How to Make an Old Office Look Modern

Setting up breakout spaces, getting rid of the clutter, updating your fixture, and some other tricks will make an old office look modern. I will cover all of them in this article.

Believe me, all these simple tricks will not require a lot of time and money, and you will get fast and impressive results.  If you’re trying to discover how to make an old office look modern, you’ll need to achieve the perfect balance between classic feel and modern appeal. Bridging the gap between the antique and the modern can be a daunting task. However, with a little research and a lot of careful planning, you’ll be able to pull off a modern-looking workplace that you and your employees will be proud of.

What is Modern Office Design

With its roots traced back in the early twentieth century, modern office design prioritizes form and function more than the details. It gets rid of unnecessary elements and incorporates metals, crystals, and concrete into its overall style. Modern office design favors strong, clean lines and straight shapes, the pieces of furniture that complement it are steel tables, chairs, shelving, and cabinets.

Moreover, a modernized office uses plenty of neutral colors with vivid accents. It also features whites and grays that you’ll mostly see at the top since the modern workplace tends to feature simple and uncluttered spaces that project comfort and radiate a sense of calmness, closely associated with minimalism. 


Expert Tips for Modernizing your Office

Since modernizing your old office requires redesigning efforts and renovation, getting a few ideas from the experts of modern design will lead you closer to your goal. Antiquated workplaces can be challenging to remodel, that’s why you shouldn’t be surprised if you feel like there’s not a lot you can do to make it look more modern. However, if you focus on the design elements that you have control over, you can successfully modernize your old workplace.

Once you transform your office into a well-designed, functional, and modern workplace, your employees, prospective clients, and visitors will be much impressed. To get you started, check out this compilation of expert tips to help you turn your old office into a modern one:


Think about going green

Sustainable living is modern living. Use biophilic design to effectively bridge the old atmosphere of your workplace and your modern design theme. Going green in terms of office design goes way beyond the reduction of your carbon footprint. 

Research suggests that there is a strong link between nature connectedness and employee health and productivity. Furthermore, when you adopt an eco-friendly office design, you will not only modernize your office’s look, but it will also reduce your energy bills, improve your brand’s reputation, and establish loyalty with your company’s stakeholders.

One of the best ways to green up your interiors is to place some floor or table plants in your rooms or office cubicles. While you’re at it, you may also want to hang baskets of non-flowering plants. Addling live greenery will lighten your color palette, balance the mood, and improve your indoor air quality.

Adopting a sustainable office design also involves placing recycling bins around your office to promote waste reduction and using natural light rather than a traditional one. It also means enriching your office interior with lighting systems that are both smart and energy-efficient. These are the ones that have lighting modes and sensors that you can pre-set to save energy.


Set up some breakout spaces

Decide to set up casually-designed breakout areas within the office where your team members can de-stress. Older office spaces are not comfortable and inviting. Shifting to the modern design would mean putting comfort on top of your list of priorities. 

In case you’re not aware, sitting in the same working for long periods can seriously affect your employees’ health.  A breakout area will encourage them to move away from their desks and do their brainstorming sessions or social interactions in a relaxed environment. Since this area is designed to reduce stress levels, it also boosts employee productivity and creative thinking.


Get rid of the clutter

If you don’t get rid of clutter, any changes you make to modernize your workplace will have little or no effect. Since “clean” is the distinct characteristic of “modern,” a disorganized office will only make the older elements stand out. 


Update your fixtures

Your antiquated office would look more modern if you ditch your worn-out fixtures and replace them with minimalist accents. Get rid of your fluorescent bulbs and install softer LEDs that will seamlessly complement your workspace. If you want to use your exposed HVAC ducting to enhance your modern office design, consider powder coating it. 


Roll out your technology upgrades

Nothing screams “modern” than adding technology upgrades! Anyone who steps inside your office would know that it’s inching toward modernization when they see mounted video screens, a tablet or laptop charging dock, and digital wayfinding. To achieve a full tech effect, consider adding your exposed network cabling overhead.

What’s more, you might want to think about throwing in more interactive media into your conference rooms – from whiteboards to plexiglass that can be mounted on walls. Using these tools will enable your employees to express and illustrate their ideas right off the bat freely.

While you’re at it, why don’t you use a digital image wall covering? This will allow you to convey what your brand is all about. For example, if one of your company’s main advocacies include sustainable living, showing digital images of nature at your office’s common areas will give everyone a clear message of what your business believes in.


Pick an art theme

Your office makeover won’t be complete unless you pick an art theme and fill the barren white walls of your workplace. It doesn’t matter if you choose surreal, classical, eclectic, industrial, or modern art – once you put these pieces of art on display, your office will instantly look more modern and stylish. 


