Designing Successful Workplace Interiors

Designing a Successful Workplace Interior is . . . . .  like baking a Beautiful Chocolate Cake!

office interior design is like making chocolate cake

To Create an effective Workplace Interior . . . you need to add certain ingredients . . .  in different proportions at specific intervals  . . . . baked over a required time  . . . finally . . . . You have a beautiful and Practical Workplace Interior,

These are some of the required ingredients:


Office interior design
CSG Reception designed by Karyn Reynolds, founder of PurpleChilli Lifestyle Interiors

Your Reception needs to WOW . . . . . because . . . . this is where you greet your clients . . .and therefore . . . . this is where first impressions are made . . . .  make your reception beautiful and note-worthy!

Read more about Reception areas here – How to create effective reception areas

A stage by stage guide to designing your corporate office space in the most effective way

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Nastuh Abootalebi
Boardroom Photo by Nastuh Abootalebi on Unsplash

All workplaces need meeting places . . . Large Boardrooms for the large formal meetings . . . medium meeting rooms for the not so formal . . . . or as large meetings . . . .and . . . .  smaller meeting rooms for the littler meetings.

Meeting spaces can be planned as meeting and training areas . . .  they can be divided into smaller and bigger spaces . . . and therefore . . . save space and money. . . . .  Also . . . . Add informal meeting places into the mix like this one:

Office interior design
Informal meeting area – CSG – designed by Karyn Reynolds, founder of PurpleChilli Lifestyle Interiors


An essential ingredient for effective Workplace Interior design? . . .  A place to work! . . . .  Individual offices?     Or open plan?     A combination of both?       What kind of desks does your staff need, what is your budget?          What do your staff do?  . . . . . . On computers all day?   Or out in the field? . . . . Sitting or standing desks? These are all the different components to effective and productive planning. Oh and . . . .Don’t forget the chair!

Discover what people need . . . and as a result . . . give them that!   . . . . Happy Staff . . . . equals . . . . as a consequence . . . .  Productive and Profitable Workplaces.


filing pic

Paper; stationery; filing etc – where do you put it?  . . . . . How do you access it?? . . . . Studies have shown that the average person wastes 4.3 hours per week searching for papers. Office productivity goes up by almost 50% . . . .due to  . . . effective Organisation of stuff and things.


Air . . . . lots of fresh air. . . . . even if windows in the office environment do open, ensure that you have fresh air pumped into the office. . . . .Lack of fresh air in the office environment has been linked to tiredness, and as a result . . . . lack of concentration . . . . .  furthermore . . . . add in plants, they produce oxygen and they look good too!

Office Interior Design - CSG by Karyn Reynolds
Plants in the office – CSG – designed by Karyn Reynolds, founder of Purplechilli Lifestyle interiors


Workplace design the is the art of how a human interacts with the work environment. . . . . due to the fact that Humans spend huge amounts of their day at work, resulting good workplace design is important . . . BUT so is . . . . nourishment . . . .  remember to factor Food  . . . .and as a consequence . . . . places to eat food . . .  into the design of the office. . . . Furthermore . . . either ensure that your staff have easy access to shops and restaurants . . . . or provide in-house food for their needs. . . . At the very least . . . . provide a place to make coffee and tea, with a small fridge and a sink.

Purplechilli interiors - CSG green kitchen
Green kitchen – CSG Newlands, designed by Karyn Reynolds founder of PurpleChilli Interiors


What is the saying?  . . .  Work Hard and Play hard? . . . .   Consider adding a space where your staff can have an opportunity for some fun . . . . and  as a result, can be more productive!. . . . Include a play space into the design of the workplace . . . .  include it into the eat space . . . . Creating an combined EAT   -RELAX –  WORK space  . . . .and  . . .  can double up as an entertainment space for staff and clients.

A putting green for example?

Office Interior design - putting green
Putting green – CSG Newlands, designed by Karyn Reynolds, founder of PurpleChilli Lifestyle Interiors

Or Table Tennis anyone?

Office Interior design
Table tennis recreation area – Designed by Katherine du Plooy from du Plooy Studios


You know that feeling . . . .  it is too loud to think?  . . . . since one of the downfalls of an open plan offices is NOISE.  . . . .  effective Corporate Interior Design can eliminate noise . . . with – first of all . . . . .designing quiet spaces where staff can go to Think . . . be quiet . . . and  . . .  take or make that confidential phone call and . . .  consequently . . . get productive.


