How to transform your canteen into a creative space

How to transform your canteen into a creative space

With a few small additions to the interior, you can use your canteen for multiple purposes and turn it into a valuable space used all day long by making the most use of the space with well-designed furniture. Here are some tips on how to create a multi-functional canteen, which, in addition to eating and talking, is suitable for everything from large meetings to employees using the space for quiet working areas.
Two people sitting at a round table in a canteen with storage shelves in the background

Vary the seating arrangement and create a dynamic room

Groups of different tables and chairs bring the room to life. Sometimes you want to have the whole team to sit together and sometimes you will have people working in a small group, and varied seating arrangements enable that.

It's a good idea to combine low tables and tall bar tables for people to sit and stand at. This gives everyone a choice to sit or stand, as having a standing meeting occasionally is a healthy option. A sofa or some armchairs are the ideal place for staff to relax during breaks. High and low, big and small. Let your staff choose how they prefer to sit.

Folding chairs are a practical option. They can be put out quickly if extra seating is needed and then removed when an open space is required.

It's a good idea to put more comfortable chairs at some of the tables. Chairs with wider seats, hard-wearing upholstery with a padded seat and back provide additional comfort if the canteen is being used for longer meetings or as a temporary workspace.

Create a room within a room

Good acoustics make it easier to relax during the lunch break and to concentrate when you're working. If you use sound-absorbent materials in your canteen, employees are more likely to enjoy their breaks and their working time.

You can use floor screens with or without sound-absorbent features to create separate spaces. These are available in different colours and designs, which makes it easy to choose a model that fits the existing decor.

Desk screens provide privacy and cut out a certain amount of noise. You can easily fit them directly onto the tabletop with brackets and move them if necessary.

Curtains, wall hangings and other textiles improve the acoustic environment and give a softer feel to the room. Fabrics can also make excellent room dividers. Sound-absorbent wall hangings with attractive patterns are also a stylish interior design feature.

Small canteens and break rooms that are not large enough to be divided can also be used as temporary work areas with the right furniture. One smart solution is a small, portable, standing desk converter that you can put on a normal table and adjust to an ergonomic working height. Wall-mounted acoustic panels do not take up any extra space, but still make a big difference to the quality of the acoustics in a room.

Read more for smart acoustic interior design tips
Two people working in a canteen with wall-mounted sound-absorbent acoustic panels
Acoustic panels PATTERN
Two people in a canteen with wall-mounted shelves and canteen furniture
Furniture set VARIOUS + GANDER
Man drinking coffee in a break room with storage cabinets, shelves and a bar table with high seating

Well-organised storage

There is usually storage space in the canteen for crockery, tablecloths, napkins, and cutlery. If you want to use the canteen for a variety of purposes, it's a good idea to provide space for paper, pens, and notepads too. Remember, some extension leads will be needed if there are not enough wall sockets for all the laptops and smartphones that need to be powered.

It's a good idea to choose a shelving unit that is part of a system. This makes it easy to extend your shelving with an add-on unit or some extra shelves if your storage needs increase. If you want to hide your office equipment, you can opt for cabinets instead or a shelving system with the option of adding doors and side panels. This allows you to combine open and concealed storage units with the same design that are also adaptable.

Your choice will depend to a certain extent on the size and shape of the canteen, now also being used as additional office space. If there are not many employees in the workplace, you may only need a small cabinet for meeting equipment and office accessories.

Add a whiteboard

Quickly turn your canteen into a useful meeting room with a whiteboard or a glass board. Magnetic whiteboards can also be used as practical noticeboards.

If you choose a whiteboard on castors, you can move it out of the way after the meeting or when the room is being used for another purpose. You can also take the results of a creative meeting into a work area for further discussion. A mobile whiteboard can also function as a temporary screen between the tables in a larger canteen. If the acoustics of the canteen room are a concern then a mobile glass board with a sound-absorbent back will help reduce noise levels.

Which type of whiteboard or glass board do you need?

Create your creative canteen room

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