Rustic Industrial: Styling Tips for a Small Living Room

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Rustic Modern Industrial Styling for a Small Living Room.

Intrigued by all this talk (and all these interior design posts) about the rustic-industrial style of decorating? Well, we’d like to take you from just being curious to being inspired—enough, that is, to consider making your living room into a little showcase of this look! We’ll start off by describing just what “rustic industrial” is, and then take you on a tour of 10 sample living spaces that show how you can modify and make the look your own. *This post contains affiliate links.

So, what exactly does “rustic industrial” mean?

This style is sometimes called “industrial chic,” which is actually a sleeker, more sophisticated take on industrial. Or it may be referred to as “vintage industrial” which has a more retro, nostalgic air.

But the term “rustic industrial” is actually quite literal. It’s a blend of traditional rustic materials and textures that you’d find in a country cottage or farmhouse—like weathered wood planks and reclaimed doors or crates—with heavy, mechanical elements that you’d find in a factory, machine shop, or warehouse—like metal rods, pipes, plates, rivets, gears, and wheels. The key is to make the contrasts complementary! You’ll get ideas on how this is done in the fabulous inspiration that follows.

10 Style Examples for a Rustic Industrial Living Room

1 – Grab great ideas from all the furniture and decor details shared by Kristin of Yellow Bliss Road in her living room makeover. She calls the resulting style “industrial blend”! The star element is this striking wood and metal Aiden coffee table from World Market, complemented by her collection of vintage locker baskets and glass bottles, and a comfy gray blanket.

Image via Yellow Bliss Road

2 – A palette of black, white, and gray lends a modern vibe to this living room styled by Taryn Whiteaker. The colors tie in the weathered wood coffee table and shelving with the more edgy metal elements, cube-shaped lanterns, and framed graphic art. Soft sofa cushions, throw pillows, and a knitted throw make it all comfy and inviting!

Image via Taryn Whiteaker Blog

3 – Can casual chic elements and cheery prints and colors find a place in the rustic-industrial style? Yes, they can! This appealing room design by Ana White proves it. This post is actually a tutorial for building that fabulous “antique factory cart” table, but we also love how she created a bright, airy feeling with the rest of the decor.

Image via Ana White Blog

4 – You could opt to go with a coordinated set of pieces, like this Seneca collection available via Amazon (Ships from and sold by Mary’s Rockin Deals). These matching tables and shelving units all combine metal frames with reclaimed-look tops and shelves—for an instant rustic-industrial effect!

Image of Seneca Coffee Table via Amazon.

5 – Here you see how a breezy coastal feel can be created with the right accessories (note the surfboard, the sand-toned rug, and those baskets and flipflops). But again, it’s the combination of wood and metal in the modern console from West Elm that subtly says rustic-industrial.

Image via West Elm

6 – If you think “industrial” means dark, heavy, and mechanical-looking, see how this setup from A Burst of Beautiful is a vision in white and neutrals. Where’s the edge, then? It’s in the industrial pipe base for the wooden coffee table. Beyond that, you can have your huggable cushions and fluffy hydrangeas!

Image via a Burst of Beautiful Blog

7 – Anchor your living room decor around a sturdy piece, like this mango-wood-and-metal coffee table from Pier1 Import’s Takat collection. Its clean, minimalist lines make it ideal for accessorizing with personal accents and softening elements in neutral beiges with a hint of exotic accents.

Takat Mango Coffee Table via Pier One

8 – Don’t be hesitant to pair whimsical furniture pieces with more spare and masculine ones. Here, the “Erin Cute as a Button” loveseat from World Market creates a playful foil for a rough-finished coffee table with metal hairpin legs. The same goes for an old-style upholstered sofa and a leggy modern lamp.

Mini love seat via World Market.

9 – Make a definite rustic-industrial statement with a piece like this Zona Coffee Table by Mercury Row, via Wayfair. Its weathered wood-plank top, metal-plate corners, rivets, and caster base are all about this look. Then, you can soften it with neutral upholstery, throw pillows, and tabletop accents.

Mercury Row Sona Coffee Table via Wayfair

10 – Not enough space for a full table? Go for a rustic-style wood plank on metal legs, like this Yukon Bench from Crate and Barrel. It’s versatile enough to blend into a modern setting as shown, with a leather sofa, a sheepskin throw, and wall art made of wooden blocks and metal rods.

Image via Crate and Barrel Yukon Small Bench Coffee Table

So, will your living room get a rustic-industrial look? As these examples show, you can always modernize, “minimalize,” and make it your own!

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