The industrial style remains hugely popular for kitchens throughout the world, but especially so here in the North of England, where we’re based at Savoy Timber. As the undisputed birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, the North has a rich industrial heritage, and plenty of former factories and warehouses have now been transformed into inspiring living spaces. But you don’t have to live in the former mills of Manchester’s Ancoats district to enjoy bringing a bit of industrial style into your own kitchen.
Now the thing about changing the style of your kitchen is that it’s not always necessarily something that you can easily do on a budget. But don’t worry – here at Savoy Timber, we’re all about helping you to get the look for less, so we’ve got a couple of suggestions to help you achieve the industrial look without breaking the bank. Of course, your laminate kitchen worktops will be a big part of that, but we’ll get to those in just a moment!
Industrial living spaces are defined by a couple of key characteristics – first and foremost, they’re dominated by dark colours like black or grey, and make heavy use of hardwearing natural materials like exposed brick, natural wood, metals, and stone or wooden floors.
So how can you apply that to your kitchen’s storage solutions? Well, one of the best ways is also (thankfully) the most straightforward – you can just give a fresh lick of paint to your kitchen cabinets by repainting them in a darker shade or more metallic shade. If you’d like, you can even go one step further by changing the existing handles for reclaimed wood or metal (brass handles always tend to add a nice touch of colour to colour schemes in shades of grey).
Alternatively, exposed or partially exposed storage systems are another common feature in industrial colour schemes – think wall hooks, mesh cages, or modular shelving (that’s basically shelving constructed of various different units or materials). It makes for quite an interesting visual feature in your kitchen!
As we touched on above, exposed bricks tend to be a favourite for industrial schemes, as they’re great for projecting that sort of well-worn feel. But if you don’t have brick walls, don’t despair – you can cheat by using brick slips. Sometimes known as brick tiles or brick veneers, they’re essentially thin cuts of brick that you can lay over your existing walls to give the appearance of a hardy, authentic brick wall. Quick tip here – if you do decide to use them, it’s worth considering whether you want to position them on the side of the room which catches the most natural light, as this can give you some great texture.
On the other hand, if you have decided to paint your cabinets as per our suggestion above, carefully-chosen tiles can offset the effect nicely, as they have a high level of reflectivity that will help bounce light around your kitchen.
And of course, whatever option you decide to go for, it’s often best to stay on the cautious side with wall art, pictures and paintings if you’re really committed to achieving a wholly authentic look. If you’re not careful, it can really end up undermining that gritty, functional feel that underpins the entire style.
If you’re planning on casting your eye over any chairs, tables, or bar stools and the like in your kitchen, make sure you keep those key design principles in mind: functional, raw materials are best. It’s one reason why metal vintage chairs are often in such high demand for industrial kitchens, as are heavy wooden tables.
Don’t forget, you can always mix up your chairs and furniture with contrasting materials to really give your kitchen that rough-and-ready look. You might want to mix up those metal chairs with faded wooden ones, or complement those no-fuss armless chairs with long benches for seating several people at the table.
And if you’re worried this is going to make your kitchen look a bit too aloof and uncomfortable, you can always soften the look with some cosy natural fabrics like velvet, linen, cotton or even cashmere, if you’re feeling a bit flash.
You don’t need to be an expert kitchen designer to know that lighting is a pretty pivotal element of the style and atmosphere of any kitchen. And you might be surprised at how much you can transform the feel of your kitchen with something as simple as a new lampshade. Thankfully, metallic lampshades aren’t tricky to find, and you can take your pick from a variety of enamelled colours.
If you’ve got the budget available, pendant lamps are always a great option, and can add a very distinctive sense of character to your kitchen. Or if you’d like, you can go for the equally eye-catching option of a wall-mounted anglepoise lamp – and as an extra bonus, that allows you to adjust part of your kitchen’s lighting on the fly!
If you’re one of the more avid followers of our blog here at Savoy Timber, you’ll have heard us say before that your laminate kitchen worktops rank alongside your cabinetry as two of the biggest influences over your kitchen’s overall style. That means they present an invaluable opportunity for you to really cement (if you’ll pardon the pun) that iconic industrial feel into your kitchen.
We stock a huge range of industrial style laminate worktops for you to choose from, including plenty from the ultra-stylish, ultra-slim Zenith range. The Woodstone Grey Zenith Compact Laminate Worktop is a firm customer favourite from our concrete-effect worktops, for example, while the Brazillia Wilsonart Square Edge worktop embodies that chunky, hardwearing feel of all the best stone-effect worktops.
These are just a couple of our favourite examples, of course – feel free to take a look around our site to find some of your own! Whatever you’re looking for, you can be sure that we’ll have a kitchen worktop to suit your style here at Savoy Timber. You can browse them right here on our site, or if you’d like to see them in the flesh, you can always pay a visit to one of our DIY stores in Preston, Wigan or Blackpool, where one of our staff will be only too happy to assist you if you have any questions!