Picking the right art for your office can be difficult. There's a lot to consider: What style do you want? What size? Where will it go? I've put together this Art Guide for you so you can make the best decisions for your office.
What look do you want?
Avoid the temptation to just pick something that “works” for your office. With this approach, you risk having a collection of artworks that are merely functional, but don't make the space feel comfortable and inviting. Instead, consider what “look” you want to create with your artwork. This can be formal or casual, modern or eclectic—it just needs to reflect how you want employees and clients to feel when they're in your space.
Pick your vibe.
If you’ve got the right art on your walls, it can help you feel energized, relaxed, or inspired. But if it makes you feel anything other than those things (uncomfortable, agitated, apathetic), then it’s probably not doing its job. That’s why it’s important to think about how you want to feel in your office before buying decorations for the wall.
Yes, that means thinking about what types of art appeal to you—but also how different types of art make you feel. For example: Do abstract designs make your brain buzz with inspiration and creativity? Or do they just seem like a big, splotchy mess? Do serene watercolor landscapes make you feel soothed and at peace? Or do they put you in a state of restless contemplation instead?
Remember: You are not everyone else. If the latest prints from leave your coworkers feeling energized and inspired but all they do is bore and confuse you… then maybe don't hang them on the walls of your office.
Consider adding color.
Consider adding color. Not only can it bring harmony and balance to an office space, but it also reflects your personality and helps create the environment you want. To start, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you need to warm up the room?
- Do you feel more energized in a cool or warm atmosphere?
- What's your favorite color? (Mine is blue.)
- What are the other colors that appear in your office decor?
Know your space.
- Measure the space available for artwork and select a piece that suits the dimensions of that space.
- Consider your lighting conditions; natural light will affect the look of a painting, as will different types of artificial light.
- Hang art at the right height; too high or too low can make it difficult to enjoy a piece of art and even awkward to enter and exit the room.
- What other elements are in the room?
- Don't let your art clash with other ambiance enhancers such as wall color, fabric prints, furniture style or flooring choices. Try to choose something that complements these elements rather than fights against them (subtle is better than bold).
Add natural elements.
One of the most popular ways to add interest to your walls is by including natural elements. Greenery, whether living or preserved, will bring a pop of color and texture to any room. They also have the added benefit of making small spaces feel larger. Large plants, such as fiddle leaf fig trees, can make a grand statement in a room, while smaller arrangements and succulents can create an interesting focal point on your desk or credenza.
With more indoor spaces being built every day, adding plants can greatly improve the air quality in your workspace. Research has shown that certain plants are very effective at removing toxins from the air like formaldehyde and benzene.
If you don't have access to natural light (a window) in your office space but still want to give indoor gardening a try, consider getting these low-maintenance varieties: jade plant, snake plant or cactus.
Stay in budget.
- It's crucial to set a budget and stick to it.
- Don't be afraid to buy art in bulk, especially if the higher quality works are out of your price range. With clients, try to find art that can be spread throughout the office without creating too much of a "samey" feel (and without creating a situation where you have more than one piece by the same artist).
- Don't spend more than you can afford on high-quality works that might not get seen or enjoyed very much, such as paintings featured in bathrooms and other less-trafficked parts of your office.
Keep it simple.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when selecting art for a space is to overthink it. I think this stems from the idea that artwork is somehow supposed to be “academic” or overly intellectual — in other words, you're supposed to understand and appreciate a painting in a way that's completely separate from your personal interests or preferences. But remember: art is personal! Your artwork will never be in an academic setting (unless you work at a museum), so there's no reason why it shouldn't both reflect who you are and make you happy every time you see it.
When choosing office art, select pieces that fit your personality and your space — but don't worry too much about how they'll be received by others. Remember: even if someone else doesn't like your art, they still have to look at it at least eight hours every day while they're working with you! If anything, having great artwork can be an icebreaker during meetings with clients or prospective customers — I love talking about my paintings with everyone who comes into my office, and I've found that most people are excited to talk about what strikes their own artistic fancy as well.
Pick art that reflects you and makes your space feel homey and comfortable for you.
We spend most of our lives at work, so we should try to make our space as comfortable and visually appealing as possible. Art can have a powerful influence on employees, who will be more satisfied when their office is attractive and stylish.
Not only does art add to the aesthetic of any room, but it also enhances productivity and creativity. Art stimulates conversation, which is why it’s important for companies to select art that will complement the unique business culture they’re trying to create in an office space.
Art is one of the best ways to personalize a corporate space and express a company's values or goals. The right pieces can help convey what your company stands for while making your office appear more welcoming and approachable. When clients or potential employees visit you at work, they'll see that you really care about having an inviting atmosphere where people feel comfortable being themselves. Whether you choose abstract paintings or traditional landscapes, there are many different types of artwork out there which can help show off your personality without breaking the bank!