How to Make an Old Office Look Modern

Are you looking for ways to make your office, either at home or in the workplace, look more aesthetically pleasing and modern? While there are a number of expensive options available when it comes to making changes around the office, there are also some great DIY projects that won’t break the bank.

From simple updates such as decluttering or repainting to dramatic renovations like upgrading furniture and lighting fixtures — we have compiled a comprehensive guide on how to make an old office look modern without feeling overwhelmed by big changes. Read on to learn how you can create the perfect stylish workspace!

How to Make an Old Office Look Modern

The Importance of a Modern Office Space

Creating a modern office space can be especially important for businesses. An up-to-date environment can help to keep employees motivated and productive while also making a positive impression on clients and visitors. Furthermore, a modern office also helps with brand image and reputation; it shows you are striving to stay current and relevant in your field. Additionally, it’s important to understand the need for modern technology in an office, as well: a streamlined workflow can be achieved by having the most up-to-date equipment.

When it comes to making an old office look modern, there are a few steps you can take. First and foremost, update the furniture and decor this includes seating, desks, tables, wall art, lighting fixtures, etc. Choose pieces that have clean lines and neutral colors to keep the space looking fresh and modern.

Additionally, include elements of nature, such as plants and wood accents. Second, incorporate modern technology into the office. This could be anything from a laptop dock to a virtual reality room. Investing in quality technology will help streamline your business processes and make work more efficient.

Include Elements of 
Nature, Such as Plants

Lastly, consider introducing workspaces that are designed for collaboration. Implementing collaborative spaces within the office can help to increase productivity, as well as foster creativity and innovation. A few examples of collaborative workspaces include standing desks, semi-private booths, and whiteboards.

Challenges of Transforming an Old Office into a Modern One

Transforming an old office into a modern one can be a challenging task. Many of the outdated features found in older offices can make it difficult to create an up-to-date look and feel. One of the most common challenges is finding ways to incorporate new technology into existing systems.

Outdated wiring, data connections, and IT infrastructure can all be difficult to update and synchronize with modern technology. In addition, furniture and décor that may have been fashionable during the office’s heyday may now seem outdated and drab in comparison to today’s standards. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure your old office space becomes as modern as possible.

Creating a modern office environment also involves finding ways to make the space more efficient and functional for all staff members. Taking steps such as rearranging furniture, installing better lighting, and adding ergonomic features can improve workflows and help everyone feel comfortable in their surroundings. Additionally, improving the layout of the office can provide more space while also allowing for more collaborative working solutions.

Installing Better Lighting

Finally, taking the time to invest in modern office technology can go a long way toward creating an efficient and contemporary workspace. Investing in new software, computer systems, phones, and other digital devices can help ensure employees have the tools they need to stay productive. Updating any existing hardware is also a must, as older machines slow down productivity and limit the ability to access new technologies.

10 Methods How to Make an Old Office Look Modern

1. Enhance the Lighting:

Upgrade the lighting system to create a brighter and more welcoming atmosphere. Replace old fluorescent fixtures with energy-efficient LED lights that provide better illumination and reduce energy consumption.

Additionally, consider incorporating natural light by installing larger windows or using glass partitions to maximize the entry of sunlight. When artificial lighting is necessary, use warm-colored bulbs that provide a softer, inviting glow.

To create a more modern feel, switch out desk lamps for pendant lights and install dimmer switches so the light intensity can be adjusted based on the activity in the office. However, if natural light is not available, then consider introducing task lighting to make up for the lack of sunlight.

installing larger windows

2. Repaint and Refresh:

A fresh coat of paint can instantly transform the appearance of an office. Choose neutral, modern colors that promote a calm and focused environment. Lighter shades can make the space feel more open and airy, while accent walls in bold colors can add vibrancy and energy. 

In addition to painting the walls, consider repainting or replacing outdated furniture and cabinets.

If your office has wood paneling, consider whitewashing it to make the room look brighter and more modern. Although your office will become a blank canvas, you can use wall art or other decorations to add personality and style. Try to keep the decorations minimal and modern to maintain a sleek look.

3. Upgrade Furniture and Layout:

Replace outdated and worn-out furniture with modern, ergonomic pieces that prioritize comfort and functionality. Consider investing in adjustable desks and ergonomic chairs to promote employee well-being and productivity.

Furthermore, reconfigure the office layout to optimize space and encourage collaboration, incorporating open-concept workstations and communal areas. Incorporating color-coordinated furniture and wall art can also help to establish a modern aesthetic.

Finally, declutter the area by allowing only essential items such as papers, electronics, and tools. All other items should be moved to an archive room or an off-site storage facility. Although it may take some time and effort, making a few simple changes can make a big difference in giving your office a modern makeover.

4. Introduce Smart Technology:

Embrace the latest technological advancements to modernize your office. Install smart devices such as motion sensor lighting, smart thermostats, and automated systems for controlling temperature and energy usage.

Integrate smart assistants like voice-controlled speakers to enhance efficiency and convenience. By investing in smart technology, you can not only create a modern look but also reduce energy consumption and create a more efficient office space.

Install Smart Devices 
Such as Motion Sensor

Smart technology is also an investment that will pay off in the long run, as it can help lower operational costs and increase productivity. While introducing new technology can seem intimidating, there are many options available to suit any budget and need. Consider enlisting the help of a professional if you need assistance.

