Unless you are going for some alternate market, like gothic home décor or repairing farm equipment, a clean business image makes all the difference. Light colours with a bold colour trim is a good option for everything, from office décor to business card advertising. An austere look tends to work well. The apple store might have taken this to the extreme but the idea is sound. At the same time try not to look generic. You’re not like the competitors, you guys are the company the competitors hope to be, or your part of the successful mainstream, with a twist.
A uniform look also make a difference. Not a company uniform, but an office with a coherent theme. Furniture and decor that match and look professional. Neat matching chairs and desks from IKEA look far better than a dozen different office furnishings that don’t match, even if they are more expensive.
A few tasteful decorations work well. Art galleries keep the background plain so the displayed items are the focus of attention. If you ever look into the storeroom at the back of the museum you will know what I mean; artworks in a heap look like a garage sale. Early advertisements and displays for computers had a screen showing fancy graphics, surrounded by nothing else. We got the impression that the screen’s image was on a pedestal. Not a bad impression if your customers think you are enthusiastic enough to put your business on a pedestal.
At the same time you want your office to be comfortable. This shouldn’t conflict with the décor but easily be in harmony with it. If the office looks like a place you want to stay it will helps morale; if sitting at your deck feels right it helps as well. Removing clutter does wonders for the look, comfort and energy levels of the employees.
Air purity is often taken for granted. Sure, the building has an air conditioner, but is the air just made warmer or cooler or is it actually being purified; the system might just be recirculating the same flu every winter season. Buy some plants at least, and an air purifier and a negative ion generator can do wonders.
The office is the face of the company. This has altered a little since the net and online retailing, but a lot that applies to the look of your office also applies to your website, your advertising and any online look. The principles are the same, only we start using them in far more places.