40 Tips for Decorating an Office

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published February 22, 2021

Finding the perfect atmosphere to fit an office is an important part of building a comfortable work environment. The decorations you choose set the tone for your office through a blend of aesthetics and functionality. Knowing the different methods, styles and tools available to you can help you understand your options and how to best use them in your office. In this article, we list 40 decorating tips to help you build a comfortable and attractive workplace for yourself and your colleagues.

Why is decorating an office important?

Decorating an office builds a comfortable work environment for employees. Each office has its own guiding themes for its decor, but the goal is often the same: lift morale to increase productivity.

Eye-catching decorations help clients feel at ease while visiting your office. They can also describe your company's core values, establish work goals and highlight team accomplishments.

Related: 15 Examples of How To Increase Productivity in the Workplace

40 decorating tips for offices

How you decorate your office depends on your budget, available space and personal taste. To help you figure out ideas that work for you, here are some tips on how to decorate a professional office:

Optimize lighting

Choose a comfortable amount of light to guarantee your employees can read and complete their work. Big windows bring in more natural light and a vast array of lamp and light bulb options are available to help you find the right lighting for your office.

Go small

A minimalist style reduces clutter and maximizes space in your work area. Sticking to simple decorations, such as a well-placed frames with minimal color accents, offers a sleek, modern look to the workplace.

Choose a color palette

Many studies have found that different colors trigger specific reactions in people. Search online for the ones that fit your office best and use those as your base colors. Alternatively, pick the colors you'd prefer to see each day and build a decorative theme around them.

Make use of aromas

When decorating, account for all five senses. Some aromas calm, some enhance creativity. A soothing aroma can add comfort to your workspace. Using aromas sparingly and subtly will help prevent scents from becoming overwhelming or triggering allergies.

Let nature in

Plants and flowers combine attractive shapes, colors and aromas in a single decoration. Vary the types used or choose a few to repeat throughout your decor as a theme. Pick a plant or flower that fits your core values—such as a sturdy bamboo plant for an emphasis on foundational strength—to add extra emphasis to your branding.

Include words of motivation

Hang posters, prints or letter boards with motivational phrases and sayings on them to inspire you and your colleagues to do their best throughout the workday.

Determine your storage options

You want your office to be tidy, so choose storage options with stylish designs or colors that match your office theme.

Enhance your bulletin board

Rather than only pinning to-do lists or other notices on your bulletin board, use the display area as a framework for photos, motivational messages or other art. It can also double as a vision board when you incorporate visual representations of long-term goals, such as your dream corner office.

Personalize your space

Take ownership of your workspace with your favorite objects from home, such as:

  • Personal photos

  • Collectibles

  • A custom keyboard

  • Stuffed animals

Determine your ideal shapes

Play with the shapes of your decorations and create a theme using them. Some consider round shapes inviting and calming while squares and rectangles are strong and authoritative. Research which shapes work best for the aesthetic you desire.

Salute yourself

The wall space in your office is a perfect place to hang your degrees, awards and other honors to remind yourself how your hard work has paid off. Photos of moments of pride, such as being recognized by important individuals, can boost your morale while at the office.

Use peg boards and grid panels

Peg boards and grid panels offer a blank slate for aesthetic creation. These options also allow for infinite redecoration without causing further damage to the wall, offering the option to change whenever you like.

Find matching drink ware

Incorporate your daily water or coffee into your office decor by finding a cup, water bottle or travel mug that matches your color theme. Or simply pick out a few in some of your favorite colors and pick the one that best matches that day's mood.

Use an attractive planner

If you use a physical daily planner that sits on your desk, select one with a unique design or a boldly colored cover to fit your office aesthetic.

Hang a calendar

Find a calendar design to suit your personal tastes or color scheme. When shopping for a calendar, determine if the design is one you will enjoy seeing every day on your wall or desk.

Accessorize

Look for fun or colorful versions of notebooks, pens, computer mice or any other tools you use at work to either match your office decor or stand out on their own.

Related: 11 Types of Useful Office Supplies (With Examples)

Incorporate company values

Keep up your motivation by finding objects that reflect your company's core values. Pick the value you relate to most and use it as the basis for your decoration theme. Numerous websites offer personalization services you can use to create posters and other office items that state these core values.

Related: 36 Core Values that are Essential to the Workplace

Include your laptop

Cases, mice and mouse pads offer infinite choices for colors and personalization. If you own your laptop, stickers and other decorations can go directly on the surface to set yours apart from others and match it to your own personal work space.

