leadforensics What’s the ‘defurb’ trend in office refurbishment all about | Oaktree Interiors

Think office refurbishment and the likelihood is that your mind will automatically latch on to creating vibrant new designs that will lead to the desired look and feel. But what if we told you that one of the fastest-growing office design trends is the 'defurb' –stripping back the interiors to their bare bones?

The defurb is a look and style that was originally popular within certain sectors; namely the media and tech industries. In recent years though, the trend has spread throughout the commercial property market, as corporates are now stepping away from their'standard' commercial buildings and instead, seeking out more intriguing'heritage' interiors when considering the styles of their fit outs and new spaces.

Why 'Defurbishing' is becoming a popular 'office refurbishment' technique

An office defurb is based on exposing and enhancing the original features of the building; transforming the office space by moving away from carpets, suspended ceilings, painted walls, the general 'corporate look', and reuniting the interior of the building with its original form.

It can be easy to say that the main reason behind such a move is to forgo the costs of fitting out office interiors with such things. The main reason is that stripping back to and enhancing the original features of a building may help to boost an employee's need for increased collaboration, providing a less structured approach to working; all whilst giving the workplace a strong sense of identity and appealing to the younger end of the workforce.

As good office design is becoming a promotional opportunity for businesses, an increasing number are coming around to the office refurbishment (or defurbishment) being a 'signature' of style and good taste; it is the mark of a company that is in touch with what its employees want and need, and is also forward-thinking and relevant. But why is this?

Heritage interiors tell an interesting story

Some of the most common defurb locations take place in buildings that were once warehouses, factories, mills and other industrial spaces; places that have a history and a legacy of hard work. These places have high ceilings, with exposed pipes and brickwork; standing as a reminder of the eras gone by, as the baton is passed to contemporary ways of working.

For many people, history is part of the attraction. It tells them that this is a company that values tradition, as they're incorporating it into their modern operation going forwards. Tradition,of course, evokes feelings of freedom, faith, integrity, responsibility, strong work ethic and selflessness; all attributes that are instantly attractive to any clients with work to push the businesses' way.


The appeal of going for a defurbishment is intensified by the creative opportunities it presents; it provides a business with the chance to restore a tired or dilapidated old building, breathing new life into it. Aside from having character and a window into history, such buildings can be said to be canvases that have been cleaned; giving the business free reign to shape the interiors around how they like to work.

It should also be considered that a building that is ready for an office refurbishment or defurb is in a better position to lend itself to the latest office design trends; with tonal and natural shades, as well as the usage of raw materials such as wood, stone and slate, being colours and materials that are fashionable right now. Not only that, but these types of building are usually more airy, with big window displays that allow for more natural light to enter the workspace.

There's financial benefits too

By going with a stripped back, pared-down office that exposes their surfaces, a business will find it much easier and cheaper to exit at the end of a leasing agreement. Any dilapidation bills charged by the landlord will usually be lower, as there won't be much to be done to the hard finishes (such as the brickwork) and there may not be any carpets or carpet tiles that need replacing.

Interested in learning more about an office defurb? Get in touch with our office design experts

If you like the sound of what an office defurb can do for your business, the team here at Oaktree Interiors can offer all the advice and help you need to make the best-informed decision when it comes to choosing the right office refurbishment style.

Having been operating within the industry for well over 30 years now, we have gained a unique insight into the effect that certain office design styles have on a certain type of business. Not only can finding the right design help to promote your company as a forward-thinking, stylish outfit to clients, but also as a business that does everything it can to ensure its employees are able to work in an inclusive, productive and fun environment.

Why not get in touch with us today to learn more?

Call our office design specialists today

For further information on how your company could benefit from an office refurbishment, please feel free to call us on 0345 21 86955. Alternatively, send an e-mail to hello@oaktreeoffice.com and we'll be in touch as soon as possible.

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