Historical interior design

Retaining Industrial Elements In Your Cafe Or Bookstore

by Chad Brewer

If you are re-fitting an industrial space for use as a cafe or bookstore, it's great to reference some of the building's history in the fit out of the building. Try these tips to make your shop fit out stand out and your shop truly reflect its industrial history.

A funky name

A great way to reflect the history can be in the name of the shop. "The Daily Grind" for an old grindhouse, "Drip Drop Reads" for an old plumbing supplies or "Slow Cured Books" for a store in an old butchers - anything to reflect the history of the building.


When you are doing the renovations, it's wonderful to keep some of the surfaces exposed in their natural state. Look at ways that you can incorporate the texture of the original building, including leaving some of the old brickwork exposed or opening up the ceiling space to reveal some of the old brickwork. Even if some of the original structure cannot support weight, you can always look to commission a local artist to create a wonderful artwork out of the old industrial supplies. Having interesting visual structures can break up large expanses and help draw the eyes away from less inspiring features such as age related stains.

Interior designs

If your space has an industrial feel, you can include this in your interior design. While it may not be suitable to reuse some of the specific items from your site, you can find industrially inspired items from that time period in vintage reproduction stores. Equally you can spice up plain furniture with vintage, or vintage-inspired, furniture.

Research local stores from the era your store started and see if you can find some prints of your store, or a similar store, to hang inside. This kind of wall art can tie together your theme wonderfully. If you can find stories from patrons from that era, you can also turn these into plaques, which can be stuck on tables, shelves or walls.

A well researched theme that ties together the history of your property can help you to generate publicity for your building, and build up your customer base. Once your interior design job is complete, get updated photos of your store sent to media contacts and your social media streams to maximise the impact of your renovations. For more information or advice on fitting out your place, contact local shop fitters