Interior design styles: utilitarian

This interior design style emerged in the 1970s when old warehouses were converted into trendy loft apartments. The inside of these apartments were typical large open spaces with exposed brickwork, steel girders, metal window-frames and concrete which were left in this raw state rather than trying to disguise it. The industrial loft apartments and Utilitarian interior design style rose from these internal features.

The main materials of Utilitarian interiors include use of metal, wood, concrete and brick, while fabrics include natural unbleached cotton, Hessian, wool, leather and linen.


White and steel grey make a superb backdrop for displaying art work, deep red or even wallpaper with a graphic design can also look stunning when used on a feature wall. Despite popular misconceptions Utilitarian and industrial doesn't have to be dark and gloomy.


The large open concrete floors are perfect for displaying large rugs which is usually a mix of old and new designs and styles. Patterned rugs can also bring another element to an extremely large open space, transforming it into a living space rather than a cold and uninviting place. Walls: Walls are left bare, exposed brickwork or the rough texture of unfinished concrete is perfect for displaying large pieces of contemporary and modern artwork. Polished plaster can also be used and is ideal for bringing another natural textural feature into the space.

Window Dressing

The large expanse of windows lends themselves beautifully to hanging full length curtains in faux silk or lightweight natural cotton to act as a smooth and tactile opposite to the rough brickwork and metal window-frames. There are some wonderful full length curtains uk available which are ideal for using with this industrial loft or Utilitarian interior design style.

It's imperative not to block out too much light, either natural or artificial, so choose a window dressing which allows light to flood into the living space. Venetian or wooden blinds are also used to give window dressings a more masculine look, although this interior design style doesn't have to be overly masculine to work in your home.


Distressed leather sofas and chairs are ideal, however, you can still incorporate and use modern chairs mixed with old rugs or rustic tables. Old or new iron or wood king size bed-frames will look at home due to the area and space in this style of apartment. Superking duvet covers and bedding in plain colours or with a modern print design will work beautifully.

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