While industrial-style kitchens are characterised by the use of exposed brickwork, structural beams and ventilation units as prominent design features, there are different weights on the industrial scale to choose from, from distressed to sophisticated. Accents of smooth cement mixed with modern units is a sleek aesthetic for those who want to play it safe, while floor-to-ceiling units in a rough metal-look finish is a braver approach. A “back of house” style kitchen with stainless steel worktops, glass-fronted refrigerators and hanging pots and pans is perfect for those who like a utilitarian design, while rustic woods and red brick walls can create a warmer atmosphere. Find your ideal style with our curated selection of industrial kitchen designs from world-renowned UAE-based brands.

Material selection      

Luxury German kitchen brand Hacker uses rough stone textures and rustic woods to create an industrial statement.

Taking style cues from the industrialised design revolution in New York and London that started more than a decade ago, the Middle East has dialled down its penchant for classic gold and marble designs and embraced their contemporary counterparts of matte-effect materials, especially concrete. Transform the look of your kitchen with concrete on the floors or walls – opt for an authentic concrete screed in a rough or polished finish, or smoother ceramic tiles with a realistic digitally printed aesthetic. The soft grey of concrete can create a surprisingly warm backdrop, especially if it’s paired with materials such as wood, red brick, or colourful lacquered tiles. Oxidised metal is also becoming a popular finish for units and floors, providing a distressed, weather-worn look. Apply this effect with porcelain tiles on the floor and laminate or ceramic coverings on units.  

For a subtle approach, red brick walls contrast nicely with the sleek Toronto kitchen from Kaiser, which would work well in any contemporary kitchen scheme. Snaidero’s Way Materia collection features Laminam ceramic, covering a variety of surfaces with an authentic architectural “skin” of porcelain stoneware as thin as 3mm; the doors, worktop and back panel are in Ossido Nero ceramic.

Open warehouse

UK-based Studio 35 York designed this contemporary kitchen exclusively for German kitchen consultants Goettling.

If you’re lucky enough to live in a property with a vaulted ceiling, whether it’s a villa or a duplex apartment, take advantage of the high walls by covering them in a brick-effect finish – go for red bricks or stones with flaking paint. This converted warehouse look relies on exposing structural elements such as beams, rafters and wall studs. If this is too much of an undertaking in your property, add artificial structural-looking elements, like a false beam from one wall to another. Expose fixtures like pipes for plumbing and water sprinklers, and AC ducts along the ceiling. Add accents of dark colours on units or balustrades, metal pendant lights and accessories for an architectural touch; blue complements brown wood and can make an industrial backdrop look warmer while black and dark grey work with darker woods and against white walls.

‘It’s not the size that counts but the idea,’ claims SieMatic, referring to its modular, solitaire furniture range SieMatic 29, part of its Urban collection, which offers an extremely versatile solution for open-plan spaces.

Cool utilitarian

IKEA brings together stainless steel fronts and the RIMFORSA wood-topped workbench with open shelves for a modern and professional restaurant-style kitchen design.

Metal and minimalism are the mainstays of a “back of house” kitchen design – inspired by commercial kitchens in restaurants and hotels. Sleek stainless steel countertops, units, islands and breakfast bars are on-point but can create a cold, sterile look, so soften it with rustic untreated wood and colourful accessories. Covering extractor hoods with a patchwork of tiles adds unique style to a predominantly metal fixture and effectively creates a “break” if you have a lot of metal on the units and appliances. You should also focus on how you display utensils and pans: Hang them from hooks on the walls or from a centrepiece shelf over an island, or create an interesting style statement with open shelving, revealing pots, pans, roasting tins and trays rather than hiding them in cupboards. Either way, these open features aren’t suitable if you’re messy in the kitchen!

Left and right: The distinct tiles in Rodolfo Dordoni’s Etna kitchen for Italian brand Rossana, were made specifically for the range – available in the UAE at Platinum House. Cosentino’s industrial collection, designed by Daniel Germani, applies its innovative Dekton surface with the Orix finish that blends worn concrete and iron.

Get the look

Steal the style by mixing materials like leather, wood and metal in rustic and matte-effect finishes...

Clockwise from top left: MENU tied ceiling light, Amara, Dh256; Flex tap with sparkling water, Quooker, from Dh18,035; Serax bowl, Bits & Pieces, Dh95; Fowler bar stool, Flamant, Dh2,710; Kenwood kMix limited edition kitchen mixer, Jashanmal, Dh3,999. Clockwise from top left: Glocal GC02 60cmx60cm porcelain tile, Mirage, Dh115-120; Maison Oak wood floor, Kährs by Nordic Homeworx, Dh795 per square metre; Leather chair, Maisons Du Monde, Dh675; Iceberg dining table, Marina Home, Dh12,075; I-SINK 95 DX, Teka, Dh4,149; Marty shelves, THE One, Dh2,195.

Read more:

In the frame: Our UAE experts' guide to curating your own art collection 

Gorgeous ideas for styling up your headboards

Simple lighting tricks that will transform your garden