How to Get a Rustic and Urban Aesthetic Office with Industrial-Style Furniture
Workplace Inspiration

How to Get a Rustic and Urban Aesthetic Office with Industrial-Style Furniture

|Dec 4, 2023

Designing your office layout is more important than many people think. It’s not just buying a few ergonomic chairs and office desks, as the looks of your workplace are essential for ensuring you can be productive while you are there. If you don’t know what aesthetic to choose for your office, let us introduce you to industrial-style furniture.  

Industrial interior design gets inspiration from industrial and manufacturing buildings, and it uses natural and minimalist decorations to give the place a unique vibe. While many people don’t know what furniture industrial design is, others want it but don’t know how to get it for their offices. We are here to help both types of workers. 

Dive into this page to learn everything you need to know about industrial design furniture and how to get it for your office. You can find similar blog posts on the Autonomous website, so check them out after you finish reading this one.  

Overview of the History of Industrial Interior Design

If you want to get industrial loft-style furniture for your office, you first need to learn more about where this movement comes from. Some would think it’s something modern, but it also started between the late 19th and early 20th centuries after the Industrial Revolution started to gain popularity.  

Although people nowadays go for furniture industrial design because of how appealing and unique it looks, it was actually the opposite in the past. People used raw materials, such as exposed pipes or ductwork because they wanted to prioritize functionality over aesthetics. This trend started in a few countries in Europe and the United States.  

When industries started to grow, they needed places where they could start working as fast as they could to avoid getting outsold by their competitors, so they started to build them with brick, steel, concrete, and other materials that were quickly available and affordable at the time.  

We could say that the Industrial Revolution was the beginning and first inspiration for industrial-style furniture, but it’s certainly not the only one. Around that time, the Bauhaus architectural system started in Germany. It consisted of not only having a functional interior but also one that was visually appealing for both workers and clients.  

Design-wise, the Bauhaus style used simple resources and designs with lines and other geometric shapes. However, architects and workers only used designs like that for offices and manufacturing buildings, not houses.

Overview of the History of Industrial Interior Design

While industrial-style furniture had already existed in the United States by that time, it wasn’t that popular until the mid-20th century. That happened because manufacturing industries started to fall, and on the other hand, urbanization got more people each day, so industries needed to turn factories and warehouses into residential lofts and apartments to reduce their financial losses.  

Around that time, you could start seeing things such as industrial-style office chairs used for living rooms or tables made of other raw materials. The whole aesthetic got to its peak in the 1970s and 1980s, when restaurants, offices, and retail stores started to use industrial-style furniture because of how affordable it was. 

As you may already know, minimalism is now trendy, and it has had a lot of influence on the interior design trends for both residential and commercial spaces. That came with the use of sustainable materials and technology to make those spaces more functional, which allowed industrial-style home furniture to rise again. 

What Are the Main Characteristics of Industrial Design Furniture?

After reading where this whole movement comes from, you should already have an idea of what a modern industrial office design looks like. Nonetheless, we want you to know deeper characteristics of what makes an industrial office layout one.  

Here are the key features you need in this interior design style:   

Use of Raw/Unfinished Materials

The reason industrial desk accessories and furniture pieces are often affordable is that they are made of raw and unfinished materials, so industries either give them away for free because they don’t have any use for them or sell them at low prices. That includes brick, concrete, steel, and even exposed wood.  

You will almost always find these materials in their natural state, so they won’t have any finishes or coverings. Although you can customize them to your taste, the appeal of this movement lies in using them how you get them.  

Focus on Functionality

Functionality and utility are the core of industrial furniture style, so you should keep them in mind when designing your office. That doesn’t mean taking aesthetics for granted, though; the influence the Bauhaus system gave this movement led it to find a balance between functionality and looks.  

It’s common to see exposed pipes and ductwork as part of the decorations of an industrial design office setup, and while people may have thought that was not appealing in the past, new generations see an interesting yet beautiful appeal in that. That contributes to the cost-effectiveness of trying this type of layout for your workspace, as you don’t need to spend money on covering those things up.

Focus on Functionality    

Use of Industrial and Natural Lighting

There are various ways of illuminating your workspace with industrial-style home furniture. You first have the natural lighting approach, which comes in open workspaces with big windows that let sunlight get into the office. This is excellent if you want to stay connected to the outside or often feel trapped in closed spaces.  

On the other hand, people also used industrial lighting to keep the place full of light at night or in more closed spaces. This consists of using exposed Edison light bulbs or metal pendants. Some workers even hang several lightbulbs together to create something similar to a chandelier.

Use of Industrial and Natural Lighting

Use of a Neutral Color Palette

You will never see an office with industrial furniture using vibrant colors that are too flashy, as that involves the use of more processed materials and not raw ones. This is one of the reasons people think these places are often dark or cold, but they only have a neutral color palette.  

