Did you know April is National Decorating Month? Between this and the onset of spring (and all the spring cleaning that comes with it), it’s a great time to think about refreshing and sprucing up your office. But not everyone can be a design guru—so what are some easy ways to update the look and feel of your office? We reached out to our own design guru and got 5 great suggestions from Michelle Boolton, Director of Design for Staples Business Advantage Workplace Studios.
Tailor your space through better organization. “Many times, when people respond to and like a space, it’s because it looks tailored and refined,” says Michelle. “It’s all about organization.” To tailor your space, she suggests uncluttering and organizing your office and getting a good storage system.
Organizing? Uncluttering? Sounds boring. But it doesn’t have to be boring, according to Michelle: “Storage doesn’t have to remain hidden,” she says. You can choose what works best for you and your office, whether it’s neat, organized storage in a closet, or whether it’s a multi-functional piece that makes a statement with color or personalized content. The biggest key is providing (and maintaining) a well-intentioned home for items that serve a real day-to-day function and letting go of the rest.
Tell a story with art. “I can’t tell you how often we walk into a client’s office and see a ten-dollar frame with an inspirational poster in it,” says Michelle. “And that doesn’t speak to the business, or to any of its employees.” Her advice? Pick up some frames that are cohesive in size and style, and use them to display inexpensive prints with consistent content and subject matter that are relevant and personal to your business. “Artwork can transform a space and tell a story like no other,” she notes. And it’s versatile, too— you can choose artwork that resonates with your business, with the city you’re in, or some other customized touch unique to your business.
Reinforce your brand. “What’s the first representation of your brand that customers see when they walk in your door? What’s behind your reception desk or on your walls?” asks Michelle. The possibilities are endless, from big, intricate, constructed signage to something creative, affordable, and infinitely versatile like vinyl lettering and art. Graphics that reinforce your brand can include your company name or colors, or even images that evoke a particular feeling. “Get marketing involved for another perspective,” she advises.
Recognize the importance of accessorizing. “Adding a home element to the office is really hot right now,” Michelle notes of office design trends. And with most people spending more than 40 hours a week in the office, is it any wonder that homey touches like throw pillows, vases and plants are popular ways to add a little statement to your workplace? And they can be more than just decorative, says Michelle. “They’re a great way to infuse your culture and your brand into your space—you can use those personal touches to tell a story.”
Remember: little things matter. “Just because something needs to be functional doesn’t mean it can’t look good, too,” Michelle laughs. When’s the last time you looked at your trash cans, clocks, floor mats or other small details that just become part of the scenery? You may have stopped noticing them a long time ago, but these touches should be at least neutral and not an active detractor to the look and feel of your office.
Products shown from top to bottom: Way Basics Eco Stackable Modular Storage Cubes Plus (Set of 6), Orange; Trademark Fine Art 'Seattle, Washington' 30" x 47" Canvas Art; Uttermost Trailing Leaves Pale Yellow/Light Green Ceramic 2-Piece Vase Set, Crackled; RoomMates Morse Code Clock Peel and Stick Wall Decal, Black
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