap imitation?

Keep your kitchen honest.

This kitchen style celebrates raw and or natural materials, the used or useful and a little of your own personality.

Fitzroy Warehouse Kitchen

Industrial pendants, red highlights, open shelving and retro items tie this warehouse kitchen together. The curved benchtop is reminiscent of industrial sized concrete pipes.

The good news is that you will get to visit a few flea markets and opp shops for those treasured items to incorporate into your kitchen.

Sleek industrial kitchens generally incorporate natural construction components such as timber or metal and team them with the man-made such as concrete and enamel.

There must be an honest and unconcealed display of building materials and engineering elements such as exposed brick, open shelving, featured brackets, and timber or steel beams.

A quirky use of antique or replica items adds a personal touch and helps to pull the style together.

Built in elements

Elements to consider in your industrial kitchen:

  • wire mesh inserts for cabinet doors
  • shaker style doors – painted with a matte finish or clear two pack polyurethane finish to show off feature grain timber
  • raw textures – concrete, timber or metal
  • some contrasting cabinets in an overtly industrial style if the rest of your kitchen is to be sleek and modern
  • subway or brick patterned tiling adds a hint of the institutional
  • reclaimed wood can make a fantastic feature door or wall
  • use a mixture of open shelving and closed cabinets


Silvan Modern Industrial

Reclaimed timber crates have been used to create the door to the butler’s pantry. A trowel makes a quirky handle and a statement about the owner’s love of gardening.

Put an industrial twist on your existing kitchen or incorporate these ideas into your new sleek industrial style kitchen:

  • antique light fittings and vintage filament light bulbs
  • blackboard wall
  • metallic textures
  • enamelled items
  • industrial style bar stools or handmade metallic stools
  • accessories such as old cast iron bake ware or domestic scales, antique commercial scales, utensils and mechanical parts, replica mid century industrial stools
  • concrete items – light fittings, boxes or planter pots, for instance
  • hanging rails for pots and utensils
  • add greenery to balance out the coldness of the industrial elements – and have handy access to your herbs during meal prep!


Sleek Industrial Kitchen

A monochrome palette has been used to great effect in this sleek kitchen.

Greys and blacks are common colour choices in industrial kitchens – and they work really well as a contrast to the warmth of timber tones. Industrial does not have to mean a monochrome pallet, however.

Add interest with some mid-century institutional colours such as pastel green, emerald green, deep blue or dusty pale blue.

Bright reds, yellows and oranges can also add industrial effect when used as highlights with accessories or create a bold feature.

The Dulux Design Files are a handy help with colour if you’re a little apprehensive.