Exploring Office Wall Design Ideas

Unless you work in a glass box, your workplace will have opaque walls. Left plain and unadorned, they will fail to inspire or ground staff within the company in which they work. In this article, MPL discusses a number of office wall design ideas, revealing how colour, pattern, light and texture can improve moods, stimulate productivity and reinforce a brand.

acorn group

Incorporating Aesthetic Appeal

Of course it’s easy to buy brilliant white paint in bulk and slosh it on every flat surface but well-designed office walls can bring character, warmth and a sense of better wellbeing to an office setting.

Visual Impact

You want to avoid your employees being ‘bored of looking at the same four walls’. Remember, when we’re not staring at screens, we’re taking in the environment around us. There’s so much research into the effect of colour on our moods and productivity levels that staying in the safe, neutral zone isn’t an option. You can read our blog on being braver with colour for confidence. As well as different hues, walls can be customised with wallpaper, texture and art – the number of office wall ideas is practically limitless.

Branding and Identity

Part of working for a company is a sense of belonging and that’s where overt branding can reinforce the feeling of togetherness and even loyalty. There’s also the impact office walls make on visitors – it should be clear who occupies the office and what their brand characteristics are. Office wall ideas that reflect a brand can range from the subtle – sticking to the corporate identity’s colour palette when decorating - or it can be bold, with a liberal use of logos and imagery.

Functionality and Productivity

Walls are the most important part of structural integrity but while the outside walls are fixed, internal walls can offer a degree of flexibility.

Optimising Space

MPL’s suite of UR gives business owners the chance to replan internal spaces. A site survey will reveal what existing walls can be removed and how new partition walls – either plasterboard or glass - can be added to create new meeting rooms and working spaces. It may also be possible to add folding or retractable walls for added versatility.

Increasingly, we’re asked to come up with space-saving office wall ideas, which can comprise banks of floor-to-ceiling storage units, or part partition, part open shelving designs. These multi-use solutions can add extra interest to a workplace and are exceptionally useful when zoning an open plan office.

Inspirational Spaces

While we’re not a fan of a quick trip to Ikea to buy some framed prints, we are supportive of the idea that walls should be inspirational and interesting. The findings of Dr Craig Knight, who has studied the psychology of working environments for 12 years at the University of Exeter, provide us with motivation when creating office wall ideas. He believes that art in office environments can boost productivity, lower stress and increase wellbeing.

To illustrate his thinking, Dr Knight asked participants in his study to do an hour’s URwork in four different types of office space. His team found people who worked in the enriched office - featuring art and plants which were already arranged - worked about 15% quicker than those in the lean office - containing only the things necessary to do the tasks - and had fewer health complaints. The workers were even more productive and happy if they were able to arrange the art and plants where they liked.

Speaking to The Guardian, Dr Knight said: “If you enrich a space people feel much happier and work better; a very good way of doing this is by using art.” The article went on to quote International Art Consultants, who said some companies consciously use art as part of their staff retention strategy.

Materials and Techniques

Whether it’s the customisation of existing walls or the creation of new ones, an office refurbishment will be influenced by the space’s current structure, the premises’ limitations (such as a listed status or freeholder covenants) and the client’s objectives.

Yooodle wall design

Choice of Materials

When considering office wall design ideas, we start with the materials available and the wider design brief. Usually, MPL considers walls made using plaster, brick, studwork or glass. We can even create a ‘wall’ from heavy floor-to-ceiling drapes – therefore bringing the ability to section off space on a temporary basis.

The final choice can depend on whether the client is renting the office, how quickly the project needs completing, the load bearing properties of the floor, the budget and what may go on the wall, such as a large LCD screen or illuminated wall logo.

Techniques, Treatments & Trends

Illuminated box canvases: a bespoke box canvas can be made to virtually any shape or size, and the canvas can be printed with a high resolution image or logo. LEDs set in the box’s void backlight the canvas once it’s mounted to the wall.

