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The Basic Principles of Space Organization

Think of your office as a work of art.

It’s difficult, we know; work is often so stressful that art is probably the last thing on your mind. But there are also amazing days when you feel at home as you implement new ideas and gain credibility with your coworkers and bosses.

While art and your office may seem like mutually exclusive principles, there are specific design concepts with painting and room layouts that can help you understand why some methods and colors work in your office while others don’t.


When you look at a painting, for example, you’re looking at a combination of elements laid out on a canvas. Our minds and eyes are drawn to balance, so we get confused if we see a painting where the subject and all other elements are crammed into the middle of the piece.

As design website Flye School points out, “A balanced piece of work will have art elements arranged such that different areas draw the viewer’s eye around or through the whole piece.”

Consider this when you think about the design of your office. An even distribution of cubicles, offices and meeting rooms can give the room unity. In other words, it will just make sense to your eyes and your mind.

If you want a full exploration of space as it relates to art, take a look at Smashing Magazine’s breakdown of space and the “figure-ground” relationship.


Balance can be a bit of tough concept for non-creative thinkers. Spatial organization, on the other hand is a pretty simple design principle.

Spatial organization, especially in the office setting, covers things like where workstations should go, how those workstations are designed (open or closed) and how various workstations are situated according to the type of work being done on them. It’s practical stuff.

Organize by function

When you’re thinking about where to put your printing station, consider a central location.  Use carpet color to designate a new area. For instance, use blue carpet for the workstation area and grey carpet for the printing station.

Use carpet colors to your advantage

Tech website Prairienet talks about the ability of carpet colors to unite and organize a space:

“Having a floor with different colors that divide a multifunctional space into smaller spaces is a subtle yet successful way to organize a room.”

Collaborative or not?

Decide between individual or collaborative spaces, as this will help you decide on whether you need partitions and where you’ll place employee workstations.

Wheels make things easier

Consider wheeled workstations. As your company grows and changes, wheeled furniture helps you adjust to the needs of your workspace.



Take a second to think about the average person wearing a suit. There’s usually a jacket, slacks, dress shirt, tie, maybe some cufflinks, a belt, socks and some shoes.

Think about the textures of each of those items. The jacket and pants are probably made from the same material, but everything else is varied.

Now, imagine if the entire ensemble we just described was all made from silk: silk pants, silk jacket, silk tie, silk shirt, silk shoes, silk belt. It would almost be like each element was sort of melting into the other one and, even though they serve different purposes, they blend together as if they all did the same thing.

That’s the power of texture; it can provide your mind with enough variation to make a space interesting. Yes, changing up colors can provide the same effect, but imagine that suit we just described; it would still look off if the material was the same but the colors were varied.

Your office works in the same way – its character can be enhanced by a little texture.

“You need great furniture and accessories, and the right lighting and colors,” Apartment Therapy contributor Nancy Mitchell wrote. “But there’s a secret that all good designers know that can really take a space to the next level. It’s the one element without which no room is complete: texture.”

Textures are found in all sorts of elements common to offices. Wood and textiles are two elements commonly used to bring texture to a room.

“They provide the eye with something interesting to look at but they’re also incredibly soothing,” Mitchell wrote.

So take a moment to think about how you want to furnish your office. Consider using a mix of textiles and woods as you select partitions and desks. Also, take a moment to think about how you can incorporate a colorful rug into your lobby or reception area.


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