Who says your offices need to be bland? Definitely not me. Being a creative I want my office to be a place that inspires my creativity, a space that I visually love and a space that works for me and my working needs so that I can be as productive as possible.
I’ve worked with a number of clients who have called me in to help them design well-functioning and visually pleasing office space’s and they’ve always loved the end result.
I’d love to share my design strategy with YOU so you too can create some wow in your office as well.
Step 1. Assess: Step back, look at your space with fresh eyes as if you haven’t seen it before and ask yourself these questions.
- What’s working?
- What isn’t working?
- What are you wanting to keep?
- What could you get rid of? (Don’t be shy with this step – the less clutter the better the outcome)
- Do you have the budget to add to your office so it functions better?
- What could you add, will it really bring value to the way the space functions?
Step 2. Plan: The saying ‘Fail to plan and you’ll plan to fail’ is definitely true here. Having a good plan will save you from wasting time and money. No-one wants to be dragging furniture around the room all day, instead, plan and then act. You also don’t want to get to the end of this process and think, it works but doesn’t look inviting or it looks great but I’m moving around more looking for things then I was in my previous layout. Planning takes a small outlay of time, but in the long run, it really pays off.
- Furniture layout. Work out where the best place will be for your desk and any other furniture you have, get your pen and paper out and sketch up some plans if this helps. Be sure function is top of mind as you do this planning, it’s all good and well the space looking pretty but if it doesn’t function well then, your productivity will suffer as a result. It’s important to consider ergonomics along with the various work zones you need in your office and then ensure that you have your furniture laid out to meet these needs. i.e. maybe you need a packing table to wrap, label and prepare for posting physical orders that you send out. Maybe you have a bad back so a stand up desk could be considered.
- Work out what your style is (if you don’t already know it) – Is it Contemporary? Traditional? Classic? Scandi? Industrial? Country? Eclectic? Boho? Etc…. Check out our free Style Guide here http://eepurl.com/cEqrHL to help you discover your unique style. Pinterest and Instagram are great inspirations to help work out your style too. Knowing your style will just ensure your office looks cohesive visually and be more impacting rather than be a hot mess of styles.
- Lastly, choose a colour palette. Stick to a maximum of 4 colours, choose colours that you love and that make you feel like working. It’s proven that colour does affect us psychologically so it’s worth thinking through your emotional response to your proposed colour palette to ensure you are going to benefit from the chosen colours. Examples could be white, grey, teal and small accents of soft orange or more dramatic…. Black, White, Green with small accents of red.
- At this point you could create a moodboard with all of the above which you can use as a guide to keep you from diverting from the plan. You can also research those extra furniture items that you need online and be sure that the sizes found will fit within your office space.
Note: There are many ways of creating a moodboard. It can be a big sheet of cardboard with magazine cuttings of your furniture and colour palette and other offices that are a similar style that you like added to give you a visual overview. It could be a Pinterest board. It could be a Word document with internet pictures dragged onto it with some text explaining your thought process to prompt you. It could be an A4 page where you have cleverly sketched up a visual that you can see in your mind’s eye. There’s no real right or wrong, just use it as a guide to keep you on path.
Step 3. Implement: Now for the fun part, time to move your furniture to the desired location, discard pieces that won’t add value to the finished function and look of your space. Use your moodboard as your guide, with your style and colour palette to keep you on the straight and narrow for the best result.
Step 4. Style: I know I said that step 3. was the fun part but this bit is too. This is where you can bring in your personality to the space. Hang some amazing artwork that you love, add some personal family photos to your desk, pop a table lamp on your desk (that’s right I said table lamp, you don’t have to use an office desk lamp – change things up), swap out your office chair for a chair you love maybe it’s a dining chair (provided you don’t sit on it for hours) or maybe you’re like me and have re-upholstered an office chair in a fabric you adore. This is the step where you can think out of the box, break rules and get your creative on. Add a plant in the corner of your office. Bring in some accent chairs for visitors if you have the space, don’t just use normal office chairs again. Pop down a floor rug that you love. If you have the space, create a sitting nook for you to enjoy some time away from your desk.
Step 5. Make changes: Now use your space to check that it is functioning well. Is it ergonomically sound? Are your regularly used items (price lists, catalogues, pens, stationary) easily accessible? Do a clutter audit, can you throw more out? Do you really need that 2012 bunch of magazines? Do you really access everything that you have in your filing cabinet? Is your desk clutter-free? Consider storing required paper vertically rather than horizontally as it can easily be seen, and takes up less space (maybe A4 folders could be a solution). You really want to be thinking about how you use your space, i.e. when you are on the phone, can you easily access pen and paper, your computer, diary/calendar etc….. or when you are filling an order, does this zone work well can you locate your packing materials, packing tape and scissors, address labels easily? Are they all in the one workspace?
You will be amazed at how easy it is to personalise your office space and how re-designing it to function well will improve your productivity. Now what are you waiting for, it’s time to get to work.