The Ultimate Guide To Urban Decor

If you long for a comfortable home that is contemporary and modern but is also serene enough to take you away from the everyday grind, then urban decor might be for you. This design style is the ultimate blend of industrial, modern, and contemporary interior design influences. The goal of this look is to incorporate contemporary pieces with edgy elements. According to Traci Connell Interiors, urban decor highlights these "edgy" elements while also including plenty of softness and taking advantage of the airiness provided by lots of natural light.

How do you know if this style is for you? The answer is easy enough: If you are a city-liver or city-lover. For the city dweller who desires the softer side of the metropolitan area, consider creating an unrestrained and stimulating urban decor-inspired lifestyle. And if you don't live in the city, but love the urban vibe, bring some of that feel into your space, no matter where you live.

Realize the importance of a feature wall

Creating a textural element in your space is pivotal in executing the urban decor look. If your place is lacking a statement item, specifically on the walls, then you might want to consider selecting one to create an accent wall with. Adding this type of drama to a space helps balance the industrial feel that is favored in urban decor style. If you have artistic skills, consider putting them to work and painting an oversized mural. If you are not the best artist, opt for hanging a large tapestry or oversized wall clock that covers a favorable amount of wall space.

Another tip for creating an accent wall is to consider using warmer paint colors to help soften and offset those industrial tones (via Window Film World). You could consider painting an alcove a moody color or using a large painting to cover the wall space. Turning a blank wall into something eye-catching uplifts the room and creates movement in the space allowing a person's eye to wander up and down the walls, making for an invigorating environment necessary to achieving the urban look.

Consider plush fabrics for soft touches

Urban living spaces can sometimes lean too much toward the industrial side of the look. While urban decor is industrial at its core, it is not as hard-edged as ultra-modern or industrial design, according to Decor Aid. The difference between industrial and urban decor in large part comes down to light, warmth, and softness. To prevent your place from feeling straight-lined and factory-like, layer in plush materials for a softer touch.

 Think soft, velvety sofas and accent chairs as perfect elements to help complete the urban decor style in your home. According to Modern Resale, velvet is a popular fabric choice since it comes in a variety of rich colors, including bold tones and neutrals, depending on your needs. It instantly adds pizzazz and softens a room, and it's the ideal ultra plush fabric to lounge on after a long day. A deep blue or purple velvet chair can really create a cozy vibe in a space and is perfect for adding a pop of color to an otherwise-neutral color palette.

Tip the scale with oversized pieces

Have some fun with your decor choices and play with the scale of items a bit. For example, you could make lighting the central focus of the room and add some extra-large fixtures to take up space. Choosing to add an oversized light fixture is an excellent way to add visual interest to a room, but Barndoorz suggests remaining wary of adding too many large, dramatic items, as it may overcrowd the space. Keep in mind that urban decor spaces are often loft-like and have an open vibe. 

To achieve the urban decor look, aim to style your space with objects varying in size, and try to mix and match oversized items with smaller ones. This contrast in accent pieces helps create visual interest in your home and can help keep the look cohesive between multiple rooms. Using larger-than-life decorative items and light fixtures is the ideal way to execute the urban look.

Create decorative connections in each room for a cohesive look

One of the keys to achieving the ultimate urban decor look is to create a sense of cohesion amongst the other rooms in the house. Not every room needs to be the same style, but there should be a connection between them, according to MyDesiredHome. You want to develop a sense of flow in your decor as you leave one room and enter the next. This is especially important to keep in mind for homes with open layouts, which is fairly common for homes with an urban decor interior. 

Some ideas for achieving continuity in your space include keeping a common wall color, using similar flooring throughout the home, and being consistent with the style of lighting fixtures, according to MyMove. Some smaller decor additions to consider in urban decor styling could be adding similarly-colored art pieces, repeating the use of patterned fabrics throughout the space, and using the same metals from room to room to layer in the similarities for a unified look.

Add bare finishes and exposed elements for the urban vibe

A big part of achieving the urban decor look is to have elements in your home that are unfinished and exposed. A great way to incorporate an exposed feature that covers a vast amount of space is by choosing the type of flooring in your house wisely. Create your urban oasis by opting for laminate flooring with neutral wood tones or hints of beige and gray to add some depth. Hardwood flooring or sealed concrete are great options for an unfinished look, according to MyMove

Creating spaces that have these unfinished pieces brings a bit of the city elements you love into your home. If your dwelling has exposed ductwork or pipelines, consider leaving them visible and painting them a dark color for added contrast. Features such as exposed beams, unfinished surfaces, and brick walls are all unique to this decor style, and, if added, will surely bring the urban decor vibe alive in your home.

Add furnishings that don't just look comfortable

The living room is arguably one of the most important rooms in the house. Most families gather in the living area, making it a space you want to keep comfortable. Achieving an urban decor look in the living room is possible with just a few basic items such as a sofa, accent chair, coffee table, and some good lighting (via Curated Interior). Stick to the basics and add furniture items that mesh together but are made from different materials such as a brown leather sofa paired with a tufted ottoman and a set of marble end tables for functionality. 

The typical open layout of an urban style decor scheme is great for blending furniture shapes and really leaves the options open for choosing eclectic pieces. If furniture is not what you need to add to your space, you may consider adding a vintage chandelier or ceiling string lights to the area for a unique touch. Neutral rugs, or ones made from natural materials, are the ideal complementary decor pieces for urban decor spaces, according to Nazmiyal Collection

Accent with marble and metal finishes

To add strong urban decor elements to your home, consider searching for items containing marble or a mixture of metals. Structural items such as black metal stairs and exposed beams are classic urban style features. Do not shy away from the urban decor look if your home lacks stairs; instead, opt to add bronzed fixtures, furniture with metal legs or wheels, or polished concrete countertops. Smaller items, such as metal picture frames or marble-topped side tables, can also help add more of these industrial touches to your space without breaking the bank.

