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  • Writer's pictureSamia Verbist

Modern Office Ideas for Sparking Collaboration

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

When a company was ready to move to a larger office in a world where expectations about working on-site had shifted during the pandemic, the partners knew they had to make the space special. It was time for a modern office design that delivered more than looks.

Various tables and chairs in Irvine office interior design

They had rented a second-floor corner modern office in a small building with tall windows that display beautiful landscaping and trees outside. Then they asked me what we could do to make the inside just as inviting.

The first time I saw the office space, it was a blank canvas. The walls and floors, which we couldn't change because it’s a rented office, were neutral with beige and dark gray hues.

That might sound dull. But it offered me a lot of leeway in choosing the elements to enhance it. And I had plenty of modern office ideas in mind.

There were other features already in place. For example, the modern white desks and chairs and the file cabinets were white but topped with a bright blue casing. Their color became a driving theme in the design.

Modern Office Ideas: Team Collaboration

In their new modern office, the partners expected employees to come to work sometimes, but not every day.

The managers had their own offices, so my task was to organize the open space for the employees so they could easily work together.

Everyone thought it would be helpful to have additional areas that would be more casual and comfortable where small groups could meet for brainstorming or ideation. There needed to be a conference room, and finally, one partner preferred a desk in the open area rather than an office, which meant creating a dedicated space for him.

After measuring this contemporary office space, which is even larger than it looks, I presented three options for organizing the desks and saving square footage for the lounge.

Shot of mid century office interior design in Irvine

We moved forward with the idea of creating two workstations where employees can sit face to face and easily communicate with each other. The white tables and modern desk chairs with mesh backs keep the eye flowing across the room. This modern office idea allowed it to feel spacious, even with furniture in the middle. I slid the file cabinets under the tables, and a hint of blue peeks out to offer a pop of color.

Creative Office Spaces

These clients didn't want the office to be all work and no play, so they brought in a pinball machine! This addition was perfect for a good creative office space. I placed it at the back of the office, near the desk of the partner who traded the option of a private office for a corner of windows and a great view.

With the fun area taken care of, I wanted to demarcate another space for relaxing and thinking.

Picking up the bright blue from the file cabinets, I chose two eggshell chairs in the same hue and placed them in front of another window with a small, round glass table between them.

The best part about the chairs is that they rotate, so they can accommodate someone who wants to engage with the office as easily as someone who wants to spend a few minutes looking at trees outside.

They are exceptionally comfortable – as you can see, I love them!

Orange County interior designer Samia Verbist sitting in blue midcentury modern chair in Irvine office

Midcentury Modern Office Interior Design

Another spot for employees to meet casually is the lounge, which sits along the exterior wall of a conference room. It is an excellent example of how designers can create vignettes in an open space!

While most of the furniture in the office is contemporary, the clients also liked midcentury modern office furniture, so I highlighted that in the lounge.

To complement the palette elsewhere, it includes a gray sofa and two chairs with navy blue backs – going with blue again, but in a different hue for this distinct area. It’s all tied together by a quintessentially midcentury modern oval oak coffee table.

Bringing it All Together for a Modern Office Interior Design

It can be challenging to begin a project with so many parameters – the flooring, wall color, and much of the furniture were already chosen. But I could work with what we had to breathe life into the space and establish various defined spaces for different purposes.

In keeping with contemporary office design, I added colorful graphics and abstract wall art around the room. I also played up the nature seen through the windows with a variety of plants. You can see big ones near the windows and small ones on the desks and tables. I consulted a landscape architect to select the best foliage for the room and level of lighting.

The clients wanted a space that would be nice for employees – a home office away from home. What they got is certainly a welcoming escape to get work done, collaborate with the partners, and enjoy the surrounding scenery in their modern office interior design makeover.

Let’s be collaborative. Let’s be bold. And of course, let’s be beautiful.

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