Knock your walls down

If there’s one thing you need to know about modern workplace aesthetics, it’s the fact that it embraces transparency. You’ll gain square footage, and your workplace will look more modern if you decide to open up your floor plan and lose the walls.

Instead of using closed conference rooms and cubicles, today’s office features collaborative spaces that are open and friendly to encourage teamwork, honesty, and transparency. To ensure privacy and reduce distractions during your important meetings, you can choose to add removable or permanent glass partitions. 


Give window treatments a try

In case you’re not aware, window treatments can add a modern touch to your overall design. You might want to install cellular shades or blinds to make your older office look more current.


Go the minimalist route

As mentioned earlier, modern design is closely identified with a minimalist theme. This means that you shouldn’t go overboard with your choice of decorative or furniture pieces. 

For instance, when it comes to picking office furniture, choose the modular ones that feature clean lines. Although simple decorative accents are always preferred, you need to make sure that they help you build a cohesive theme that doesn’t feel cluttered. Make sure that the elements of your design are aligned with your brand aesthetic and identity.


Combine and accent textures

Since old office spaces have a lot of texture, the best way to bridge an old-looking workplace with modern concepts is to combine and accent these textures. Do this by creating focal points with the building’s original features, including exposed architecture or brick walls. For example, you can throw in a subtle carpet pattern to accent brick.


Choose color schemes wisely

Choosing the right color scheme is an extremely important factor in modernizing an older workplace. While you can always choose to integrate your brand’s colors to establish consistency, you also have the option to use an entirely different palette that consists of warm neutral tones and vivid hues that can be used to accent them. Just to give you an idea, a beige carpet would go well with your blue furniture, and a red art piece on a cream-colored brick wall would promote cohesion.

Although aesthetic largely influences your choice of color scheme, keep in mind that the colors you choose can impact your employees’ mood and productivity. For example, green is known to represent balance, growth, and optimism, while yellow emits positive vibes and stimulates creativity. Furthermore, blue hues represent depth and stability while it sets the tones for focus and clarity.

Use different types of flooring

Try a different flooring material in common areas so that you can bring more emphasis to the visibility of your brand identity and culture. For instance, most businesses prefer to add carpet tiles at their reception areas because this type of flooring solution provides ease in installation and versatility in terms of patterns and designs.


Why Do You Need to Invest in the Right Kind of Furniture

If most of your employees spend a large portion of their time at their desks, you’ll need to get the right kind of office furniture that supports healthy postures while promoting a better safety culture. Furnishing your modernized office requires the careful selection of ergonomically designed furniture.

You’ll be glad to know that modern office furniture comes with adjustable features that will help your workers steer clear of musculoskeletal disorders. Check out these examples:

Adjustable desks and chairs

This practical solution to posture issues allows your employees to freely lower or raise their worktops and chairs according to their levels of comfort. You can find desks and chairs with adjustable frames that offer both mechanical and electrical features.


Filing cabinets and metal drawers

You can maximize your office space with the use of filing cabinets and metal drawers that feature a clean and straightforward look. Aside from the fact that these come with matching central locks, you also have the option to incorporate practical accessories into your drawers.


Workbench systems

If you want to maximize your office space without spending more cash on additional furniture, then integrating workbench systems into your open space rooms would make a wise decision.  The fact that these systems feature several tops that are mounted to a large structure will allow you to eliminate the need for more desk frames and legs.


Conversational pieces of furniture

Since you’ll be setting up a break space, don’t forget to add conversational furniture pieces that not only defines the area but also creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere that promotes collaboration.


Modernize Your Office Today!

Whether you like it or not, your workplace says a lot about your brand. Its appearance can have a dramatic impact on employee morale, organizational productivity, and your company’s overall bottom-line. If you’re still not convinced that your old office needs a major makeover, why don’t you walk around the area to see if you can spot any of these red flags?

It looks outdated

Did you know that an outdated office can seriously affect your company’s image? If you still have those boring beige walls or the pieces of furniture that you purchased in the ‘90s, then it’s about time you modernize your workplace. 

Keep in mind that your prospective customers wouldn’t want to do business with an organization that’s behind the times. Likewise, your employees would want to associate themselves with a company that’s moving ahead.

Your employees are constantly complaining.

Your office environment can either motivate your team members to succeed or cause well-being issues. If your employees are constantly complaining about their work environment, don’t be surprised if they quit their jobs anytime soon and seek employment elsewhere. Since you wouldn’t want to lose your skilled employees, you’ll need to redesign and remodel your office space.

Final Thoughts

Determining how to make an old office look modern can be overwhelming. However, with a little bit of research and artistic flair, you’ll be able to create a conducive and aesthetically pleasing working environment for your employees.

Mila Design can help you bring your outdated office into the modern era. Our expertise lies in designing and creating modular office furniture, cabinets, and other individualized projects that seek to meet our clients’ needs. 

