We expect a lot out of our office and corporate spaces, right? Of course! This is a color that many people will have to see every day (or at least 5 of them) when they come to work. Dreaded are the taupe walls with espresso accents! Here’s our advice on choosing the best colors and working with a painting service, painting contractor or even a lone wolf interior painter.

Step 1: Think Of Your Audience

While you’re not displaying long appreciated works of art, you should take into consideration who will be staring at these walls the most. Many offices once opted for the uniform look of the entire office space being one color. However, many professional painting services and contractors will encourage you to do otherwise. There are a number of reasons why, but the top two are that it can make it easy for guests and clients to become lost, and many people stick with neutrals when using only one color.

So, how do you keep in mind which people will be exposed to your walls (and color choice) the most? Try this list as a quick cheat:

  • Reception areas are most frequented by customers, and potential clients.
  • General spaces are usually used daily by administrative staff.
  • Training rooms should have a rotation of fresh faces and staff who probably don’t want to be in training for too long.
  • Work areas that see some grit, usually have a daily staff but also regular clients who enter the area often.

Why are we dissecting what should be an easy decision so much? Well, color plays an important role in our lives as humans. We know that particular colors can be calming or increase focus, even cause aggression. So why choose the same neutral colors in every other corporate space when you can add a boost to your sales, productivity and employee morale?

Step 2: Determine What You Want Out of this room

Using key phrases like “increased productivity” or “open communication” can be the starting point for selecting a color scheme. There is no need to have a degree in color theory.  It can be very easy to determine what color works best for each of these spaces and they may even seem like common sense after you read them!

To increase productivity select sedated tones of blues and greens. Entrepreneur magazine has a great article on selecting colors for productivity.

Now, if you’re looking for a communication boost in, training or meeting rooms, stick with bright yellows. These colors bring about creativity, and encourage even introverted office dwellers to speak up.

Here is the common sense part: bright colors cause people to engage, cool colors allow people to focus.

If you find yourself not being able to commit to paining your office green, go white. A bright, bold white with accents or a running theme of green or blue will have a similar effect without the commitment.

Colors to Avoid

Watch out for muted neutrals like greys and tans as these don’t promote engagement or a relaxed environment. They feel as neutral as they look which can leave your staff, clients and guests feeling depressed or just wanting to leave.

Red and black are both notorious power colors. However, unless they are a stable part of your branding they are best avoided. Both colors command attention, but both are also known to onset aggression. This includes oranges with particularly pronounced red tones.

Purple is sometimes avoided as it is rumored to cause a melancholy feeling, but lately it’s been a trendy color in offices. It being a recent trend though might be another reason to avoid it, you don’t want your office looking dated in only a few years. Ask your contractor about recent trends they’ve been seeing to add into the “avoid” list!

Step Three: Consult a Painter

Interior painters and good painting contractors do a fantastic job, the first time. Take it from us; the price of a professional painting service is an investment in your environment!

Ask these vital questions to know that the contract painter is right for you and understands what you’re trying to achieve:

  1. Do you carry Comprehensive Business Liability Insurance and Workmen’s Compensation?
  2. What materials do you use for large, commercial spaces? (This is a particular question that some painters avoid because buying in bulk doesn’t always translate to quality, however a good painting company won't skimp on quality)
  3. These are the colors I’ve chosen (for specific rooms). Can you tell me what you think about the materials and light that might affect them?  (After you’ve decided which colors to go with, having a professional explain any missteps is great. You might have a building that just doesn’t get a lot of external light which could cause your welcoming blue to appear as an unwanted grey.)​

Special Note on External Painting

We haven’t forgotten about the outside of your building! While you probably have quite a bit of freedom with the interior paint, you may face a lot of restrictions with the exterior. Commercial spaces are usually surrounded by other commercial buildings, may be leased, or even in historical districts with restrictions on palette.

To start, if you have the opportunity and desire to paint the exterior of your commercial space know that this is the place where neutrals are your friend. Unlike the interior paint where you can use bright colors or calming colors the exterior of a commercial space is much more focused on utility.

Choose a neutral that either accents but doesn’t mirror neighboring buildings, or won’t look dirty with standard weather conditions. Have you ever seen a really light building in an area that has constant rain? It’s terrible, and people will remember your building as the one that’s always dark on its top half.

Finally, speak extensively with a professional painting service about the material of the building’s exterior. Wood, concrete and stucco all call for different materials that will appear differently when all is said and done and the paint is dry.

Happy Painting!

Good luck in painting your commercial or office space! These key takeaways should help you in choosing the best color for your office or corporate environment:

  • Always remember who has to look at this space the most
  • Although red and black are power colors, unless they’re part of your branding, they are best avoided.
  • Cool colors build focus and concentration.
  • Bold colors cultivate communication and creativity.
  • The material of the wall or exterior matters, choose a painting contractor you can trust for help.
  • Always check your leave or building management before painting!