By Cheree Scott
Office space can make a big impact on not just the way you and your team work, but also on how your clients view you as an organization. As human beings we pick up a number of non-verbal signals about another individual within around seven seconds of setting sight on that person. The same is true for clients who come into the office space you have created, as they form an image and idea about you, your ethos and your work ethic.
There is nothing worse than a messy and uncoordinated office when it comes to turning off a potential client. The impression will be that the person in charge also has this same approach, so why would anyone want to place their business in his or her hands? Read on for six themes you can use to style your office space that will pull together a coordinated look and give you that wow factor.
1. Monochromatic Look
Follow the guidelines set by your building; if it is in a modern space then pick up on this theme by using monochrome for a sleek look. Black and white flooring or engineered bamboo flooring, or white walls with a feature wall will make a big impact on visitors. Concealed storage space in black will hide away the office clutter, and add some key wall prints by Beardsley or a floor to ceiling black and white photograph, keeping the look minimal. Furniture and accessories can be rented or supplied by professional stylists, so if you want to change around the décor from time to time to keep that surprise factor, that is very easy to arrange.
2. Eco Theme
Plants literally breathe life into any living space, but don’t just make do with the odd potted palm on the side. Welcome your clients with groupings of foliage plants, screens made from natural fibers, or a rest area with an indoor water feature, and set the tone with green and white furniture and accessories. Use wooden furniture and tropical prints of exotic birds or beautifully colored flowers to get your rainforest theme across. If you know a talented artist you can also have a trompe-l’oeil or “trick of the eye” painting on one wall so it looks as though you are in the middle of a forest or by a waterfall.
3. The Industrial Touch
This is a really eye-catching look, particularly if you are in a converted industrial building or warehouse. Make the most of the bones of the structure and leave stainless steel beams and girders exposed. For older buildings, allow the brickwork to be seen and complement the look with burnished steel shelving, exposed light bulbs hanging in groups from the ceiling, and accessories in black and red for a very dramatic look. Ensure you follow through on the open plan design and have a kitchen/rest area where you can welcome clients with freshly ground coffee as well.
4. The Retro Approach
Bright colors of purple, orange and turquoise plus chunky plastic chairs and tables are making a comeback. For a retro look that harks back to the sixties, hang a Warhol print in complementary colors (or have your own brand incorporated into a Warhol lookalike), and add some translucent furniture to up the wow factor. Or go for the Rubik cube approach with blocks of color on walls, or stacked up as storage units each in a different shade to make a big impact. Over-large lamps, retro tea and coffee sets, and other pop art poster items will help pull this funky look together.
5. Cool Nordic Designs
Scandinavian styling never goes out of fashion, and white and blue tones will open up any office space. The trick is to pick what usually is a very staid and boring storage piece, such as racking, and turn it into a focal point. It then becomes a work of art in itself. Add in spots of duck egg or bright blue against a white background, along with slatted screens for privacy between workstations and meeting areas, and you will have achieved the Nordic wow factor.
6. The Classic Option
Understated classic interiors never fail to impress. Choose furniture with an antique finish, and pick up on the theme with comfortable leather chairs, writing desks and a bookcase for the “gentleman’s club” look. Or go for paisley or regency stripes, hanging lamps, and down lighting for areas of interest such as a featured print.
For a lighter modern approach, choose a “Toile de Jouy” wallpaper in pale grey, mint green or rose pink for one main wall, and accessorise with chairs, curtains or blinds. Choose areas to display ornaments such as a group of vases or porcelain ware with soft lighting, and cover radiators or pipework with painted box work to create an area of calm.
At the end of the day, there are so many ways to style your office and if you are not sure what will suit then speak to a property stylist. A professional will bring a fresh perspective to what can be done to transform your office space, and you will be surprised at the impact a little styling can make!