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Architecture for children

Architecture & Child Psychology: The Interconnectivity

The world is continuously moving toward a phase where technology meets architecture. Traveling and looking around, you see buildings in innovative concepts, astounding consumerism, skyscrapers, commercialism ideologies, and more. You could wander about what’s connecting the concepts of architecture and child psychology.

Thinking out of the box, art for art’s sake

Sounds very interesting, right? These demands are likewise challenges for architects to beat what is the norm, think outside the box, and design buildings with limitless creativity. However, because architects are also subject to business deals and commands, they have to adjust and move according to what these interests want. 

Naturally, human beings are born with senses, and part of this is able to appreciate what’s around them. Buildings are, at most times, utilized for practical purposes of shelter, or as a place of work, but these must be able to exude true meaning. Architects are known to design based on objectives, and not just for the sake of consumerism.  

Basing these designs from children’s psychology will offer beautiful results. Previous studies have revealed how the designs turn out to be better and more appealing when done from the perspective of a child’s mindset. 

Children are innocent, unaware of many realities in life, and their perception of the surroundings is young, unchanged, immature, and not prone to influences. At the end of this piece, you will be able to: 


  • Understand architecture for children
  • The relationship between architecture and human psychology
  • Comprehend what rehabilitation architecture and stability mean
  • See how to design small architecture for children
  • Take a look at the best samples. 


Architecture for children

The child’s mind is playful. Architecture for children, in line with architecture and child psychology, may be defined in many ways. First, it may refer to how architects command their tools to come up with designs based on a child’s perspective. Thus, simple, easy-to-understand, and idealistic.

Second, it may also refer to architecture intended for children. How does one design a toy store different from a dress shop for moms? How does one design a family-friendly community versus a community for more mature individuals? How does one create a theme park with the concepts attractive to children?

Third, architecture and child psychology can also pertain to outdoor accessories and furnishings that both children and older people will love. These may include dog parks, benches, tables, and pet stations.

Architecture and psychology

Architecture and child psychology are two broad fields of study, though these two are not very difficult to connect. Previously, you have learned how human emotions change with the changing of the surroundings and how they relate to one another. We’re expounding on this a bit to discover more about the art and its correlation with child psychology.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a source that has been present since the 19th century, preceding the World Wars, psychology is defined as the science of mind and behavior. It also refers to the study of brain and behavior concerning a particular field. 

Is there value on each other’s concepts? Yes. Know that design could go beyond creativity. Architecture is art, mathematics — and science. 

Buildings and how they look impact the way humans interact and think. People can read patterns, and it is the architect’s work to ensure that the design follows solid principles. One of these is known as the Gestalt principle, duly related to the interaction between architecture and child psychology.

This principle talks about how the human brain mirrors daily surroundings in such a way that it is wired to identify symmetry and balance in line with the general whole, hence appreciating visuals. These principles are founded and grounded on similarity, continuity, proximity, closure, and figure. 

One of the best examples would be the durian-shaped building located in Singapore. Known as The Esplanade, this building officially attributes itself to the popular fruit in Southeast Asia, the durian. However, it is very different in terms of the building’s size, and without knowledge of this fruit, you would not be able to make the identification.

Gestalt principles trick the brain into following illusions, making it believe that this is what the person can see. Humans have the natural way to deconstruct these into the most direct meaning. The elements of balance, lines, depth, and illusion come together. 

And then, you have the psychology of color. Did you notice that many food chains and restaurants have a red color? Red symbolizes thirst, hunger, and the need for something. Brands and companies have taken advantage of the color to attract more customers. 


Children psychology in rehabilitation architecture and stability 

Now that you’ve offered a glimpse of child psychology and architecture, we are taking this learning up a notch higher with rehabilitation architecture. Going through the different countries and continent words, it makes it easy to understand. Recovery through rehabilitation is the end-goal, but there are challenges conquered, learning curves, and habits that must be done correctly and consistently throughout the process. 

Does architecture re-shape and refocus the mind similar to being rehabilitated? Yes. Architecture is also about healing. Spaces that heal have stunning visuals that do not burden the well-being of the person but more of relaxing them. 

In the path toward rehabilitation, healing prevails. The person learns from their previous mistakes, recovers, and makes the change. Architecture has the power to shape human psychology, and utilizing the technique to base every design from child psychology, you delve into themes of youth, playfulness, and curiosity. 

In the next parts of this piece, we take a look at specific samples of these architectural elements for children — from playgrounds to dog stations.


Designing small architecture for children

Dominating architecture and design are these small architectural features created for children. These may include playgrounds, dog parks, tables, benches, and dog stations. Creating these pieces takes effort and time, which is why architects are investing time to ponder how they will have them designed, built, and presented. 

