Decorating an office to your personal taste, while maintaining an aura of professionalism can be a little tricky. This is especially true when you are decorating on a budget. Many of us spend as much time in the office as we spend at home, often times making our office a home away from home.
If your office is used to host clients and other visitors, it is important to create and maintain a professional look. Perception is everything in business and you can create just the look you need even if the budget is a little tight. Whether you work for yourself or for someone else, cost should always play into you thinking. When spending the companys money, always think of it as your own.
Your office space does not need to be sterile place, devoid of originality. With a little creative energy and after doing some homework, you can turn a plain office environment into a showcase.
Making a personal statement while decorating you office may clash with company policy. Assuming that you value your position, it is wise to pay close attention to any corporate restrictions. Avoid controversial wall hangings and error on the side of professionalism and decorum. Like your living room, your office decor can project an air of warmth, making all who enter feel comfortable and welcome. This may sound counter-intuitive in a business environment but not when you consider the value of putting friend and foe alike at ease. Either way, you have the advantage.
The focal point of any working office is the desk. Desks have not functionally changed over the years. Even in this age of hi tech gadgetry, the desk remains our primary workspace. With drawers for storage, the desk is the largest piece of furniture occupying the largest footprint. The desk is generally regarded as personal space in the typical office and establishes a physical boundary between you and everyone else who enters the office.
The size and shape of your desk is largely determined by the work you perform, your status within the company and the size of your office. The smaller the office, the more value is placed on efficiency and utility. Focusing on utility and efficiency does not mean sacrificing style. Even if you are lower down the company ladder, the choice of your desk can raise your stature and enhance your image.
Or course, this assumes that you even have a say in what type of desk goes into your office. Like an orphaned stepchild, you may be forced to accept the hand-me-down desk from a predecessor. This leaves you with the rest of your office to work with.
Shopping on the Cheap
Making your office look good does not mean spending lots of cash. Framed pictures, bookends, accent furniture and knick knacks can be found on the cheap. I have found that the local dollar stores are a great source for inexpensive accents for any office environment. As I always said to my ex-wife, just because something is inexpensive does not make it inferior to a more expensive item.
If you have the space, consider a casual space to meet with visitors. A sofa or loveseat, coffee table and side chairs can help to create a casual setting that breaks down the physical barrier of the desk. This type of office causal motif can also provide you with a relaxing alternative to the formality of working at a desk. Again, gently used furniture can cost a fraction of new stuff and be just as functional. Second hand shops should be your first stop when shopping for office furniture.