Img: Decoist 
We’ve written previously about the effect that colour can have on mood in the workplace. Cool colours like blue and green inspire feelings of calmness, while warm colours like red and yellow can be overwhelming and poignant. When it comes to implementing colours in the workplace, one must consider the innate qualities that are bound to the colour. Red creates drama, so painting all four walls red is a recipe for skittish workers and alarmed clients; however, painting a stripe of red as the backdrop for a centrally-placed reception desk or particularly fine painting can create visual interest. Careful placement and a light touch are tantamount to good design in a workplace.

What is the rule when it comes to patterns?   

To some there is nothing as enticing as heavily-patterned wallpaper or a striped effect paint job. Patterns of any kind are highly-demanding visually which is why, in small doses, they can be so pleasing. Patterned surfaces are much like the colour red: dramatic. As such, patterns in the workplace can disturb the office workflow. A striped wall may tie your dining room together perfectly, but won’t do for an office. If stripes are in a person’s line of sight for too long they can cause headaches. Steer clear of large patterned areas (i.e. walls), but do try to incorporate patterns in small office accessories or as a focal point.

Img: Internet Home Alliance
The bottom line: don’t overdo it with patterns.

That said, do incorporate patterns into the workplace. Varying the textures in the workplace will create sensory balance. Rather than living with the visual monotony created by a clustering of desks, uninteresting flooring and blank wall space, add some interesting decorative pieces.
  • Pick out some fun pillows and rugs of unusual material.
  • Incorporate funky vases and fill them with hardy plants (this will actually help your office in the long run).
  • Stock the lobby with some relevant books for clients or employees to peruse.
  • Don’t forget to hang artwork that goes with your design! You can even make a fabric wall customised to match your office. Better yet, upholster some chairs in a striking fabric.
  • Use patterned tape on surfaces that cannot be changed, like file cabinets, monitors, door frames, desks.
Incorporating patterns into the otherwise technological and lifeless office space can really add personality where it is lacking. 

Jacqui Litvan

Jacqui Litvan, wielding a bachelor's degree in English, strives to create a world of fantasy amidst the ever-changing landscape of military life. Attempting to become a writer, she fuels herself with coffee (working as a barista) and music (spending free time as a raver).
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