- One desk. Gray.
- One ergonomic office chair. Black.
- One waste paper basket. Gray plastic.
- One filing cabinet. Gray.
You know – the usual stuff. Typical. Traditional. Booooooring!
I’m not going to claim that a fancy desk or a weird chair is going to magically improve your creativity and productivity – but I am damn sure, that all that sameness and eternal corporate grayness, does nothing good for your ability to come up with great new ideas.
Here are some ways to spruce up a workplace that may actually inject some color and fun into your work environment.
The Milk desk is a new design to match your Apple gear with it’s white surface and rounded edges.
The wing desk
Or how about a desk made from the wing of a DC3 plane?
The saddle chair
The starting point for the Haag Capisco is just your average, garden-variety office chair – but they’ve moved on from there. The saddle seat gives you a more erect posture and doesn’t cut of the blood flow to your legs.
Bean bags look great and can be used in a million different positions. Four bags and a coffee table and you have a great meeting room!
Where do you keep all your reference manuals and handbooks? Close to where you can sit and read them, of course! Meet the Bibliochaise.
It’s a tree. It’s a sculpture. It’s… I don’t know what it is, but I like it.
The meeting bed.
When your business is innovation, your office can’t really look like any other corporate wasteland. London-based innovation agency ?WhatIf! know that – as evidenced by e.g. the life-sized plastic cow statue painted like Spiderman in the lobby and the big red couch/bed they use for meetings:
I was sitting in my usual café writing this blogpost when I spotted a lady at the next table looking through some pictures of weird and beautiful desks.
A balance act
This is more a metaphor than a piece of furniture – but it’s pretty cool all the same.
Or how about an entire wall covered in cordwood? Not only is it amazingly beautiful, it’s also great for the acoustics and it gives the wall a great texture.
So is it the furniture that determines whether a company is creative and fun or staid and boring? Of course not! But the type and variety of furniture does reflect the mood at the company. If you have row upon row of identical, gray desks and chairs then odds are this is not the place wild ideas are born.
And why exactly is it that everyone must have the same desk and chair? Why not let people choose for themselves, and give them a chance to create an environment that suits them. The resulting variety may be confusing to those who think that business is about structure, order and control… but it’s sure to be more stimulating and fun for those of us who think that work is about being happy.
There are more pictures of cool furniture in this flickr set.
Also check out my post on 10 seeeeeriously cool workplaces:
253 thoughts on “12 ways to pimp your office”
Seriously cool stuff, Alex. I forwarded this link on to my office manager…
Alex, I can already feel the money draining from the bank account.
I’m drooling over the Milk desk–been looking for a good desk for about a year now. And the Softwall looks incredibly useful and pleasing to the eye.
*slaps forehead* I knew I should’ve looked to the Danes for these things… ;)
Thanks for a great post!
Glad you liked it guys. Sorry if it impacts your wallet too badly :o)
I love the milk desk. I wonder what happens when you spill coffee on it…
Cord wood is pretty, acoustically damping… and insects love it. And, because of the insects, spiders really dig it, too. Probably not recommended if you live in the mountains or the arid Southwest, in particular. Black Widow spiders are common in these areas.
My bank will hate you for showing me this!
-I have already ordered one of each! (almost)
Especially the conferencebike is way cool!
Expect to see one in Copenhagen soon!
That’s Worf’s Chair from Star Trek:TNG!
(Follow the links and you will see what I am talking about)
Man, kinda scary that I spotted that immediately.
I like it better in black.
Alex – Congrats on getting this post to the top of reddit – well, not quite as of yet – it’s hard to beat out John Stewart. :)
These trinkets are for people that actually like being in the office all day and suffice it to say are probably in need of something to compenstae for their utterly vapid existance. Every one of those ideas lacks any real imagination, is totally impractical and a great way to waste cash and resources. Here is a better idea to brighten up any office: pot and prostitutes.
I love the milk desk. I wonder what happens when you spill coffee on it
Honestly, you have horrible taste. Thanks for sharing, but no thanks on any of this stuff.
Wonderful. Love the milk desk – especially with the aquarium attachment.
