Decorating an office with no windows

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Decorating an office with no windows is challenging but possible

The promotion came through (at last) and you get to move out of that ugly cubicle and into an actual office of your own. Oh, happy day! Wait a second. There arenít any windows in the new office. You are expected to do your work in a windowless box 40 hours a week.

Are you feeling a bit claustrophobic?

How do you go about decorating an office with no windows?


Decorate using mirrors, lots of them. Mirrors reflect light, including artificial light, and give the illusion of a bigger space. Use big mirrors, small mirrors, round mirrors, oval mirrors, rectangular mirrors. You can do a complete wall arrangement in mirrors. The boss and your co-workers may think this is an odd choice for an office. Let them spend time in the windowless room and they quickly understand the need for mirrors.


Paint the room a light color such as white, which increases size and light. Add colorful elements, keeping the room lively and attractive. Avoid dark colors. Light colors make an area seem more spacious. Dark colors make a space smaller and dingier.


Add some plants to the office. Use a plant light to keep them growing since no natural light is available. Plants create an outdoor feeling.

Repaint the ceiling a light color. The ceiling appears higher when it is a light tone. The higher the ceiling looks, the more spacious the office appears.

In addition to your basic office lighting, incorporate floor lamps into your office. which provides extra lighting and gives the room more personality. Floor lamps featuring up-lighting make a room appear taller.


Avoid massive, dark colored wood furniture. This makes the space appear smaller and darker. A glass top desk creates the illusion of more room.


Buy a light box. Some people suffer from seasonal affective disorder during the dark, winter months. You may be at risk because of the windowless office. A light box treats this disorder because the light it generates is comparable to outdoor light. Exposure to natural (or light box generated) light lifts a personís mood, preventing depression.


Using the art technique termed trompe-líoeil, create an image that deceives the eye into thinking that the optical illusion is actually an object existing in three dimensions. This is forced perspective.

Forced perspective uses optical illusion, making objects appear closer, farther, larger or smaller than what they really are. Paint a window on the wall. It may not let in light but it appears as though there is a window and tricks the brain into thinking there is one.

Or you can paint a mural on the wall, or use a pre-printed wallpaper mural. You will love it and so will your clients.


Use light rather than dark colored carpet on the floor. Avoid complex patterns in a small space.


Water is soothing and light blue in color. The addition of an aquarium makes the office seem more outdoorsy and user friendly.


A windowless office is not ideal. Research shows that working in an area without windows can deter motivation. Furthermore, job satisfaction plummets. Productivity does improve when workers are situated close to a window but sometimes thatís not an option.

Granted, you may not have a beautiful view of the courtyard outside but itís possible to compensate for the lack of a window, natural light and a view by incorporating plants, good artificial lighting and the right colors into your office. Challenging, yes, but do-able.

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