Guidance Counselor Office Refresh

I recently received an email from a Guidance Counselor struggling with their office decor.  The small and windowless space brought me back to my days as an Art Teacher.  I taught in a dark basement with no windows and no access to fresh air.  Not only was it filthy it was very lacking in inspiration, something an art space should be full of!  I did my best to make the space beautiful, I painted the cracking walls, added murals and art! 

I’m sure the young students never really noticed that the space wasn’t the best but for me, to be there every day, all day it started to get to me and part of the reason I didn’t go back to that job.  I truly feel our spaces impact our well being and mood.  I sympathize with this educator and wanted to help! A counselor should have an office that is welcoming.  A space for students to be encouraged, heard, nurtured, motivated and beyond.  Here is the email I received and my suggestions.

“Good Morning 🙂
Thank you so much for taking a look at my awful, ugly, yet recently painted wood panelling walls…. So that is a plus! 🙂 
Any and all advice you have is welcome. I am thinking maybe some shelves? I tried to take a video but it would not upload and send because it was too large. 
Again, I am a high school guidance/school counselor and want this to be a space where students feel comfortable and at ease. Also, for me to enjoy it because I am here for many hours a day. 🙂  I am not sure I can paint anything, but I can add things to the walls. The only thing I really need is a desk, my file cabinets for my students folders and a cork board (does not need to be this one) by my desk for schedule and important information.  
Thank you SO MUCH for even taking the time to read this and look at the pictures. 
I appreciate it more than you know,”
Here are her photos:
Since the walls can’t really be touched.  I wanted to add pops of color in other areas.  I suggested removing all the extra chairs and that icky student desk.  A cute little seating area on that student desk side would just be so inviting.  I also suggested adding a cup with pencils, paper and a couple clipboards if students need to do writing.  Those metal beige bookcases are also not doing it for me, simply spray painting them white will make them disappear into the space.  Adding cute bins for storage will dress them up and hide office supplies.  All large binders can be stored behind the teacher desk.
I love these simple prints for above the little seating area to inspire and encourage students .  They will make an impact with out being too cluttered.
 On the large wall when you enter I suggested a pretty wall tapestry to bring in color, as well as scale.  I love the idea of bringing in something with nature because the space is very confining.  Adding natural elements even faux plants and the occasional fresh flower will instantly make this space feel more alive and happy.  A rug for the center of the room that can be washed also just to add some more color and pattern, it isn’t necessary but just another layer of interest to the space.  I’d also consider adding some mirrors behind the teachers desk just to give the illusion that it is a bigger space as well.
So what you do you guys think?  I tried to do this with items that were affordable and practical for the Counselor to put this plan into action ASAP.  I’m really excited to see how it all comes together!
Happy Decorating!



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