By Maria Valdez Haubrich

Did you start your new year by taking a look around your office or workplace and (after a deep sigh) realize it desperately needs a fresh, new look? Are your employees working in cramped, unappealing workspaces that deter productivity? Even if you work from a home office, I bet the space could use a once (or twice) over.

The business solution solvers at Staples (Business Interiors by Staples) just sent us some tips to help turn the office blahs into office wows, so I thought I’d share them with you:

  • Use Furniture of Varying Heights: Allow for panels, shelves and partitions of differing heights. It can make close quarters seem more open.
  • Contrast Desk Arrangements: Arranging desks and cubicle areas with lower panels in opposing directions can contribute to better communication and collaboration among team members.
  • Look at What’s Under Your Feet: Have fun with office carpeting. Brighten an office by using a mix of patterned and solid carpeting to make interesting shapes, to define aisles and to create central, collaborative areas.
  • Explore New Colors: Apply accent colors to brighten space and provide contrast with furniture.
  • Experiment With Lighting: Incorporate innovative light fixtures and position them in different ways—you can achieve pleasing light patterns within the office.
  • Think Outside the Box: Use unique design elements in the office like painting a wall with paint that turns any surface into a dry-erase board–and get creative!
  • Keep It Clean: De-clutter by creating centralized storage and encourage recycling to keep desks clear.