The Intentional Apartment: An Industrial And Modern Living Room Look

Follow this plug-and-play plan for a quick decor upgrade.

Ever look at a stylish, sophisticated masculine apartment in a magazine (*ahem* like Primer Magazine) or on a subreddit like r/malelivingspace and wonder, “How can I create a similar look for my space…without shopping at designer furniture stores?”

You can tell your living room looks a bit boring and mismatched, but if you’re honest, you also know that decorating is not your strong suit and in the financial hierarchy of priorities, side tables are pretty low. So what’s a style-inspired but equally style-clueless modern man to do?

Simple: Shop this custom-created room designed by Editor & Founder Andrew Snavely, outfitted with stylish but affordable options from brands like Target, Etsy, Amazon, and more. (Read our full guide on the best affordable home decor stores for men on a budget.)

It’s like our style Getups – but for your place.

industrial and modern living room inspiration

Thankfully, we’ve got all the links and resources for you to quickly copy this mid-century modern/Scandinavian-inspired look for your own home in just a few clicks.

Axel Sofa

Axel Sofa

Apt2b, $994.34

A charcoal gray sofa serves as a basic, comfortable backdrop to showcase the room’s bold patterns and warm textures. Its classic shape will work with virtually any theme, so if you choose to change your living room’s look again in the future, this sofa will remain a classic choice.

DII 100% Cotton Basket Weave Throw for Indoor/Outdoor Use Camping Bbq's Beaches Everyday Blanket, 50 x 60", Nautical Blue

DII 100% Cotton Basket Weave Throw

Amazon, $15.99

While a charcoal sofa is almost always a safe bet, without some lighter decorative touches, it can look like a black hole in the middle of your room. Lighten the look of your sofa with these two affordable and stylish finds from Amazon, by folding and draping the cotton weave throw blanket over the edge of the sofa’s armrest, and placing a decorative ivory and turquoise pillow or two in the corners of the sofa.

Stone & Beam French Laundry Stripe Decorative Throw Pillow, 17" x 17", Ivory, Turquoise

Stone & Beam French Laundry Stripe Throw Pillow

Amazon, $39.99

Strick & Bolton Rowan Handmade Braided Area Rug

Strick & Bolton Rowan Handmade Braided Area Rug

Overstock, $140 – Price varies according to size and shape

Situate your sofa on this gorgeous rug that not only looks good, but also expertly hides any evidence of dirt or hair if it’s been a little too long since the last deep-clean of your apartment (check out our advice about keeping your place hygienic).

The general rule of thumb for choosing the correct rug size for your space is that at least the front legs of your “sitting furniture” — in this case, the sofa and chair — should be comfortably situated on top of the rug, without all of the pieces looking crowded.

Still not certain? Get some masking tape, and on a clean floor, measure out and mark the dimensions of where you plan to place your sofa and chair. This will give you the truest sense of what size of rug you’ll need for your space.

Rivet Caden Adjustable Task Table Desk Lamp With USB Port And LED Light Bulb   25.5 Inches, Black and Brass

Rivet Caden Adjustable Task Table Desk Lamp

Amazon, $49

Of all the mistakes we see when guys decorate their apartments, the biggest seems to be a reluctance to invest in decent and plentiful lighting fixtures.

Adequately lighting your apartment — with lighting at multiple height levels, not just a glaring overhead light — can take your space from looking dim and grim to cozy and comfortable with the flip of a switch.

Stone & Beam Mid Century Modern Henley Living Room Standing Floor Lamp with LED Light Bulb   15 x 15 x 58 Inches, Matte Black and Antique Brass

Stone & Beam Mid-Century Modern Henley Standing Floor Lamp

Amazon, $79.39

VASAGLE Industrial End Table, Metal Side Table, Round Sofa Table with Storage Rack, Stable and Sturdy Construction, Easy Assembly, Wood Look Accent Furniture with Metal Frame ULET57X

VASAGLE Industrial End Table

Amazon, $65.99

We love this side table for its gritty wood detail and metal legs that perfectly echo the metal legs of the center coffee table, and enhance the brass detail of the desk lamp sitting on top of it.

