What you can control is the outer appearance and the inner clarity of your space.
This year my house underwent a major overhaul – new kitchen countertops, appliances, wood flooring, paint (inside and out), and the latest improvement, a lovely park bench inside my courtyard.
The show “Curb Appeal” explains how you can transform the shabby, the dilapidated, and the just plain ugly into show stoppers that not only please you, but that transform the fascia of a neighborhood. I approach both my home and my office in this fashion. What can I do on a daily basis to bring beauty into my personal sphere, and to bless those who see it? I remember a Seinfeld episode where an onlooker viewed the now infamous work, entitled “The Kramer:” “It was repugnant, but I couldn’t look away.”
This is not how you want other people to feel about your space. When planning a project, take a look around to see what’s accepted practice. What does the office of your most respected manager look like? How does the VP appoint his/her personal surroundings? Keeping with convention establishes you as a team player, and as an individual who is cognizant of the reputation they’re creating.
If you’re unsure, try soliciting opinions from others. You might also try the Jack Canfield approach: how would you rate my space, on a scale of 1-10? What would you do to improve it? The television show “Rate my Space” allows individuals to upload photographs so they can elicit commentary.
In an office, your contrived atrocity may have unintended consequences for your compatriots, and (if it emits an odor) may in fact cause health problems. If you live in a subdivision, your dream to march to the beat of your own drummer should be balanced with what’s aesthetically pleasing in your neighborhood – and, how you’re going to affect the resale value of other people.
Remember that none of us acts in isolation, and that your every move sends a ripple effect which is felt by many. When in doubt, err on the side of consulting others, and conform to what’s expected. Other sets of eyes will be appreciative.