21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas

21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas

Check out some of the things people are doing to repurpose old industrial furniture

21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas

Industrial Style trends for the home conjures up images of vast open spaces, exposed brick walls and concrete floors; converted warehouses or trendy loft spaces with floor to ceiling windows overlooking cityscapes. 

Examples of industrial style include exposed architectural features, heavy-duty galvanised steel and metal fixtures teamed with exposed pipework and timbers, and furniture with distressed surfaces. The hard rugged look of the metals and rough texture of the timbers are softened by the red and amber hues of exposed brickworks and the honey colours from the wood.

But can the industrial upcycled furniture style be reflected from the warehouses and trendy loft spaces in the city to the more modest suburban or rural houses we live in? 

The answer is a resounding Yes!  By utilising and repurposing industrial furniture and second-hand commercial shop fittings. By incorporating distressed metal cabinets, steel racking and hardwearing materials like scaffold boards, tyres, and leftover pipes you can amalgamate the industrial style into your home. 

In this article, I have compiled a list of 21 industrial upcycled furniture ideas for you to integrate into your home and garden, to give you a flavour, of how repurposed industrial furniture can transform your living quarters.


  1. Drawer Units
  2. Filing Cabinets
  3. Metal Locker Cabinets
  4. Scaffold Board Shelving
  5. Brackets out of Pipes / Scaffold fixings
  6. Apple Box Cupboards
  7. Steel Shelving Racks
  8. Shop Fitting / Green Grocers Staging 
  9. Work Counters / Benches
  10. Ladders
  11. Scaffold Fixing Bed Frames 
  12. Pallet Bed Frames  
  13. Lighting/lamps 
  14. Carts/ Rail Trolleys
  15. Jerry Can Drinks Cabinet
  16. Tyre Coffee Table
  17. Propeller Table
  18. Repurposed Oil Drums – BBQ’s & Chairs
  19. Repurposed Barrels 
  20. Cable Drum Garden Furniture
  21. Tyre Pet Beds 

  1. Drawer Units
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - drawer units

No home is complete without at least one set of drawers, whether it’s for clothes storage, office peripherals or kitchen paraphernalia.  Drawers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. 

From rustic apothecary wooden drawers to larger sturdier wooden drawers with steel frames and handles. These give an industrial feel without compromising on storage space. 

  1. Filing Cabinets
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - filing cabinets

Or for that something a little bit different, how about using metal lockable filing cabinet drawers.    These are great to repurpose into usable industrial upcycled furniture pieces for the home and can be picked up reasonably cheaply second hand. 

  1. Metal Locker Cabinets
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - metal locker cabinets

From drawers to cupboards, Metal locker cabinets make great industrial furniture additions for the home.  Depending upon the size, they can be used for bedside cabinets or repurposed and upcycled into usable hallway cupboards.

  1. Scaffold Board Shelving
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - Scaffold Board Shelving

When thinking about industrial style, where else can you display your photos and nick-nacks but on rough timber scaffold board shelves? 

These are practical and a great way to re-use boards that are no longer suitable for scaffolding works.  Instead, the boards can be repurposed into industrial shelving providing a solid durable surface. 

  1. Brackets out of Pipes / Scaffold fixings
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - Brackets out of Pipes / Scaffold fixings

What better way to showcase your scaffold board shelvings than by using heavy-duty galvanised fixings. Not only does it give that tough rugged appeal, but it means your shelves are suitable for carrying quite substantial weighty items. 

Alternatively, use galvanised pipes and fittings to replace towel holders and use as clothes rails. 

  1. Apple Box / Crates Cupboards
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - Apple Box / Crates Cupboards

Apple boxes or apple crates can be turned into useful storage, by stacking several horizontally and vertically and fixing them together.

Whole walls can be made into storage units to keep personal possessions tidied away.  Or use singularly as bedside cabinets and fixed to the wall at bed height. 

  1. Steel Shelving Racks
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - Steel Shelving Racks

If you prefer the look of steel and have a number of items to display, how about a repurposed industrial shelving unit? Not only do they make brilliant bookshelves, but they also make ideal room dividers.

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  1. Shop Fitting / Green Grocers Staging  
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - Shop Fitting / Green Grocers Staging

If you are lucky enough, it’s possible to pick up second-hand shop fitting or Greengrocer staging displays. 

These industrial display units and counters can be repurposed for multiple uses, such as display counters used for kitchen cupboards/ islands or greengrocer staging to display an impressive array of flower pots in the garden. 

  1. Work Counters / Benches
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - Work Counters / Benches

Another useful industrial item of furniture to look out for is garage and laboratory workbenches and counters. These can be turned into useful sideboards or kitchen cupboards to give an industrial feel.

