2018 Trends: Using Textures in Office Design

May 8, 2018 / by Tommy Twardowski

With the increasing popularity of minimalist office setups that feature neutral colors, streamlined layouts, and a “less is more” approach to décor, office designers are turning to texture to introduce a playful, less-sterile ambiance to the workplace. Textures heighten a room’s sensory elements and can impart nostalgic, homey, comfortable, calming, uplifting feelings to everyday spaces. Life is simply better when it is multi-dimensional, and texture is the ideal way to add dimension without being distracting in a professional setting.

Texture Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

When you hear the word “texture,” you probably think along the lines of smooth, rough, soft, hard, bumpy, chunky, gritty, etc. Using texture in an office setting is more about incorporating unique touches that incorporate those textures. Some examples of current textural trends in office design include:

  • Draping faux sheepskin throws over chairs to soften them and make them more inviting.
  • Outfitting the space with chairs and lounge pieces that are covered in nubby fabrics or that feature cowhide accents.
  • Installing scraped hardwood flooring or berber carpeting instead of cold concrete or tile floors.
  • Using throw pillows on the reception-area sofa.
  • Incorporating unique plants potted in hammered copper pots or woven straw baskets.
  • Installing a vertical “living wall” (aka plant wall).
  • Covering walls with textured wallpapers.
  • Installing acoustic fabric wall panels (instead of traditional hard partitions) to minimize noise and provide privacy.
  • Using wall dividers that incorporate fun, unexpected materials like beach shells, river rocks, or colorful beads.
  • Adding stone or wooden columns as accents.
  • Accessorizing common areas with woven rugs, or high-pile shag rugs.
  • Using chunky handcrafted baskets for office storage instead of plastic or metal bins and trays.

Texture is a Subtle Way to Boost Workplace Morale

There’s one characteristic that most of the aforementioned textural elements share: They come from nature. Research repeatedly has shown that people (including employees) who spend time in nature or in environments with natural elements experience lower blood pressure, less stress, and improved mood and ability to concentrate.

Nature has a naturally calming effect on humans!

Would you rather spend your workdays in an inviting, aesthetically pleasing and diverse, warm environment? Or would you prefer to spend your days in a cold, sterile, flat “typical office” environment? Which do you think would boost your creativity and motivation? Exactly! The calmer and more serene employees are, the happier and more productive they will be. Texture is a relatively simple and cost-effective way to achieve that feeling. And, if ever you decide to move or relocate your office, you can bring most of these textural elements with you to your new space!

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Topics: Office Design

About The Author

Tommy Twardowski

Tommy Twardowski

Tommy began his career in the office furniture installation business in 1978 and started his full-time career in 1981 with Houston Installation Services. Starting as a furniture installer, he developed a passion for the process of installation and learned to install all major manufacturers’ lines.