Moody Hues: How Wall Color Can Affect Your Office Vibes

Mary Best
June 20, 2018

When it comes to choosing a paint color for your office, how do you arrive at a decision? As it turns out, colors can affect the way we think, feel and behave. Depending on your color choice, you can create a welcoming atmosphere and a more efficient team. Conversely, you can turn potential clients off with the wrong hue. It all depends on the impression you want to make. So, let’s dive deep into a little bit of color theory and current trends to help guide you to a decision for your space.

Keep It Neutral

If you’d like to have a buttoned up, modern look, stay neutral. If we were creating this guide 10 years ago, we’d probably recommend some kind of tan or taupe. But (sorry to break it to you), the 50-shades-of-beige office motif is out. Light grays are the new neutral. You can pair any accent color with the right light gray.

And don’t forget about white! No, not boring, plain white. Believe it or not, there are tons of subtle shades of white that can nail the professional and elegant vibe you’d like in your office space. A stark spark of white can convey that your business is modern and minimalistic.

Warm It Up

Many office spaces (especially rented offices) have harsh, fluorescent overhead lighting. These tubes of awfulness probably make your employees want to take a baseball bat to your printer every time it runs out of toner. To offset fluorescent lights (and to generally create an inviting environment), choose a warm color for your walls. Warm colors have undertones like yellow, red and orange. They create a cozy and homey atmosphere. Warm colors have an effect of making a space feel smaller.

Don’t Lose Your Cool

On the opposite side of the color wheel we find cold colors like blues, greens and purples. One thing that’s great about cool colors is that they create a sense of calm. Blue can improve focus in a workspace. But, be careful with cool colors in rooms that don’t receive natural light; because of the “cool” temperature perception of these colors, you run the danger of unintentionally creating a cave-like atmosphere.

Have a Little Fun

Believe it or not, it’s okay to use color on walls, especially if your business has strong visual branding. Feel free to use color to emphasize the impression of your company you want to leave on people. Think Chase’s blue, Starbucks green or even Target red. With these brands in mind, note that they rarely use these bright and bold colors in entire rooms. Consider painting most of your room a neutral color and pair it with your company’s logo color (or colors) as an accent wall. You can also achieve brand-minded color cohesion with other decor elements in your office. Whether it’s a shelf, your desk chairs or wall art with your mission statement, a little bit of color can go a long way. We’re not anti-color. Just be cautious with color because overdoing it can make you feel like you work inside a kaleidoscope or— worse yet — an a circus.

Final Pro Tip

If you fall in love with a certain brand or style of paint, you don’t necessarily have to pay a premium price for their refined palettes. For instance, here at Eden we fell in love with some of the elegant, muted colors in Farrow & Ball’s palette. Paint is the most inexpensive way to make a big splash (and big impression) on your team and your clients. And, considering you spend 40 hours or so per week in your office, you might as well love the space where you work!

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