Those art tables are great! Not to sure about the Conference Bike tho…
Great post and sooo many nice designs. We have the bean bag :)
Any idea how much the soft wall goes for? we have a great studio office that we might want to divide up a bit.
Great, now all I need is a job at an office cool enough to allow me to buy any of this stuff!
Very nice article…So true: Boring offices hinders the creation of good ideas..
I liked the art tables, they would be very cool for my editing system, and I think it would impress my customers. I will try to make one when I have time.
That wing desk is amazing. I WANT! The conference bike looks like the hardest thing to do ever.
I like the wing desk…I don’t think I’ll be riding the conference bike anytime soon :) here’s something a bit more low key that I pimp my office with http://www.chiptree.com.
Hey get some Crushed Can Art for the wall, too!
You need more than this stuff… Like stuff to go on your desk… How about this lamp I just bought.
this is seriously cool. except for the ‘mandatory’ 3-seater thingy. ha!
Would I rather have cool stuff in the office, or more money?
I’ve actually ridden a conference bike. It was pretty awesome!
Kieth obviously hasn’t read this blog before.
I have to admit, the cordwood would indeed spruce up any office. nice list.
I’ve had the saddle chair, it was horrible. And expensive.
I have translated it to Chinese :
Wow :) Great stuff. Thanks for the pics
It’s very cool.Please come to my blog.It’s like it.
I think the conference bike has got (intentionally?) bad marketing. If you took the same picture above, removed the bike helmets, and used someone who didn’t have coke-bottle glasses, it might be lots more palatable.
Hahah, “Pimp Your Office” should be “How to turn your office into a pre-school playground”. None of that stuff is pimp at all… more like yuppie wanna be pimp. Don’t get me wrong some of it could be cool at home but c’mon – most of it doesn’t even makes sense in an office.
I recently placed a large order for office furniture with a company called http://www.saxen.co.uk And the experience i had with this company was fantasic from order to comletion the whole process was perfect and I would recommend using them for purchasing office furniture to everyone. They also have some very funky stuff
I liked the “Balance Act” furniture, its cool and has great concept…
Really cool ideas to keep you fresh through out the working day. A far cry from the mundane office spaces we are used to. It is daring though and will take a good amount of convincing for implementation of these ideas in our offices. Though some of them can be tried in our own homes to change the mood while chatting or studying.
We have partnered with Holmris as Canada’s first Milk Desk distributor:
I have a conference bike for sale.
Pease email me at email@example.com for more info.
Pimping is all good but don’t forget the importance of ergonomic seating
Style is important, but posture and good health are equally if not more.
Choosing suitable office furniture for a busy, heavily populated call centre requires a lot of thought. Practical considerations regarding ergonomics, acoustics and technical integration often out weigh the aesthetic considerations which contribute so much to a productive and enjoyable work environment.
I was responsible for sourcing and selecting the furniture for a recent call centre refit project and found many suppliers were quick to present their ‘out of the box’ solution without much consideration for the needs of the call centre workers. In the end I chose http://www.theglassoffice.co.uk and we have all been mightily impressed with their service, the installation and the environment that has been created.
That aircraft wing table took my breath away. I would like to see kind of a furniture taken from a submarine. Is there any on this site, please?
i have just brought from a fantastic office furniture superstore called officesupermarket. The range of furniture is huge and the guys on the end of the phone really know what they are talking about. My order was delivered on the day it was booked in for and even the delivery guys we pleasent. Try it http://www.officesupermarket.co.uk
We have been looking for new lines of furniture for our office. Do you have the contact information for the manufacturers that you highlight in your blog.
Oh My.. I love it.
I know one’s office furnishings can increase productivity and creativity. I just never knew there was an opportunity to purchase such creative office furnishings.
Great ideas. I’ll go broke fixing up my office!
really, cool stuff!!
I gonna try to buy those cool things, or make them by myself
echt, vette dingen!!!
Ik ga deze vette dingen proberen te kopen, of maak ik ze zelf.
That my old client and my flatmate in the What If Picture
Love the article and every one of its type. I wish I could go thru all the messages, but I’m at my currently un-pimped workplace and need to get back to the dreary looking mundane stack of paper.
We have a very smalllllll space to work in, but I am going to try to get my boss to pimp it up- there are too many winning combinations of cheap yet peppy arrangements. I’ll try to post pics of my google sketch up plan.
