Designing Your Office Break Room


There are few places where people spend more waking hours than at the office. And for many, the break room is the primary place in the office that signals relief.

For our project designer Angela Worden, designing those places for clients is one of the highlights of her job. “I really enjoy creating atmospheres that are more for leisure—places where people can get away from their desk life and whatever mundane tasks they’re doing,” says Angela.

Angela, who specializes in interior design, was one of the designers behind our Moore Dentistry project, which brought a comforting, relaxing element to the office’s waiting room. She also designed the break room renovation for an Indy-based manufacturer in the banking industry, and of all the projects she’s done with Curran, that has been one of Angela’s personal favorites.

“That project was special to me because I was able to provide a service to the people working in that factory environment. It was a space where they could get away from machines and feel more human.”

In a break room, a little thoughtful attention to physical comfort and visual pleasure can ultimately produce happier employees, more employee camaraderie, and as a result, better work.

It can be as simple or dramatic as:

  • Adding new lighting to a space. When paired with a new paint color, ambient lighting can drastically enhance the ambience of a space.
  • Some carefully curated pieces of wall art. As focal points, art helps define spaces and create an intimate atmosphere.
  • Removing the ceiling. Exposing the existing industrial structure above the ceiling provides an exciting new sense of scale.
  • Opening up exterior walls. Views and natural light not only enhance the space, they also improve the overall well-being of its users.

With the increasing awareness of workplace design’s impact on and appeal to employees, companies have been taking note of the crucial role a break room plays in business. In fact, many of the big players in the creative and tech industries seem to be trying to out-design each other with break rooms that feature arcade machines, reading nooks, and basketball courts.

But even without the possibilities of a seemingly limitless budget, there are ways of bringing out what’s best about your break room.

  • It all starts with your brand. The brand is the company’s personality, and the break room is a great place to bring that personality to life.
  • Bring all your ideas to the table. A company may not know—or agree—on what exactly they want to do with the space, but the designer’s job is to distill and combine the best ideas into one cohesive vision.
  • Start talking—and do it early. With a company’s list of needs and wants in hand, the designer can advise business owners on whether or not the intended building (if a contract has not yet been signed) will serve the business’s purposes in the best possible way..

Interested in re-energizing your break room? Let’s talk about it.

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