WORK-LIFE BALANCE / JUN. 24, 2015
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5 Ways to Make your Office an Exotic Paradise

The word "exotic" can mean a lot of different things to different people -- but as a general term, it conjures the image of far-flung locales -- often the places you’d rather be than in the office. While you might not be able to live in those desert, jungle or beach locations full-time, there’s not much stopping you from creating that vibe around your office. That is, unless your boss is opposed to a big makeover of your space.

The first step, then, is to find out how much rearranging and redecorating you’re allowed to do in the office. From there, use some or all of these tips to evoke that far-off locale in your otherwise boring office.

See Also: 6 Ways to Transform Your Office Space in 2015

1. Change the fabrics

Who says office chairs can only come in drab grey or boring navy blue? Office chairs come in all sorts of fun fabrics these days, from zebra print to bold colors. What’s more, complimentary drapes that offset the colors in your office chair -- and even the office sofa, if you’re lucky enough to have one -- can further add that exotic feeling. Choose a main color or a few colors in the same color family, and then look for items that blend well with that palette.

2. Throw down some exotic flair

You might not be able to install new flooring, but you can warm the place up and give your space more of an inviting feel with the use of a throw rug or two. For that African feel, think a stripey zebra print; for a tropical vibe, think straw or thin bamboo.

3. Breathe some life into the place with plants

Tropical plants need extra love -- but with some care, they’ll certainly brighten up your space and make the air cleaner too. Ferns, palms and orchids are good choices, though be sure to check the needs of the plants, so you don’t promptly kill them. Some tropical plants will need to be misted, for example, while others won’t like being set next to a window too near the winter chill.

4. Get photos that tell a story

Photos -- whether they’re from your exotic vacation or not -- are a great way to add flair while not going overboard in an office environment. You could use metal prints to keep pictures elegant and timeless or you can look for frames that add to the exotic feeling. Bamboo or tropical hardwoods may be appropriate, depending on the look you’re aiming for.

5. Think about sound

A lot of the above-named suggestions will add visual appeal to your new exotic office, but since you’re the one who actually has to work in there, you might want to think about how the place will feel. Adding a small water fountain -- think a desktop model -- will add the sound of falling water to your space, thus evoking the feeling of being in a misty jungle. Sound machines or computer applications that provide the sound of the ocean or the jungle can be another way to go.

See Also: The 5 Minute Office Workout

Being in an environment that inspires you can help you get more creative, and hopefully will also help you get more work done -- not to mention impressing your clients and co-workers. And so long as the office decor isn’t a distraction for you or for others, your boss should be OK with it too...

Do you utilise any other methods to transform your workplace into an exotic paradise? Your thoughts and comments below please...

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