13 Websites for Giving Your Home the Vintage Industrial Look

Nesting on 02.23.12
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Photo: Restoration Hardware

When I would see magazine pictures of warehouse loft apartments with exposed brick walls and stainless steel kitchen counters, or Restoration Hardware catalogs full of raw wood, beaten iron, and machine parts, I kind of thought they were too cool for me.

As we begin redecorating the 100-year-old house we bought last year, I now know this is not true. As part of our front room renovation, almost everything is getting changed in the tiny powder room, except for the airplane-bathroom-size sink with exposed pipes. We decided to take that one element and go with it, and therefore my search for an industrial look began. (You can see all my finds on my virtual pin boards at Pinterest.)

Even though we only need a sconce, mirror, towel holder, and a paint color, I found lots of places where you can snap up the look, without spending a lot or hiring a welder. I'll start out with the grand dames of the style, and I'll finish with some really frugal ways to make the vintage industrial look yours.

1.  Urban Archaeology

Their prices are outrageous, but Urban Archaeology is a great place to gawk and get ideas. Lighting, hardware, and furniture from all periods, including Classical Revival and Gothic. Check out the Double Prismatic Industrial hanging lamp.

2.  Restoration Hardware

House Beautiful named Restoration Hardware co-CEO Gary Friedman one of their 2012 design visionaries. RH is higher end, but they do what they do really well, like these old-looking clocks and this trunk-furniture. And their "magalog" is a great place to soak up the industrial/aviator vibe.

3.  Barn Light Electric


Photo: Barn Light Electric

After searching high and low, I settled on this warehouse wire cage wall sconce from Barn Light Electric, where "vintage and modern collide," as their site proclaims. I can't wait until it arrives so we can see it on the walls, which have just been painted 'Elephant's Breath' gray by Farrow & Ball (see no. 12).

4.  Pottery Barn

I lust after Pottery Barn's vintage hotel medicine cabinet, but alas, it doesn't fit in my room. Pottery Barn has a surprising amount of stock in the industrial stye, like the Packard pivot single sconce.

5.  CB2

Check out Crate & Barrel sister company CB2's raw metals section for some cool tables, barstools, lamps, and trunks.

6.  West Elm

Search for "industrial" at West Elm, a mid-range furniture and home decor retailer, to find a dining table with metal legs, pipe rod towel holders, and a metal bath cabinet.

7.  Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.

Schoolhouse Electric is often mentioned in magazines because the apropos "old-school" globe light is so back in style. You'll find lots of choices here, including accessories and furniture, at pretty reasonable prices.

8.  Rejuvenation


Photo:  Rockwell gas-style industrial pendant by Rejuvenation

Rejuvenation sells classic American lighting and parts for old houses, including a line full of pieces that harken back to the Industrial Age, which they describe as the period from 1890 to 1930.  Check our their "advice and ideas" section for beautiful images of interiors that showcase their lighting.

9.  Van Dykes Restorers

Whether you're restoring an old house or seeking the old look, you can find at Van Dykes lots of period hardware, knobs, moldings, and accessories like vintage table fans.

10.  King Architectural Metals

Wrought iron and cast iron give a industrial vibe, especially the non-ornamental variety. Try King Metals for yard decor, gate hardware, finials, and other metal items that could be repurposed.

11.  McFrugal

You can find more iron parts, some more ornamental than others, at low-cost website, McFrugal, which was recommended by a real welder!

12.  Farrow & Ball

If you're looking for an authentic old-world paint color, look no further than Farrow & Ball. I got overwhelmed by choosing a paint color, and finally decided to limit myself to their 132-color palette of historical hues. Check out what they consider an industrial "colour" scheme.

13.  Urban Outfitters


Photo: Door-knob curtain tie-back from Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters has championed the hippie chic vintage vibe, and they have some pretty fun and affordable pieces for the home in the industrial style, like this step ladder bookcase and this ampersand marquee light.

How to Find Deep Discounts on the Vintage Industrial Style

If all this sounds too easy for you, here are some ideas for getting a really good deal on the industrial look. When you have identified an item that you like, read the retailer descriptions and try to figure out exactly what it is. A goose-neck barn light? A shepherds-crook bridge faucet?  Then pop those keywords into Google Shopping and sort by price. Or troll the aisles of a hardware store or home improvement warehouse like Lowe's to see if you can find a similar item. Both are likely to have lower prices than home decor retailers. For example, I found a cool-looking industrial sconce at Home Depot for $15.

Of course you know about eBay and Craigslist, but have you ever visited a salvage yard? Like a thrift store for the home, builders will donate stuff removed from demolished or renovated houses, and it's resold at a rock-bottom price. Just search for "architectural salvage" in your area.

For our industrial chic powder room, I'm going to go with a combination of off-the-shelf and real vintage pieces. For nonessentials like the mirror, I'm resisting my urge to get it all done n.o.w. so that I can look around for a beat-up window or a rusty gate to repurpose as a frame. How's that for a conversation starter?

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