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In a recent article, the New York Times asked, “can Instagrammable design lure young workers back to the office?”

The question is a sign of the times. While creating a nice office has always been about attracting employees, these days it’s also about giving people a reason to come into work.

Indeed, some are going all out to create a space that the home office simply can’t compete with. With breakout spaces to rival Starbucks, outside-the-box aesthetics, and plush furniture, modern offices are worth the commute for many employees.

With the trend for Instagrammable interiors gaining pace, we explore ways you can create a snappable, commute-worthy office too. From lighting tips to decoration ideas and more, you’ll find plenty of office design inspiration in this blog.

Read on for 10 Instagrammable office ideas…

1. Create Cool Social Spaces

Office breakout space with bleacher seating and festoon lighting. Office breakout space with bleacher seating and festoon lighting.
Cool breakout space for London office fit out project for sports analysis company. Cool breakout space for London office fit out project for sports analysis company.
Office breakout space with table tennis table and pendant lighting. Office breakout space with table tennis table and pendant lighting.
Collaborative social space in a modern office design. Collaborative social space in a modern office design.

Social spaces are key in encouraging a sense of community. Within these areas, team bonding takes centre stage, which is as beneficial to social media channels as it is to productivity.

Providing employees are happy to be photographed, you can fill your social channels with images of social events and activity. This can help to promote a healthy company image, showing that you value employees and prioritise wellbeing.

To make your photographs truly Insta-worthy, make sure you get creative with your interior design. As you can see from the images, this could mean creating a cool gaming area or offering a range of modern furniture for gatherings.

See more examples, check out our blog: How to Improve the Workplace Experience for Employees.

2. Decorate Your Shelves

Shelves as design feature in office backdrop for social media posts. Shelves as design feature in office backdrop for social media posts.
Decorative styled shelf with biophilic elements and books. Decorative styled shelf with biophilic elements and books.

These days, many social media influencers include shelves of carefully curated books as part of their studio setup. Known as “bookshelf wealth”, it’s a way of looking well-informed while adding aesthetic interest to video content.

This idea works great for businesses too. To take a page out of the influencer design book, start by introducing a modern storage unit. For example, Mobili’s Scala range (as seen at Clerkenwell Design Week) is ideal due to its boxy design and practicality.

Then, consider asking staff to select books to display, as this will ensure a diverse range of topics. Combined with quirky display features, this will make for a cool addition to your office space and provide another snappable feature for your social feeds.

3. Print Inspirational and Aspirational Quotes

If you watch Dragons’ Den, you will be familiar with entrepreneur Steven Bartlett. When you get a moment, check out his LinkedIn channel. It is full of quotes and maxims that provide inspiration for his 1.9million+ followers (and counting).

Again, why not apply this influencer idea to your office design scheme? Sports analyst company Hudl did exactly that by introducing sleek acrylic signage that reads, “make every moment count.” This emboldens Hudl’s employees and captures the company’s hardworking ethos, subtly adding value to the interior design.

Quotes like these will also resonate with aspirational Gen Z and millennial employees. If you’re looking to attract more young and ambitious employees, posting a pic of a wall print is a great way to catch their eye!

4. Make a Sustainability Statement

Embracing sustainable interior design can benefit the environment and your public image too. By showing off your eco-friendly interiors on Instagram, you will inspire others and highlight your commitment to corporate social responsibility.

One way to do this is to introduce products that tell a story. For example, Flokk’s HAG task chair range is made from post-consumer waste, which can serve as inspiration for an interesting CSR post.

Some also make a sustainability “statement” by creating an immersive biophilic experience, with living walls, furniture draped with greenery, and an assortment of potted plants. For an example, check out Chartway’s biophilia-inspired reception area, which was designed to reflect the housebuilder’s commitment to tackling climate change.

For another immersive, biophilia-inspired office, check out Ward Security’s incredible new space here.

5. Reflect Your Brand

Imagine a social media influencer with no personality. They wouldn’t get many followers, would they? The same applies to your workplace design, and taking inspiration from your brand can help to create an office with personality.

Here are a few ideas with personality:

  • Define your brand personality – Are you quirky, innovative, or sophisticated? Defining this will help you to inform decisions on decorations, furniture, finishes, and more.
  • Choose a vibrant colour palette – For Instagrammable office interiors, choose a vibrant but well-balanced colour palette that will lure people to your social channels. As in the image above, you can create balance by combining white with more energetic colours.
  • Dare to be different – For influencers, being unique is key in standing out in a crowded marketplace. So, consider how you can be different. Our client Blends for Friends did just that by using tea crates to create a bespoke table in its “Blendatorium”.

