Office buildings are known to be glittering towers made of windows on every surface. But few people consider that every large tower has dozens to hundreds of interior rooms that have no window access at all. There’s a reason ambitious climbers notoriously seek window-offices. It’s because everyone else has to make do in their windowless offices. Modern corporate design emphasizes open spaces and glass walls to simulate a windowed environment in the center of a building, but most offices have at least a few fully walled and windowless spaces that can be downright dreary.

Windowless Offices

Fortunately, modern technology and design have ways to make even these blank-walled spaces more uplifting without completely restructuring the architecture. Today, we’re here to share five innovative ideas and designs to help make these spaces inspiring and possibly even the envy of those who have real window access.

1) Simulated Natural Light

One of the most effective ways to warm up windowless offices is to simulate natural light. LEDs behind diffuser panels on the ceiling can simulate a skylight and realistic sky-prints have become incredibly popular for brightening a dark space and lifting the spirits of employees.

Diffuse light panels set into the walls with curtains hung over them can also create simulated sunlight as if through floor to ceiling windows. In some cases, this can make once-windowless offices even more elegant and seemingly-naturally-lit than their true-windowed counterparts.

2) Backlit False-Window Landscapes

However, even better than a lit curtain set into the wall is a window featuring beautiful simulated scenery. One of the most popular and impactful ways to liven up a windowless office is to create a diffusely backlit portrait to somewhere beautiful. Some employees prefer the skyscraper view of a glittering cityscape while others enjoy the illusion of a life-sized forest path leading away through a floor-to-ceiling wall in their office.

These false-window landscapes are a breathtaking alternative to a blank wall. They provide light and inspiration to anyone working within a windowless office.

3) Plant Walls

Plantlife has always been known to lift the spirits and inspire professionals in the workplace. Even a few potted plants can liven up a work environment, but plants are even more important when there is no access to natural light or outdoor views to ease employee’s desire to catch a glimpse of nature.

One of the best ways to decorate a windowless office is to dedicate one of it’s blank walls entirely to leafy plant life instead. Plant walls are a special type of installation creating an entire wall of leaves and flowers that will lift the mood and improve the air quality for the entire office. Combined with subtly beautiful grow lights, they are a glowing reminder that nature can thrive anywhere and you don’t need a window to enjoy it.

4) Aquariums and Simulated Aquariums

Another vision known to soothe workplace stress is the beautiful aquatic view of a fish tank. There’s a reason that dentist’s offices and fine dining lobbies tend to feature aquariums full of tropical fish. Peaceful swimmers in a deep blue environment have always been soothing and can make an entire or partial wall without windows seem less closed-in or dreary.

Of course, not all offices have the upkeep budget or time to maintain a real tank of tropical fish, but simulated versions are almost as great. perhaps even better because simulated fish are infinite in variety and never die. A digital display of a simulated aquarium is a great modern-day variation to the stress-easing office aquarium.

5) Indoor Gardens

Many offices build glass enclosures inside the windowless center space, but few realize that you don’t actually need access to the outdoors or natural light to turn that glass-enclosed space into a garden. Consider the beauty of a planter-decorated interior courtyard lit by simulated natural light with multiple windowless offices opening into the beautiful garden center.

Indoor office gardens are a beautiful alternative to the traditional open-office and glass-walled design giving everyone a taste of nature without requiring actual outdoor space or real skylights.