Coronavirus has ensured that working from home will remain a mainstay in our lives for the time being, in at least some capacity. After a long summer, there’s no better way to invigorate your back-to-work attitude than giving your home office a face lift. We have covered general home working space tips before, however more than a year into the pandemic, now is the time to experiment with specific styles.
The industrial style of interior design was borne of the modernist movement in the 20th century. Moving away from the excessive décor and frills of styles gone by, this new style placed importance upon ‘truth to materials’ – using construction materials and techniques as the decoration – as well as the concept of ‘form follows function’ – functionality dictating the way things look, ensuring efficiency.
Nurtured by the popularity of the adaptive reuse of industrial buildings – namely re-industrialised factories and warehouses, present especially in the ‘loft living’ phenomenon in 1970’s New York – we arrive at the present day, where this aesthetic remains popular in architecture and interiors alike.
Even if you don’t live in a lofty, vast-windowed mezzanine apartment in a former factory, with exposed air ducts and brickwork, you can still build an industrial feel into your home, whatever its style or period. And, being characterised by efficiency and productivity means this style is perfect for a home office.
A simple Pinterest or Instagram search for ‘industrial home office’ will reveal countless examples of this room archetype in this style, which verifies its appropriateness. One of the things these examples have in common include a neutral, natural colour palette – wood, metal, and plain textiles and walls.
While this palette is usually darker in tone, with dark-stained wood, moodier-hued metals and navy/black/gunmetal grey walls, a lighter neutral colour palette can easily be employed depending on your tastes and light requirements. This could be a pleasant deviation from the norm and may make your working from home experience a little more upbeat.
Why not try mixing these two tones; light walls and wooden elements with dark linear edging provided by bookshelves, table legs and accessories for structure and composition, or vice-versa: dark walls with light elements that appear to be luminous against a moody backdrop.
The mainstays of a home office include a desk, chair and storage. These pieces are industrious by their very function, so the challenge is uniting these with the aesthetic described above.
Our top choices for industrial desks include those with wooden elements, like the Phoenix modern white computer desk and Chester oak corner desk. Desks with storage combined raise the functionality of the piece, for example the Chester desk with shelving and Oslo computer desk. Strong black or white profiles can help solidify your choice of darker or lighter scheme, such as the Vola and black gamer desk.
We have taken care of the very necessary comfort element of desk chairs, so it’s up to you to make your own personal aesthetic choices. This element is where you can add in a pop of colour or alternative material to personalise your industrial-inspired space – for example the Piper or Harper swivel chair in pink which combines strong, black-finished metal base with plush pink velvet upholstered seat. For a simpler form, the streamlined Isabella swivel chair promotes a more upright seat, enhancing awakeness, and in light grey velvet ensures a cool, calm and collected aesthetic.
The themes of colour and texture continue when choosing storage solutions – the Phantom oak storage cabinet has a pronounced wood grain finish and ample storage space for all your stationery and filing needs, where the Phoenix white bookshelf has a wood grain base and white finish for a brighter take on upright storage.
The industrial aesthetic is further elevated by the accents and accessories present in the office. A home office, whether in its own dedicated room or a small area of a larger room, is mainly about function and productivity, and thus its best to avoid too much distracting décor.
A necessary facility that can be made more interesting is lighting; it’s present anyway, so it doesn't hurt to make it a feature in and of itself. The Morom pendant lamps and desk lamps come in white, black and wooden finish, to perfectly compliment your industrial office scheme.