Are you in a dark office or cubicle with no natural light and need some help decorating that office? This article will teach you how to decorate an office with no windows in 10 simple steps.
I’ve certainly been where you are in an office far away from the large windows that let in the wondrous sun during the workday. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t make that workspace work for you.
Workspace lighting has been known to affect productivity, mood, and your level of energy at work. Light psychology helps us understand how people respond to light in various environments. So, implementing proper lighting in the workplace is paramount to a productive workforce.
How to decorate an office is one challenge but how to decorate an office without windows is an even bigger challenge.
The best option is to find the proper lighting balance between being too dim vs too bright. Dim lighting can lead to lethargy while harsh or bright light can lead to migraines.
There are certain steps that you can take to lighten up your workspace and decorate your windowless office at the same time. Lighting that mimics sunlight is a great way to start as you’ll read below.
Whether it’s a cubicle, a private office, or a home office, there are windowless office decorating ideas I’d like to share with you.
How to Decorate an Office with No Windows – 10 Simple Steps
Windowless Office Decorating Ideas to Brighten Up Your Dark Office
If you are looking for some windowless office ideas, try incorporating some of the tips below and you just might find your office appears larger and much brighter. Ideas to decorate office walls are plentiful but you need to take extra care and approach when in comes to a windowless office.
1. Simulate Natural Light
One of the first issues you should tackle is to simulate natural light in your windowless office. Before you add to your windowless office décor, you need to enhance the lighting. There are a number of ways in which you can do this.
- LED Desk Lamp – Task lighting is extremely important in a workspace. An optimal desk lamp is by far one of the best investments you can make in a windowless office. You should look for an LED desk lamp that will give you the ability to adjust the lighting mode and brightness levels. An AFROG LED desk lamp will allow you to do just that. It has 5 lighting modes and 7 brightness levels as well as a wireless charger.
- Sunlight Desk Lamp – Another option is to opt for a sunlight desk lamp that uses a fluorescent bulb which is older technology in comparison to LEDs. It is advertised as mimicking sunlight. A Lavish Sunlight Desk Lamp will illuminate your dark office and it has an adjustable gooseneck which makes it easy to target where you need the light.
- LED Floor Lamp – If there is room for a floor lamp in your windowless office, an LED floor lamp is a great indirect lighting option. This LED floor lamp from Nopoor has 3 color temperatures and 5 brightness levels. If you can move your floor lamp close enough to your desk, you could use the floor lamp instead of your desk lamp.
- Overhead Lighting – Indirect or shielded lighting is the best option for overhead lighting. In a small workspace task lighting via a desk lamp or indirect lighting from a floor lamp may be all that is needed.
- LED Strip Lighting – How to brighten up an office with no windows is a challenge but adding LED strip lighting accents is a great option. The LED strip lighting seen below from NOVOSTELLA is an affordable solution and one of the most unique windowless office decorating ideas. Another option from DAYBETTER is also seen below.
2. Brighten up the Walls in an Office Without Windows
In a cubicle, the only option you might have is to cover the gray fabric walls with a light fabric hung with T-pins or a few lighter-colored posters. If you work in a closed office space and can change the wall colors, you have many different options.
If you are fortunate to enjoy the many work from home benefits that remote workers have, one of them is to color your office to suit your personality and taste.
Neon colors such as green, yellow, or red will add energy to the space and the color blue is known to promote productivity and calmness.
You could also opt for natural, neutral colors such as brown, tan, or green if you want to let some of the outside in. It is widely established that specific colors can certainly boost office productivity. An office without windows doesn’t have to be a dark and drab space.
3. Add Reflective Surfaces to Decorate a Windowless Office
Assuming you have introduced the proper lighting into your windowless office décor, any type of reflective surface will enhance the lighting.
Mirrored surfaces will allow the light to bounce off and spread the light throughout your office. You can incorporate mirror tiles if you have plaster walls.
Mirrors are great if you want to learn how to decorate a small office with no windows. Apart from allowing the light to reflect through the office, they will also give the illusion of a larger space.
4. Enhance with Greenery to Upgrade Your Windowless Office Design
Live plants are a great option when it comes to windowless office decorating ideas. Not only will it bring the outside into the office but it will add some color and energy to the space.
You should probably target low maintenance plants like aloe, bamboo, and cactus that won’t need a lot of water since you won’t be in the office every day.
Since there isn’t any natural sunlight in the office, an introduction of greenery will certainly add a lot to the windowless office design.
5. Add Nature’s Artifacts to a Home Office with No Windows
If you’ve been on vacations to the beach chances are you collected seashells and beach stones. Along with the live plants that you have in the office, adding some of nature’s artifacts into your windowless office décor will go a long way to brightening up the space literally and figuratively.
Adding these natural artifacts to a home office with no windows is a way to bring the outside into a dark space and to decorate a windowless office.
6. Consider Aromatherapy
Various scents can certainly enhance our emotional frame of mind. Wikipedia defines aromatherapy as the following.
Aromatherapy is based on the usage of aromatic materials, including essential oils, and other aroma compounds, with claims for improving psychological or physical well-being.
Essential oil diffusers utilize wave diffusion technology to atomize essential oils to enhance wellness. Essential oils such as lavender, eucalyptus, orange, and tea tree can enhance a windowless office with hopes of improving the working environment.
