5 ways to enhance your creative space

Improving your creative environment doesn't have to cost the earth.

Enhance your studio environment

M Moser & Associates’ designed offices for McAfee, Bangalore; Hudson Rouge, New York City

Google has slides at its Kings Cross offices, while Virgin Money's new digs has a digital sky for a ceiling. These first-impression frivolities might blow most studio refurbishment budgets, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take inspiration from them. Not all studio accessories have to be extravagant, something as simple as some vintage posters and 3D art can work wonders.

These five simple tips show how even the slightest of changes can improve workflow, productivity and inspiration.

01. Lighting

Harsh strip lighting can be replaced with softer LED lighting, which mimics more closely natural sunlight. Full spectrum desk lamps are available from specialists like The Natural Light.

02. Workspaces

Clustering desks into 'teams' is counterintuitive. Instead, giving each staffer a work area, which they can modify to their needs, helps meetings to actually happen in meeting areas, while work happens in work areas. Modular desks like the ones available from Steelcase should do the trick.

03. Music

Invest in a decent office music system and a streaming service, and let anyone add tracks to an ongoing playlist. Not only does this keep things diplomatic, it also means you're less likely to see individuals hunkered down in headphones isolation.

04. Plants

Nuke the CO2 in your office by introducing some oxygen-boosting ferns and other greenery that's scientifically proven to boost energy and mood. Pick robust, low-maintenance plants, like a spider plant for instance.

05. Food and drink

Good coffee and teas, a kitchen area for preparing food and the necessary cutlery and crockery to enjoy it with are an absolute minimum. Informal meetings happen when co-workers stop for a drink, which often inspires more formal and productive ideas and interactions later on.

Words: Tom Dennis

These tips originally featured in Computer Arts 246, an issue that brings you the best studios in the UK this year – the result of a huge peer reputation survey of almost 70 top designers.

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