Sheila Rich Interiors: Design Blog

Helpful tips and suggestions on designing your interior.

Let Your Office Décor Send the Right Message

b2ap3_thumbnail_Chiropractor-waiting-room.jpg“I knew the minute I walked into his office that we were on the same wavelength.”How often have you heard something similar to this? Before you speak one word to a potential client, your office decor has already spoken volumes about you and your business.

That long-lasting first impression can also set the tone for your meeting by either putting your client in a more receptive mood – or “reminding” him that he has another meeting across town in fifteen minutes.

Your office should greet clients with a comfortable atmosphere that represents your business philosophy. The colors and styles you choose have the power to achieve this ultimate goal.

For example, a client of mine is a chiropractor who wanted his office to reflect his holistic healing arts and create a feeling of calm, harmony and tranquility. At the same time, it needed to look professional while welcoming both pediatric and adult clients.

Colors are all-important and set an immediate tone: for this project we chose green, which is associated with health and healing, as well as a soft silver-gray, which is said to neutralize negativity and aid emotional stability. The small scale geometric pattern of the wallpaper reflects light and adds an energetic and inviting quality to the entrance. By using both paint and wallpaper, as we did in this office, you can create interest and depth.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Chiropractor-exam-room.jpgWhen an office consists of multiple rooms, it’s important to maintain a feeling of flow and continuity throughout. Neither styles nor color schemes should clash. Toward that end, the walls of each exam room as well as the doctor’s private office are covered in the same geometric pattern of a different soothing color. This not only adds interest, it also gives each room its own identity.

One thing to keep in mind when choosing wallpaper is to make sure the pattern doesn’t overwhelm the room. The pattern should be on a scale proportional with each room size so it enhances the room’s size and creates a comfortable ambiance.

Finally, neatness counts. If you have advertising brochures, magazines, informational pamphlets – make sure they’re organized neatly. An organized office space gives the impression of an organized business – something any client would appreciate.


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Corporate Office Interiors: Designing Beauty and Sustainability

A well-designed, eco-friendly office environment = healthier, more productive employees.

No one enjoys going to work in a poorly designed, messy, or unappealing office. It’s no secret that a drab, unhealthy work environment increases absenteeism and results in lower productivity.

This doesn’t need to be the case any longer. By updating offices with sustainable, eco-friendly products and good interior design, companies derive a double benefit – higher employee attendance and productivity, as well as lower operational costs.

In fact, in 2010, the American Journal of Public Health published the results of a study on the Effects of Green Buildings on Employee Health and Productivity which showed a reduction in stress, depression, and illness-related absences while also demonstrating an in increase productivity among employees “who moved from conventional to green buildings”.

How do you combine sustainability with good interior office design?

Sustainable decorating options have come a long way, and more new products are continually being offered. Here are a few ways to make your company’s work environment healthier and more attractive.

“Green” corporate office design.

Sustainable-Corp-Office1.  Go for eco-friendly sustainable wallpaper. Sustainable wallpaper is great for improving indoor air quality. You can find it in many different colors, patterns, and styles, from trendy to traditional.  Look for wallpaper made from natural fibers or recycled materials or anti-microbial papers that resist mold; colors should be made with water-based dyes.

2. Use low or no VOC paint. VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) create dangerous off-gassing that can last for years. VOCs can trigger asthma and other respiratory problems as well as allergic reactions. Lots of companies now make low or no VOC paints in a variety of colors and finishes – this is yet another way to improve the air quality in your office.

3. Try non-skid entry mats made from recycled plastic bottles (100% Post Consumer PET Polyester) inside and outside your office doorways. Greet clients with your corporate name and logo on these functional yet attractive mats that provide safe entry on wet days.

4. Parabolic lighting. Diffused and less harsh, parabolic lighting eliminates the glare and eye strain caused by other types of lighting.

Next add the employee-friendly design aspect.

Sustainable-Corporate-Office-2-6401. Open floor plan. Eliminate high cubical walls to help open up your office space. Make file areas easily accessible with enough traffic space when drawers are open. By keeping windows unobstructed, you’ll allow natural light to flow throughout the office and individual work spaces.

2. Lose the Ivory Tower. Today’s company executives want to be accessible to their employees, so consider putting the “C” level offices on the same floor as your employees. If possible, use glass walls to instill unity and an “open door policy”; when privacy is needed for meetings and phone calls, the door can be closed.

3. Encourage Teamwork. By lower dividing walls between individual work spaces, you’ll not only open the entire office up visually, you’ll also encourage teamwork. Employees feel more of a sense of unity when communication is easier and divisions are reduced. If your space permits, include a small conference table where spontaneous, casual meetings can easily be held.

An eco-friendly, sustainable, and well planned office design makes good business sense for your company’s bottom line - and for your employees. For more “green” office design ideas, click here.

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Corporate Design Considerations

Whether you run a small business or a large corporation, at some point your office interiors will need refreshing.  A well-furnished office with proper lighting can increase productivity, foster positive attitudes among employees, and create an appealing work environment.

It’s also a great time to consider using sustainable, eco-friendly products, which can benefit the earth, your business and your bottom line in multiple ways, including increased energy efficiency and improving indoor air quality. These benefits, in turn, can result in better productivity and fewer sick days being taken by employees. You may even be able to take advantage of tax credits.

Here are a few things to consider when renovating, upgrading, or updating your office space:

    • Eco-friendly paints and carpeting reduce or eliminate off-gassing and potential health hazards.
    • Wall coverings that meet indoor air quality standards with low VOC emissions, and are moisture, mold and mildew resistant further reduce or eliminate off-gassing and associated health hazards. Some of these wall coverings have the added “green” factor of being made from recycled materials,
    • Use Cradle-to-Cradle certified carpet tiles rather than wall-to-wall carpeting so you only need to replace individual tiles in high-traffic areas rather than re-carpeting the entire space. This is both eco-friendly and cost saving.
    • Install lighting with compact fluorescent or LED bulbs to reduce energy usage; parabolic fixtures are designed to diffuse light and reduce glare.
    • Having custom indoor/outdoor floor mats made with your corporate logo? Consider non-slip entry mats made from100% Post Consumer PET Polyester reclaimed from plastic bottles. Used both inside and outside of doorways for better traction on bad weather days, this eco-friendly choice reduces the number of non-biodegradable plastic water bottles in landfills.

For larger renovation projects or new offices, there are even more options:

    • Corporate-Office-DesignInstall double-pane windows with UV filters to reduce energy usage.
    • Upgrade HVAC system to maintain temperature consistency.
    • Use GreenGuard certified workstations – these very attractive options improve air quality are made from recycled products

Consider all areas used by employees

– don’t overlook bathrooms or break rooms, which are used every day. Specifying low VOC materials and Energy Star appliances in break rooms go a long way to improving air quality, lowering operational costs, and may offer tax incentives. Making bathrooms ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant avoids unnecessary future renovations and potential problems for both employees and visitors.

To find out more about GreenGuard certified products, visit their website:

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