Office design was once all about a sense of unity and cohesion, with the same style used throughout the whole design. This approach certainly has its advantages, in that there’s little risk of getting it wrong. It can give a space a sense of clarity and reflect a connected identity throughout the office.
The disadvantages are that it can quickly become outdated and look obsolete. When that happens you will then need to revamp the entire design. This can be costly and disruptive and require wholesale removal of all kinds of furniture and design features.
Increasingly, workplace design is becoming more eclectic, but that doesn’t mean it’s a free for all. While eclectic design can be attractive and allow the shape and design of the office style to evolve over time, it’s easy to get wrong.
If you want to mix and match the design in your workplace, either through choice or necessity, how do you go about ensuring that it creates something that’s coherent?
Not Everything Needs to Match
There was once a dominant idea in office design. If you wanted your workplace to look coherent and professional everything needed to match. This reached its height in the 80s and 90s and carried on into the first decades of the 21st century.
Over the last decade, a more eclectic style has emerged. It values using what’s already available and repurposing it. Old buildings, perhaps once with an industrial function, are being repurposed into workspaces. These will frequently make use of some of the existing features of the building, such as exposed brick or light fittings.
Office furniture may be recycled and reused, with a new premium being placed on creating spaces that will last. The idea now is to reflect different styles and design periods in the overall design. Contemporary furniture can often work really well with older design influences.
Clashes Can Still Happen
Mixing office designs doesn’t mean ignoring design clashes. Not every design style mix will work. Sometimes the contrast will be too great, creating an office design that jars and might even be distracting.
Think about how different design elements will work together. The key to mixing and matching office styles and designs is to break out of the mindset that says everything has to match closely, moving to something that judges each potential combination on its own merits.
Brash and Bold Is Being Replaced by Calm and Nature
The trend for bright and vibrant colours splattered across office walls to make a statement is becoming a thing of the past as we move towards a more thoughtful and considered earthy colour palette with its roots in biophilic design.
With biophilic office design, natural materials, colours, patterns and light are brought into the office to enhance the experience of being in the space. Biophilic design is all about bringing elements of nature into the work environment. It’s based on the concept of biophilia which recognises humans innate biological need to connect with nature.
When colour is introduced, there is now favour for pastel colours in office design, creating that much-needed sense of calm in a busy office space.
Create a Unique Office Space
In many ways, this is a more difficult challenge than merely choosing a uniform design style throughout. While it’s easy to get it wrong, if you manage to get it right then the results can be highly effective.
Your office style and design will evolve along with your requirements and company ethos. It will reflect your company values and be unique rather than looking like an off-the-peg corporate design that communicates very little about your brand.
Eclectic, bespoke office design fosters a sense of individuality, loyalty and belonging among the people who work within it.
Get in Touch with Flow Office Design
If you’re short on ideas on how to achieve this, then we are here to help. The expert team at Flow Office have the experience and know-how to give your office space that unique feel you’ve been looking for.
Get in touch today and we’ll get those creative juices flowing!