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Business Tips: Office Decor

Office Décor Influences Impressions, Working Atmosphere

(ARA) -- Impressions are important in the business world. Studies show individuals often make lasting value judgments of places and people in the first 10 seconds of contact. In addition to comfortable furniture, your decorating scheme should set a mood and make a favorable impression.

Thoughtfully planned reception and meeting areas can help create a positive atmosphere and put visitors (and employees) at ease. But if your budget is limited, or your rooms are small, windowless, and uninteresting, planning the decor can be quite a challenge.

Printed wall murals are one of the hottest trends in business decor because they're an economical way to help transform a sterile environment into a warm, inviting setting. Murals are applied like wallpaper and cover an entire wall with, for example, a vibrant landscape scene. Besides the aesthetic value and interest they add to a room, they also give the optical illusion of expanding it's size. The effect can be quite dramatic, particularly in smaller rooms.

People instinctively relax while viewing a serene panorama of rivers, sky or woods. Ralph Waldo Emerson believed in the restorative and spiritual powers of nature, and in his many essays discussed how nature could inspire and renew. If you want to impart a sense of calm or "visual comfort" in your business, a wall mural could be the answer.

Environmental Graphics is a Minnesota company regarded by decorators and interior designers as the world's foremost producer of printed murals. The company took its name because of the way their murals virtually transform the indoor environment.

Known for their highly detailed photographic designs, the company also credits versatility as a major factor in their product's popularity.

"A mural design won't be successful unless it can be used in a variety of settings," says company president Ted Yoch. "We put a great deal of thought into choosing our designs. We look for scenes that don't overpower, yet still become a room's focal point."

As a result, many of Environmental Graphic's murals feature idyllic nature scenes such as the calm waters of their "Lake In The Woods" design, the sunlit mist of "Morning Forest," and the colorful plantlife of "Oriental Garden." Yoch notes that many of the designs are suitable not only for reception areas, conference rooms and break rooms, but also in private offices.

Interior Planning & Design is a Madeira Beach, Florida firm specializing in office decor. "We've made extensive use of murals because they work so well in that setting," says spokesman Bobby Belcher. "People find them relaxing to look at. And the visual depth they add to a room is very real." He goes on to say that because of the low price, "many of our clients call us in to put up a new design after just a few years."

Environmental Graphics' murals are lithographically printed for true color and high resolution. Although they measure a full wall-size (more than 8 feet tall and nearly 14 feet wide), they can be trimmed to fit smaller walls and around existing fixtures. A price tag of less than $100 makes them especially attractive when you consider that an artist-created mural of similar size would cost thousands more.

The company offers these tips for decorating with wall murals:

- The same decorating rules apply that you use in a living room or family room. The room must have a sense of cohesiveness and a focal point. Wall murals serve as a strong focal point with furniture arranged for the greatest "view."

- Interiors are shapes in space. If you don't have windows to provide a natural counterpoint to a boxy feel, you can get the most out of your room by installing a wall mural. Wall murals offer a picture-window effect and sense of expansiveness.

- In interior design, what counts is presence. Furniture pieces juxtaposed with something as impressive as a wall mural allow you to create whatever mood you desire.

For more information and a free color brochure showing their Wall Mural designs, contact Environmental Graphics at 800-328-3869. Or visit their website at

Courtesy of Article Resource Assocation,

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