Six Characteristics of an Urban Style Home

An urban style home is like the James Dean of design—leather, rugged finishes and an attitude that feels like the city. This distinctive look was born decades ago in Europe when artists turned abandoned factories into expansive spaces that would showcase their artwork. You don’t have to live in a warehouse space to enjoy the style, though; its signature characteristics can be easily incorporated into your suburban home. Here’s how:

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1. Stick with neutrals

Colors such as black, white or brown will offset the hard materials used in an urban style home. Paint your walls in the same color family as your furniture. If you have brown furniture, consider a dark taupe or chocolate paint. Black furniture looks great against grey walls.

2. Look for natural materials

Recycled or repurposed items give the rooms in an urban style home a reclaimed feel. Tables made of wood, metal or glass can be great additions. For upholstered furniture, stick to leather, canvas or other natural textures.

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3. Use texture for wall coverings

Weathered brick walls are an urban style home signature, but if your home doesn’t have this detail you can get a similar feel by using sheets of stainless steel, exposed beams or planks of reclaimed wood on the walls. Sealed concrete floors are also a great look. Cloak them with a neutral area rug, or choose hardwood flooring for a warmer look.

4. Keep accessories to a minimum

Consider tone-on-tone art, such as a black and white print in a room with black furniture or sepia prints in a room with brown furnishings. Or create a splash of color with one bold accent. Use lighting with an industrial feel, such as pendant lights or floor lamps made of unusual materials. You can also use accessories, such as a faux fur throw, to soften the lines and materials of your seating.

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5. Create a single focal point

Use wall art sparingly. A large canvas with a bold abstract or geometric design will make an impact. You can also incorporate a statue or waterfall. Or if your view is outstanding let that be the center of attention.

6. Keep windows bare

Urban style focuses on the architectural details of your home. If you have gorgeous windows, let them be seen and leave the window coverings for your bedroom. If you’re concerned about privacy, use coverings that match the color of the walls.


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