Setting up your own offices as a lawyer is an exciting time for you. And, as a thoroughly modern lawyer, you might want to buck the system as far as your decor goes. You know the formula: shelves lined with books, and big, heavy wooden antiques – it’s meant to be impressive, but it does tend to feel a bit gloomy. If you’d like to reflect a professional image while avoiding these stodgy office decor cliches, these decor tips are for you!
1. Waiting Room Comforts for Legal Eagles
Keep your reception area bright and airy, with comfortable leather sofas in cool shades like white, blue or grey. Fast delivery furniture allows for online ordering of reception area seating that’s both comfortable and modern. The coffee table with newspapers and magazines to keep your clients occupied while they wait matches the modernity of your seating. Brushed stainless steel and glass is a good option. If you’d like to add a rug, choose understated geometric patterns or a single colour. Pops of warmer colour add contrast, but don’t overdo it. A few throw cushions will do the trick.
2. Beautifying Your Boardroom
Traditionally, boardroom tables are long, heavy rectangles. But it’s far from ideal. Get eye contact with your colleagues and clients by choosing a round or square table instead. It’s better for collaboration and passing documents back and forth too. Once again, avoid the dark, heavy look that’s so stereotypical. Wood is good, but opt for light shades with seating to match and instead of the oh-so-trad library of tomes, lay on facilities for a workstation that grants you easy access to documents and information.
Apart from your main boardroom, consider having a smaller, more intimate meeting room for more compact groups of people. The basics remain the same, but the scale is smaller, leaving your clients feeling less lost and intimidated than they would at a big, nearly-empty boardroom table.
3. Office Chic
Old-fashioned decor may make your clients feel like they’re back at school, visiting the headmaster’s office! Avoid this impression by carrying your modern themed decor through to your offices. Modern, ergonomic furniture and fresh, light colours won’t hurt your professional image – in fact, they might even give you a subliminal advantage by making a visit to your offices more pleasant for your clients.
Even in today’s world, legal practices still run on paper, so be sure to make provision for out-of-sight storage of all those hefty files and stacks of documents. The overall impression should be crisp, clean and uncluttered.
4. Odds and Ends
With the basics attended to, it’s time to add a few paintings, photos, prints and ornaments. Encourage your colleagues to introduce a personal touch to their offices. A few family pictures are welcome icebreakers, and help to make nervous clients feel more at ease. Photos of the team and framed certificates showcasing their achievements are useful for telling your law firm’s story, but avoid clutter. Where an artwork is called-for, choose something modern and neutral that matches your overall decor. One big painting is far more effective than a wall full of bits and bobs.
Pot plants and cut flowers are great too, but place them strategically and ensure that someone is responsible for removing any tired-looking plants or flower arrangements. Dropping petals and sad-looking plants don’t fit in with the fresh image you’re trying to create.
Your new offices are ready! Celebrate your fresh new look by inviting staff and a few valued clients to mark the occasion with coffee and cake. Be ready to accept their compliments!