April 24, 2024

7 Office Interior Design Ideas to Use in Your Next Fitout

What immediately comes to mind when you hear the words ‘interior design’?

Is it furniture? Funky chairs and expensive coffee tables? Mood lighting and plants?

Interior design can be some of those things. But when it comes to offices, it’s more of a science than art. A few nice chairs won’t improve team morale. However, a combination of curated changes could significantly impact your office environment. Below we’ll dive into the principles of office interior design and share our favourite design ideas for office fitouts. We’ll also show you how we incorporate these ideas into the fitouts we do for our clients every day. Let’s dive into it.

What is Office Interior Design?

Office interior design is the planning, building, organising, and arranging of interior spaces in office environments to optimise functionality, efficiency, aesthetics, and the wellbeing of occupants. It involves strategic selection of furniture, fixtures, equipment, finishes, and architectural elements to create an environment that supports the specific needs and activities of the workforce while also reflecting the brand identity and culture of the organisation. 

Successful office interior design aspires to create spaces that are conducive to productivity, collaboration, creativity, and overall business success.

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The 7 Principles of Interior Design

Interior designers play a delicate balancing act between what feels right and what is right. Beyond ‘having an eye’ for good design, there are 7 key principles that guide designers on the path to creating aesthetically pleasing and functional office spaces.

1. Unity/Harmony

Unity refers to the cohesive relationship between various elements in a design. It ensures that all elements work together harmoniously to create a sense of completeness and visual consistency. Achieving unity involves maintaining a consistent style, colour scheme, or theme throughout the space.

2. Balance

Balance is the distribution of visual weight in a room. There are three types of balance: symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial. 

Symmetrical balance involves arranging elements evenly on both sides of a central axis, creating a sense of equilibrium (e.g. a waiting room with 2 long couches facing each other). Asymmetrical balance involves distributing visual weight unevenly but still achieving equilibrium through careful arrangement. Radial balance involves arranging elements around a central point, creating a circular or spiral composition (e.g. a dining room table).

3. Emphasis (Focal Point)

Emphasis is the creation of a focal point (or points) within a space to draw attention and create visual interest. A focal point can be a prominent architectural feature, a piece of furniture, artwork, or a decorative object. It serves as the centre of visual focus and guides the viewer's eye around the room.

4. Scale & Proportion

Scale refers to the size of objects in relation to the space they occupy and to each other. Proportion is the relationship between these sizes. Maintaining appropriate scale and proportion ensures that elements within the space relate harmoniously to each other and the overall environment. It prevents objects from appearing either too small or too large in comparison to their surroundings.

5. Rhythm

Rhythm is the visual flow created by repeating elements or motifs within a space. It helps establish a sense of movement and continuity, guiding the viewer's eye smoothly from one area to another. Repetition can be achieved through patterns, shapes, colours, or textures (e.g. using the same tapware finishes in the kitchen and bathroom). Alternating repetition can also be used to create dynamic visual interest.

6. Contrast & Variety

Contrast involves the juxtaposition of different elements to create visual interest and emphasis. It can be achieved through differences in colour, texture, shape, or scale. Contrast adds depth and complexity to a design, highlighting key features and creating visual drama. However, it's essential to balance contrast with harmony to prevent overwhelming the space.

7. Details

Details are the final touches that transform a space from polished curation to ‘lived in’. They are little elements and optimisations that make an interior feel personal.

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7+ Office Interior Design Ideas

Using these principles, there are several ways you can optimise the interior design of your fitout.


1. Make a Bold Statement

Statement walls are a powerful design element that can instantly elevate the aesthetic appeal of your office fitout. Whether adorned with vibrant colours, striking patterns, or eye-catching graphics, statement walls serve as focal points that command attention and set the tone for the entire workspace. Consider incorporating a statement wall in key areas such as meeting rooms, breakout areas, or collaborative zones to inject personality and creativity into the environment.

2. Reception Areas: Creating a Lasting First Impression

Reception areas make a definitive statement about your business and set the tone for the entire space. If you see clients and customers daily, the design of the area holds even more weight in the overall usefulness of your fitout. Design reception areas that exude professionalism, warmth, and hospitality, reflecting your brand's values and personality. Incorporate comfortable seating, stylish furnishings, and on-brand decor elements to create a cohesive and inviting space that puts visitors at ease.