Layering these elements helps to create a contrasting yet complementary space (via Tarkett). Soft furnishings can mesh effortlessly with hard fixtures in urban decor. Mixing these features is what makes a successful urban decor look possible in your home. The contrasts between soft and hard, smooth and textured, and industrial and natural are what make an urban decor interior so vibrant.

Create an ambiance in the open space

A major aspect of urban decor style is creating multi-use environments that are open and airy. It could be an open layout floor plan with connected living and dining spaces or an integrated kitchen and eating area. These desirable layouts are the perfect backgrounds for creating an ambiance with architectural shapes that stand out. 

Simple modern lines and pieces with industrial details are a natural fit for urban settings (via If you plan to decorate your space in the urban decor style, look for items such as vases with interesting geometric shapes and in varying height arrangements. Sculptural heads and busts are very popular in urban style as well. The sculptures you choose to display in your home should be meaningful to you. This will make you feel good when you're in your space, and it will help guests get a better idea of you and your tastes (via Decor Tips).

Don't be afraid to get moody

Accentuate your urban decor interior with hints of color that create a moody space. Think velvet textures and structural sofas in shades of burnt orange, navy, mustard, and dark green. If you layer colors like these against a neutral palette of white, black, and gray, you will surely nail the urban decor look, according to TLC Interiors. These hues are perfect for creating the essence of the city in your home. 

These shades of color are beautiful in natural lighting and bring a big mood change when the sun goes down and the dark engulfs the space. Dim lighting accentuates these moody colors perfectly and brings a nighttime lounge feel to the area. You can achieve this look by finding these shades of purples, grays, and blues in rugs, curtains, or accent chairs and adding them to your space. Contrast, rich colors, and great lighting (natural and via fixtures) work together to give your space that perfect, moody, urban decor look.

Choose fluid shapes for your table tops

Finding the right decorative pieces to fit your style is important for creating a complete urban decor look in your home. When searching for items to adorn your table tops and bookshelves, it's best to choose items in more fluid shapes. TLC Interiors suggests looking at pieces that feel more organic and handmade. Items such as woven baskets, tapestries, clay bowls, and stone vases are just the earth-toned elements ideal for accenting an industrial look. They bring balance to an otherwise hard interior landscape. 

Look past the pieces that are of just basic forms and opt for the bulbous vases, geometrically carved candlesticks, or tapered candles to adorn your entryway tables and bookshelves. Adding a variety of shapes such as these to the environment creates a visual texture that mimics a city skyline. To be successful, choose accent items that help create balance in your urban decor cityscape.

Incorporate industrial pieces

Incorporate industrial elements into your space to round out the urban look. Try illuminating the area with exposed bulb and coil light fixtures, recommends Show Home Style. Industrial elements like these bring that city landscape indoors by creating a vintage exterior vibe one would imagine in 1960s New York City. Open caged bulb pendant lighting is perfect for above kitchen islands. Wall sconces with a more industrial, unpolished look are great options for bedside lighting or for highlighting artwork on your walls.  

Is your room missing something? Look beyond lighting and consider a bit of craftsmanship as well. Remember that urban decor is from ceiling to floor, so decorating vertically is important. Consider building your own bookshelves out of pipe and wood planks to add that missing element to your space. The added shelving will give you even more opportunities to add decorative items to your space, along with providing additional storage.

Bring nature in for a balanced room

Houseplants inspire and bring vibrancy to any space, so why not add a few to the table tops, walls, or bookshelves in your home? Elevate your urban decor style by adding lush green plants to help you create the perfect urban jungle. Successfully creating an urban decor oasis requires finding the right plants to help make a statement in a space. 

No surface is off limits in urban decorating, so think outside the loft (so to speak), and find unique ways to add greenery to your home. For the most visual interest, incorporate plants of different structures, sizes, and hues, according to Sunset. Adding plants of varying textures helps create a focal point and adds dimension to the area. Nature is the perfect balance to the hustle and bustle of the city life, so it's no surprise that decorating with greenery is a natural balance to an urban vibe.

Find colors that function for your space

Natural lighting always accentuates a space best, but when it is lacking, consider using light colors on the floors and walls (via Decor Tips). Choosing light colors in these areas will help brighten a space and create the perfect base for accent colors to pop. Add to your existing neutral palette by accenting it with "cool" colors in different shades of purples, blues, and grays. These colors look beautiful at any time of day, which makes them ideal for an urban decor vibe. 

If your walls are bare, consider adding large artwork pieces with these mellow colors, or try hanging some metal-framed vintage art photos in an eclectic photo collage. You can also bring color into a room via smaller furnishings, such as painted wood tables, upholstered ottomans and stools, or accent chairs. Keep in mind, however, that a little goes a long way in terms of accent colors; select a few pieces to highlight and stick to a neutral theme for the rest of your decor.

Walls and windows matter too

If you want to achieve an urban decor style in your space, consider keeping windows as a main focus. Windows are really at the center of urban loft designs, so it is important to make the most of them, according to Home Tone. As the decorator, opt for simple and smooth fabrics in light colors and layer them over the windows for a classic urban look. If you have high ceilings and opening and closing your curtains is a challenge, consider installing automatic or remote-controlled curtain openers.

Urban decor style offers an approachable path to home design that is easily transitional and adaptable. And, because it's so adaptable, you can build it over time, selecting the colors, finishes, and other decorative items for your home. Keep these tips in mind as you select the perfect furnishings for your urban decor, and you'll soon have an oasis that's a perfect combination of personal, chic, and comfortable.