Industrial Loft Design Ideas

by | Last updated May 21, 2024 | Interior Design, Lofts

Lofts are industrial, commercial, manufacturing, and warehouse buildings that were converted to residential use. With their origins as industrial and commercial buildings, it is fitting to consider some industrial interior design features when renovating your loft apartment.

I am Jorge Fontan, an architect in New York and owner of Fontan Architecture, an NYC-based architecture and design firm. Our office has renovated quite a few lofts in NYC. In this post, we will review some details of industrial loft design while looking at a  few of our projects.


Exposed Brick 

When discussing industrial loft design, we must address the topic of exposed brick. However, it’s important to remember that not everyone shares the same preferences. I personally like exposed brick, but the decision to expose or cover it is entirely yours to make.

Before you commit to exposed brick, you should assess its quality. I personally would not be turned off by a lot of imperfections, but if it is old brick, it may not look perfect or be inconsistent in quality. This level of quality is okay, but it’s not for everyone. 

If you would like to see more on the subject we have another post on Exposed Brick Ideas and it’s use for interior design and architecture.

Exposed Brick Industrial Loft Design

Exposed Brick Industrial Loft Design



Texture and materials are a major factor in any architectural and interior design. Texture sets a mood and overall tone for a space. If you are planning a loft renovation and want a more industrial look, you may want less refined and perfect finishes. You can consider materials with texture such as the concrete wall finish in the photo below. 

Concrete Loft NYC

Concrete Loft in NYC


Exposed Original Columns and Beams

Exposing the structure of a loft can be a great idea for an industrial look. As an architect renovating New York City lofts, I always discuss the different options with my clients. 

The photo below is of a loft in Soho, in the Landmarked Cast Iron District. The building has brick-bearing exterior walls, cast iron columns, and heavy timber beams on the interior. We will leave these structural elements exposed to achieve an industrial loft look and show respect to the historic nature of the building design.

These were built as industrial buildings a hundred years ago. They can have all sorts of idiosyncrasies

We have another blog post you can see on Loft Architectural Characteristics if you want to read more about NYC lofts.

Cast Iron Columns and Wood Beam in a SoHo Loft, NYC

Loft Columns and Beam


Industrial Hardware

Design must consider every detail of a high-quality apartment, including everything down to the door hardware.

Below is a picture of an industrial door pull made of brushed steel in a wood door. This hardware has a very strong industrial look and is quite unique in design. 

industrial door hardware

industrial door hardware


Black Steel and Glass Doors

Another industrial material is black metal. Exposed metal can provide a very modern industrial look for a loft. You will see black steel and glass as a common theme for modern apartments and NYC lofts. 

The picture below is of custom black steel and glass doors with sidelights for a home office in a loft in Chelsea, NYC. The office has a bright red accent wall as well that adds a strong pop of color to the loft. The dark wood table also goes very well with the overall feel.

These types of metal and glass doors are custom-made to order, so there is a lot of flexibility in design. 

Black Metal and Glass Doors

Black Metal and Glass Doors


Custom Steel Details

Black metal and any unfinished or industrial-feel metal will be good options for miscellaneous details in your loft. In the picture below, you will see a custom black tube metal coat rack in a concrete entryway. It is a very simple coat rack, but it really goes well with the dark mood of this loft.

Custom Industrial Coat Rack Entryway

Custom Industrial Coat Rack Entryway


Industrial or Weathered Looking Materials

Lofts do not need to look perfect, especially if you are looking for an industrial interior design. Materials affect the entire feel of your apartment or loft. Weathered-looking materials with imperfect features can be a good option for a loft. Some materials have a more industrial gritty look.

The picture below is of a bathroom in a loft we renovated in Chelsea, NYC. The bathroom was made with an imperfect-looking grey porcelain tile.

Industrial concrete weathered Bathroom tiles

Industrial concrete weathered bathroom tiles in a Chelsea Loft NYC


Alternative Finishes

I already mentioned concrete finishes, but let’s look a little closer at a concrete-finish bathroom. This bathroom has concrete finishes on the walls, floors, and shower, which is an ultramodern look.

A concrete bathroom is about the most industrial bathroom you can design. Making the walls and floors of a bathroom entirely seamless concrete will really add a specific feel that is monolithic, minimalist, modern, and textural.

Gray Concrete Shower

Gray Concrete Shower in a Concrete Bathroom (Downtown Manhattan)


Industrial Plumbing Fixtures

Plumbing fixture design and finishes will significantly affect the aesthetic of your loft. If you want an industrial look, you want to select more modern industrial fixtures that will work with the overall design.

Below is a very unique articulating kitchen faucet that compliments the industrial feel of this loft. 

Modern Apartment Design Details

Modern Apartment Details


Custom Details

The photo below is of a custom black metal ceiling-mounted towel bar. Custom details like this can really help you achieve the aesthetic you are looking for. Simplicity is also a great choice; you do not want to overdo it. Nothing ruins a design like trying too hard.

Custom Industrial Bathroom Towel Bar

Custom Industrial Bathroom Towel Bar


Unique Colors and Materials

Natural materials like wood can elevate the design. Bright colors can draw contrast, giving the space a dynamic feel.

Tall Modern Loft Door Design

Tall Modern Loft Door Design


Wall Mounted Toilet

Wall-mounted toilets are more modern and a bit more commercial-looking. If you want a modern look, this is a good choice for an industrial bathroom design.

Wall Mounted Toilet

Toto Wall Mounted Toilet in a Chelsea Loft NYC


Linear Shower Drain

Using a linear drain in a curbless shower is very sleek. They are definitely more modern and more industrial in how they look. 

Linear Shower Drain in a Concrete Floor

Linear Shower Drain in a Concrete Bathroom Floor


Accent Lighting

Accent lighting will always help with function and aesthetics. Lighting adds a mood to interior spaces, and that can go very well with an industrial loft-style apartment.

Under Cabinet Lighting

Under Cabinet Lighting


Industrial Loft Design Ideas and Tips

Lofts have a history rooted in industrial and commercial use; therefore, it is fitting that the apartments reference that history and play with the space’s original overall character.


Thank you for reading our blog post on Industrial Loft Design Ideas.

I hope this was helpful. If you want to speak with an architect about getting help with a specific project you are planning, you can contact us at Fontan Architecture directly.


Contact Fontan Architecture


Jorge Fontan

Jorge Fontan

This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 20 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.