Oct 16 2021

10 Zen Design Ideas for Small Offices

When you think of a small office, you might immediately envision cramped quarters, too much clutter and no room to breathe. But when you arrange your office using Zen-inspired design, any space can seem tranquil and simple 

These are erratic, hectic times, and it’s increasingly difficult to find a space where you can get away from the stress of modern life. Wouldn’t it be great if you could design your office into a place where you can focus and harness your creativity? Using Zen design ideas, you can.

In Japanese, “Zen” refers to meditation. Zen styling is characterised by minimalism, purity of lines, and intentional simplicity. When you design with an eye to balance and harmony, you can offset your stress and work in a space that lets your productivity flow.

The following 10 Zen design ideas can help you brainstorm how to turn your small space into a Zen-inspired office.



1. Use Natural and Ambient Light

Harsh lighting can create extra stress strain your eyes, so for the most relaxing atmosphere in your small office, do what you can to incorporate soft and natural light. Replace fluorescent lights with calm, nature-inspired lighting. Avoid using a single overhead light to produce all the lighting in the room; you’ll create a more calming atmosphere by using a mix of overhead, natural and ambient lighting.


2. Create a Green Wall

Studies show that plants actually make you feel better, and this is a huge plus when you have a stressful job to do. Simply looking at nature, even if you’re just looking at a picture or a painting, can reduce stress and lift your spirits. 

Incorporating potted plants into a small office can be difficult, however. They require either desk space or floor space, depending on how large they are. That’s why green walls are so perfect for small offices. With a green wall, you can incorporate the Zen of nature into your workspace without taking up any precious desk or floor space. And with our artificial green walls, you don’t have to worry about maintenance or expensive drip systems.



3. Choose Earthy Colours

Bright, loud colours may be invigorating, but if you’re looking for a Zen-like atmosphere, go for earthy colours. Beiges, whites, grays and other soft neutrals invite a sense of relaxation and calmness, and they all harmonise together, creating visual continuity among the various parts of your office. Walls, furniture and floors all fit together in a cohesive whole.


4. Choose Clean Lines

Zen styling features simple and clear lines, so avoid choosing furniture with excessive ornamentation or lots of detail. This doesn’t mean that your furniture needs to be stark or severe; rather, look for furniture that is elegant and simple in design and doesn’t draw too much attention to itself. 

Zen styling should allow your mind to be free. You don’t want everything around you to be calling for attention. Clean-lined furniture is functional and beautiful without being distracting.


5. Keep Decorations to a Minimum

Decorations require attention. They have to be dusted and cared for, and they draw your eyes away from what you should be concentrating on. So do yourself a favor and keep your decorations to a minimum in your Zen-like small office.

You’ll probably want a few well-chosen items to complement your furniture and bring a personal element to the room. Choose items that harmonise with your furniture, lighting, and flooring so they don’t compete with anything.



6. Install a Moss Wall

When you think of Zen, you might think of breathing deeply, and nothing will help you breathe deeper in your small office than an oxygen-generating moss wall. A wall of hand-picked moss takes up no space but it provides you with a cohesive, no-maintenance feature that will reduce your stress and clean your air. 

Moss walls are easy to install, and you can choose a color that complements your existing decor.


7. Don’t Forget the Scents

The visual appeal of a room can make it relaxing, but don’t forget to think about your office’s scent. The sense of smell can be very powerful for setting your mood, and when you’re in your office, you want to be in the mood to work. 

Candles, essential oils, linen spray for your upholstery, diffusers or candles can all help you round out your Zen experience in your office. According to aromatherapy experts, the following scents are conducive to a productive work environment: cinnamon, mint, lemon, orange and rosemary.


8. Eliminate Clutter

Too many accessories, books, desk organisers, electronics and other office debris can sideline your attempts at creating a Zen-like environment. Do your best to minimise clutter by getting rid of anything that is not necessary to your work. If you have items that you absolutely need, but you don’t want to see them all the time, find containers that don’t disturb the calm atmosphere you’re working hard to create.


9. Use Natural Materials

When it comes to your office furniture and accessories, opt for natural materials over synthetic ones if you want to create a Zen atmosphere. For your furniture, look for wood with a natural finish, and for your upholstery, choose cotton, linen or wool whenever possible. Stone can also be interesting in an office, especially when it’s used in the flooring.


10. Clear Your Horizontal Surfaces

It’s so easy to use your horizontal surfaces to hold your piles of papers, books, paper clips and reminders. But part of the Zen mindset is to clear all of that clutter away so your mind is free to really think. 

Train yourself to keep your horizontal surfaces, including your floor, clear of distractions. Put items away promptly. You might be surprised at how few things you really need (or want) in your office.

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