5. Embrace Minimalism:

Declutter and streamline the office space to achieve a clean and modern aesthetic. Encourage employees to adopt minimalist workstations by removing unnecessary items and utilizing storage solutions to keep the area organized. Clutter-free surroundings can enhance focus and productivity.

If needed, new shelves or cabinets can be added to keep the office tidy. To further reduce visual clutter, look for cords and wires that can be tucked away or hidden. Additionally, consider using wall-mounted shelving so that the office space looks uncluttered and more spacious. Lastly, choose an airy color scheme to make the room look more open and inviting.

6. Incorporate Greenery:

Introduce plants and greenery to add life and freshness to the office. Plants not only improve air quality but also create a calming atmosphere. Opt for low-maintenance indoor plants and consider vertical gardens or living walls to maximize space utilization. Although succulents are a popular choice, there are many beautiful alternatives that can be chosen to match the office’s interior design. 

Place one large plant or several small ones around the office to create a tranquil atmosphere.

If you have limited natural light in the room, consider getting low-maintenance varieties like snake plants or peace lilies. Another option is to add faux plants that look just as good without the hassle of maintenance.

7. Upgrade Technology and Equipment:

Outdated technology can hinder productivity and make an office appear outdated. Evaluate your equipment and upgrade where necessary. Invest in modern computers, printers, and other essential devices to improve efficiency and keep up with industry standards.

Ensure that all technology is integrated to streamline processes and eliminate manual operations. Additionally, consider investing in ergonomic furniture and office supplies as a modern look and comfortable work environment promote creativity and productivity.

Ensure That All 
Technology is Integrated

While upgrading technology and equipment can be expensive, the investment can pay for itself in time saved and improved productivity.

8. Integrate Collaborative Spaces:

Modern office designs prioritize collaboration and teamwork. Create dedicated areas for group discussions, brainstorming sessions, and informal meetings. Furnish these spaces with comfortable seating, whiteboards, and other tools to facilitate collaboration and innovation.

If you’re working with a limited budget, seek out cost-effective options such as folding tables and chairs to create these spaces. For a more sophisticated look, invest in modern pieces that will stand the test of time. Although it’s important to be practical, don’t forget to inject some personality. Add colorful accents and artwork to the space to make it feel more inviting and inspiring.

9. Focus on Acoustics:

Excessive noise can be a significant distraction in an office environment. Incorporate acoustic panels, soundproofing materials, and carpeting to reduce noise levels and create a more peaceful working environment.

Utilize soft furnishings, such as upholstered furniture, to absorb sound and minimize echoes. Installing white noise machines can also help block out distractions, allowing for greater concentration. Additionally, close off any partitioned areas with acoustic blinds or curtains to further reduce sound levels.

Finally, ensure that conversations between coworkers are kept at a reasonable volume in order to maintain peace and harmony throughout the office. Once you have improved the acoustics of your office, you will be one step closer to creating a modern workspace.

10. Personalize with Art and Décor:

Add personality and character to the office by incorporating art pieces, wall decals, and motivational quotes. Encourage employees to showcase their creativity by displaying their work or creating a communal gallery wall.

Thoughtful artwork and decor can create a visually appealing and inspiring atmosphere. When selecting pieces, look for items that are modern and match the overall aesthetic of the office. However, ensure that the artwork isn’t too much of a distraction. Additionally, you can add framed family photos to personalize workspaces and create a more homely feel.

Finally, incorporate plants and flowers to brighten up the space and bring life into the room. Plants are beneficial in creating a peaceful and calming atmosphere, as well as improving air quality. With the right pieces, an office can be made to feel like home in no time.

Incorporate Plants and 
Flowers to Brighten Up

Things to Consider When Making an Old Office Look Modern

1. Adding Color:

Adding color is one of the best ways to modernize an old office. Choose colors that will bring life to the space. Bright, bold colors like blues, yellows and greens create an inviting atmosphere that will make the office look fresh and up-to-date.

2. Consider Ergonomics:

Another important consideration when modernizing an old office is to think about ergonomics. Investing in ergonomic furniture and accessories can help improve workplace efficiency and comfort. This includes ergonomic chairs, standing desks, and adjustable monitor stands.

3. Update the Lighting:

Lighting can have a big impact on how modern your office looks and feels. Consider replacing old-fashioned overhead lights with light fixtures that provide indirect lighting. This will make the office look contemporary and modern without sacrificing functionality.

4. Get Rid of Clutter:

Clutter can make any office look dated and uninviting. To modernize an old office, declutter the space by organizing paperwork, storing items tidily, and getting rid of any unnecessary items.


All in all, making an old office look modern doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive. With the right preparation and execution, you can create a stylish, updated space that expresses your personality and organizes your work materials in one place.

Whether you decide to buy new furniture and painting supplies to renovate the space or purchase affordable accessories to spruce it up, there are plenty of resources at the disposal of those looking to give their office a fresh face.

And so, with this blog post as guidance, we hope you now feel inspired and ready to take on the task of making an old office look modern. Thanks for reading, and we hope this has given you some inspiration on how to make an old office look modern!

Photo of author

Angela Ervin

Angela is the executive editor of officefixes. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to home and office design. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for Office design and decor,home decorations as well as other efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

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