The office industrial design is very popular among businesses that do not want a high-maintenance and costly office design. The industrial design looks modern but is functional and chic at the same time. You will find these designs mostly in urban cities such as London and New York. But where did industrial design start?
The trend comes from highly urbanized cities that were once warehouses, factories, and workshops. If you have been in the Meatpacking District in New York, the Chelsea Market is a great example of a warehouse/factory turned into an indoor market, restaurant, and even boutiques. The old-school exterior and chic but functional interior make the Chelsea Market a fun place to visit when you’re there.
Over the last decade, more and more businesses started to realize the practicality and convenience of an industrial design. Restaurants are not the only ones who turned to this theme. Retailers have also made it a point to use the utilitarian elegance of an industrial design. But more than that, offices are transforming their once sparse, boring, and outdated office design into an industrial setup.
But what is an industrial design? How do you make sure you got an industrial design right? Are there exact elements you have to incorporate? What should you avoid?
Exposed Pipes, Beams, and Ducts
Probably the most popular element of industrial design is the exposed beams, pipes, and ducts. You see this all the time in restaurants and retail stores. This is the “unfinished” and raw look. The metal pipes and ducts should be contrasted with white walls and bright-colored furniture. This trend probably came from the fact that they had to convert warehouses and factories into livable spaces. Exposing the pipes and beams seems to be a practical way not to spend on ceiling covers.
Office Desk, Chairs, Etc.
It’s important to have the right furniture for the office that will complement the industrial decor of the office. Desks and chairs made of metal, wires, and steel are the best office furniture for an industrial design. The workstation should be complementary to the office’s overall look, or the design will feel forced. Be careful in picking the office furniture because these are the first things that guests and clients will notice upon entering the office. The quality should be top-notch.
Wood and Metal
Every industrial-style interior uses wood and metal. The combination of these two materials adds to the functionality of the space. Both are durable. Any piece of furniture made of metal and wood can last for a long time. There’s an interplay of textures here. Imagine the smooth metal mixing with the earthy elegance of wood. You can use these materials on the wall, flooring, furniture, and exposed ceilings.
Bricks and Concrete
Another combination that screams industrial is bricks and concrete. Old factories and warehouses used bricks for the walls. It made no sense to remove them, so they were repurposed by engineers and interior designers. The result is a beautiful mesh of bricks and concrete coming together for an industrial look. In fact, the more worn the bricks look, the more appealing they are to anyone who comes to your office. These old walls may even be a topic of conversation.
For concrete, the idea is to leave it as it is. Don’t paint over it. Instead, you can choose polished and high-gloss concrete or leave it untouched and in matte style for a more rustic appeal. In many industrial interiors, the concrete has many functions—floors, fireplaces, countertops, and walls.
Metal pipes and concrete look cold and lacking personality. That’s why bricks and wood are such good addition to an industrial design. When it comes to colors, choose the neutral shades of green, brown, and cream. If you want, you can even go for warmer tones to inject a bit of character into the design. Shades of gray will also work with the exposed beams, raw concrete feel, and old bricks.
Obviously, you cannot use massive chandeliers here like the ones you find in five-star hotels and restaurants. But that does not mean you can be ignorant of how the lights can affect the overall look of the office design. Choose light fixtures with a metal design. Fluorescent lights will make the room feel cold, as is the risk of contemporary industrial design. Make sure to mix your lights with plush couches, plants, and colorful rugs.
No one design fits all office setups. Yours should be customizable according to what the occupants need. However, when playing around with an industrial design, stick to the basics—bricks, metals, wood, and earth colors.