Women's Enterprise Foundation, Office Design- How to create an ideal workspace

Office Design – How to Create an Ideal Workspace

The design and layout of your office can have a great effect on the bottom line.   Work flow, storage and space planning are number one in an efficient office.  After that we look at general and task lighting. The last elements are emotional. These are the colors in the space, and the overall feel of the room.  Ask yourself: Am I excited to work in this space?  If the answer is no, then keep reading.  This is quick a guide to creating a workspace that you love and will support you in your success.

Space Planning

The way objects are arranged in a room or space in the best way for the use of its occupants.

Important things to consider are:

  • Storage and workspace needs
  • Scale and Proportion
  • Room Arrangement
  • Workflow solutions

Desk placement is key in an office.  You should never sit with your back to the door or directly in front of a door.  The ideal position is the command position with places the desk in the center of the room facing the door.

When selecting the furnishings, keep in mind scale and proportion to the room they will be in.  There should be ample room behind the desk to move a chair in and out, about 30” is a good rule of thumb.  Be mindful of where your go-to tools are placed.  This includes computer, printer, files and books.  I encourage my clients to think about how they work first and then we set up the room accordingly.  Workflow solutions are what makes an office efficient.  Think about where items are stored and how accessible they are.  The most used items should be in easy reach.

There are many types of storage options available. The Elfa storage system from The Container Store offers a lot of flexibility for a more modern look.  From bookcases lining the walls, with a one of a kind desk, to a custom solution with a murphy bed unit, the key is to identify what you need most in the space to be productive.  Then ask yourself what storage is needed. You want to walk in every day and feel happy, not overwhelmed by clutter.

Women's Enterprise Foundation, Office Design- How to create an ideal workspace


Lighting is an important element because it helps evoke a mood and changes how color is viewed in a room.  It is always best to have several lighting sources. Overhead lighting on a dimmer such as recessed cans or track lighting is an example of general lighting. Lamps provide task lighting and ambiance. Indirect lighting such as wall washers or art lighting add another level and create depth.

Color and Style

Color has a powerful effect on people.  It is one way to shift the energy in your space.  Ancient Feng Shui principals are helpful in deciding what color your office should be.  Each color represents one of the 5 Feng Shui Elements; Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood.

Fire Element– colors are red, orange, purple, pink and yellow.  These colors bring supporting energy to all your career efforts and will help you achieve recognition.

Earth Element– Light yellow, beige and various earthy/sand colors.  These colors help create stability and protection for all your relationships.

Metal Element– Gray and white brings the qualities of sharpness, precision, clarity and efficiency.

Water Element– Blue, black.  These elements bring a refreshing energy of calm, ease, purity and freshness.  Water is also an ancient symbol of abundance.

Wood Element– Brown, green.  Lush and healing, the wood element will bring the energy of health, vitality, and growth.  A good way to bring this into your space is with air purifying plants.

Women's Enterprise Foundation, Office Design- How to create an ideal workspace, Kendra Scott Office

This is the office of the successful jewelry designer Kendra Scott.  It is a perfect balance of all the elements.  She chose unique furniture that reflects her style.  Notice the desk in the command position of the room and the personal touches that make the space her own.

The ideal office has a balance of all the elements. The key is to be intentional and thoughtful about how to make your workspace work for you.

About Julie Heiland:

Julie Heiland is an award-winning designer and professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers.  Her passion for design and the desire to create spaces that really reflect and support the people who use them are the foundations of J. Heiland Interiors’ mission and vision.  Her team of top notch trades and craftsmen make this dream a reality for all of her clients.


J. Heiland Interiors, LLC