Add in spaces that are designed for relaxation . . . . .spaces that change the tone, and . . . . as a result . . . make the Workplace Interior softer . . . consider changing the colour from the rest of the office environment . . . change the furniture . . . add couches, a rug and flowers. . . . .  a place that allows your staff to sit and have a relaxing conversation . . .  and, in turn creating . . . .   a place for an informal meeting or client meeting.

Ofiice Interior Design
Jembi – Designed by Katherine du Plooy of du Plooy Studios


While all of the above is important . . . . most of all . . . do not forget to include support. . . . a well designed workplace interior  needs a support structure . . . .  housing all required infrastructure. . . . this includes a space for computer servers / storage /  furniture /  archiving  / stationary / and any other odds and sods that may be required.

Ultimately there is a lot more that goes into designing effective office environments, Contact PurpleChilli Lifestyle Interiors today for a consultation on ….. or head-over to this page e-design for our virtual design services.

How to create effective Reception areas

Interior Design is in the first place, the art of designing a space, to fulfil the function of the space, {FUNCTIONALITY} including how humans will interact with the space, and secondly to make the space aesthetically pleasing {LOOK AND FEEL}.

Start with the function of the room, and what the objective(s) are for the room.

Typically a reception area would have the following functions & objectives:


This is the first impression your client has of your business, make it count.

Your reception desk is the most viewed piece of furniture in your office, make a bold statement. This piece of furniture needs to be beautiful and functional. Ensure that there is enough space, storage and filing for all the requirements the occupant(s) of this desk needs.

I have designed reception areas without a receptionist or reception desk, as these were the requirements of those particular clients.

Zimmer reception

This is a picture of a reception counter without a reception desk (Zimmer Roodepoort) designed by Karyn Reynolds founder of PurpleChilli Lifestyle Interiors
  • SEAT

Where your clients are seated, make sure the seating is comfortable and hard wearing. Include a space surface for coffee cups. FUN fact: if you put a 2 seater couch in a reception area, people will NEVER sit together if you don’t know them, so stick to single chairs, like these:


Comfortable and beautiful seating (CSG Newlands) designed by Karyn Reynolds, founder of PurpleChilli Lifestyle Interiors
  • SHOW

Display what your company is about, use your mission and vision statements, your core values, or other interesting facts about your company. Include Lighting, art, plants and sculpture into the environment to add layers of interest.


Reception area (CSG Newlands) designed by Karyn Reynolds, founder of PurpleChilli Lifestyle Interiors
  • TELL

This is the most fantastic opportunity to highlight your brand and market your company to a captive audience! Feature your Logo, display it prominently and ensure it is lit correctly. Here are some examples….

acer Headoffice, sunninghill JHB

Acer’s reception Head office sunninghill, Johannesburg designed by Karyn Reynolds, founder of PurpleChilli lifestyle interiors


Reception area (CSG Newlands) designed by Karyn Reynolds, founder of PurpleChilli lifestyle interiors
  • MEET

Low on meeting space? Let your reception waiting area double up as an informal meeting area, or use an area within the reception to form an informal meeting area like this:


Informal meeting space adjacent to the Reception area (CSG Newlands) designed by Karyn Reynolds, founder of PurpleChilli lifestyle interiors

A well designed reception area is an advantage for any company.

Contact PurpleChilli today for a free consultation today!







What is e-design? Virtual Interior Design

e-design is a simple way to design a space or room utilizing our skills and designer know-how, without retaining PurpleChilli for full service Interior Design.

Each e-design is created individually, to fit the clients style, space and budget.

How does this work?

Existing photographs and measurements of each room, required to be re-designed is submitted to us, along with a completed Questionnaire.

e-design works well for Residential, Corporate and Hospitality design.

The questionnaire will establish the following:

  1. Budget
  2. Design Style
  3. Colour preferences

and a whole lot more, that will enable PurpleChilli to design the most beautiful and functional interior for the specific space required.

Once PurpleChilli has the all the info, we will create a thorough design plan with the following 6 items:


Each room will get an individualized  mood and Vision board, something like this:

This enables you to visualize the concept and how the room will come together.


Each room or area gets A Detailed Furniture Plan and A Detailed finishes plan, all drawn to scale to ensure that  everything fits in, and is referenced to the mood and vision board.