I need info on a stack on any surface (smooth) screen to divid space about 13 to 16 inch in height and 60″ wide and 30″ wide? Any help. Thanks David
Creative mind needs to be appreciated.
Thanks for giving us opportunity to view all this!
I love these office idea. I also ordered a pretty cool brushed metal conference room sign at OfficeSignCompany.com
i love the cord wood wall! i’d love to make one. is there any way to get in contact with the folks who did that?
thanks for this great site!
I like the conference bike I wish I had one at home! There are some great products to pimp your office on this blog: http://www.btoffice.com/blog/category/pimp-my-office/
Yeh – I can see a lot of work getting done with some of these setups…
Thinking about your conference bike… The Dutch have a rolling bar based on the same principle, except that you need another person to serve the beer. The “partyfiets” or beer bike http://www.beerbike.co.uk/
Wow, some of this would look great in my office!
The Milk Desk is pretty cool, but optical mouses don’t like white surfaces. Unless you get the black version of Milk, you’ll probably end up needing a mouse pad or (go for size with) a desk writing pad, which kinda defeats the purpose of having a clean, cool looking desk.
Love the desk with the fish, i wonder if one could be made for a lizard?
The wing desk is legendary.. I don’t think my wife would be happy with that in the spare room tho.
You non-Black hipsters using the word “pimp” as a complimentary verb are about as silly as they come. Real pimps are violent, nasty people who exploit women, but as long as you’re sheltered from that by your nice office job, keep parroting away.
i got 250 square feet of office i want arrangemy office, With 4 machine and a desk and two persoenal computer please give some suggestion about the arrangements
Was completely turned off by the title of your column. Please learn what the definition of pimping is and perhaps you will not use it anymore.
Seriously funny stuff, man! I mean, who doesn’t need an aquarium built into their desk and a bike that can hold 6 people… I LOVE it!
The Milk Desk is pretty cool, but optical mouses don
The conference bike is amazing – no more falling asleep in a boring meeting! That sure is one way to make sure everybody contributes. The beanbag idea is great for smaller offices and we will probably implement it. I also love the partition rather than boring cubicle walls!
want one soooo bad! concerned about the fishtank however!!!
no filtration… booo!
i think its defintely true that the workplace decor affects productivity…its so hard to be creative when you’re in a stuffy, crowded office surrounded by greyness!
I think the wing chair would look great in a residential care home
If you would like to learn more about beanbag chairs or want to buy bean bag furniture visit us a buybeanbagfurniture.
Here’s to employers who know how to make the workplace fun! I particularly like the Softwall room partition. We are always looking for modern twists on the cubicle – that certainly qualifies.
I was very interested in the flexible paper partitions but did not have much luck in finding tehm in the UK. But I found an office furniture company called CH Workspace Ltd, and they know the product and have sent me samples. They frequently import from Germany and can supply me with these partitionsin about a week, which is amazing.
You can search for them by typing “office furniture” onto Google or by going to their website which is “http://www/chworkspace.co.uk
Re previous comment about CH workspace as a supplier for the flexible screens, the website address should have read ” http://www. chworkspace.co.uk ”
Sorry again, The link should be http://www.chworkspace.co.uk
I am having a very bad day
We’re designing an office for 10, generally in open cubicles. Windows all face South and we should have good lightening when it’s complete. What about colors for carpet, base boards, kitchenette flooring and countertops? Any recommendations?
The aquarium is beautiful, but so cruel :(
I like the blog post, but I strongly disagree with the aquarium thing. We have no right to use animals in this way.
A former client of my father had a different method for pimping his home office. His cat. The cat used to sleep in the mail basket while he was working. It always made him feel good.
I’m using one of those saddle chars, first it’s really strange and you have to get used to it, but it really helped with my pain in the back…so it does alot more than just looking stylish :)
I like the wall it’s unique and adjustable! I can’t believe it’s made of paper! The chair is very unique and creative too. I believe that it’s comfortable to sit upon because it got many heads to lean upon our back or our head. The aquarium looks so elegant and expensive, yet I just thought it’s too big and spacious , but all in all, your furniture and post are cool!