Local pride

Whether restaurants, landmarks or teams, find something that reminds you of your favorite local places or figures. Put your local pride on display with photos, posters or memorabilia. Find a local artist you enjoy and add their work to your wall.

Represent your brand

Utilize the colors in your company's branding to create a decorating theme that is both attractive and focused on your work. Inspire productivity while instilling company pride.

Add a rug

Use a colorful rug as an accent piece or select several rugs to highlight different areas of your office. This is a helpful way to differentiate between segments of an open office plan, if you have one.

Hang canvas prints

Canvas offers a more mature look than a poster or a print. Select a favorite painting, something that caught your eye or use a website to print a custom personal image on a canvas.

Find unique furniture

Instead of traditional desks, lamps, shelves and office chairs, find versions with more unique designs that enhance your space and create a more interesting work area while remaining functional.

Add mirrors

Mirrors make the workplace look more spacious, can create a more dynamic lighting design in a room and offer a centerpiece for surrounding wall decorations.

Use dividers

Dividers can separate an office into different sections without disrupting the open floor plan. They also offer another surface to adorn with such decorations as glass etchings. Dividers work well for branded art or more motivational messages.

Create accent walls

While bright colors are attractive, some may find them over-stimulating. Compromise with an accent wall. Select one wall to paint a bold complimentary color to bring a more interesting look to the room.

Paint a mural

If you have a wall that's large enough, design a mural or hire an artist to do so for you. A mural can depict your values and accomplishments to instill motivation or offer a serene scene to add a calming effect to the office.

Use decorative trash cans

When it comes to well-designed decorations, no detail is too small. Consider the way garbage bins add shape and color to your office space and select ones that fit in with or offset the decor of the rest of the room. If you're going for a modern look, sleek, mechanical trash cans can enhance your space while remaining functional.

Color code your folders

If your work requires a lot of filing, try color coding your folders. Let each department have its own color, or separate folders by document type. Put bills in orange folders and client contracts in blue. This way, you're improving the folders' usefulness with an added amount of visual interest.

Incorporate your desktop

Use desktop backgrounds and screensavers to add color, personalization, branding or motivational messages into your office decor. This is something you can easily customize and change as often as you like.

Buy a cute coffeemaker

It's likely either you or your colleagues drink coffee regularly. When selecting a coffeemaker for your office, pick one with a more interesting design. There are many options, from rustic looks, to modern and vintage, all in various colors.

Use a dry-erase or chalkboard

Instead of bulletin boards, use a dry-erase whiteboard or chalkboard to create to-do lists or brainstorm ideas. Encourage colleagues and even clients to add their own art, drawings and words of encouragement to the board. Pick out multiple colors of markers or chalk to add variety to the artwork and messages.

Rearrange furniture

Arrange your desk and furniture in ways that add eye-pleasing dynamic symmetry or asymmetry to the office. Find an arrangement that is comfortable while maintaining a productive work flow.

Create an intriguing entranceway

When people visit your office, the entrance gives them their first impression of what to expect. Create an intriguing and inviting entranceway with decorations that celebrate your company and your achievements.

Find unique clocks

Clocks are office staples, but there is a wide variety of types, sizes and designs. Find one that suits your office. If your company has a global reach, include a display with several clocks denoting the time in different areas of the world. It's not only a visual representation of your office locations, but offers useful reference when in communication with other places around the world.

Get smart light bulbs

Smart light bulbs can shine in multiple colors and emulate different types of light. They can glow at a bright white or a more natural yellow tone. If you're going for a rustic look, smart light bulbs can even emulate the flicker of a burning candle or fireplace to bring that at-home feeling safely to the workplace.

Add a mini library

Bring some of your favorite reading materials into the office, whether they are placed on your desk hutch, a wall shelf or a small bookshelf. Books can provide a visual reminder of something that inspires you, or act as a conversation starter with a colleague. A library at work also provides a peaceful activity to partake in during your lunch hour.

Get cozy

Add a colorful blanket or a fluffy throw pillow to your desk chair. This makes your work environment feel more like home.

Get organized

Find unique ways to display your office supplies. For example, consider putting your paperclips in a wine glass, or your thumb tacks in a coffee mug. This is your chance to get creative. Try keeping office paper in a picnic basket or extra pens and pencils in a teapot.

Highlight art

If you or your any family members have a talent for art, display it for the other employees and clients to see. Whether something is created at home or commissioned, hanging art adds a personal touch to the workplace.

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