5 Tips for a Professional Office

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How to create a personal and profesional office.

You dress for success, so should your office. No matter what business you’re in, your office should be an extension of your image. Look around: is it cold and institutional? Too homey and casual? Downright boring? Here are some tips for putting together a look that reflects you, in a professional way. Make your space personal, but don’t go crazy.

Just place a few framed photos of your family, pet or favorite vacation spot near your desk. Your clients need to know you have a life outside your office; the sum total of your experiences makes you who you are.

Choose a color palette that reflects your personality – warm, bold, sophisticated or even a bit glam is okay. . Splurge on an eye-catching piece of art or an accessory like a chandelier, table lamp, visitor’s chair or area rug. Choose something different that will make an impression or be a conversation piece.

One CEO we know collects abstract art and brings some to the office; another displays African masks purchased during a trip to the continent.

Don’t be afraid to show your feminine side. Upholster your desk chair in a beautiful fabric rather than the usual leather; buy a curvy lamp and a beautiful bowl like this pretty Badash piece to stock with something unexpected, like lemons or old-school candies. Instead of the same-old dark wood desk, try one with an acrylic finish or antiqued mirror top, or one that’s white or off-white.

Add some novel hardware like capiz shell, metal, glass or Swarovski crystal knobs like these for a feminine touch. Treat yourself and guests to fresh flowers. One beautiful bouquet can warm up an office and make guests feel welcome and happy, even on a gloomy day. Supermarkets sell inexpensive posies that often last through the work week.

Susan Brunstrum

About Susan Brunstrum

Susan Brunstrum is founder of Libertyville-based Sweet Peas Design, Inc., an eight year old, full-service interior design firm. She is equal parts creative designer and savvy businesswoman, building a loyal client base on a philosophy of embracing all styles, pushing boundaries and creating the home her clients envision. One of her favorite business tips is from Elaine Rideout, adjunct professor at North Carolina State University’s Entrepreneurship Initiative: “Ignore people who say it can’t be done.”