If you want to buy industrial-style office chairs or other furniture pieces for your workplace, you should look for black, white, and gray pieces. Neutral brown furniture also works.

Use of a Neutral Color Palette

Why Should I Go for Industrial Style for My Office Furniture?

The main reason people go for industrial-style furniture is that it’s way more affordable than other furniture pieces. As we mentioned before, that’s due to the materials used for it. Many of the products you will buy for your office may even be reused from other houses or factories.  

Since these materials focus on functionality and utility, they are more durable and sturdier than others. Factories and warehouses can’t afford to replace their furniture every two months, so they only buy products that will last for long. Hence, getting pieces made of materials, such as steel or concrete will help save money on repairs or replacements.   

If you struggle with productivity, you will find industrial loft-style furniture helpful, as working in an open space with less structure can help you focus without feeling trapped in an office. Creative companies often try this type of office layout because of that.  

It’s also worth noting that industrial-style offices are highly customizable, so you can change anything you want about them at all times. Making those changes shouldn’t be too expensive, either. Regardless of that, make sure the changes you make don’t take you away from the core of this movement.

Why Should I Go for Industrial Style for My Office Furniture?

Tips on Designing an Industrial-Style Office Space

We understand if you are excited about turning your office into an industrial-style workspace today, but you shouldn’t rush things. Although it’s affordable to do, changing your office layout to an industrial one is not easy, and you need to keep many things in mind if you want to truly get the vibe you are aiming for.  

Following these tips will help you a lot during the design process:  

  • Stick to a neutral color palette: People often want to try different colors to give their personal touch to the whole place, and while that’s okay, it can make the whole process more difficult. Stick to a neutral color palette since it will make finding the items you need easier.
  • Add texture: One of the most appealing things about industrial designs is that they have many different textures around the place. Use different materials, such as leather and wood, to make the place more visually interesting for everyone.
  • Use open spaces: Working in a closed space won’t give you all the benefits that the industrial furniture style offers, so it’s better if you embrace open spaces and look for floor plans with minimalist furniture that follow that idea.
  • Make it greener: Although industrial offices help you stay connected to the outside, they often lack plants and nature-related products. It’s not a bad idea to make the place greener to soften how harsh industrial design can be sometimes.
  • Get repurposed items: Many people have a stigma around repurposed items because they think they are of low quality or that they are not good enough. On the contrary, these products are often more durable than others, and they are perfect for the aesthetic you want for an industrial office layout.

Tips on Designing an Industrial-Style Office Space

Where Can I Find Industrial Design Office Furniture?

The problem with trying industrial design office furniture is that it’s sometimes difficult to find a store that sells it. Many online shops even claim to have industrial design accessories in their stock, but they don’t meet the expectations afterward. We want to help you get everything you need for your new office, so these are five places where you will find what you are looking for: 


Although Autonomous doesn’t focus on industrial design furniture, it has many products in its catalog that could fit in an industrial office layout. Besides that, it has high-quality ergonomic furniture that will give you additional benefits in the long run.  

If you are looking for a leather executive office chair or a standing desk for your workspace, this is a must-go place for you. You can also find an industrial-style floor lamp there and other accessories for the whole setup.



You may be surprised to see IKEA on this list, but the truth is that this company has a wide range of products available in its stock. We are not saying that you will find thousands of industrial-style furniture pieces in there, but it has many interesting choices, such as an industrial TV stand or other options fit for residential spaces.  

Joss & Main

Something that makes Joss & Main unique is that it’s not an individual store that sells its own products but a retailer of many other companies. That makes it a place with a wide array of variety in design and price. Here, you may find the most affordable options on the list, so you should check it out if you are working on a budget. 

Joss & Main


FROY has a whole distressed furniture collection that features urban yet rustic products that are perfect for a modern industrial office space. This is one of the only options on the market that does have a whole collection dedicated to industrial design and not only a few products.   


While other stores focus on aesthetics, Arhaus wants to give you sustainable furniture pieces you won’t need to replace in the long run. Hence, it also uses recycled and repurposed items for its products, which is ideal for people trying an industrial office design.


Final Thoughts

Although industrial-style home furniture is unique and has a sophisticated scent other office layouts lack, workers often avoid trying it because they think it’s a cold or soulless environment to work in. That couldn’t be further from reality, but people think that way because of the dark colors and raw materials used for this office style.

The truth is that following an industrial furniture style will give you a cozy and warm place to work that keeps you connected to the outside and makes you feel like you are not just in an office but in a whole creative place for yourself. If you want to try it, you just need to follow the tips you read in this blog post.

Visit the Autonomous website if you want to buy furniture for your industrial desk setup or other office accessories!

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