Whether you’re just starting out, or simply ready for a re-fresh, the most inexpensive way to create the biggest impact for your holistic office is through color and light. Below are a few tips and tricks to get you started.
If you’re looking to upgrade your office space, start with light. Lighting that varies will create a more comfortable and welcoming feeling. Make sure your light is not too bright. Remove bulbs in areas that need a more calm feeling and add lamps if needed. Change the switches so that each room or area is lit separately, to be able to have different spaces lit in a unique, non-uniform way.
Lighting pieces themselves can be decorative items, such as a chandelier. The light that comes out of that can create a decorative element as well. Instead of standard overhead fluorescent fixtures that drown out the space, try wall sconces, pendant drop lighting, recessed lighting, and adding lamps.
Light can be used to create different moods. When you have a lower level of light, such as in a Starbucks, people are inclined to talk quieter. When you have a higher level of light, such as at a WalMart, the noise level tends to be louder. The same light all over your space creates a generic feeling. This is what you will get with most white box office spaces – the same generic fluorescent lighting over the whole space. Make changes to your office to make it feel more attractive, which therefore gives your clients a better feeling about your services.
Lighting affects color as well. The picture above from Benjamin Moore’s website shows the same paint on the wall in three different lights—one being direct sunlight, indirect sunlight, and artificial light. People often use fluorescent light because of the cost, but there are many color options of the lamp itself, and the variation will change your color altogether. Full spectrum lights are as close as possible to daylight, which is what we recommend. Be sure and pick your paint color in the light that will be in your space.
Color is the biggest element used by designers, and also the least expensive design element.
In the business world, color is very important. The Institute for Color Research says “Research reveals people make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone.”
Colors create emotions, and the options are infinite. We start with the pure hue of a color, in its most primary form. We can create a whole new set of colors by adding white or black, or both. We call this the value of a color. Add black to the color to create a shade, and adding white to a color creates a tint. So a red tinted is pink, and a red darkened is a deep maroon color. The feeling from these colors is very different.
Intensity is another way you can change the mood of a color. You lower the intensity of a color when you add the opposite color on the color wheel, like blue and orange. As you mix colors together, the brightness of them starts to go down in intensity and it changes the way you feel about the color.
Think about the differences in the color blue used in the office pictured above. How do you react to these different shades of blue? How does each make you feel?
View our post about Customizing Your Office Colors to learn more about picking the right color for your target market and atmosphere.
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