Decorating a New Office on a Budget

We all have hobbies…one of mine is decorating. I love fabric and color and putting ideas and concepts together. I would say my sense of style is traditional.  For those of you who don’t know what that is, I would like anything out of the Pottery Barn catalog.  🙂

I decided to give the office a different look and feel and bring out the pink girly-girl in me. The design concept for the office first came from the space itself…I was going to have a ton of natural light and high ceilings.  The building was built in the 1880’s and it has a lot of dark wood and character.  It is an open space, but with a lot of “defined” areas where I knew I would be able to differentiate them with different uses of color.

I bought this fabric about 6 years ago for one of the first pieces of furniture that I recovered.  It was a little stool my kids used to stand on to wash their hands in our powder room.  In our old office the walls were grey…and I am not a grey kind of person.  I love color and light and need that to feel productive. So I knew right off the bat I wanted the walls to have a bright color palette. I decided to pull greens, blues, and pinks for the space…similar to the colors in our logo. I also used a green hue – Laura Ashley Sage Green that I used in my dining room at home – I think it is good if you can to leverage color that you live with all the time in other spaces…it looks different at the office than my house because of the light. I also painted the inner walls a yellow green to make the green pop and to feel like sunshine.

I also decided I wanted the office not to look like an office but more of a comfortable sitting room – so I went with a French Country theme… and started shopping – another one of my favorite hobbies!  I also decided to buy local, so I hit the area Antique stores, thrift stores and Craigslist….

I got such joy in buying an ugly, beat up of piece of furniture for 10 to 50 dollars and making it beautiful with paint and fabric…

So where do you start?  I started with the fabric and style…I knew I wanted a farmhouse table for our conference room ($45.00)…I also knew I wanted a floral fabric for the chairs…I wanted a turn of the century camel back couch (which I found in a local antique store for $150 dollars – that was the deal of the century). Instead of office furniture I utilized dressers and credenzas for storage and places to put printers…

It took me about 5 months to buy all the pieces and my garage and my mother in law’s garage looked like a used furniture store. We started at the beginning of the summer refinishing furniture and painting…my big splurge was having two chairs reupholstered, a trade that I wish I new…but boy was it worth it and I love the chair in my office – it is one of my favorite corners in the new space.

All in all I spent less than $2000.00 on furnishing a 1,600 square foot office.  It was a very exciting process…I am going to have fun picking pieces of art and little odds and ends for the space…I love having a place that is pink and has shades of green and patterns that I can’t use in my own home. If you are a business owner have your office be like a second home – it sure does feel like it sometime…look for pieces and color palettes that will inspire your staff and get them excited about coming into work each day.  I think decor really does matter and makes a first impression when you have a candidate walk into your space…If your employees feel comfortable in their surroundings they will want to come to work and feel motivated to do a great job for the business….

Don’t go to your regular OfficeMax; think outside the box…think about your brand and who your company is and what story does your space tell…Use your creative side…for me it was so fun to see what had been in my mind for a long time become a reality.

Advertisements

We Have Exciting News- We Have Moved to a New Office…

So if you haven’t noticed we have not written a blog in over two months – we apologize for that ….however, we have been busy getting ready for our office move.

The adventure started some 7 months ago when we realized we had out grown our current space (which was a two room office suite).  Even though we loved being part of a traditional old town main street – we were growing and needed to spread our wings. I was not looking for the typical office space. Since we spend a lot of time at the office I wanted a unique space that had character and that I could decorate…..

I heard about a couple of historical buildings that were being taken over and made into office space. When I first looked at the new space it was down to the bare studs and lath (something that I have not seen since my parents redid there 1828 house)…I was not sure – I could not figure out how this building was going to come together…

Greg O’Connell, a local businessman that restores old buildings and has been very successful in the revitalization of the neighboring town Mt Morris, purchased the building. Greg was awesome throughout this process…he really let me design and customize the space to my needs.  He knows that a happy tenant is one who will stay for a while.

We decided to open up the space as much as possible – making the doors wider and adding glass and keeping the old finishings to keep the building in its native state….We ended up with an office for me (24 foot ceilings), an open environment for our recruiting and sourcing center that could fit 4 desks, a sitting area, a conference room, break area and kitchen – we more that quadruple our space….



Over the last several months as Gregg’s restoration team went to work it really all came to life.  First, the lathe was covered up and we had walls!  Amazing!  Then, color on those walls that really helped define the space.  Finally, the original floors were refurbished to their natural beauty and the space all came together!

When redoing a space you need to think about flow….as a business owner I needed to think about what I really needed – how did I want communication and energy to flow throughout the space….I wanted an open office concept…our business thrives on energy – I wanted big windows, natural light – no more fluorescent light bulbs for me….I wanted normal looking furniture….I did not want to be surrounded by everything looking like an office…I wanted a space that would encourage productivity and an environment where people wanted to come to everyday and be their best.

We have now been in our new space a week…still have a couple of things to iron out – not used to walking in high heels on the hardwood floors – but to be surround by great colors, beautiful sunlight (natural light on those grey days) and pieces of furniture that have a story to tell have been awesome. I look forward to our next blog where I will talk about how I decorated the space on a budget by utilizing many of our local antique stores and consignment shops.

%d bloggers like this: