6 industrial small living room ideas that bring all the cool, lofty vibes

Your compact space will look refreshed with industrial small living room ideas

Gray industrial living room with chandelier on left, white industrial living room on right
(Image credit: Artem Kropovinsky, Arsight)

Exposed brick walls and metal accents are a tiny part of industrial small living room ideas. You can also have pipework on show and perhaps a little leather.

This interior design style is perfect for refreshing spaces and give them a bit of cool edge. Our interior designers have delved into how to bring industrial vibes into your space, including how to employ clever layering and brightening elements. 

Take a peek through our expert guide and soak up their six brilliant ways to bring the industrial look to your small living room.

Industrial small living room ideas that bring all the cool

We're impressed, inspired, and ready to jump into our cool warehouse home era with these industrial small living room ideas from expert interior designers.

1. Use pops of geometric and color

An industrial living room with a blue couch, big windows, and a black steel dresser

(Image credit: IKEA)

Add a pop of color in your industrial small living room through artwork or throw in geometric cushions, but keep colors uniform by sticking with two to three, max. 

Lisa Kanning, founder of LKID interiors explains, “When approaching the design of a small space, we typically maintain a neutral backdrop. We use natural tones in a monochromatic color scheme with accents of color if desired."

For patterns, favor stripes, and geometrical forms.

2. Let light 'interact' with materials

Bright industrial living room with a white couch, black steel dresser, plants, and a gallery wall

(Image credit: IKEA)

In your industrial small living room, use multiple textures to add dimension. "Our designs tend to rely heavily on the use of texture," says Lisa.

We love the comfortable sofa set against the fabric-top coffee table in the image above. It softens the metal in the background perfectly.

We found this gorgeous Ermine coffee table by Joss & Main at Wayfair that ticks a lot of industrial chic boxes: leather, wrought iron, and slick design.

Blonde white woman smilling is Lisa of LKID Interiors
Lisa Kanning

LKID is a New York City-based interior design firm that provides full-scale design services to clients across the country. With over 20 years in the design industry, Lisa Kanning expertly leads LKID in achieving unique and luxurious surroundings for their clients. 

You can employ other methods in your small industrial-style living room to showcase brilliant design features.

Lisa explains, "The interaction of light with the different materials creates interest without distraction, allowing more diminutive size rooms to still have an impact." 

Consider how natural and artificial small living room lighting will land in the space to create intriguing moodiness without the atmosphere being too dark, or overwhelming.

3. Be minimal, but add dimension

White living room with exposed piping, large wooden cupboard topped with greenery

(Image credit: Artem Kropovinsky, Arsight)

As with minimalist small living room ideas, you'll find crossover here, with texture being a great way to add dimension without cluttering up the room.  

Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer and founder of award-winning Arsight, demonstrates this with his choices, pictured above, of simple artwork and a quiet monochrome color palette. The indoor plants on the wooden cabinet add natural and visual cues, whilst bringing height without being over the top and distracting. 

If you love the cool black and white print Artem chose for the wall, this ampersand design on canvas at Walmart will bring a similar vibe on a smaller scale. 

Artem notes how past design trends always come back into fashion, with industrial seeing a warmed-up revival for smaller living rooms in recent times.

If you're into a contemporary finish, Artem says, "Merge geometric shapes and patterns in minimal amounts like on pillows or artwork. This ensures variety without occupying too much space."

4. Soften hard materials with layered fabrics

Small lounge with gray plaster walls, wooden floors, accent iron lighting, coffee table with accent table decor, and couches giving mid-century feel

(Image credit: Artem Kropovinsky, Arsight)

Using a little texture will gently soften metals, marbles, and hard floors — all typical of an industrial setting. Making mindful furnishing choices, such as picking a higher pile living room rug (one of a few essential items for a small living room), will bring balance and stop your space coming off as cold.

Industrial small living room ideas should feel inviting, so whilst a monochromatic color scheme is fairly typical of this aesthetic, including a beige item or incorporating texture, as Artem has done here, will warm things up. 

Just a smattering of these touches will be enough to bring a touch of coziness whilst still nodding to all the cool moodiness of industrial small living room style.

Artem Kropovinsky
Artem Kropovinsky

Artem Kropovinsky is an interior design expert and founder of Arsight, an award-winning interior design studio based in New York.

5. Expose brickwork a little differently

Small lounge as part of open plan space with white painted exposed brick wall, tree stump side table and modern fabric accent chair

(Image credit: Arsight, Artem)

To lift a small industrial living room, even if it's in an open-plan apartment, paint exposed brickwork in a loftier living room color like eggshell to brighten the space.

If you rent and can't paint, or don't live in a loft with brick walls but want this look, thank those who cleverly invented peel-and-stick wallpaper.

Home Depot has a ton of brick-printed removable peel-and-stick wallpaper if you fancy giving this clever renter-friendly wall decor option a whirl.

6. Nail furniture layout

Interior designer, Amy Youngblood, advises on how best to to weave in industrial furniture picks in a small space.

She says, "Laying things out can be tricky when the room is more narrow type of space. I like to utilize wall space as much as possible, with sofas or chairs against the wall and open up the middle with a larger, often rectangular cocktail table or ottoman. This creates proper egress around the center of the room."

Curves are in, especially in modern small living room design, but when leaning into an industrial style in a setting that is a little space-starved, Amy recommends filling it wisely.

'While curved furniture is very in style right now, more straight-lined sofas maximize the area the best. If you want to integrate curves, add in round or curved smaller-scaled lounge chairs for a bit of pop."

Use quality materials and avoid over-scaled furniture that doesn’t fit properly  —both cheapen the look of the space.

woman with brown hair smiling and leaning on brick wall is Amy Youngblood interior designer.jpg
Amy Youngblood

Amy Youngblood creates stunning interiors that thoughtfully blend lifestyle and design preferences. With extensive experience in the Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio markets, as well as Northern Kentucky and beyond, Amy Youngblood Interiors continues to take the design world by storm.

Love the industrial look even more now? Continue the vibe into the kitchen like Florence Pugh has done with her shelves...

Camille Dubuis-Welch
Former Deputy Editor

I'm Cam, the former deputy editor of Real Homes who worked on the site from 2020 to 2023. As a renter myself, sharing a home with two friends (and my cat) in London, I know all too well the challenges that this can pose when it comes to creating your perfect setup. As someone who has always loved everything interior design-related, I cannot rest until a home feels right and I am really passionate about helping others get there too, no matter what their living situation, style, or budget may be. It’s not always the easiest to figure out, but the journey is fun and the results are so worth it.

After interior design, travel, art, and photography are my next big passions. When I’m not writing or editing homes content, I’m usually tapping into other creative outlets, exploring galleries in London or further afield, taking photos, scribbling, or drawing!