Your office space is an important place. Not only do you spend the bulk of your waking hours there, but this is where you wheel and deal, generate your most profound thoughts, and earn food for the table. Surely, the setting where these monumental tasks take place is worthy of a makeover–a new look that will keep you inspired and reflect the essence of who you are.
Especially when you consider that this new look can be achieved without cleaning out your bank account or making your accountant raise a single brow. Here’s how.
“My favorite office accessory is my dog.”
1. A Lick of Paint
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to add oomph to an office is to change the color of the walls. A new hue can alter the mood of the entire room. Soft shades can transform your space into a peaceful oasis, while brighter hues add life. You can even opt for a mix of both–a muted tone on three walls with an accent wall in a bolder hue.
Perhaps you’d like to transform the look of your room by painting a piece of unfinished wood furniture in a crisp white, punchy primary, or any other shade that suits your own personality and sense of style.
2. Give Old Furniture a New Life
There is no need to splash out a wad of cash on fancy new office equipment. You have a plethora of other options.
• Re-finish and re-purpose old furnishings from around your house. An old dresser can house office supplies, a small table can double as a desk, or an end table can house your printer. The possibilities are endless. Plus, this will enable you to better personalize your office’s look. Not sure how to convert an old dresser, for example, into a useful piece of office furniture? Nicole Samuels transforms a past-its-prime chest of drawers into a combination desk and scrapbook table in her article “Dresser to Desk…My New Scrap Table.”
• Swap furnishings with friends or family. Whether you make a trade, a cash offer, or simply take an unwanted, bulky item off their hands, you’ll be surprised by how many people will happily relinquish a used piece into your possession.
• Second hand shops and thrift stores are another great source. There are also retailers who specialize specifically in used office furniture.
3. Don’t forget to get Organized
Working in an organized space is invigorating. And getting organized does not have to involve a hefty outlay of cash. Here are a few organizational tools that you can come by cheaply.
• Construct your own shelves from spare lumber. You can even paint them in a trendy color to compliment your freshly painted walls.
• Banker’s boxes are a very cheap mode of storage and can be hidden in a closet.
• Re-purpose old furnishings as storage units. End tables, dressers, armoires, and baker’s racks are all great to stash things away in.
• Colorful plastic bins make fun and inexpensive containers for office supplies.
4. Personalize and Accessorize
This is a fun part of decorating any room and your office is no exception. You can “borrow” accessories from elsewhere in your house, make your own, hunt for treasures at thrift shops, or buy new at a discount prices. And, of course, use your imagination.
• Whether you opt for family photos, a bold funky print, a contemporary wall decal, or a large metal owl, wall art can play a huge role in creating a focal point in your workspace. Be careful not to make your walls too busy as this can create a distracting and stressful work environment.
• Add mementos and treasured objects to your decor, but avoid developing clutter.
• If you require “brain breaks,” consider incorporating a few office toys into your environment. 8 Fun Office Gadgets to Kill Time may provide you with some great ideas for fun additions to your home office.
• Plants are a cheap way to add life and color to an office. You may even wish to introduce a fish bowl and an inexpensive fish like a goldfish or Betta fish to liven things up a bit.
There really is no need to endure a mundane workspace. You can create a productive paradise with very little effort and a small amount of cash. So scour your home for furnishings, hit your nearest Value Village, and pick out your favorite hues. It’s time to unleash that imagination, tap into your inner Martha Stewart, and perform an “Extreme Home Makeover” on that neglected space you call your office.
What great decorating ideas did you use in your office?