Receding Colors - Office Furniture

Every office has a distinct mood, created by its surroundings. First, there are your characters: your fellow employees, happily or hurriedly milling about. Then there’s your soundtrack of paper rustling, fingers typing, phone call chatting, printers printing, and water cooler bubbling. But no office’s cinematic experience would be complete without the right props (office furniture) and the right techni-color tinting (the lights and colors used throughout the office space). In this article, we explore some of the best ways to use color schemes in office furniture and office rooms to liven up the space and create the right ambiance and setting for your company’s “plot” to unfold.

Color and Space Management in Your Office

Creating a sense of a comfortable amount of space is vital to the work environment. Balance is key — you don’t want to feel isolated and alone and you don’t want to feel claustrophobic. This balance can be accomplished through a combination of actual space and perceived space. Actual space would be the measurements of everything between your office walls. Like a nice house with a backyard, desks should have plenty of clean workspace and enough room to get in and out of the chairs. Perceived space is affected by office furniture arrangement, lighting, colors, and other visual cues that help us judge distance.

A good rule of thumb to achieving this balance of space in the office environment is to make small spaces seem larger and large spaces seem smaller (if you don’t want to make your employees or clients feel dwarfed in the room). Generally speaking, warm colors (reds, oranges, and yellows) advance the wall in, making the perceived space smaller. By the same token, colors on the opposite side of the spectrum, cool colors (greens, blues, and purples) are generally going to recede and create a sense of a larger space. However this rule of thumb only works when another key factor is taken into account: the intensity and darkness of the color. All colors can be more or less intense, bright and saturated, as well as darker or lighter. The more intense or darker the color, the smaller the space becomes.

Why do warmer colors advance and cooler colors recede? The easy answer is that the human eye is accustomed to seeing things in nature that are blue and far away, such as the sky, the mountain on the horizon, or the ocean, while things that are warmer colors are generally closer to us, like the red leaves on that tree. The more complex answer may have to do with the visible color spectrum, where radiated light wavelengths are shorter for violets (around 400 nanometers) whereas reds are longer (around 700 nm). Think of it as dashes on a highway, that are shorter in length the farther away they are, and longer as they get closer. As for saturated, more intense colors appearing closer, one can observe that objects in the distance are less detailed and paler — even the sky closer, right above your head is brighter, darker blue than the pale sky over the horizon.

In terms of office furniture arrangement, space can also be achieved through keeping consistent height of tables and desks throughout the room to offer depth. Lowering the “horizon” or overall height of office furniture may contribute to a feeling of more space as well; however be careful not to go too low — ergonomics and ease of fitting your knees under your desk are probably more important. Of course if there is a focal point in your office, placing it up high relative to other office furniture may also help to create depth — theme park towers are made to look higher than they are by adding shorter towers around the tallest and tapering them towards the top. While you may not have a tower at your disposal, layering cabinets and shelves over wider storage units, or tall lamps may draw attention to your company award on the wall. Or a reception desk may appear larger by tapering the counter at the far sides.

CubeKing has a wide variety of high quality new and used office furniture of all different brands and shades of color, designed to help you make the most of your office space. You’re sure to find cubical storage units, office workstation components, reception desks, cubicles, private offices, bookcases, chairs, and more to find the right office furniture to match your company colors — at unbeatable prices!

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