In the view of interior designer Heli Virtanen, there are two key questions to ask when planning an office interior: What is the desired atmosphere, and what kind of tasks should one be able to do in the office?
“Colours play a huge part in creating an atmosphere in any space,” says Virtanen.
Virtanen states that the way colours affect people’s mood should be taken into account also in an office environment. The effect of colours is individual, but Virtanen thinks it’s safe to say that fresh and energetic colours, such as green or yellow, work well in a space for creative work, and composed and muted hues suit a room made for focused tasks.
In modern multifunctional offices, different spaces benefit from the use of colour, enhancing the functionality of each space.
Color Now 2022 in an office environment
Virtanen thinks a ready-made collection is very helpful in design work.
“A curated colour collection makes it easy to pick current and matching colours. You can choose three or four to go with, and if needed, combine them with the company’s brand colours.”
Virtanen thinks Color Now 2022 includes colours that work for many different branches of business: it allows creating a palette both for a traditional company, such as a bank or a law firm, or something surprising for a modern and playful office. In some companies, colours that are too traditional wouldn’t make the right impression on employees or clients.
For a meeting room, Virtanen would choose calming colours, such as F466 Parchment or X447 Sea Smoke. The colors are light and have a Nordic feeling to them, but also bring some character to the room. For creative spaces, she would go for something energising, such as K396 Safari or S440 Silk Road.
The office entrance is often designed to be impressive. There Virtanen would use the gentle black X499 Licorice, which makes an exquisite impression, and is easy to combine with other shades.
For a phone booth, Virtanen would use the Color of the Year, L478 Kestrel, to make a restful atmosphere.
The Color Now 2022 collection can be used in furniture and other details, such as skirting boards, as well. If the overall look is light and tranquil, a pop of black, yellow or green will elevate the overall look.
A fresh way to design an office interior
At least in the Nordics, classical homes tend to be light and white, but in offices, colours are more welcome.
“It’s an interesting phenomenon. Many people seek safety at home, but an office is nobody’s home, so designers are usually more free to play with colours,” Virtanen says.
Of course, colours are also connected to the specific business and brand: the office interior needs to convey the right message. Not too long ago, many offices were painted using mainly colours from the company brand book. Virtanen thinks this design principle is giving way to a focus on creating the right ambiance.
“When the colours are right, the office is a comfortable place to work at, but it also makes the right impression on visitors. A thriving staff and a brand statement go hand in hand.”
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