Tired of your office surroundings? Start the new year off with a new look—without spending a lot of money. Just a few changes in your office space can make a big difference.
“Your choice of furniture speaks to your personal style and in the workplace sets the impression of the quality of services you offer,” says Don Gill, of The Gill Group, which specializes in redesigns, renovations, and real estate bridge lending. “Give [your office] a makeover to suit your personality and/ or corporate identity. A good commercial interior design can provide your office that aura of power and elegance.”
Take stock of the space, first. “Whether you work from home or an office, you want a space that's functional and flows with your surrounding space. You need to measure your space and find a way to utilize all of your storage needs,” notes Gill. Get organized. Invest in “a great filing system, a desk that is inexpensive but adds character and is pleasing to the eye, and a chair that fits properly in your space and stands out. Remember, the plan is simple. Give the space an entirely different look and feel without breaking the bank,” says Gill. Joli Moniz of Joli Moniz Design, an interior design and photography firm, agrees. “Start by purchasing a new desk,” she says. Moniz adds that you could also center the redesign on “one knockout accessory or piece of art to serve as your inspiration piece and work from there.”
And don´t ignore the lighting. “Invest in new lighting because it will add both function and form – it is very important to have bright, crisp lighting for optimal productivity, and lighting fixtures are a great opportunity to enhance your room’s design,” advises Moniz.
After deciding on the style you want to follow, give the space a fresh face. “Start with new wall paint. For very little money, you can create instant impact and give your office a brand new look and feel,” Moniz points out. And, painting doesn´t have to cost much. “Go to the paint section of [a store like] Home Depot or Lowes and ask for any returned paint. You may find a color choice that you like at 30%-50% off,” says Gill. “Paint the office in a light, airy color with one wall serving as an accent wall in a vibrant color. Choose any stimulating bold color that typically induces energy. Choose a color that you enjoy.”
Don´t neglect the floor. “Add an area rug to define a particular space and to add color and pattern if it works,” says Moniz.
From there, add in accent pieces that are functional for an office space. “Mix and match,” suggest Moniz. “Only purchase a couple of high-end pieces if you truly love them and balance out those more costly purchases with used or inexpensive pieces.”
Even if you have no eye for design, you can still execute a great new look. “Look around online or in magazines and find a room that you love and use it as a rough guideline: Try to stick close to its color scheme, furniture styles and accessory styles. Just remember that you may need to alter things to fit your room’s size and layout,” offers Moniz. Adds Gill, “Find a friend who has a wonderful sense of style and ask them to assist you. All closet designers are dying to show off their designer skills.”
Looking to do major changes? You will probably need outside help. Before hiring contractors, do some research and interview potential contractors. “Request estimates from the top contractors in your area based on your desired taste and ultimate vision. After reviewing all offers, choose the best company that meets your criteria,” explains Gill.
According to Gill, follow these steps when hiring a contractor:
• Verified past work and craftsmanship
• Make sure they volunteer alternative options to give you your new look under your proposed budget. Make it clear that you will pay in what's called "draws" (payment in thirds) and final payment is not to be paid unless the work has been completed to your satisfaction regardless of any additional cost incurred to contractor
• Create a game plan better known as “scope of work” to include start and completion date. Make this non-negotiable, but expect 1 or 2 business day delay
• Negotiate a deal in which you will pay for all materials needed and pay the contractor for labor hours only
For 2013, enjoy a refreshed office view—it might inspire new ideas.