A detailed elevation of each wall in the area or room, indicating all wall finishes, painting, wallpaper, windows and window finishes. Including placement of all art works and mirrors.


A ceiling plan will drawn indicating changes in the ceiling if required, for each room or area, including all new and existing lighting, light switches, plug points, TV points, AC points and Data points.


A thorough and organised shopping list and product guide, linked to the Vision & Mood board, to guide you through your new design item by item. With recommendations of furniture, textiles, curtains, lighting and accessories, specific to your local area.


Written instructions of all the details you need to bring your new room together, where and what height  to hang curtains, what type and colour of paint to paint where, etc.

This concludes the e-design service!

If you would like to get an e-design quote, follow this link: e-design

Before after bathroom

How Interior Design can Save you Money, Time & Increase Productivity in the workplace

Corporate Interior Design - PurpleChilli Lifestyle Interiors
  1. To Save Money

Hiring an interior Designer can help you avoid costly mistakes that will help you save money on any interior environment project. This can be achieved with effective Budgeting, intelligent space planning and skilful project management.

  1. Save you time

Interior Designers are trained professionals and we know how to put together design and installation schedules. We ensure that deadlines are met on time and on budget.

Sandblast detail 2

  1. Get a Professional Assessment

A designer can give you a professional assessment of the current situation, which will lead to a solid plan of action. The order of actions in a design plan are pivotal in determining what can be recycled, repurposed or improved. This facilitates an efficient budget.

  1. Budgeting and planning

An Interior Designer can keep you on budget, saving you time and effort. A designer can save you time researching products, brands and prices, and a designer has their own cost effective and established resources for everything related to the office environment.

  1. Liaison

Interior Designers act as a liaison between you and the contractors early on in the project and can consequently help you avoid potential problems in the overall plan. Interior Designers are trained to think about all the elements that go into the environment, so there will be no surprises later on during the project. It is important to be aware that having the furniture delivered before the drywall construction is not a wise idea, for example, to avoid having the furniture moved all over the place, and having dust falling onto it constantly.

  1. Wide availability of resources

Certain resources, connections and general merchandise are accessible to interior Designers that are not obtainable to the general public. Designers can help assist you to make your environment more unique and efficient.


  1. Contacts

Interior Designers have reliable and tested industry contacts for contractors, plumbers, electricians, all the dependable contractors to build your environment.

  1. Wow Factor

Interior Designers can help give your environment the “wow” factor, without it costing a fortune! Interior Designers are trained to look at the overall picture and think ‘out of the box’

  1. A skilled eye

An experienced Interior Designer is a professional with a skilled eye, which can immediately tell when something is right or wrong with the space; and how to fix it to create harmony.

  1. Efficiency

An efficient work place is a joyful and satisfied work place. Designing the environment to ensure that there is a place for everything that is required, and that it is all easily accessible creates an efficient work space.

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  1. On a final note

Interior Design is a skill and an art that comes with experience and training. Interior architecture enhances the interior space and the quality of the work environment, to benefit everyone who uses the space.

About the Author:

Karyn Reynolds is the founder and owner of PurpleChilli Lifestyle Interiors, and has 26 years’ experience in Interior Design building breath-taking interiors.

Allowing Children to keep their Creativity


I have a passion for teaching creativity, Children I find are naturally creative, and they don’t need to be taught to be creative.

Unfortunately, In my experience, Children are taught to stop being creative, and are forced to think inside the box, as opposed to outside. I remember being about 7 or 8 years old, and we needed to colour something at school, I was sharpening my coloured pencils and was fascinated by the colours of the sharpening bits falling off the sharpener, and started to use them instead of my pencils to colour in. I thoroughly enjoyed the different effect it created, and was inspired. When my teacher saw what I was doing, she told me quite loudly, that what I was doing was NOT ALLOWED! When I questioned her logic, I was shot down and pushed back into my box of conformity.

This was one of many experiences I had as a Child that “almost” convinced me that creativity was not encouraged. I have watched both of my children experience the same thing. I find the school system today to be inadequate in the areas of art, crafts and creativity, and as a result I have developed a series of creative workshops for children to explore their creativity and stay in touch with the natural creative spirit that they were born with.

The first of these workshops will be held during the July school Holidays (2017). Please follow this link for more info: Holiday Creative Fun!

Written by: Karyn, 23 june 2017