Initial disclaimer. If you work at one of those fancy start-ups, this before and after might not be so impressive. I know, I've visited a few of these companies, and the interiors and amenities are unbelievable. However, if you work in a normal office without a Blue Bottle kiosk or a lego room, this post might be right up your alley.
I was asked to spruce up an office for an attorney. I used to work in an office similar to this one, though the view from mine wasn't half as good. Just to set the stage, the office here is as good as it gets even before I got my hands on it. This client keeps his office in impeccable shape, and I love it. I'm so glad no one ever will see the way my office looked when I used to practice. It wasn't uncommon for me to have 20 or so document boxes with many, many large binders against the wall - it was a hot mess.
I was happy that my client wanted to invest the money and time in making his office feel warmer and cozier. We spend so much time at work, often more than at home. I strongly believe you should put a high value on how you want to feel in your surroundings at both work and home. With a high value item, it only makes sense that you make an effort to improve and maintain it. Your surroundings don't define who you are, but they can certainly help you with your productivity and well being. Spending money on your workspace is just an investment in your overall happiness! Okay, enough of the preaching, here we go.
First order of business, this view. It's hard to make anything in this office look bad with a classic - even when foggy - amazing San Francisco view like this.
I can't turn away from that view...but we must, Here we go, down to the nitty gritty. With a few small and subtle changes, the overall look of the office was transformed. Here is the before of just an empty wall just begging for some art.
So we gave in, and put up some color and personality!
An improvement. No objections right? It's amazing what a gallery wall can do for a space. I brought a plant stand in to give some interest and modernity into the office. Since we were stuck with the existing office furniture, bringing something a little more current helped update the space overall. Ready for the next wall? Here is the before.
And here is the after.
There's movement, fun and interest all in this one wall. The client requested a dry erase board. I was a little hesitant to install one, purely for my own selfish reasons. They're usually not beautiful and they are very difficult to hide. Solution? I found this glass dry erase board. Doesn't it look amazing? And when it's not in use, you can say it's a part of the gallery wall!
On to the bookcase. This is not a home office, it's an actual office at a firm, so you want to keep things clean and professional. However, that shouldn't mean that you can't have anything on your shelves other than law school books that you haven't touched...since law school. I added just three items to this bookcase: marble tray, ceramic vase, and wire squares (my favorite). Again the additions were few, and changes were small, but the impact was big. Side note: five points for all you lawyers if you can spot the Chemerinsky!
Let's move on to where all the action happens. Here is a before of the desk.
Just your standard office fare. You can't really improve the look of a printer or monitor, but you can make changes elsewhere. See below for the after!
I changed things where I could to create a more cohesive and updated look, I replaced the black wire vertical/horizontal file storage with acrylic ones, switched out the tape dispensers and stapler with more modern ones, even updated the push pins - the plastic rainbow colored ones are just so sad. I gave the kleenex box a cover which sits adjacent to a similar white acrylic tray to keep things altogether visually.
The client specifically requested a retro table fan for air circulation. It was difficult finding one that was smaller so it was to scale, but my persistence paid off, and this one looks and works beautifully. My personal favorite additions are the wooden orbs. It's visual art in the midst of all these work accessories. Here is one last photo of the overall space.
And no detail is too small, love these coasters I sourced for the client.
I hope after reading this post, you leave with the desire to make your own office more enjoyable and pleasant. You deserve it! Even if you don't call on me for my help, you will find that a few small but impactful changes will boost your mood and productivity!