Tips for Designing an Industrial-Style Kitchen

By: John Garcia | Date Posted: November 24, 2022

Have you always wanted an industrial-style kitchen, with its minimalist looks and city-loft vibe? Do you want to model this look but wonder how to create it in an ordinary kitchen? Even if your kitchen wasn’t built to accommodate an industrial look, with exposed beams and high ceilings, there are ways to model the style if you focus on each aspect individually.

For example, one way to incorporate metal in the room is with a tall chimney-style range hood, such as those from CopperSmith Range Hoods. They come in many different types of metals and can help create that feeling of exposed ducts.

There are other ways to create an industrial feeling without ripping your kitchen down to the studs. Using brick-look wall tiles for your backsplash can give you the feeling of exposed brickwork without remodeling. If you love the look of open shelves but don’t want to rip out all your cabinets, consider removing only the top cabinets and installing above-counter shelves. Utilize this open space to display practical items you use every day, such as a collection of metal pots and pans, wooden mixing bowls, or attractive black stoneware plates and bowls.

Here are some of the typical features of an industrial look and ideas for incorporating them in any kitchen:

Exposed Beams

Exposed Beams

Exposed building materials are the most characteristic feature of industrial kitchens. Using large exposed beams in your kitchen transforms the room from boring to loft-style industrial. If you don’t have any beams that can be used this way, they can be added to your existing walls or ceiling for purely aesthetic purposes.

Exposed Pipes and Ducts

Exposed Pipes and Ducts

Exposed pipes and ducts are also a common feature of an industrial-style kitchen. In lofts and industrial buildings, the ceilings are usually not enclosed, leaving the ducts and pipes to be seen. In most houses, these items are tucked neatly away inside the drywall. There can be some ways to emulate the look without tearing into the attic, such as buying faucets that are designed with that bare-pipe look. Another option to get the feel of exposed pipes is to use brass or copper pipes in the design or structure of other features, such as shelving brackets or lighting fixtures.

Open Shelving

Open Shelving

Open shelving is a staple of the industrial look. This open shelving is sometimes used as an accent located on the walls over the cabinets instead of the more traditional upper cabinets. In other kitchens, open shelving is also used below the countertops. In a few industrial-style kitchens, stainless steel rolling cabinet units are used as lower cabinets but this has to be done carefully. No matter how much you like the industrial style, you probably aren’t looking for a sterile commercial kitchen look.

Employ Metals

Metals are used in industrial-style kitchens in traditional locations like faucets, and cupboard pulls as well as in less common ways. These less common uses for metals include shelf brackets made with bronze pipes, rolling stainless steel carts, and copper pots hung on racks instead of stored away out of sight. It’s not uncommon to see different metals used in the same kitchen in industrial kitchens, such as stainless-steel appliances next to exposed copper pipes.

Stick with Simple Lines

Stick with Simple Lines

Industrial kitchens usually don’t have elegant features and instead focus on simple lines. In this way, many of the features and materials used in industrial kitchens are also used in modern kitchen styles, such as smooth cabinet fronts and simple modern-looking light fixtures.

Use Black and White

The use of neutrals, especially stark black and white, is common in industrial kitchens. The simplicity of these colors adds to the feeling of utility and sparseness. These colors are used on walls but also on cabinets, shelves, and other areas, large and small. Other neutral colors such as grays and wood tones are also used, often as accents or in areas like butcherblock countertops and wood flooring. Brick and stone in neutral reds and browns can be used to add texture and the feeling of exposed building materials.

Brick Accent Wall

A brick accent wall may be the most dramatic industrial feature that your kitchen can have and can pull together the whole look. If you don’t have brick walls, you can add one using faux brick panels or real brick. You can also emulate the look in the backsplash or other areas.

Use Pendant Lights

Pendant lights, especially when hung from a tall ceiling, add style to an industrial kitchen. Pendant lights are usually hung over an island or peninsula as these areas don’t usually have upper cabinets. Dining tables are another area where pendant lighting can be used.

Accent with Color

Although most industrial kitchens have a neutral color palette, accent colors can be added. Accent colors can be used in decorative items and practical kitchen items. Decorative items often include plants and other similar items, but for the most part, industrial kitchens tend toward minimalism. This means that most decorations are actually carefully chosen practical items like clocks, high-quality pots and pans, wooden mixing bowls, and a collection of utensils. These items are worked into the decoration of the kitchen and eliminate the addition of kitschy or intentionally decorative items like many kitchens have.

Thank you for reading!


John is the founder and chief editor of Homienjoy. With over 15 years of experience in the home improvement industry, John is passionate about helping homeowners confidently tackle their projects. Holding a civil engineering degree and working as a contractor, project manager, and consultant, John brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Homienjoy community.

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