What makes an office a really productive place to work? Light. Yes, bringing as much natural light into a space has recognised benefits for creativity. Colour. Yes again, choosing colours that both reinforce your branding whilst creating a positive environment can bring a team together.
The most often overlooked design feature in most office schemes is that of texture. This works on much the same basis as colour and light in that it appeals to human senses. If you get it right, a workspace becomes a sensory environment that brings out the best in your staff and your business.
Don’t overdo it though! We’re not talking carpeted walls and furry light fittings. It’s quite possible, indeed desirable, to add enough texture to make a space feel welcoming and interactive whilst still maintaining that modern, slightly minimal style that is so current for office space now.
The key to achieving successful textures in an office space is in contrast. In a space that commonly contains multiple screens and elements of the metallic, search for design features that highlight natural and tactile elements. Try to avoid the layout of your space becoming too uniform and encourage the personalisation of workspaces.
Fabrics aren’t just for the home. Nor need they be extravagant: we don’t expect offices to install plush red velvet drapes all over the place! Consider softening breakout, social and reception areas. Sofas, cushions, even bean bags are a great addition to a working space. If your office floor is carpeted, this can be the last thing to receive attention. However, a floor makes a real difference so it is worth moving up your list of refurbishment priorities.
Greenery brings the outside in, and it is clear that contact with the outside is beneficial for mental health. So for meeting rooms, a large ferny feature stops the space from feeling claustrophobic. Individual desk plants will thread greenery throughout the entire office space and help to individualise workstations.
Interactive screens may not offer a physical texture contrast, but the ability to alter and change appearance is a fantastic feature for reception areas. Using this technology in your reception design has practical benefits for directing activity flow and providing updates. It can also give conceptual texture by varying the focus and design of an area.
This material is a great source of texture. With finishes from smooth to rustic and such a huge array of woods out there, the possibilities are endless. Consider a natural wood floor to give a great contrast to minimalist walls. Bespoke carpentry within your office space is both functional and tactile. These items can provide a variety of surface types and unusual lines. Curved desks, obtuse angles and staggered shelving all bring a sense of depth to your office space.
We don’t mean situating your loos in the middle of an open plan space! By utilities, look at pipes, air flow ducts and beams. This utilitarian, stripped back design scheme naturally highlights different textures from metallic to concrete. These are the natural characters of a working building – they look great because they are functional. But beware: these aspects of the building should still be maintained and treated to prevent damage.
Use of glass within an office design does not just serve to dissipate natural light for illumination. Light enables the highlighting of texture. It falls differently on contrasting surfaces, which hold high or low levels of reflectivity. It is this reflectivity that holds the power to increase the perceived size of a room.
The most clever use of texture and depth for an office space is all about controlling the chaos. Complexity within a working environment can inspire creativity so a great design should use textures to tread the line of the chaotic without tipping over it. Achieve this and you will find a really inspiring area for work.