Emerald Home Chandler Rustic Industrial Solid Wood and Steel Coffee Table with Open Shelf

Rustic Industrial Solid Wood and Steel Coffee Table with Open Shelf

Amazon, $157

The perfect complement to the sofa side table, this sturdy coffee table has a beautiful stained wood grain finish. When decorating an industrial-inspired room, it’s tempting to focus on metallic elements like brass, wrought iron, and even copper, but too many metal elements can make the room look dull and cold.

Bringing in warm elements, like weathered wood, keeps the room from feeling like the inside of a dismal, dystopian metal factory.

Creative Co Op DA8543 Decorative Rectangle Distressed Metal Tray

Creative Co-Op Decorative Distressed Metal Tray

Amazon, $17.99

The white metal brings some lightness back to the darker coffee table and connects with the chair and wall art. Signs of weathering or distress on metals can also add a warm, rustic element to industrial-themed rooms. This distressed metal tray, situated on top of the coffee table, is perfect for keeping things like your TV remote, drink coasters, maybe a decorative coffee table book or two, and perhaps a small aloe plant (more on that next) organized on your coffee table.

9" x 5" Artificial Snake Plant In Pot Green/White   Project 62™

Artificial Snake Plant In Pot Green/White

Target, $7.99

Have a black thumb, or no natural lighting in your apartment? Then artificial plants are your best bet! There’s no shame in using artificial plants, especially if you get a high-quality one that looks so real that guests actually have to ask, “Is that real?”

The white pot complements the overall room decor, and is compact enough to make a statement without taking up too much space.

Double Hexagon Chair Gray   Room Essentials™

Double Hexagon Chair in Gray

Target, $60

Comfortable enough for two people — or just one person who enjoys the ability to stretch out — the neutral gray color of this chair combined with its classic mid-century modern-inspired shape works perfectly with the room’s modern look. Even better, this chair is capable of being folded up when not in use, so it’s perfect for Primer readers who have a small apartment but enjoy entertaining guests.


Grandin Road Fiddle Leaf Fig

GrandinRoad, $159.00-$199.00

Tall, green, and faux, these fiddle leaf fig trees are amazing for adding additional height to your room, with no stress of accidentally killing them from improper care. The woven basket at the base offers another “warm” decorating element that’s perfect for a modern/industrial-inspired room.

Printable Wall Art Print, Lines wall print, Instant Download Printable Art, scandinavian art, neutral tones,Modern Decor, abstract wall art

Scandinavian-Inspired Line Art, Printable

Etsy, $2.50

Psst…know how you can get amazing artwork for dirt cheap? Using instantly-downloadable prints from places like, printing them at places like Costco or Staples, and using affordable but classic-looking RIBBA frames from IKEA. (We did a whole feature on free wall art just recently, if you’re interested.)

This Scandinavian-inspired piece is highly affordable and oh-so-cool. Pair it side-by-side with the Geometric Abstract Composition print listed below, and your boring white walls will be a thing of the past.

Geometric Abstract Composition Print, MidCentury Modern Wall Art, Navy Mango Burnt Orange, Downloadable Geometric Print

Geometric Abstract Composition Print

Etsy, $8.11

Want more prints? Again, don’t miss our “The Ultimate Collection of 42 Free Wall Art Prints” roundup of the best downloadable prints we’ve found around the internet, and our best tips for printing and framing!

Ready to try this look for yourself? We want to see! Tag us in your photos on Instagram with @primermag!

Andrew Snavely

Andrew founded Primer in 2008 and brings 15+ years of men's style expertise. Known for his practical, relatable approach to style and self-development, he has been a recognized speaker at conferences and has styled work for top brands. Off-duty, he loves photography & editing, and enjoys road trips with his dog, Leela. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, educated in DC, and living in LA for nearly 20 years, Andrew's diverse experiences shape the relatable and real-world advice that has helped millions through Primer. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.