When you think of industrial-style homes, you may imagine a sparse, soulless warehouse filled with angular furniture that looks decidedly uncomfortable and, whilst this may very well be close to the truth, it isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of this style of design. Sure, it’s characterized by open spaces with raw materials – such as exposed concrete/brick and metal alloys – acting as a focal point, but this timeless design style emphasizes light and fluidity in your home, making for a harmonious decor that is carried through the home.

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Initially developed over 40 years ago by designers and architects tasked with converting unused industrial units and warehouses into viable home spaces, this style of design has increased in popularity, traveling from the West over to expat-havens in places such as Malaysia and Singapore. In recent years, property developers in said countries have noted the potential in empty industrial buildings, particularly for those choosing to relocate from the West due to work or for personal reasons. With these types of buildings being available at incredibly low prices in comparison with more traditional homes, it would be foolish to overlook them and their potential – particularly if a costly relocation is on the cards.

Although you may not be a huge fan of this style just yet, we’re here to help you find ways to blend this uniquely beautiful style with your own aesthetic so that you can make the most of spacious, low-cost homes and have a design-style that works for you.

Return to Factory Settings

In Shah Alam, Selangor, in Malaysia – a popular destination for temporary relocation – factory-style buildings such as those at Kilang di Shah Alam are available for renting purposes at incredibly reasonable prices! Property Guru can help you find the perfect accommodation in Singapore and Malaysia. They have listings for rentals as well as properties for sale.

Whilst these properties vary in style, shape and size, their similarities lie in their design potential. Exposed pipes, beams, cement, and brick make these spaces excellent bases for building a design-style based on industrial themes. So, rather than fighting against it, why not lean into it and find ways to make this cost-effective renting potential work for you? Your pockets will definitely thank you, and you’ll be able to save money to help you enjoy the more touristy elements of the enigmatic country that is Malaysia.

Softening and Warming Up Your Space

One consistent complaint regarding these types of spaces is their impersonal nature and the coolness associated with minimalism – which often goes hand-in-hand with industrial building and design. However, there’s no reason why you should stick to the blueprint; there are ways you can warm your space up and soften the angular features so that you retain the intrinsic vibe of the space, whilst adding your own personal stamp on it.

Sharp angles and squared-off furniture are often key features of industrial design, alongside the staples of exposed brickwork, cement and metal. If angular features aren’t your thing, you can alter the vibe by adding in furniture with softened, rounded edges in warm greens and greys. The addition of plush soft furnishings – such as fluffy rugs and squashy cushions – is also a way of softening industrial design styles to make it work for you.

Many people find the color palette used in industrial design to be devoid of warmth and, therefore, fairly impersonal. To counteract this, all you need to do is choose traditionally industrial colors – whites, browns, greens, grays – with warmer undertones and adding these in complementary furnishings throughout the home. Distressed wooden features also have the benefit of warming up such color schemes, adding in a more natural element, whilst also giving off a certain ‘lived-in’ feel that adds an element of personalization. Including lots of leafy green houseplants and twinkling strings of fairy lights also have the effect of brightening up this type of home.

To avoid the lofty heights of minimalism and industrial design combined together, steer clear of blacks and light wooden elements, as these both have a cooling effect.

Adding Your Own Touch

The key to feeling comfortable in any space is adding your own personal touches to it that signal your personality and preferences; this is particularly true if you have chosen to relocate to a new country that feels unfamiliar to you.

To do this, you should consider bringing along family photographs to dot around, filling your shelves with your favorite books, and adding your collection of kooky souvenirs to the space, as these will help you to feel ‘at home’ and add a touch of emotive personalization.

So, although you may initially not consider a large, warehouse or factory-style space to be a viable home to live in, or aren’t too sure about industrial design style, this incredibly cost-effective style of home has distinct advantages – especially if you are short of cash and moving halfway across the world.

There are ways of altering and personalizing this type of style and space, and the best part of industrial style is that it effectively exists as a blank canvas upon which you can gradually build your own layers over time – what’s not to love?

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