7. Display Personal Photos
In my mind, there is no better way to warm up an office than by incorporating personal family photos into the workspace. You can either stand them on your desktop or hang them on your walls.
They will not only brighten up the space but will also remind you of why you are working at your job in the first place.
8. Hang Colorful Landscape Murals – Wall Art for an Office with no Windows
If you work in a cubicle you could hang something like a mural or cubicle window. A cubicle window is a fabricated window with a natural scene of an outside landscape.
You can do the same if you have plaster walls in your office. Removable wall stickers or murals, like the one shown here from wall26, allow you to attach a beautifully landscaped scene wherever you like in your office.
A colorful landscape mural is a welcome addition to an office without windows.
9. Enhance Air Quality
An air purifier may not be considered a windowless office decorating idea but it’s an office item you should consider, especially when it comes to an office without any windows.
Enhancing air quality in a windowless office could be a benefit that often could go unnoticed. This type of device can only add to a more positive ambiance in an office with no influx of fresh air.
A well-made air purifier should have a true Hepa filter as well as an activated carbon filter. Homeairguides.com suggests the VEVA 8000 Elite Pro Series (shown here) as their top choice for a personal office which is 325 square feet.
10. Incorporate a Mini Frig
A portable refrigerator may not necessarily be considered windowless office décor but one of these is certainly a practical addition to any office. In a typical cubicle, a mini frig will fit under the desktop.
It is a perfect addition to a windowless office because you can store your water bottle, lunch, and healthy snacks in there. You don’t have to get up every time you need a quick snack or a drink of water.
This video shows my portable mini frig under my cubicle desktop. You can see how perfectly it fits and is essentially out of the way in my cubicle. This particular mini refrigerator is the Magic Chef MCAR240B2 which is 2.4 cubic feet.
Recap of How to Decorate an Office with No Windows
Not everyone is lucky enough to work in an office with natural sunlight. Sometimes we just need to make do with what we have and enhance a workspace as best as we can.
Simulate natural light with task lighting and indirect lighting, lighten up the office walls, introduce aromatherapy, enhance with live plants, and add some colorful landscape murals as part of your windowless office design.
You can certainly introduce windowless office decorating ideas that will make your office the best that it can be even though natural light is nowhere to be found.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Decorate a Windowless Office
How do you make a windowless office better?
Making a windowless office better can be accomplished in a number of ways. Here is a quick list of upgrades that you can make to an office with no windows to make it a much more palatable working environment.
- Add an LED desk lamp.
- Add LED strip lighting high on the walls to brighten up the space.
- Paint the walls a bright color. Neon colors will enhance the energy to the office and blue will add a calming effect to your space.
- Reflective surfaces such as mirrors will allow the light to permeate the windowless office.
- Add wall art and colorful landscape murals.
- Add plants and greenery.
- If it’s a home office hang a TV monitor from the wall and take a break and watch it every couple of hours. Or you can keep it on in the background with no sound for effect.
- Add some homey items like a portable frig, create an office coffee corner, and add a small microwave to reheat your coffee.
Can plants grow in a windowless office?
The short answer is Yes. You can find many plants for a windowless office that will survive and grow in artificial light. Obviously, natural sunlight is a much better option when it comes to plants thriving indoors but it isn’t mandatory.
Some examples of plants that you can grow in artificial light according to gardeningknowhow.com include the following: snake plant, cast iron plant, peace lily, dracaena, and philodendrons.
How do I survive a windowless office?
If you happen to be working in a cubicle each day, there is a good chance it is a windowless office. Many workers complain about being relegated to a cubicle but what is the better working environment – cubicle vs open office?
I would take a cubicle every single day but there are certainly many ways to survive a cubicle or a windowless office. Here’s a quick list below.
- Take the mindset that at least you have your own working space and there are others looking for a job.
- Add lighting to enhance the space such as an LED desk lamp or LED strip lighting to the walls.
- Accessorize your space with a headphones hanger, computer monitor mirror, a desktop organizer from Post-it, and a handy desktop phone stand such as this one from Lisen.
- Add a colorful poster or cubicle window or two to your walls.
- Take a work walk or two during the day to get some sunshine on your face and invigorate yourself.
- Invest in an blue light energy lamp to combat seasonal affective disorder.
What to Read Next:
- An LED Metal Desk Lamp will Upgrade your Office Lighting
- How to Simulate Natural Light in a Windowless Office
- Everything You Should Know About Working in a Cubicle
- How to be the Best Coworker (17 Tips)
- Cubicles vs Private Offices – What is Better for You?
Bob has been blogging for over 20 years and has been an office and cubicle dweller for more than 35 years. He has been featured in numerous online publications such as US News and World Report, Bustle, and Work Awesome (you can read his articles here). He created the popular office website CubicleBliss in January 2011 and rebranded it as WorkspaceBliss in April 2020.
In the office he’s been an IT Manager, Applications Engineer, Systems Analyst, Software Project leader, and Programmer Analyst in his long career. He’s a Certified Microsoft Professional and possesses a Masters of Science degree and two Bachelor of Science degrees, one of those in Informational Technology.
During his career he has worked in the office full-time, as a hybrid remote worker, and has worked from home permanently.