The office: the often abandoned, red-headed stepchild of most design schemes. While the office tends to get more practical consideration than it does decorative care, the office may be the most important decorated space in a house. Here’s why:
If you are unhappy in your office, and you find your workday dreary, you stop going to the office, which can mean a reduced income and a reduced ability to decorate anything. Did you know that color affects your perception of a space? Additionally, color can even “color” (so to speak) your experience of a space. Instead of abandoning the office, make a few, simple color changes, and you can be on your way to office happiness and financial success.
What’s Your Problem?
When beginning to decorate an office space, list your problems in the office. For some people, their office feels distracting or overwhelming. Other offices inspire boredom or a desire to escape. Consider that any of these common workspace problems can be handled simply by changing your workspace’s color scheme. Choose colors that counterbalance the effect of the space. For example, if you are stressed in your office, choose colors that calm.
But what colors calm, or energize, or can be used to counterbalance problems?
What Colors to Choose
- Red: Symbolically, red represents aggression and passion. Red can tend to be hypnotic, so it is not recommended for people who are easily distracted, unless you use it on something you need to look at often and for extended periods of time. Additionally, don’t use red if you tend toward becoming overwhelmed with work.
- Orange: like red, orange represents warmth and strength. However, orange is not as extreme as red and is more tolerable for longer periods of time.
- Yellow: Bright yellow symbolizes health, joy and sunshine—use to counteract ennui. Darker yellows can symbolize ill health, so caution against using in spaces where work is strenuous or hard on the body.
- Green symbolizes growth and renewal, so use in an office space that tends toward boredom or stagnation.
- Blue symbolizes peace and tranquility. For this reason, use in stressful office environments. Because people in blue spaces tend to underestimate the amount of time spent in them, don’t use in spaces where “time is of the essence.”
- Purple represents religion and spiritual thoughts. While it can depress in large doses (avoid if work is boring), use sparingly to inspire calmness and serenity.
You Scheming Colors!
While individual colors can affect your mental state, color schemes also have power.
- Monochromatic schemes (only one color in the entire room) can become boring to some after a long period of time. These may be good for hyper workers who lack the ability to focus.
- Analagous schemes (using colors next to each other on the color wheel) are pleasing to the eye but not as boring as monochromatic color schemes. Analogous colors are useful in most types of offices.
- Complementary schemes (colors oppose each other on the color wheel) bring focus. Choose a muted primary color, then accent in a rich version of the complement (pale green with bright red, for example). Make sure the rich complement is only used on things you wish to focus on. For example, if you are constantly late for meetings, draw attention to a clock with a rich complementary color.
- Tertiary schemes (all of the primary colors or all of the secondary colors) can become too stressful on the eye. The eye doesn’t know which way to go. Only use if you find yourself hyper-focusing.
As you can see, with creative use of color in an office space, you increase focus, control your feelings while at work, keep appointments and rid yourself of pesky distractions. All of these result in a happier work environment and potentially increased success.