5 Ways to Use Color to Increase Your Productivity

Increase productivity with color! These 5 tips will get you started.
Wishing you could get more done during your work day? Turns out your office’s color palette could be just as important as what kind of computer you buy. The right color scheme can have a huge impact on your productivity level.

Reconfiguring your office not only inspires you throughout the day, it can increase the quality and quantity of your output. To get you started, I put together some tips on overhauling your office to increase your productivity:

Freshen Up Your Furniture

Chances are, you work at a functional desk that does a great job organizing your files and a terrible job looking stylish. Easy fix? Hit your desk with a coat of a bold, statement paint color. It’s probably the biggest piece of furniture in your office and will make the most impact.

Paint Your Walls
I’m a firm believer in choosing your wall color after you’ve picked your furniture colors. Feel free to experiment, but don’t forget that this will be the dominant hue in your office, so you want something that complements other colors well. I find that shades of grey (like Pearl Gray SW0052) are calming and look great with most other colors, but any color works as long as it makes you feel inspired. Working in a room that isn’t painted a boring stark white can make a huge difference to your mindset and your productivity level!

Color-Up Your Accessories
Now that your walls and desk have joined the Color Club, you can go crazy with the accessories. View your office supplies as an opportunity to inject punches of color into your workspace. A boring stapler can transform into a cheerful pop of blue, a standard pencil jar can become a fiery red focal point — you can even infuse color into your tape dispenser by buying Japanese Washi tape! If all else fails, fresh flowers are a cheap and beautiful way to bring a bold infusion of color into your space, and they’ll help you be more productive if you’re feeling cooped up inside.


Pick Your Pictures Wisely
Almost everyone has pictures of their family at their desk, but sometimes too many colorful snapshots can be distracting and cluttered. Instead of framing a bunch of images and placing them all over the room, make a collage of your loved ones using black-and-white photos only. The simple color scheme goes well with everything, won’t look cluttered, and you’ll still be surrounded by smiling faces in the office.

Artfully Organize
Want to give that bold desk a point of reference? Mimic the shade in your organizational system. Instead of hiding paperwork in a filing cabinet, buy file folders in the same hue and proudly put them on display in a bookshelf. It’s a great opportunity to insert a wall of color into your office, and you’re organizing your paperwork at the same time! If you use an “inspiration board,” paint the edges the same color as your desk, and suddenly you have an organizational system that’s just as functional as it is beautiful.

Interested in learning more about color? Check out my workshop, Using Color in Home Design.

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Tobi Fairley is an award-winning interior designer known for her bold, modern approach to color.