Pros and Cons of Industrial Office Design

Rugged materials and rough edges are part of the industrial office design trend. Creating a workspace that feels like a garage or warehouse has gained popularity. It’s the opposite of the cube farms of the past. The look is modern, bold, and brave.

However, It also has some potential drawbacks.

Using Structure as Design Elements

What used to be covered up is now often exposed. Ducts, pipes, support beams, etc., are now part of the design instead of obstacles to work around. Leaving items exposed can help companies save money while building out spaces. Leaving things exposed eliminates the need to cover these features with walls or other materials and can look raw and edgy.

The look can also seem unfinished and unprofessional. Make sure to take the extra step to remove things like rust or chipping paint from exposed elements.

Durable and substantial items can help create a sense of authenticity and history within a space. Reclaimed and re-used materials have a timeless quality to them.


Industrial design emphasizes the raw look, so don’t go overboard adding too much color to the space. Warm and neutral colors can bring some coziness to an area with metal pipes and ducts. Earth tones and greys also work well.

Don’t be afraid of adding pops of bright colors for an accent wall or a piece of furniture. Industrial design is minimalistic, so try to stick to adding textures instead of too many colors.

Noise Factor

Leaving elements like high exposed ceilings, metal beams, and concrete floors can look sleek and cool, but it can also create a sound problem.

Big open areas without materials to absorb sound can potentially leave people unable to concentrate and without any privacy.

Adding elements like wood, plants, and rugs can help keep the sound down. Also, make sure to have a balance between collaborative and private spaces.


When looking at lighting, furniture, and other accessories, choose items that go with the industrial theme. Vintage or classical styles work well. Comfortable sofas, rugs, and desks can help complete the look.

Choose lighting that creates some defined spaces but pay attention to the color temperature and harshness. Too little light can make it difficult to focus and too much light can also have negative impacts. If possible, incorporate natural light into your design. Windows can add to the industrial look.

Don’t Ignore Reception and Public Spaces

You’ve heard the saying, “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” That goes for office design also. If someone is considering doing business with your company, make sure reception areas fit into your industrial theme. You want to create a cohesive look. The same goes for common areas like kitchens, break rooms, and bathrooms.

Plan Your Project

As with any office design, proper planning can make a big difference. Know your budget and the look you’re going for.

The professionals at Beaux-Arts Group have the experience and background to help you design the industrial look that fits your needs and your budget.