What to Keep on Your Industrial Desk (and How to Personalise It)
Since the pandemic, more Brits are working from home than ever before. For many of us, it's a new experience.
Survey results show that 56% of respondents have been working remotely for less than a year.
If you've suddenly found yourself working from home rather than in the office, it can be tempting to just establish yourself at the kitchen table. But after a few months of this, it's our guess you invested in a desk setup.
And if you're anything like us, you chose a gorgeous industrial desk to grace your space.
An industrial desk is the antithesis of sterile, mass-produced office furniture. It's as far away from cubicle vibes as you get.
But, styling an industrial desk can be a little challenging. Once you've brought your new piece home, you'll fast find that most "office-y" and stationery items don't look cute on an industrial office desk.
If you're starting to feel like you can't seem to carry the industrial aesthetic over to your desk styling—we're here to help. Sit back and read on for some serious industrial desk styling inspiration.
A Desk Lamp
One of the first styling items we'd recommend is an industrial desk lamp. The right desk lamp will not only look good, but it will also give you a source of task lighting.
If you're mostly working on a screen, you might not need direct task lighting. In this case, you can simply use your desk lamp as a source of mood lighting.
Besides giving you a source of mood or task lighting, a desk lamp can also help give your desk styling some height. This adds dimensional interest and can help prevent things from feeling flat and basic.
If you want something with a bit of height that won't take up to much real estate on your desk surface, we'd recommend the Industrial Steampunk Desk Lamp. With its vintage looks and steampunk detail, it simply oozes industrial feel. You can also easily adjust the head.
If you're after an exposed bulb look with a lower profile then check out our G-Clamp Cage Light, it offers easy and convenient task lighting with an unusual design that's every inch industrial.
On the other hand, if you don't want a clamp lamp, you can also place a table lamp on your desk for height and task lighting. It can be tricky finding an industrial-style table lamp—and a traditional table lamp picked out in chintz won't do—but we've got you covered.
The Vincent and Barn Max Table Lamp in bronze is the perfect lamp to compliment any industrial-style desk or side table.
Finally, if you don't want to place a lamp on your desk, but still like the idea of extra visual height and mood lighting, you can also consider placing a floor lamp next to your desk.
A Desk Tray
Desks can get cluttered fast, and the best remedy for combatting the cluttered look is to coral items into a tray. A tray can help you contain smaller decor elements and functional items like notebooks and other stationery.
Of course, if you're styling an industrial desk, you definitely don't want to plop an acrylic tray on its surface. Instead, opt for something with an aged, vintage flavour, such as this 2 Tier Industrial Style Black Desk Tidy.
You can also scour your workshop for a small wooden crate or steel container that you could clean up and repurpose into an industrial-style tray for your desk.
A Filing Tray
While we're on the topic of trays, another highly functional item you might want to add to your desk surface is a filing tray. Unless you've gone totally paperless, your desk is probably a landing zone for every bill, brochure, and form that comes your way.
Most of us don't have the discipline to file everything the moment it hits our desk. Instead, these papers usually pile up until that rainy Sunday when you finally feel enthusiastic enough to pull out the paper punch.
Loose papers are a recipe for an untidy desk. If your desk is usually strewn with papers, fliers, and general sundry—don't feel bad, this could be a sign that you have a creative mind.
However, you know what they say. An untidy desk can make for an untidy mind. To help get your desk and your thoughts straight, something like this 3-tiered antique brass filing tray could be the perfect solution.
A Pot Plant
Plants are a great way to bring life into a space. They can be especially valuable in industrial design. Plants can help inject freshness and subtle colour and counteract any feelings of "dustiness" that can creep into industrial decorating themes.
To top it off, houseplants even have health benefits, with studies showing they can reduce fatigue, blood pressure, and headaches.
What's more, you don't have to be a houseplant fundi to keep a plant on your industrial desk. Just make sure you choose a hardy, easy-to-care-for plant that's suited to low-light conditions.
Ferns can be a good choice for industrial design. Succulents are very easy to look after and come in a lot of interesting shapes. Rubber trees are one of our personal favourites for industrial interiors.
Their moody tones of dark, dusty green, undercut with hints of burgundy mimic industrial colour palettes, and they have a visually impactful leave structure.
For a final option, snake plants are uber-popular nowadays, and are also one of the easiest indoor plants to take of.
Whatever plant you choose, you'll also need to make sure you pair it with the right pots. For a slightly eclectic touch, you could try something like these vintage-style ceramic Dutch pots.
A Leather Desk Pad
Do you want to feel like a modern-day version of one of the main characters in The Great Gatsby every time you sit down at your desk?
A lot of opulent, classic desks used to often have an inset leather padded top. If you want to marry this sense of luxury and impeccable taste with industrial design, a leather desk pad is a perfect way to do it.
A leather pad will add dimension to your desktop. It will also protect the surface of your desk, and can even negate the need for a mousepad. Most mousepads don't fit the industrial design aesthetic at all, so having a leather desk pad that can allow you to ditch the techie mousepad can be very useful.
A leather desk pad can also help to visually define the work zone of your desk and make your keyboard and mouse feel like they have a designated place.
Get a Great Pen
Ah. That feeling when you put your new industrial desk in place, style it with a few decor items, and then stock it up with some stationary.
Except—when you step back, you realize that those disposable pens aren't doing any justice to your beautiful desk set-up.
If gaudy-coloured Bic pens are ruining the look of your industrial office desk styling, we'd recommend you invest in a really nice pen, and a few simple pencils. A good pen, like a Parker ink pen, won't just look amazing on your desk. Good pens are also just downright nice to write with and last far longer than disposable pens.
Here at Vincent and Barn, we are all about reusing and reducing waste, which is why many of our furniture items are made from reclaimed wood.
If you can buy a beautiful, high-quality pen, and refill it for years instead of throwing it away, we'd say that's money well spent. At the same time, that classy pen is going to be the cherry on top of your industrial desk.
Invest in a (Mature) Note Paper Holder
Unless you're a digital note app convert, chances are you're going to need some notepaper on your desk. To turn your notepad into a stylish element, you might want to look into getting a square notepaper holder.
To tie this piece into your industrial design scheme we'd recommend you once again skip the acrylic options. Instead look for materials that fit the industrial theme, such as leather, metal, or dark-toned wood.
If you like to set the mood and add a calming element to your workspace, you can also style your industrial desk with a candle. For a sensory experience, you can opt for a scented candle. Some fitting candle scents to set the tone in an industrial-style office are frankincense, rosemary, and pine.
Alternatively, if scent is not your thing and you'd rather opt for something a little more unexpected and vintage, you can also look for an oil lamp to use as a styling piece.
Are You Also on the Hunt for a Beautiful Industrial Desk?
Styling an industrial office desk with run-of-the-mill stationery and office items can easily ruin the look and make your space feel disjointed.
Now that you've read our list of what to put on an industrial-style desk, you're all set to decorate it like an interior design pro.
Unless of course you still need the desk itself?
If you're on the hunt for an authentic industrial desk, we can help. Here at Vincent and Barn, we specialise in artisan-crafted, handmade, highly-quality industrial and rustic furniture pieces.
Browse our collection of industrial desks to find the perfect piece for your space.