December 31, 2016

Incorporating an Industrial Theme into your Backyard with Landscape Architecture

Table of Contents

The industrial design theme is one that has gained popularity with the rising trend of reclaiming industrial and urban property for residential and entertainment purposes. Trendy restaurants converted from warehouses, luxury loft apartments converted from rundown buildings and re-purposed factories are all examples of this style. It is characterized by a salt-of-the-earth, no frills appeal, with a prevalence of bare brick, undressed air conditioner vents, minimally treated wood and naked features associated with industry. At the same time, the industrial theme draws its elegance from modern fittings of chrome and steel, polished stone, atmospheric lighting techniques and sleek furnishings, creating a perfect balance between a rugged, urban rustic look and sophisticated modernity. This style can also be applied to backyard designs, resulting in stylish outdoor spaces with grit, character and subtle flair. Here we’ll take a look at some of the elements of landscape architecture that you can incorporate into your Huntington Station, NY backyard to achieve this sought after style.


Used in planters, as a filler in flowerbeds and a cover for driveways, as well as an alternative ground covering for small patches of lawn, gravel is an excellent material for introducing the subtle starkness of an industrial themed landscape. In combination with railroad sleepers or pavers, gravel can be used to create characterful walkways with a timeworn, industrial look. Both pea gravel and crushed granite are effective variations for an industrial theme.


Brick is a prominent feature of the industrial style and can be incorporated into a backyard setting in the form of exterior walls, retaining walls and outdoor fireplaces. The deep red of brick is the perfect complement to brass, steel and cast iron features also prevalent in industrial design and creates warmth to counter the more stark elements of the style.

Light fixtures

Spotlighting is common in the industrial theme, often in the form of hanging lights and standing lamps. Warm direct light is used to create both atmosphere and vibrancy, as well as a hint of utilitarianism. Light fixtures are frequently cast from brass, cast iron, steel and steel mesh for a bare bulb effect. Industrial themed lighting is easily applied to landscape lighting, creating a warm and welcoming outdoor setting in the evening and providing theme appropriate decoration when not in use.


Lumber can be used in variety of forms in a backyard industrial theme, including decking, lumber support poles, railroad sleepers for walkways, and rustic furnishing. Aged wood is an excellent complement to the warmth and character of the setting and provides a good counterbalance to the hardness of steel and iron. Used in the context of this theme, minimally treated, aged, upcycled or dark stained lumber works best, although lighter varieties can also make an impact depending on your color palette. Furnishings can include oak barrels converted into tables, cast iron and wood benches, and bar stools.


Both polished and unpolished granite work well with the industrial theme, with the former contributing to a sleek modern finish for outdoor kitchen countertops and surfaces and the latter lending its rugged texture and functional aesthetic. Gray and darker variations of granite complement the natural warmth of wood, brass and brick, making it a more stylish and durable alternative to the bare concrete often seen in interior designs of the style.


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