How To Create Industrial Look With Exposed Ductwork

Characteristics Of Industrial Interior Design

Rather than hiding or drawing attention away from structural and functional components of a building such as ceiling supports and air ducts, the industrial interior design uses these as aesthetic elements in its own right. Exposed ductwork and other industrial interior design motifs can give a space an impressive sense of scale, purpose, and complexity that can inspire the imagination.

Walls & Structure

Exposed brickwork is a common wall choice for the industrial look, and pairs well with a wide variety of HVAC systems and exposed ductwork styles. In larger commercial spaces, support structures such as beams and pillars are often also left uncovered, completing the industrial aesthetic. Wood or metal beams and pipes leave plenty of choices open to customizing the feel of a space, from unfinished wood to smoothly polished steel.

Color Palette

There is a wide range of color palettes to choose from when creating an industrial interior design. The right choice for your home or business can depend on many factors, such as the availability of natural light, the size of the space, and of course your personal preferences. Exposed red brick is often complemented with black details such as the exposed ductwork, while pale or whitewashed walls look great matched with polished stainless steel. If your space uses wood supporting structures such as beams and pillars, bronze ductwork can contribute to a more rustic feel.

Furniture & Décor

Rustic wood and metal furniture are cornerstones of any industrial interior style. Depending on the look you are going for, you might choose pristine stainless steel and polished wood surfaces to complete a functional and straightforward aesthetic, or opt for more weathered and worn vintage furniture and decorations to create that well-used industrial look that gives a space a feeling of history and character.

Getting Creative With The Exposed Pipes

Exposed pipes and ductwork are one of the design elements most closely associated with industrial décor. Whether fixed to the walls or suspended from a high ceiling, the doa great job of establishing the purposeful, factory-like feeling that industrial interior design aims to replicate, and are available in all manner of colors and designs to match the rest of the room. 

Additional Tips To Achieve The Industrial Look

Make the Most of Minimalism

Industrial spaces are functional, which means few unnecessary decorations and furniture. Clutter can spoil this feeling of functional space, so erring on the side of minimalism as a general rule of thumb can help you know when to stop before you have cluttered or overcomplicated the space.


Similarly, achieving the industrial look means focusing on the practical considerations of a room first, especially when it comes to spaces like a kitchen where organization matters more. Think carefully about which parts of a room you need to access most frequently and how people move around the space.

Expose Imperfections

Few real industrial spaces remain pristine and unblemished for long. Imperfections like cracked wood or brickwork repaired furniture or dented and scratched metal, all add character to a space. They show that, in an industrial space such as a factory, the space is well-used for a purpose rather than carefully-maintained decoration.


The industrial look is a timeless interior design aesthetic, and one that leaves plenty of room to put your own personal touch on an established style. Use these tips to get started planning your next home makeover, or create a commercial space that impresses your clients and customers.

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