No matter the purpose of your office, there are a few things you need. A functional space considers the needs of your body – comfortable furniture, good lighting, and an ambiance that lends itself to productivity. Designing a warm, appealing office space doesn’t have to break your bank – with a little imagination, creativity and used furniture, you can create a luxe look for much less. Use these seven simple tips to office design on a budget.
Your office furniture is the most significant investment you’ll make in your space, so make it count – you may be spending more time in your office chair than in your bed. Deluxe executive office suites may cost thousands of dollars, but if you shop quality secondhand furniture, you can get a lot for a little. Used furniture for your office can be high quality, created from rich hardwood and leather. While you might discover a find at your local second hand store, shopping online at a site dedicated to quality used furniture for the office, Office Furniture Plus, will give you more options and the assurance that you’re getting quality furnishings.
A large-scale whiteboard, like one, would find in an office conference room, can be a valuable tool when you’re brainstorming and collaborating. Oversized whiteboards in large dimensions can get pricey. Instead of splurging on a hanging whiteboard costing close to $100, opt for a sleek, reusable whiteboard, sitting flush against your wall.
A stick-on dry erase board, versus a massive framed one, can be much less – a 2’x3′ restickable board can be just as little as $10! Instead of anchoring a whiteboard to the wall, creating unsightly holes, the restickable whiteboard from sites like Writey Board can be moved and removed without damaging the paint or wallpaper on your wall. Flexible and budget friendly for your office design!
Your office should be your inspirational retreat, decorated to your unique taste, including made-over used furniture. But staying on task requires organization, and a calendar keeps you on track to meet your deadlines. Instead of purchasing an oversized wall calendar or desk blotter, create a unique, conversation-starting timekeeper.
Make a colorful, reusable wall calendar with paint chip swatches from your local hardware store. Sounds crazy? It’s surprisingly easy, even for those with two left thumbs. A large wall frame, 35 strips of paint swatches in your favorite colors, and a bit of glue – voila, a colorful calendar that you can customize to highlight certain days, express your favorite colors, and keep on top of due dates. Follow these simple DIY instructions – and to stretch your budget even further, purchase a large picture frame from a thrift store, instead of an expensive office décor boutique.
Plants in an office design can create a soothing atmosphere and keep your air fresher. Different types of live plants can have a different effect on the aesthetic of your office – small violets add a pop of color, while larger hanging vines are lush. In fact, studies show that live plants help reduce stress and boost productivity – up to 12 percent for some workers! Office plants aren’t just pretty – they can also minimize distraction by muffling background noise. There are even indications that large leafed plants help remove toxins from the air.
The key to finding the best houseplant is determining where you’ll put it and the kind of light it will be exposed to. Low light, or bright sun – different plants thrive in different environments. Ask your local greenhouse or home improvement store for recommendations.
Desk accessories for your office design can be fun yet functional – and best of all, easy on the wallet. Many thrift stores have fabulous deals on desk décor and office supplies. Assorted photo frames can be painted to match your DIY paint swatch wall calendar or the craft paint you’ve used to give an old metal stapler a facelift. When you’re decorating with used furniture, like an office desk, you may be able to cover any damage from the prior owner with strategically placed desk décor.
Other “found items” that can be repurposed into attractive desk décor can include mason jars and tea light candle holders, for pens, paper clips, push pins, and other office supplies. Wrapping decorative type or a pretty ribbon around a glass jar or using an antique vase for pens makes an attractive display. Coffee mugs can double as more masculine pen holders, or decorative baskets can do double duty for paper storage and an in-box/ out-box storage system.
Don’t bust your budget on a costly array of photo frames – hang your pictures along with a decorative wire with fun clips, instead. Artfully twisted wires in bold weaves or an anchorable strip of photo line are a money-savvy way to show off your friends and family. Colored clips and clothespins in your chosen color palette can brighten up a series of black and white prints, too.
Use the color scheme for your office for little pops of interest in small places. Following a cohesive color scheme can create a soothing environment. For your wall décor, consider purchasing plaster or ceramic relief sculptures from thrift stores and painting them with your colorful craft paint. Textured surfaces in your chosen colors are a budget-friendly alternative to expensive art prints.
You may have used furniture that looks as good as new with gorgeously coordinated colors, and a jungle full of office plants. However, nothing can detract from a cohesive look like exposed, tangled cords from your electronic equipment. Ugly cords sticking out of a desk or trailing from behind a comfortable executive chair are distracting, and take away from your carefully styled work retreat.
You could purchase an expensive cord and cable organizer, but you’re designing on a budget remember? Instead of costly equipment, wrap and tie them with ribbons, available at your local fabric store, and label them with the plastic tags from your bread bags. You can also hide multiple cords with a DIY charging station, using a cardboard photo storage box and a few minutes of crafty time.
Creating a lovely and functional office on a budget can be as simple as shopping for used furniture and a few hours of DIY efforts. Beautiful spaces can be achieved on a budget if you’re thrifty and creative.