Anyone starting up in business will have the eagerness and enthusiasm to really want to make every little detail count and getting those first few details right all the way across the board is so important because that’s what you’re going to be putting your brand new best foot forward with.
Choosing a logo that speaks for your brand and rolling it out on to everything you do is a difficult enough process and possibly why the brand giants spend hundreds of thousands hiring the best designers to absolutely make sure they get it right. Well, the same goes for your office. It’s one of the first statement areas you’re going to have to stamp what your business means and how you operate; it says everything about who you are and what you want to be.
First – who are you and what are you selling?
Everyone’s selling something. Your brand has to reflect your product or your service, and your office has to reflect how you do that. Google’s headquarters are renowned for their wacky outlook whereas sports giants Nike and Adidas show an über contemporary hi-tech feel in all their events, promotions, pop-ups and brand stores, all to match the level of product they’re selling us.
Don’t just be smart – think smart
If you’re planning on being a financial consultant then you don’t want to try and match the wacky Google HQ interiors featuring indoor slides, table tennis tables, video games and the weirdest alternate spaces and seating you can imagine. You would want something that reflects your role and your business tone. Trustworthy, smart, classic and professional. Expensive woods. Brass. Chrome. Dress for the job you want and make sure your office does too.
Stand-out, but only if it’s relevant
Today’s start-ups in tech are the ideal business for a stand-out office space. If you’re proposing to work in technology, fashion, media or art then you’re in a great place to run with whatever you want – create a new way of doing things, but make it work for your staff and your clients while you do. You may even want to get creative with your location, we have seen many start-ups snap up metal buildings for sale across the UK and even in the US and building some of the most creative work spaces we have seen.
Gather pallets, driftwood, and old timber to reconstruct into desks, partitions, shelves and signage. Why not collect up all the plastic bottles or soft drinks cans to make a reception area? You can mix and match these items with contemporary clean office furniture to give it a quirk instead of simply presenting yourself amidst a load of old junk. It’s about finding the balance and making it work. It’s a massive market right now, the green pound is very strong because your company ethos reflects a kind caring business. Who wouldn’t want to trust a company with those values?
Plastic is cheap, bright and unmissable. You can make a real stamp in your office with mix and match lighting and lampshades in a variety of primary or day-glow colours, compliment them with accessories to match the same wash of bright colours and then tone it all down with a series of simple plain yet bright painted walls dictating the sectioning or the partitions in an open plan space.
Open plan spaces
The idea of the traditional office has been superseded in many contemporary spaces by workers cells or pods yet they’re on their way out too now with the even further contemporary start-ups using ‘anywhere’ as their workspace. Now that you pretty much are your office, with your Wi-Fi laptop and mobile phone making you pretty much relocatable anywhere at the blink of an eye then why not?
Fill the space with different desks, colour them however you want, pick a brand colour or a theme to run with to tie it all together and let your staff work from whatever part of the office ‘fits’ how you feel for that day.
If you’re in a position where you can do whatever you want with walls, doors and ceilings and aren’t tied into the fixtures and fittings remaining as you find them a really impactive way to stamp your brand personality on your space is to fill those walls with art.
Murals are huge, figuratively and literally, if you want to make a statement piece in your office. There are hundreds of talented artists and designers just waiting for a chance to help you fill that forty-five foot long wall with typography that speaks to your visitors, huge flowing friezes to soften a large space or something so in your face that it will never be forgotten by your customers, wherever they may go next. Working in tech? Get some robots up there. Media? Fire out caricatured film crews depicting how they’d perform in the real world at the heart of the action. Your artwork is as limited as your imagination – or your designer’s.
You can keep everything classic with some muted colours, or a few simple complimentary colours backed up with three or four shades of grey to keep it simple and smart. Theme your décor colour to your brand style. How does your business trade? Find items of furniture or accessories that support it and continue the look and feel throughout.
Unless you’re selling haunted tours any business space needs to be as well lit as possible. Flood your space with light. Don’t just consider how much light your workers will need but also the variety of ways you can present it. Hanging oversize retro bulbs are all the rage in every hipster restaurant and café right now but that doesn’t mean they still will be next year. Consider when to use coloured lights to add a touch of hi-tech and warmth, or when to cram a full set of Christmas lights into an oversize jar or vase to make your desk fit for a mystical frollick of fairies!
Be smart – research, research, research
Google will throw a million and one ideas at you. Search for interior office space, interior design, weird office décor, contemporary spaces and what you’ll get back will be a plethora of ideas giving you so many ideas you won’t know where to start. The most effective smart place to start however is with a designer. They’ve learned to do this properly. Their skills are proven and can show you myriad examples of how they’ll work for you. Put it out for tender. Get artists, designers and interior specialists alike to pitch their ideas and see which ones really reach out and grab you in a way you can see working for the message you want your new space to get across.
We live in an age of talent and media. We also live in an age where we’re not afraid to break the rules or make brand new ones. Mix old textures with new ones, clash colours, be brave, it’s yours for the taking, but only if you dare.
The one thing you must remember however is that whatever you show your clients, wherever you ask them to sit, and whatever giant octopus you might paint across your walls, if you don’t back those aesthetics up with an impeccable business model and a truly efficient service or an ingenious product, you probably aren’t going to be in that fancy new office space for very long.