For more ideas on reception desks in particular, read this: 5+ Unique Reception Desk Ideas For Any Business

3. Combining Opposing Aesthetics to Strike a Balance

Interior designers achieve rhythm in office fitouts through patterns and repetition. But when it’s overdone, an office could end up looking rather cold and monotonous. To counteract this, find balance through the combination of opposing aesthetics. 

Incorporating contrasting materials and textures into your office fitout design can create visual interest and add depth to the overall aesthetic. For example, juxtapose sleek, modern furnishings with rustic accents or industrial elements to create a space that feels liminal. Incorporate natural materials alongside contemporary finishes to create a feeling of warmth.

The work we did for Blackhearts & Sparrows was filled with ‘harmonic contrast’. Tasked with turning a century-old pub into a modern office, we had to play a delicate balance finding ways to incorporate historic elements of the original building alongside a very functional design. The end result is an office that looks and feels truly unique. See how we did it here.

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4. Bring Nature Indoors

Incorporating elements of nature into your office environment not only enhances aesthetics but also promotes well-being and productivity among employees. Consider integrating living green walls, indoor plants, and natural materials such as wood and stone to create a biophilic workspace that connects occupants with the outdoors.

Outside of visual appeal, plants may also improve the quality of indoor air. Although not a complete substitute for office air filtration systems, plants can be a natural way to bring life into your office environment. Bamboo palms and spider plants in particular have been shown to filter common indoor toxins.

Studies have also shown a correlation between productivity and greenery within a working environment. Some researchers notice a decrease in sick days taken, and an improvement in creative thinking.

Natural light also has a profound impact on mood, energy levels, and productivity. Utilise glass partitions, skylights, and strategically placed windows to optimise daylighting and create a bright and inviting workspace.

5. Design For Various Work Styles

The open plan concept has been around for quite some time. Yet as our work styles evolve, our work environments should evolve with us. Simple interior changes can help create an office fitout optimised for productivity and collaboration.

  • Incorporate sound-absorbing materials into your fitout to help minimise distractions. 
  • Designate areas for quiet work. These could be separate rooms, office pods, or private desks.

Build a mix of private offices and collaborative spaces into your fitout. This style is particularly popular in law offices and wellness centres.

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6. Incorporate Brand Identity through Colour

Colour plays a significant role in shaping the atmosphere and personality of your office space. Reflect your brand identity through strategic colour choices that evoke emotions and convey your company's values. Additionally, incorporate branding elements such as logos, graphics, and signage to reinforce brand identity throughout the office.

As soon as visitors step into this family office fitout, the motif is clear. Blue sets the tone of the entire fitout with various blue hues making appearances along furniture, desks, art, and more. Without even knowing what type of business it is, you already get the feeling that this office works hard just as much as they play hard. 

That’s how intentional interior design can transform a fitout.

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7. Foster Creativity with Inspirational Spaces

Designate areas within the office specifically tailored to foster creativity and innovation. Create brainstorming zones, collaborative workspaces, and idea hubs equipped with whiteboards, writable walls, and comfortable seating to encourage brainstorming sessions and idea generation among team members.

If you look at the work we did for Guest Group, the ground floor is designed for collaboration and flow. Design teams also have workstations running alongside internal offices, all of which are positioned to take in an abundance of natural light. 

Internal teams are split across both levels of the office, yet through the clever kitchen design, both floors are encouraged to actively engage throughout the day. Multiple areas of collaboration and breakout spaces were implemented to make sure that teams could work together and not feel separated.

See the rest of the fitout here.

Beautiful Office Interior Design With Canopy Fitouts

Office interior design isn’t just eye candy for your visiting clients. It serves to promote team wellbeing, productivity, and collaboration. Using the 7 design principles in combination with these 7 office design ideas, you can create a space that truly inspires great work. 

At Canopy, we are all about creating inspiring office fitouts. Our team of designers, architects, and builders will work with you to strike the perfect balance of form and function in your office. And with experience across 30+ industries, we know exactly what it takes to bring your workplace to life. 

Speak to our team today and we’d be more than happy to give you advice on cost, budgets, requirements, and timeframes for your office or commercial fitout. Give us a call at 1800 434 868 or email info@canopyfitouts.com.au.