Shaws does… Urban Industrial.

Perfect imperfection with industrial strength über-chic design.


Whatever the architectural style of your home or the size of your kitchen space, this practical no-nonsense approach remains a popular choice. Popularised in large industrial cities like New York, London, Berlin and Milan in the early 1980s, when former industrial spaces were converted into affordable open plan living spaces. The style once born out of necessity, is now a popular design trend that is often applied with great success to create luxurious commercial spaces like bars, restaurants and retail outlets all over the world.

An Urban Industrial kitchen is a hard-wearing functional kitchen that is also a practical work space. Built to last, it’s not afraid to have its battle scars on display. The hard earned ‘patina’ and obvious imperfections are what make this space perfect for everyday living. It’s a space you can really live in, entertain in and put through its paces, and it will only get better with age.

The look is characterised by exposed brickwork, stainless steel work surfaces, simple tiles and reclaimed wood floors. It takes the functional elements of a professional kitchen like steel work surfaces and appliances, oversized ventilation units, exposed shelving, and one of our hardwearing fireclay sinks. 

Shaws sinks work perfectly with this style because they are built to last. Our sinks are an industrial design classic that have been used in working kitchens and industrial environments since the 1800s because of their durability, functionality and safety. It is also a real opportunity to add a touch of luxury without betraying the practicality of your industrial theme.

Large steel framed windows draw in an abundance of daylight and large oversized industrial light fittings with exposed Edison filament bulbs give a loft-like look to larger open kitchen.

An Urban Industrial kitchen puts practicality first and isn’t afraid to put everything on show. Exposed pipework, wiring and ventilation is common, as is open shelving made from reclaimed timber and loaded with well used pans or Kilner Jars of essential ingredients.

This practical design philosophy creates a highly efficient space because everything is easily accessible. It’s not a look minimalists will love, or those who want conspicuous luxury. But that’s the point. The mantra is ‘form follows function’, there is no pressure to be pretty. It’s warts-and-all design. That in itself, can be very relaxing.


Image Credit: Shoot Factory
A Shaws Butler 900 used in an urban industrial bathroom. Image Credit: Shoot Factory
Image Credit: Shoot Factory
Image Credit: Soho House Berlin
Image Credit: Soho House Berlin
Image Credit: Pinterest
Image Credit: Ein44
Image Credit: Ein44

Experiencing Urban Industrial.


One of the many aspects of Berlin that people who visit the city really love and cherish is the urban industrial style of the city. It’s something that the German capital has in common with places like Brooklyn, Milan or South East London. Combine this with Berlin’s rich history and the Soviet influence of the East, the city has developed a character and patina that sets it apart from the other cities. While you are there, visit Urban Industrial, one of the many stores dedicated to salvaging and selling original industrial items like furniture, lighting and other decorative items.

The Eins44 restaurant in Neukölln takes over a turn-of-the-century distillery inside a cavernous Art Deco courtyard. The building’s industrial past has been retained in the restaurant’s interiors, lined with the original tiles and lit by oversized industrial lighting. Eins 44’s kitchen serves a distinctly Franco-German menu that has won it a Michelin star.

Stay at Soho House Berlin, it’s fine industrial interiors occupy eight floors of a late Bauhaus building in Mitte. In keeping with Berlin’s penchant for industrial chic, many of the dilapidated concrete walls have been left unfinished, interleaved with expensive original artworks and modernist sculptures. Relax in a reclaimed cast iron bath and soak up views of the historic city’s skyline.

We love this look because it reminds us of our heritage, designing for industry is the reason why Shaw’s products are so robust, allowing them to stand the test of time. 

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