Industrial revolution

Interior designer Gina Everett of Create Perfect gives some style tips on achieving the key current trend of a modern industrial look in the kitchen

Trends by their nature tend to come and go in interiors, but when considering designing a kitchen, homeowners will want to ensure they are making sound investments which will stand the test of time. There are many decisions to be made when choosing a kitchen design, from the style of the cabinets to appliances, flooring and furniture, all of which need to work together to create a fluid, functional and beautifully-designed space.

Recent projects of ours have taken a lot of style inspiration from the ‘modern industrial’ trend – a basic and earthy style that uses industrial textures. By working to achieve the correct balance in an eclectic mix of modern and rustic design elements, a modern industrial-styled kitchen can look as good in a country home as it does in a chic city apartment.

Creating industrial style

The style often incorporates and makes the best of existing features. In renovation projects this might include exposed brick, wooden beams or original wooden or tiled flooring. In modern homes this could be steel beams, polished concrete floors or exposed pipes seen in warehouse style apartments. Plainer, earthier oaks on floors or furniture are best suited to complement the ‘industrial’ materials.

Although the style works with both modern flat panel and traditional shaker style cabinets, avoid gloss kitchen cabinets or highly grained woods such as walnut or cherry. A neutral colour palette is ideal, naturally achieved with warm woods, metals and brickwork which can be exposed to their original colour for a warm feel to the kitchen or painted without plaster to add contrast to the scheme.

Adding colour to this style of kitchen should be carefully considered as the main interest comes from the mixture of textures and the contrast of modern and retro styling. However, bold dark neutrals work well. Blacks, greys, dark blues and dark greens all complement the natural materials perfectly.

Choosing appliances, furniture & lighting

For appliances take inspiration from working commercial kitchens. Stainless steel range cookers and fridges, shower taps and large dual sinks are all influences from restaurant kitchens which have become common in homes and add to the industrial feel. Butler sinks are practical, hardwearing and a timeless trend in kitchen design. Retro furniture and lighting are a must-have in this style of kitchen.

For feature lighting, look for reclaimed factory lighting – go for glass domes with old-fashioned Edison bulbs or simply hanging from the ceiling on old fashioned twined fabric cable. When it comes to furniture antique and retro pieces work really well. Look for chunky wooden tables, metal or leather chairs and stools. Accessorise with warm colours, natural textiles such as wool or linen and plants.

It’s reassuring to know that getting the on-trend modern industrial look needn’t cost the earth. The mix and match style of old and new means you can make savings by making the best of existing features and sourcing reclaimed materials such as floorboards and cast iron radiators. Antique furniture looks great in these kitchens and is a cost effective and sustainable way to complete your project.


A feature of a recent refurbishment of a large family kitchen diner in a home in the Cotswolds was blocks of colour, added by using painted kitchen cabinets. After initial meetings, I collaborated with the client remotely using online folders to collate ideas. 3D renders were then created to illustrate exactly how the finished project would look. In completing the project we harnessed our network of sources for trades and furnishings to save our client lots of time and money.

Achieving the look comes hand in hand with great craftsmanship. Sourcing a quality handcrafted kitchen from an independent kitchen company meant the client could add some unique touches. Deep blue painted kitchen cabinets in Zoffany Paint’s ‘Como Blue’ are enhanced with traditional brass cup kitchen handles. A natural stone floor and Farrow and Ball’s ‘Ammonite’ grey white walls keep the kitchen light and bright while allowing the cabinets to be the star of the show. Warm wooden shelves made of reclaimed oak provide storage to display vintage treasures. The grey doors lead to an old fashioned pantry and utility space with signs on the glass to lead the way.