Secrets Office Decor Reveal About Leadership Style



What does your office decor say about your leadership style?

This is day 9 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge hosted by Decisive Minds. My passion for art combined with my experience in the corporate world, is my topic for 31 days, titled: Art in the Workspace. We’ve taken an upclose and personal view from outside, now we’re taking a walk inside. You can view previous posts under “Art in the Workspace” category.

Today we’re taking a walk around the office, to look at your office decoration. Through an interpretation of a few key elements to uncover what it may suggest about your leadership style. Although you know the old saying “you should never judge a book by its cover”, it could subconsciously make or break a deal. I like to think of it as office personality. Lets take a tour starting at the;

Reception area

Reception area

A reception area or waiting room, is the first place a visitor encounters, therefor setting the bar for a powerful first impression.  It may possibly be the employee entrance and sets the tone for the day.

Nothing says “Welcome” like a bowl of candy, a few magazines and beverage(s), keeping these at a minimum avoids clutter and messy areas. One of the most uplifting characteristics I found in my research were plants. Plants project life, warmth and serenity, if well-maintained. This room is your “30 second infomercial”, make a striking one!

Some of these characteristics may be interpreted as environmentally responsable, charismatic, show empathy and relationship-oriented.

Colors in the office



Per, Empower Yourself with Color; What you choose for the colors of your office can have a dramatic effect on your clients and other visitors. These effects are subliminal and instinctive, creating either a good or bad perception of your business

The colors you use in your office should change with the type of business being conducted in the office. Your image is being projected, and judgments being made, the moment your door is opened. The right choice for your office colors can ensure that your image is a positive one.

Colors to avoid; white, claimed by employees to be depressing. Cream and beige, reflect boring and dull. Blue denotes honesty, loyalty, wisdom, conservatism, security and confidence so it is a good color for these types of businesses.  Green is calming, suggesting security, growth and money and dark green is often used by corporate businesses to indicate wealth and prestige. Accessorize the office with a little of the complementary color, orange with the blue or red with the green, to balance the effect of these colors.

The power colors of navy blue, dark green and burgundy give a message of control, responsibility, and confidence to clients of these more serious corporate businesses.

Creating a pleasant color palette of two or more colors is preferred.

artwork in the office


Wall Decor

Ah, my favorite part! A cohesive collection of art tells me that there was careful planning in the office decor and design. Its professional and inviting. A mismatched display of inspirational quotes, prints with assorted art subjects and themes, indicates to me, there was no thought in the decorating process, except just get something on the wall. A transactional type of office.

Artwork from local artist demonstrates corporate social responsibility. A properly placed display of awards and community events, demonstrate community involvement and social cause awareness.

One of my favorite all time wall decor is at a local business, its a wall with custom decals comprised of words straight from the employees interpretation of the company culture. A clear demonstration of pride in the company and what the employees think and feel about working there.



According to Georgie Henderson at, the furniture in the reception area should be sleek and comfortable, it should be eye-catching and should flow easily into the rest of the office. There are just certain images which seem to be connected with success and wealth; modern design is one of the most prevalent images which convey this.  Overall, modern furniture can help an office to appear elegant and  sophisticated, giving it an attractive pull.

A sofa and modestly sized separate meeting table and chairs are ideal for conducting business in alternate locations within the room, these encourage conversation and privacy.

A meeting or conference room, could be the place to explore ideas, open communication and encourage participation. Make it gadget free, no distractions yelling, read me! Comfortable seating is a must. The room that should say you’re engaging, caring, visionary and transformative. A conference room with glass walls, although sound proof gives the impression that we have no secrets.

Big mahogany desks, king size throne chairs and dark wood speak volumes of power, authority, hierarchy and of a conservative professional environment yet hands-off.

Functional and aesthetically beautiful modern furniture will indicate that you care about quality.

Conference room

Employee office space

An employee office space could be a desk, reception area or cubicles. According to,  Meredith Wells, a researcher from the University of Eastern Kentucky who has examined people’s relationships with their work spaces, says people who decorate their offices often have higher levels of job satisfaction and psychological well-being, leading to higher levels of employee morale and lower turnover.

Mayor Bloombergs’ desk is in a cubicle, despite his high power position, it demonstrates that he’s hands-on,  encourages an open door policy and is a team member.

Did you find this interesting? Did you identify with any these characteristics? Share your office setting with us here!

Who’s the author?

UBC- Quote 9

Join the daily fortune cookie quote challenge; find the author and submit your answer, even if you can’t find the author, let’s hear from you! The commenter with the most posts and finds will have the choice of one of my prints from the “Gift of the Rose” art collection at my online shop “La Galeria” on Etsy.


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2 thoughts on “Secrets Office Decor Reveal About Leadership Style

  1. karenguttridge 01/10/2013 at 11:57 am Reply

    I love the images here – I can definitely see myself pulling that red chair up to the desk and writing to my heart’s content! I have always put green plants in my work area (so calming) and I know I work SO much more productively if my desk is tidy. Which sadly is not often enough…! 🙂

    • Peggy Martinez 01/10/2013 at 12:12 pm Reply

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your valuable feedback! I have a home office studio, so you can imagine how messy it gets, however, it’s my little piece of heaven and I love it! If you get a chance, uncover who the author is of the quote and you may have a chance at winning one of my prints! Have a great day!


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