People often place urban & industrial style decor in the same box, or, refer to them interchangeably. Whilst they share similar characteristics that could lead to confusion, these two interior styles are in fact distinct from each other. The following article will look at what these differences entail and why they’re important. 

In order to see where the difference between urban & industrial style decor originates from, we’ll need to take a quick trip back in time…. A trip back to the Industrial era. 

The industrial era

Both urban style decor and industrial style decor originated from the industrial era. How? Well, if you look at a modern cityscape today you’ll notice that lots of the buildings are made from concrete, metal and glass. These are the same materials that were used to build industrial buildings during the late 18th to 19th century, along with bricks and wood. As modern cities as we know them today started to develop, these abandoned industrial buildings were reclaimed and used for contemporary purposes. Modern city dwellers reclaimed these spaces, retaining many of the old elements (texture, raw materials, character) but refining them and making them more sophisticated for modern use. 

So, how do you identify urban style from industrial style decor?

Visible differences between urban & industrial style decor

Urban style decor is the more polished version of industrial style decor. It’s more comfortable and more modern. That’s because it’s intended to suit the needs of the modern day urban citizen. This style uses industrial materials like metal and concrete, however to cope with the demands of city life, namely the lack of space, urban furniture is sleek and multifunctional. 

Industrial style decor also uses concrete, metal and glass, however will also use more rustic materials like bricks and wood. Crucially, industrial decor can also be found in both rural and urban locations whilst urban decor can only be found in the city. It is more nostalgic than urban furniture, emphasising the history of abandoned industrial buildings. That’s why industrial furniture is more rustic and less refined than urban furniture and accessories. 

Which is best for my home?

Both urban and industrial style decor schemes are packed full of style. Whether you choose to go for a more urban or industrial style theme in your home really depends on the end look you want to achieve, and the space that you have available to you. 

In modern apartments where space is at a premium, sleek urban furniture that is multifunctional may be the most practical option, reflecting modern city life. It’s also important to think about whether you want to achieve a rustic look or a more refined finish. If you’re hoping to create a real rustic design that’s full of texture and character then industrial style decor will certainly help you achieve this. 

Alternatively, you could of course combine the two. There’s certainly nothing stopping you from combining elements of both urban and industrial style decor in your home. 

For inspiration on finding the best picks from our Urban and Loft ranges, be sure to take a look at our previous article on industrial-style furniture and decor ideas from InsideOut Living


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