Be aware of any possible contamination of the surface from oils or chemicals and ensure these are cleaned up or treated if being used for food preparation surfaces. 

  1. Ladders
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - Ladders

Ladders are a versatile item that can be transformed into an upcycled industrial project for the home. 

These can be used in kitchens, hanging from the ceiling to hang pans from, turned sideways and fixed to the wall to use as bookshelves or leant up the wall in the bathroom to hang towels on.  

When re-purposing old stepladders it doesn’t matter if they are wooden or aluminium, they can be easily made into display units for plants, pans, or other household paraphernalia. Either leave paint-splattered and rustic or painted and treated for that industrial look. 

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  1. Scaffold Fixing Bed Frames 
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - Scaffold Fixing Bed Frames 

Another great use for old scaffold poles and fixings is to turn them into a funky bed frame.  Whether it’s a standard Double, King or Four-Posters.  There are some great designs for beds utilising the chunky galvanised pipes and fittings.  

  1. Pallet Bed Frames      
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - Pallet Bed Frames

Pallets are great and have a multitude of uses, with their rustic rough timber and high durability. They can be turned into several industrial upcycled furniture ideas.  One that I really like, is to use as a hanging/floating bed frame, either for the bedroom or for the garden. 

If you don’t have suitable weight bearing beams in your bedroom, these can easily be stacked on the floor and fixed together to provide a bespoke bed frame. 

  1. Lighting/Lamps 
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - Lighting/Lamps 

One of the most versatile items of furniture available are industrial upcycled lamps and lighting. These can be made from a multitude of materials such as bespoke lamps made from repurposed pipes, fittings, tools and cogs, embracing the functional, durable designs of the industrial style.

Metal pendant lampshades, bulkhead lighting and even industrial style bare lamps with the filaments on display, are available to suit every room.  Whether it’s overhead lights or mood lighting, there are literally hundreds of upcycled industrial lighting ideas. 

  1. Carts/ Rail Trolleys
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - Carts/ Rail Trolleys

Wheeled Industrial carts and trolleys can be repurposed into a host of usable household furniture. From coffee tables and television stands to repurposed industrial carts used as islands in the kitchen and wine racks and drinks trolleys. 

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  1. Jerry Can Drinks Cabinet
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - Jerry Can Drinks Cabinet

Sticking on the drinks line, another great idea for repurposed industrial furniture is the use of jerry cans.  If you don’t have the space for a complete drinks trolley how about a jerry can mini-bar?  These repurposed industrial pieces can add a touch of industrial style without taking up too much space.

  1. Tyre Tables
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - Tyre Tables

Tyres are a good durable material to incorporate into an industrial style house. They can be used stacked together and fixed with either glass, wooden or steel tops and made into useful tables. 

Depending upon the size of the tyres, they can be turned into upcycled industrial dining room/kitchen tables or used in the lounge for coffee and side tables.

  1. Propeller Table
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - Propeller Table

One very clever idea, that is easy to replicate in the home is by designer Timothy Oulton. His propellor coffee tables are a very interesting way of utilising waste products and turning them into a thing of beauty and usefulness. 

By pairing a cleaned up and painted boat propellor and mounting a glass top, he has produced quite an eye-catching piece of furniture.  

Similar can be done by scouring reclamation yards and junk shops for industrial bits of “waste”, machinery, engines, springs etc, cleaning them up and adding a suitable table-top to create your own show-stopping upcycled industrial table.  

  1. Repurposed Oil Drum – BBQ’s & Chairs 
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - Repurposed Oil Drum – BBQ’s & Chairs 

The industrial style furniture can be reflected in the garden, flowing from the inside to out to create a cohesive home style. Oil drums are a great industrial material that can easily be repurposed into garden furniture.

Perhaps the most obvious use for an old Oil drum is to be turned into a BBQ, however, these waste industrial materials can also be utilised into heavy-duty outdoor seating.   

  1. Repurposed Barrels 
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - Repurposed Barrels 

Half barrels or whole barrels, old oak whisky and beer barrels make a delightful industrial addition to the garden and can be used for storage, tables and planters. 

  1. Cable Drum Garden Furniture
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas - Cable Drum Garden Furniture

Another useful industrial waste item that can be upcycled and repurposed into usable garden furniture is old wooden industrial cable reels.  

Large wooden cable drums can make excellent table and stool sets for the garden. 

  1. Tyre Pet Beds
21 Industrial Upcycled Furniture Ideas -Tyre Pet Beds

Last on the list and one for our furry friend is old tyres. They can easily be turned into a pet bed, with a lick of paint and a cushioned material filler. 

They give a very industrial cosy bed for our fluffy companions and can be made to tie in with our existing home décor or as a stand-alone repurposed industrial piece of furniture.