8 interior design trends for your office walls

In today’s job market, attracting and retaining employees is key to keeping your business running at its full potential. Since people spend the majority of their waking hours in the office, corporations are making it a priority to make their office spaces as welcoming and pleasant as possible for their staff and visiting guests. As you look to improve your office space, here are eight design trends to take advantage of:

Bringing the outside in

Especially in Wisconsin, where the winters can be harsh and employees spend the majority of their day inside, companies are trying to bring the outside in, through use of nature imagery and other “natural” elements. This can be especially useful in rooms with no windows or natural light sources. Scenes of nature can help reduce stress and make workers more productive.

Diversity

Companies on the leading edge of diversity and inclusion efforts are making sure that even their environments are representative of all cultures and backgrounds. For example, Summit Credit Union’s headquarters includes a “Hello wall” with greetings in more than 40 different languages.

Layers and dimension

Rather than just a flat wall with paint or wallpaper, a growing trend is the use of many layers to create a dimensional effect. This entrance to the Kohl Center uses paint, vinyl, a plastic hex pattern topped by custom-cut letters, and logos to create a multilayered scene that is much more visually appealing than a flat graphic.

A sense of grandeur

If you have an especially large space with high ceilings or a long staircase, this is where you can create a sense of grandeur. Go big and bold to create a “WOW” space for employees to show off to visitors. These four-story staircase graphics were printed on a chrome wallpaper to make the stars shine within constellation patterns.

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Relaxing spaces

Often forgotten are small, quiet places where employees can go to take a break from their work for a few minutes. Rather than just leave them a choice between the restroom or the cafeteria, offer a bit of respite within your office walls for a chance to rejuvenate.

Privacy

Long gone is the design trend to put conference rooms in a “fish bowl” — a room with walls of glass where passers-by can stare awkwardly at the people hosting a meeting inside. Partially transparent window films can create enough privacy for the meeting attendees, while letting outsiders still know that the room is occupied.

Wellness

A new benefit that has recruits excited about working for a company is dedicated spaces for health and wellness, like a company gym. Knowing they don’t need to shell out money for a local club membership and can conveniently exercise before or after work is a perk that can differentiate your company in the local market. Make sure this space is clean and inviting — nobody wants to work out in the dark and dank basement.

Brand history, culture, and values

Your walls can speak! They can help communicate your company’s history, mission, and values. These walls can remind employees of company culture, or be used for visitors as a tour point of interest. Palmer Johnson Power Systems created this history wall featuring equipment and photos of important points in the company’s growth.

Eddie Mason is the art director at Suttle-Straus.

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