Your office is more than a place you plop down with your morning coffee to grind out work. Sure, it needs to be a corner of the world where you can get work done.
But your office space should be a place where you can be at your best: creative, purposeful, and energized. An attractive, organized office will help you perform at your best. And it sends the right message to your colleagues over Zoom, or clients and business contacts you have over to your office space.
We’ve got tips for you to help you make your office space look more impressive. Whether you’re in a cubby hole off of the kitchen or a windowless office in a strip mall, make the most of your work environment. An impressive, well-put-together space lets the world know that you’re a serious, competent professional who can get the job done.
#1 Have a Theme
Choosing a theme simplifies the design process. Choose a theme you like, then pick a color palette. There are all sorts of tools online to find the perfect one. You can tie in an emotion. Warm and inviting, power and control, or calming and soothing.
If you’re a dignified attorney, a firm leather chair and mahogany tables can convey a sense of gravitas. At a spa, everything should convey peace and relaxation.
#2 Add Wall Art
Wall art can truly transform your space. A well-put-together gallery wall can give your office a sophisticated look.
Invest in art prints on archival paper (larger prints can range from $50 to $150) and get some quality frames. Hang up original wall paintings of neutral scenes (i.e. landscapes) instead of cheap-looking blurry images on thin canvas from discount stores.
Cheap-looking art lets your clients and associates know that you’re broke and unsuccessful. Or that you lack discernment and taste. No art is better than cheap art and less is more. One quality piece of artwork is better than several $9.97 finds.
Work in photographs of you putting your best foot forward – finishing marathons or at volunteer events.
#3 Showcase Your Credentials
Along with wall art, it’s a good idea to have an ego wall where you display your credentials, awards, and professional certifications. Limit this to just one wall though. You don’t want to look like a boastful jerk.
This is a good space to work in a bit of quirk. If your office is a stuffy, sterile space with lots of MD certifications, show off that trophy of you winning a pickle eating contest or 1996 D.A.R.E certificate. Those touches are charming and disarming. And a conversation starter.
#4 Professional Looking Furniture
Get professional-looking furniture. You don’t need to spend a ton but buy sturdy pieces. Drawers should open and close with ease. Paint and particle board should not (easily) chip. Angles on bureaus, desks should be perfectly square. Cabinets should be hung perfectly straight.
- Tall bookshelves and large file cabinets are professional and work with any design aesthetic.
- Don’t buy miniature furniture for small spaces. Your office will look like a dollhouse. Buy transitional or multi-functional pieces that can do double duty.
- Get a couch with clean lines, thick cushions, and durable fabric.
- Furniture should be clean and inviting.
Office supply stores and warehouses are great places to buy furniture for your office space.
#5 Add Decor, Yet Keep It Simple
Add decorative objects. An office with just a desk and chair and bookshelf looks a bit dead. But keep the decor simple and neutral.
Small Decorative Objects that Can Make a Big Impact
- Tabletop objects – geometric figures made of wood, stone, ceramic, or metal
- Small sculptural figures
And most importantly, don’t forget a touch of green. Go for real plants that are tolerant of the light conditions you have. Artificial plants can look tacky. Besides, real plants are cheap and they’re sold everywhere.
#6 Front Desk
If you have clients or associates over, get a front desk. A front desk is a great guidepost for all who enter. It immediately anchors the visitor so they know where to go – or wait.
If you can’t staff a front desk, you can place a sign directing them to have a seat or to call a certain number. You can also put a welcome bell there.
A professional-looking desk doesn’t have to be bulky or expensive. Many business supply stores and warehouses offer great options starting from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
There are lots of easy, cost-effective ways for you to create an impressive-looking office space. Follow our tips to create a professional and inviting space where both you and any visitors can be at their best.
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