Illuminated wall logos: metal or acrylic is used to create a piece of unique mounted wall art. Logos and individual letters can be created – artfully illuminated for a striking focal point. Illuminated wall logos are best planned at a design’s early stage so the associated wiring can be hidden from view.

Vinyl applications: one office wall design idea that has really struck a chord with High Street offices and retailers is vinyl applications. An oversized photograph or graphic can be digitally printed to a self-adhesive vinyl, which can be applied to any flat surface. It’s a fantastic way to add colour to a large blank area.

Wallpaper: despite what interior magazines might say, wallpaper has never gone out of fashion. In an office setting, wallpaper can quickly banish a clinical, bland look and instead bring a residential, relaxed vibe to a space.

Paint: if your question is ‘how to decorate a wall in an office?’, the simplest answer is to paint it. The spectrum runs from pale and neutral to deep and dramatic. As well as off-the-shelf options, it’s also possible for MPL to colour match through accurate paint mixing.

Lights: don’t overlook the power of wall lighting. It comes in many forms and guises, from humble sconce lights that cast dramatic shadows to on-trend LED rope lights that can add colour and branding.

Mouldings & slats: we’ve been adorning walls for centuries and the trend continues. Wood can be used to create panelling, mouldings, slats and other highly decorative flourishes. Leave the wood in its natural state for a contemporary, Scandi feel or paint to match a brand or design brief.

Panelling: as well as wood panelling, there are a number of alternative materials that can be used to clad walls. At Acorn’s branch in Woolwich, MPL used two different brick-effect panels - a textured 3D red brick and a concrete-effect finish.

Professional Office Wall Design Services

If you have some exciting office wall design ideas or have a blank canvas and don’t URL LINKknow where to start, it’s time to call in the professionals.

Working with Designers

Knocking down walls, building new ones, running electrics and making holes can all lead to an aesthetic or structural disaster. MPL’s professional services can include:

  • A site survey to establish the structural integrity and composition of the space, and to take accurate measurements.
  • Technical drawings that carefully map existing power, light, heat and data sources.
  • 2D space plans and 3D visuals that allow for offices to be reimagined with the removal of walls and the addition of new ones.
  • Mood boards to help plan new colours, textures and wall treatments.
  •  Full office fit outs, including structural work, interior design and redecoration.
  • Cat A, Cat A+ and Cat B capabilities on a nationwide basis.

Case Studies

Steven Stone

Walls painted in a matt black provided the perfect foil for the dazzling diamonds on display at Marylebone jewellers Steven Stone. Additional details included colour-matched wall mouldings, illuminated wall logos and wall-mounted neon rope lights.

Stevenstone wall design

Travel Bag

We used a combination of giant lightboxes and Foamex boards with backlighting to create memorable office wall ideas at our office refurbishment for Travel Bag. Our case study showcases the use of high-quality aspirational photography that stops people in their tracks and makes them want to be transported somewhere tropical.

Travel Bag office wall design

Robinson Michael & Jackson

Floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall photos are one of the most popular office wall design ideas, as seen at this interior office design by MPL for Robinson Michael & Jackson. Despite creating two meeting rooms using new partition walls – and the photo actually being two separate applications – the image appears as one seamless photo when arriving at this Maidstone office.

Fairfield Estate Agents

MPL took what was essentially a white box and executed a number of office wall design ideas to create a workplace full of on-brand colour and character. Illuminated canvas box art, wall logos, paint, faux brick panelling, wooden panelling, wallpaper and wood slats combine at this Watford premises.


Office walls are the type of blank canvas we love here at MPL. Our designers are brimming with office wall ideas that are aesthetically pleasing, brand reinforcing, inspiring and practical too. Contact us if you need help choosing the exact shade of green that will boost your staff’s productivity, want to add a wall of bespoke storage or are tired of your open plan office and need some new walls to create private rooms.