The Industrial Design Theme in an Office Setting

The office industrial design theme is hugely popular with clients that desire a modern commercial interior. At JBH Refurbishments we are often asked by clients to create a office refurbishment using an industrial design scheme that mirrors the most trend-setting office fit outs in London and New York.

This design trend derives from urban cities, warehouses and industrial buildings that have evolved into quirky offices, design houses, hotels and domestic housing.

Over the last decade the industrial design theme has become a staple look for trendy restaurants, retailers and commercial offices, it has even filtered into the home. The industrial and urban design theme appears to be here to stay. However, like many office design schemes, it is evolving.  Interior designers and commercial fit out contractors, like JBH Refurbishments are approaching each project with new materials and quirky features that make each interior individual to the client.

Colours and Features Typically Associated with Industrial Design

Creating the industrial design for an office fit out or refurbishment needs to be well planned and researched. It’s not just a matter of exposing a few bricks and introducing some rustic furniture. To get it spot on, you need to be consistent throughout. Here is a list of the typical colours and features you might find in an industrial designed office interior:

  • Exposed utilities in the ceiling can be a costly option, but there are alternative options available, which we will come to shortly
  • Wooden, stone or concrete flooring is ideal for this look. If you have concerns over the acoustics, there are plenty of commercial vinyl flooring options available, which reduce reverberations
  • Distressed or concrete-effect walls are key. There are wall coverings that replicate weathered wood and concrete that can help achieve this
  • Exposed brickwork or brick tiles are a great option for an office feature wall or look great in an office kitchen
  • Blackboards with chalked wording
  • Distressed copper pipe design features
  • Dark paint hues, such as black, grey, rust orange, steel, copper browns and blue accents are the most typical colours associated with industrial design. However, this can be combined with lighter shades as well
  • Lighting plays a big role in this look. Festoon lighting, track spot lights or suspended LED strip lights are a popular choice for essential lighting, while pendent lighting, antique-style tripod lamps and nautical shades can help to divide spaces
  • Screens created from metal shelving or a bespoke wooden screen can create divisions in an open plan office
  • The introduction of glass office partitioning can be an interesting attribute, as it combines new with old for a striking take on this contemporary look
  • Complete your industrial office with wooden trestle tables or industrial inspired furnishings

How to Create an Office Industrial Design Theme for Varying Budgets?

Here at JBH Refurbishments we work with varying budgets and have come accustomed to some of the savings that can be made when creating this desirable look for the commercial sector.

Not everyone has the budgets of Google, Facebook and Lego, for their office refurbishments, so let’s look at some material and the various options available for creating this popular look, starting with the ceiling…

Industrial Design Ceiling Finishes

The ceiling plays a major role in successfully achieving the industrial look. Exposed air conditioning pipework and ventilation duct work present a rustic no-nonsense design. However, this option is only suitable if you are planning to replace your existing air conditioning and ventilation system. In which case, it must be installed with great precision using polished steel duct work, or it can be powder coated in a colour of your choice.

Despite what it is meant to portray, exposed utilities can be a costly design feature if you are not in need of a new air conditioning and ventilation system. Provided your air conditioning and ventilation system is performing well, we can suggest some alternative ceiling finishes.

Upon inspection of the ceiling, we might suggest replacing the traditional suspended ceiling with a metal grid suspended ceiling. This can come in various colours, shapes and finishes. The metal grid can be used throughout, or just in key areas, where lighting or air conditioning needs to be supported. When opting for this ceiling application, consider having main ceiling painted in a dark colour to complement the metal-work.

The alternative to a metal ceiling, is a suspended wooden frame, slats or panelling that can be used to support lighting, while creating a modern design feature.

There are many alternative ceiling finishes that can compliment your industrial theme, but before you make any decisions, it is important to understand what is behind the existing suspended ceiling. A qualified electrician and air conditioning expert should survey the area. JBH Refurbishments can take care of this for you and suggest a realistic option.

In some cases, a combination of exposed and concealed areas within the ceiling can be a very effective and practical solution.

Industrial Theme Lighting

Lighting is another major consideration when replicating the industrial design theme in an office environment. First you will need to decide on what essential lighting suits you best. This is the practical lighting that you use every day.

Essential lighting options for the industrial look can be spot lights supported by a track wire system or steel trays. Alternatively, spot lights can be recessed within the ceiling of your choice.

The alternative to spot lights is suspended or recesses LED strip lights.

Once the essential lighting is decided upon, here comes the fun bit – feature lighting!

Industrial design typically comprises festoon cables with squirrel lamps strung from the ceiling or framework within the ceiling.

Pendent shades and nautical/fisherman lights can be used sporadically to create zones. These shades come in metal wire, stainless steel or a concrete finish for an authentic industrial look.

You can also combine carnival-inspired lighting/signage. Perhaps consider having your logo or emotive wording made into carnival letters. This is a bespoke option that can be created by one of JBH Refurbishment’s highly skilled carpenters.

Industrial Design Office Wall Finishes

There are a wide range of wood-effect wallpapers and concrete-effect paints that can be used for a feature wall in your office refurbishment. Exposed brickwork is also highly effective.

If you are looking for something a little more individual for your urban inspired office, why not commission bespoke office graffiti artwork?

Office graffiti murals are a service JBH Refurbishments offers as part of our commercial refurbishment services. It can make your workplace truly unique and bring elements of your corporate branding to your office interior.

Flooring for an Industrial Design Office Interior

Wood, concrete and natural stone flooring will complement your industrial designed office interior, but that’s not to say the materials must be authentic. There are plenty of hard-wearing vinyl flooring options that are printed with the effect of your choice. Vinyl flooring that has been created specifically for commercial use is not only cost effective, but also offers acoustic properties. This could prove vital in what is a potentially a very open office with hard surfaces and high ceilings.

A combination of wood and concrete effect vinyl flooring can be used to separate areas, such as a tea-point or break-out area from the main open plan office.

Would You Like More Advice on Achieving an Industrial Designed Office?

JBH Refurbishments are specialists in creating office interiors to suit your business needs and workforce. If an industrial design scheme is what you are after, we would be delighted to survey the available space and create an office refurbishment scheme that is tailored to your budget.

For more information contact our team today!


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