For another great example of a unique, on-brand design, take a look at Classic Collection’s breakout space. The holiday firm’s design includes decorative rope and dashes of ocean blue paint for a seafaring theme.

6. Install Architectural Lighting

Look at the images above and imagine them without the lighting. They’re not quite the same, are they? It just goes to show you that good lighting can make a big difference to an office interior design scheme.

The examples in the photographs are known as architectural lighting. Unlike standard lighting, which is used mainly for functionality, architectural lighting enhances the building’s aesthetic quality and can accentuate certain design elements.

One prime example is Simpsons Wine Estate. Take a look at how the ambient lighting illuminates the staircase with a soft, mellow glow. Equally impressive is the stunning wine vat area, which includes colour-changing LED floodlights.

7. Think Backdrops

Social media content creation filming. Social media content creation filming.
Film themed wall covering for an office in London Film themed wall covering for an office in London

In our recent blog on design ideas for SMEs, we looked into the possibility of introducing a social media zone to your office. This is of course a great way to build content for social media and invite viewers into your world.

Backdrops are a good place to start when creating your social media zone location. This could be a wall with a neon sign or slogan, a decorative mural, or a simple brick-effect background.

For more inspiration, check out your favourite podcast on YouTube now. Our friend Steven Bartlett’s elegant “Diary of a CEO” location is a good example, and his promotional videos often include the aforementioned “bookshelf wealth” backdrop trick.

8. Consider Hospitality-Inspired Design

Nice hotels and eateries have the benefit of free publicity. Why? Because they have eye-catching interiors and people like to post pretty pictures on social media. This is particularly the case for high end hotels, cool bars, and coffee shops with Insta-worthy deserts.

These days, many office designers take inspiration from hospitality when developing ideas. Sometimes called “hotelisation”, it’s common to see office spaces with inviting lounges, plush on-site bars, and sophisticated décor. Naturally, the distinctly high-end spaces are designed with successful, well-travelled professionals in mind.

Additionally, many companies favour a coffeehouse aesthetic – especially for breakout areas. This is rooted in the Starbucks ethos, which is to offer good coffee and deliver a sense of sophistication and enthusiasm about life.

Just as Starbucks offers more than just a cup of coffee, you can offer your team more than just a place to work and eat through the power of design. In a nutshell, that’s what the hospitality-inspired office theme is all about (and free publicity, but don’t mention that to employees).

9. Make People Stop

Offices are full of transient spaces. From receptions to hallways and pockets of dead space, people travel through these areas fleetingly with the sole intention of reaching the next destination.

For another Instagrammable office design idea, try transforming these spaces so that people slow down, stop, and snap. Your reception is a good place to start for this given that it has plenty of footfall. Think modern artwork and décor, plants and greenery, comfortable waiting furniture, and a beautifully finished desk.

Not only will this make people stop – it will make them stop scrolling! These days, people spend a lot of time on their mobile phones, so this will make them look up and engage with the office environment around them. This is a great way to create a more team-centric space that encourages interactions.

10. Add Local Touches

When brainstorming design ideas for your office refurbishment, consider taking inspiration from your local area. This can make for quirky design features that provide inspiration for social posts.

Here are some tips:

Feature Walls – For a cool idea, take a look at Hudl’s new wall map (above). The feature shows a birds-eye view of the company’s North London location, making for an Insta-worthy addition to the breakout space.
Link to local history – Many companies use local history to inspire their design. For example, one midlands-based firm featured on Mix Interiors introduced old manufacturing elements as a reference to the location’s industrial past.
Look around you – Often, companies create interiors that blend in with their surroundings. For example, Blends for Friends took inspiration from its countryside location for its rustic interior design. We particularly like the glass executive office with wooden frames (above).

Another way to add local touches is to print wall quotes from local writers and entrepreneurs. If you’re based in a place with a literary genius renowned business owner, you can count

Creating an Instagrammable Office: The Final Takeaway

As touched upon in the New York Times, an Instagrammable office is about more than just creating a cool design for social media feeds. Rather, it’s about creating a positive and worthwhile experience for employees.

If you use that as an objective at the start of your refurb journey, you will create a space that’s worth the commute. The social posts will undoubtedly follow, which will help you to attract top talent while boosting your following on the Gram!

Written by Chris Sparham

Are You Making Changes to Your Office Design?

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