3 Tips to make your dark commercial space feel lighter

The feeling of light in a space affects not just the look of a room, but the feel as well. Most of us spend the majority of our day inside at our place of work, and the availability of natural light is often scarce.

It’s a challenge when designing dark commercial spaces, with most people preferring to work with an abundance of natural light. Commercial spaces often have limited windows, large floors filled with wall dividers, average lighting and poor design all round. It’s been popular to house your office is a converted space of another kind (we’re thinking warehouse), but these spaces were never considered as places to need for more light.

So as commercial painters and decorators in Sydney, we asked ourselves what can be done to make dark commercial spaces feel brighter? We’ve all heard of the studies which show the psychological effects of a lack of light (including depression, and being prone to distraction etc.), so what are some easy factors to consider to add extra light to your dark commercial space?

Here’s our top 3:

Choosing the right paint colour

Choosing a paint colour that enhances natural light is the best and quickest way to brighten up those dark spaces. As Sydney commercial painters, we’ve seen firsthand what an amazing difference using an off white can achieve, as opposed to darker, bolder colours. Whiter, lighter shades are fantastic for use in a commercial space, as they are neutral, don’t date (longevity), and can make a space feel bigger and more airy. If you’re intent on using colour in your commercial space, either try to limit to a feature wall, or use pale shades of colour to still achieve that bright feel.

SMT 1 dark commercial space feel lighter

Image Source: Decosee

Choosing the right paint type

Whilst choosing a lighter colour is an obvious choice, selecting the right paint type is often something only professional commercial decorators, will consider. Colour isn’t the only variant in paint; there’s also the base to consider (oil or water), and more importantly, the sheen. How much sheen is in a paint will affect how glossy the finished surfaces appear.

Low sheen paint is great for covering imperfect walls (as it tends to hide those lumps and bumps), or for deep coloured walls of which the effect is rich, textured tones. However, low sheen isn’t great for durability or light reflection.

We recommend really amping up the sheen in your paint to increase the light in the space. It doesn’t need to be super glossy, just enough to allow your walls to reflect that little bit more light. Consider using a semi-gloss if you’re not committed to staring at shiny walls for the next 5-10 years. The benefits of a higher-sheen paint is that your walls will also survive more wear and tear with the ability to be wiped clean, as opposed to its low sheen counterpart which can need some maintenance love from your favourite commercial painters in Sydney.

Clever Decor

Using a commercial painter to update your Sydney office isn’t the only solution to making your commercial space seem lighter and brighter – some strategic decor choices can also make a considerable difference. We’ve seen how the right materials in the right place can really change the feel of a space. Our favourite tip is placing mirrors (the bigger the better) in opposition to windows to reflect even more light. It will also make the room feel larger if space is something you’re fighting against.

As commercial decorators, we suggest using white and bright desks, cubicle panels and office furniture which also help achieve a feeling of brightness in your space. Just make sure to break up the “whiteness” with some pops of colour here and there. Think coloured desk accessories, accent chairs in the waiting room or floor coverings. Download our FREE Colour Trends eBook to help you choose the right colours to create a truly inspired commercial space.

SMT 2 dark commercial space feel lighter

Image Source: This Is Luster

If you’re struggling to catch the light in your commercial space, contact Summit Coatings for a free quote – we also offer colour consultancy to help make your colour choice that little bit easier!

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Coolest office spaces of 2015

This week we’ve been looking to some of the world’s coolest office spaces for some design and colour inspiration. And let’s just say we’re getting some serious workplace envy! Whilst most of the following offices obviously belong to big business corporations, we’ve also snuck in a smaller enterprise who knows how to maximise a mini budget for maximum affect.

The 3 Coolest office spaces are:

Beats Electronics, Los Angeles

Located in Los Angeles USA, the Beats Electronics office has taken colour blocking to the next level. We love seeing colour being used as a central design feature and this is a perfect example of what happens when it’s done right. In this office, the company has utilised a skilled commercial painter who has leveraged their brand colour palette, and offset against natural wood tones and some greenery.

Coolest office space - beats

Barbara Bestor, architect of the office explains how the colours have also been used with colour psychology in mind. The large blue space is designed to create a feeling of calm and peacefulness, whilst the smaller red zones evokes a sense of concentrated energy. “The colours help create distinct locations” (Bestor, Inc.com: 2015).

Coolest office space - beats

The inclusion of high windows means natural light can also soften the boldness of wall to ceiling (and furniture) colour. Allowing strong natural light can also help improve overall employee wellbeing and productivity. What’s not to love?! This is definitely one of the coolest office spaces we’ve seen!


Google, Tel Aviv

Many might consider Google as the pioneer in “coolest office spaces”, and they’re not retiring any time soon. Their local headquarters in Tel Aviv showcase how tradition can be incorporated into a modern office.

Coolest office space - tel aviv

The concept behind this hi-rise office was to reference the culture different on each floor. The focus in this first image is obviously throwing back to the cultural identity of Israel, whilst creating usable spaces for employees to breakout. Here the focus is not so much on commercial branding and colour, but texture. The use of a vertical (and upside down) garden alongside a cobbled path evokes a feeling of being outside in “old town”.

Coolest office space - tel aviv

In the second image there is a clear distinction from the first, with bright lights, a neon colour palette and the visual creation of a sandy beach. Using colours and textures to create a playful space is nothing new to commercial painters in Sydney, like Summit. However, Google have gone the next level with its fit out to really commit to the beach scene, even including a water slide!


Men at Work Communications, Sydney

Local PR firm Men at Work Communications located in trendy Chippendale shows how a small business can still create an office space which oozes “cool”. The office is a collaborative project from all the members of staff to create a space where they want to be.

Coolest office space - men at work

Using our “painter” eyes, the first thing we notice is the need for a blank canvas for a space like this to really take shape. The stark white walls (whilst generally unnoticed) are what creates a cohesive feel to the otherwise pastiche of colours, images and furniture pieces. White is also a colour which rarely dates and always looks fresh. For more about what colours are on trend this year, don’t forget to check out our free e-book.

Coolest office space - men at work

Using white walls as the blank canvas also injects a feeling of bright airiness which is enhanced by the large scale windows and high ceilings. The focus of this office is obviously to make those within it feel at home and able to put their personal touch on the space.

If you’re feeling inspired after seeing these cool offices the way we were, and your office or commercial space is in need of a commercial paint, contact Summit Coatings for an obligation free quote. We can have you on your way to your very own cool office space in no time at all! 

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Image Sources: The Daily Telegraph, Inc.com