You have just moved into a new space, the furniture has been installed and all electrical and data requirements are completed. Your office is good to go and the team is excited with their new space. Several years later, the excitement is gone and something needs to be updated. You might not need a whole makeover, but enough to create something new, fresh and inviting.
I've worked on many tenant improvement projects before and in most of the projects, furniture was reused and all the client needed was a properly planned space with updated finishes, electrical and interior architecture. Our design team was expected to design the space within the building standard finishes and budget. At, we've featured a lot of well designed and branded spaces to inspire you to do the same with your space. But I know that it could be a challenge to update your space especially if the budget is really tight.

So here are 10 simple ideas on how to update your office. I made a few assumptions when I created the list: private and open office furniture will be re used, reception desk, break room cabinets, and most flooring materials will stay. Ceiling lights, acoustical tile ceiling, doors and window coverings such as blinds that are typically part of building standard finishes will definitely stay. Let's begin the walk through at the reception area.

1. Use digital image wall covering to convey what your company is all about.

In Greenbiz, a company that advocates sustainability through use of social media and information driven application, practices what they preach. Through the use of digital images of nature at a common area sends a direct and clear message of what the company is all about. 

2. Use custom artwork on your walls.

In Fracture a company that prints digital images on glass, installed custom artwork on walls as part of their workplace design. It inspires creativity and encourage to live and breathe the company brand. There are a lot of local shops like Blik and online vendors that offers custom artwork design, but you can use your own black and white or colored photographs that captures your brand. Logos painted on walls with interesting fonts and complimenting visual illustrations are original artwork too.

3. Add a conversational piece of furniture

A conversational furniture piece gives an instant impression about the workplace. The Turnstone Big Lamp at HopeFULL work place is not only a big statement piece, it also defines the space and creates an inviting and comfortable space for meeting and collaborating.

4. Use various types of flooring 

If the budget permits, you can add a different flooring material at the reception area. Common areas especially the reception provides the most impact and visibility of your brand and culture. Use materials like Flor carpet tiles for ease in installation, and flexibility in creating many different patterns for a more customized look. 

5. Make your conference room interactive

Update your conference room with more interactive media from something as simple as white boards and plexi glass mounted on walls. Mutually Human, a custom software software strategy & design consultancy specializing in mobile & web-based products & services, needed a space where they can express and illustrate their ideas quickly. By using these tools they are able to convey ideas freely, identify and solve problems quickly.

6. Use accent colors to brighten up the space

Add a punch of color by using accent colors on walls and office accessories like ottomans to complimented furniture and culture. It adds personality, dimension and brings a new life to the space. These opens the opportunity for the company to show off their space to their clients and conduct more businesses on site.

7. Add decorative lighting

Break room is another space where you can be creative. Add a few fun pendant lights such as these from Design Within Reach  to provide another layer of lighting and add interest in the break room. It also gives you an opportunity to create a more inviting and warm ambiance to any common area in your workplace.

8. Add color through chairs

Using colorful chairs can quickly transform a drab break room into a more inviting and fun space like at HopeFULL break area.  Those bright blue upholstered chairs compliment the neutral background and few accent pieces and as a result, delivers an upbeat atmosphere.

9. Organize office clutter

Although the idea of having a state of the coffee machine or the aroma of a freshly brewed coffee might be inviting, nothing beats a well organized and clutter free break room. Install shelves or storage like shown at Skype Sweden Office designed by PS Arkitekture, to clear out the clutter from the break room surfaces. Organization and neatness makes things easy to find, and encourages everyone to use the space even more.

10. Add recycling options

We are in the age of environmental awareness and social responsibilities are expected from each and everyone. You can start that practice by adding recycling station at break rooms to encourage everyone to recycle. A recycling station such as the Steelcase Victor2 Recycling Center eliminates the use freestanding wastebaskets and gives a much cleaner and integrated look.


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