We’re Into: French Industrial

Louis Metal Side Table from Ballard Designs

We’ve brought home countless vintage pieces over the years from our annual antiquing trips to France, but there is one style in particular that we can’t seem to get enough of — French industrial.

French Industrial furniture from Ballard Designs

Details of the French Industrial Bed from Ballard Designs

Our newest French Industrial pieces combine the traditional lines of French design, like the turned spindles of the French Industrial Bed, with more masculine, industrial materials with cool irons and worn woods.

Charlize Metal Desk from Ballard Designs

In these pieces, you’ll find the usual hallmarks of the Industrial Era — pared-back sensibility, salvaged character and utilitarian purpose — but with the refinement of French design. It’s precisely these little details, such as spindles on an iron post, rounded corners or tapered legs (like on our Charlize Metal Desk), that add a softness and versatility to the industrial design that make it work in a variety of interiors.

The Louis Metal Console Table

Details of the Louis Metal Console

We’ve added two pieces to our Louis Collection, the Metal Side Table and the Metal Console, and we love the way they both feature the traditional florettes, fluted legs, and delicate ring pulls you’d see in the rest of our Louis collection but in a refined iron design.

Amsterdam cabinet

Slide locks on the Amsterdam cabinet from Ballard Designs

Our Amsterdam Cabinet is another one of our favorite new ways to bring French Industrial design into your home. With glass front cabinet doors and gorgeous patina-ed slide locks, this piece offers a new way to add extra storage to your space.

French industrial bookcase

Details of the Toulouse Tall Bookcase

It’s easy to incorporate the French industrial look into any existing décor, plus we think you should be mixing different design elements in a room anyway! If you want to keep a certain level of warmth, look for French Industrial-style furniture that combines the textures of salvaged wood with aged iron or forged steel. Think plank-top table on casters or a steel bookcase with wooden shelves, like our Toulouse Tall Bookcase.

The Allen Stool from Ballard Designs

If you want much less of a commitment, add smaller accessories, such as wire baskets, a great pendant or an antique-inspired drafting stool like our Allen Stool. Of course, we’re suckers for anything stenciled with numerals or letters. And, remember, you can always further soften a look with neutral-hued textiles: a French script burlap pillow, a jute rug or linen curtain panels.

Have we convinced you to give French Industrial a try? What French Industrial piece would you like to incorporate into your home?

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.