If your office is like many across our nation this year it could use a little…life. And it doesn’t have the budget to bring in painters, electricians and a slew of new decor hot off the Chicago Market. If your office manager’s idea of color was “Beige” and the fake flowers by the reception desk were originally purchased in 1985, take note. There’s hope for you and your colleagues yet and the accountant won’t be having fits over the bill.
1) If the existing seating is still in good condition but lacks a modern fabric, go for slipcovers which are available for everything from wing back chairs to love seats. This costs a fraction of what re-upholstery will and your options are still numerous.
2) Change the look of outdated lampshades using nothing but your hot glue gun (or fabric glue) and some beautiful trim you picked up at your local craft store (preferably when its 1/2 off, as it will be at least once a month)! Take the shade with you to make sure you get enough.
3) Ivy lasts forever so long as it has a bit of water to survive on which makes it the perfect alternative to baskets of the fake stuff, which gathers dust and screams “I’m an office that hasn’t been updated in ten years-at least”. Additionally, if any of your coworkers or clients suffer from allergies, keeping fake flowers or plants around will only add to their misery. Simply place a few vases around the office with a clipping of English Ivy or your favorite breed of low-maintenance greenery. A little touch with big results!
4) The standard office comes complete with a beige commercial-grade carpet. Effective, yes. Attractive, not always. Target and Brecheen Brothers are two places I head for savings on rugs of all styles, sizes and colors. Adding one in your reception area and in the common rooms will drastically change the space for the better. Just be cautious about going with too wild of a pattern or the wrong size. Using a rug that is too small will make your office appear tiny.
5) Another sign of an office space with zero personalization: no ceiling fans. If you own the building or if you have permission from the company you rent from, add a ceiling fan in common areas. An attractive model starts as low as $49 in most home improvement stores and will instantly make the space feel more comfortable and will improve lighting and air flow.
The suggestions above will work together or even alone to change the atmosphere of your office. Remember that every design element has a psychological effect. Your changes should improve the overall mood of the office so steer clear of colors or decorations that would turn someone off, like specific religious items or a bright red which insights hunger and hot tempers.