Architecture and child psychology are two considerations that come into the scene when dealing with creating these pieces. In 2018, children or those aged 15 years and below comprised 26 percent of the global population. And, you have been a child at a point in your life, too. 

Children have memories of various spaces. It includes playing around the library in your community, or the closest playground to your house. Architects consider these when designing a small architecture for children. They are contributors to molding perspectives; thus, the need to think and re-think, and find ways to feature energy and empathy in the creations. 

“Memories like these contain the deepest architectural experience that I know. They are the reservoirs of the architectural atmospheres and images that I explore in my work as an architect,” Swiss architect Peter Zumthor said.

Universal laws for determining what’s a good design and what’s not should not be confined to strict conditions. Principles from this must be comprehended, though, to encourage discussion, promote learning, and have nature involved along the way.

Playground zone and use

The benefits of playgrounds are plenty. These are where your children develop their early motor skills and interact with their school classmates and friends from the neighborhood. Playgrounds are where children and their parents, relatives, and family members gather in a different space involving nature.

With these playgrounds, they are freer to move, promoting self-confidence and self-esteem. Many community playgrounds are free admission, which increases the chances for these children to utilize the spaces for engaging their imagination into the activities. These playgrounds are also partnered with health-related organizations in the quest to combat childhood obesity.  

What is a playground zone? Playground zones are common signs that indicate you are entering a playground area. This is a small architectural feature that can be conveyed through the design of open parks and playgrounds. It alerts motorists and drivers to take caution within the area since children frequent playgrounds.

There are various considerations when selecting and building these playground features. These include:


  • Safety
  • Play
  • Adaptability
  • Freedom to move
  • Knowledge and learning


Safety is number one, and this has been the goal of every playground zone installed in the area. Without safety, architecture better be non-existent. It involves the use of quality materials. Then comes opportunities for play. Being able to play is the children’s right. Spaces conducive to these activities must be abundant in your neighborhood.

The adaptability of the architectural space means being able to sway according to how they are needed. Are the eco-parks going to be used for teambuilding? Or, these will be more about a picnic of the family with children? With these come spaces where people are free to move around. Lastly, they must be conducive to learning. Are the plants you see around child-friendly parks labeled with scientific names?


Parks design for children including dog parks

Children’s parks that allow pets are trendy nowadays. The rising population of pet-owning individuals needs these spaces that are created exclusively for them since there are individuals who might find themselves not very convenient around these animals.

To design the best of these parks, one must consider the kind of play. It may include active play, sensory play, imaginative play, creative play, reflective play, and social play. For instance, the popular Mind Museum in the trendy area of BGC in Taguig City, Philippines, is an indoor showcase of crafts intended to develop the child’s learning. This leans toward reflective play more than active play.

Second is the sense of place. Parks that have the most definite sense of play are those that also talk about the local culture and the “community spirit.” It may include symbols that are native or local to the community. Benches may be painted with colors that tell you about the personality of the locality. 

Multifunctional park features are also getting more popular. Gone were the days when monkey bars were for hanging, slides are for sliding, and so on. Now, some chairs and benches have the dual purpose of where park visitors may sit down to rest, and act as the complementary decor of the larger area. 

Then, you can also utilize your artistic skills to feature hideaways and passageways that are not directly revealed on the map layout. The passageway to a lagoon or mazes that lead to a picture spot for opportunities of taking photographs may be included.

Flow is also a design principle. Visually and along the path, park visitors and children should have continuity of movement that coincides with the patterns of design, unless otherwise part of the entire art. Treehouses, hopscotch, or slide features are recommended transition pieces from a particular zone in the park to a different area.

Similar to a high-interval workout in the gym, zones for different energy levels must be designed carefully. It will prevent younger children from trying out a playground facility that may be too huge for them to handle. Then, you may also consider designing according to traffic. Work with nature, work on sustainability, and feel individuals’ movement once the park is completed. 


Small architecture for children — benches, tables, and dog stations 

Benches, tables, and dog stations are not just about their purposes, but also about giving a visual spectacle. Imagine a park without spaces where park visitors can rest. Or, open areas frequented by visitors bringing pets without stations exclusive for pet use. Aside from it being a disorganized affair, it is a step back from aesthetics. 

Great aesthetics involve these small pieces that complement the design, giving a visual break from greenery or lifeless continuity of horizons. Take, for example, a coastal stretch by the beach without accessories like volleyball nets or huts. It will look like an underdeveloped area.


There are several groups, institutions, and organizations advocating for improving architecture for children and introducing them to the field early on. Unless you have relatives who are architects, designers, or urban planners, there are instances you may be unaware of what architecture really is.

How old were you when you heard about the term “architecture”? If, for instance, you are in your 30s and were able to discover the in-depth meaning of architecture, will you have a child-like perception of what the field is all about? You have seen how architecture and child psychology go together, and we cannot wait to see how you will implement this in your future projects.

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