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Really amazing ideas…i am looking for creative computer table for six persons….
This office ideas this article has mentioned are amazing. They are so super unique, I wish my office had chairs, desks, and conference tables like the ones in this article. Just Amazing!!!
Love, Love, Love It!!!!
Awesome page, i
You should do a before and after photo contest to see what people do to their offices after reading your post.
I love this blog. I found it when doing research for me own. It seems that this is a subject that most companies still have not explored, yet as employees we have been saying the same thing for years. We want our surroundings to stimulate us!!
I have just wrote a blog on how office space can improve productiveness: http://www.believeinonline.com/pimp-my-office-space.aspx
I am in love with that Bibliochaise. I would love to have a chair that doubles as a handy book shelf! Offices will never be the same again with the things you posted above. In a book called Depression in the Workplace (http://www.depressionatwork.com), I read that depression can be a very expensive problem. But with furniture and designs like the ones above, I’m sure that employee depression will be out of the question.
Totally loving the meeting bed idea and aeroplane wing desk. Some fantastic ideas there, I imagine alot of these are inspired from US companies and would not be seen as often in UK offices.
I strongly believe the office environment should be relaxed and not always corporate, creating a good working environment is key to any business and so many do not simply think of things like this.
Love the idea of a meeting bed, but I really don’t think it would work for me! I would simply become too comfortable and relax too much, causing me to completely forget why I’m at the meeting.
In today’s business world the key factors that are shaping our office spaces are Sustainability, Mobility and Flexibility. Work places that are sympathetic to office workers in the twenty first century are still few and far between, however perceptions are changing from businesses who no longer see offices as a liability, but rather a key branding tool.
Great innovations! Definitely inspires me when working within the office fit out industry
This stuff reminds me a lot of the image I’m trying to create at WestSide Culture. If you’re on the west coast, check it out.
This reminds me of when I was working at a small ISP about 14 years ago. We had an incredibly cool executive director, she told the owner that they could save a ton of money on the tech dept salaries if she had carte blanche to buy us toys and cool stuff, wingback mesh chairs, in bright colors, dell latitude laptops and company cell phones for all! The whole tech support department was deliciously bright white drywall, with art that the tech staff helped pick out, huge boomerang table with 3 vintage PVC eames loveseats (aquamarine, rose, and ivory) for meetings. Too bad they were too cheap to roll out DSL and went out of business. But when we were asked if we wanted money or toys and luxury as compensation, we always voted for the toys. They were great folks, when the operation was purchased by a consortium of independent telcos, they gave everybody a nice little check for a few thousand to transition on.
I love the imagination that has gone into the planning and functionality of the furniture! The bibliochaise is awesome, sitting on your own library :) also the milkdesk is awesome if you take a look at http://milk.dk you’ll see what i mean, the whole minimalistic look and the animation which shows you how much stuff you can interchange from just storage to having a fish tank! I think this deserves a shout out on facebook :) top article!
i have found your soft walls very interesting.
i am interested in purchasing it for my office.
however i need to know the following:
1)what is the material
2)how is it sold (in meters)
3)length and height
4)do youll build it and do fitting
5)is it streachable,flexible,can change and adapt to how i need it to fit?
6)what is the cost
7)how do we purchase?
8)what are available colours etc?
I absolutely love the Milk Desk!!! Having a goldfish or two swimming around next to me would be awesome and quite ambient i imagine …but i would then need to hire someone to clean the tank on a frequent basis so it always looked as good as in this picture. Great work Alexander, some great stuff here. I see some of the old comments are now a few years old but I would say most of this stuff is still current now.
Liking milk desk but they are ridiculous prices. Love but would never buy.
insanity and stupidity. All the creativity comes from a small team using their brain (seating in NORMAL BASIC CHAIRS) to innovate and create new products that bring value(s). The rest is useless blablablabla that believe they bring values by thinking about useless furniture.
Those are some brilliant ideas to revamp your office look. I don’t think they cost as much too.
The wave partition walls are pretty amazing, I’ve seen a few of those in offices and they look brilliant.
I adore that globe! The desk chair is amazing. I was looking at one like that recently and wondered how it favored for sitting in for longer hours.