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Big Design, Teeny Budget

When Radish Lab moved out of the Made in NY Incubator program in June and into our first office, we had little but our equipment and a couple of measly pencil holders and desk lamps. Our lofty, bright office had a beautiful view, but otherwise was an empty box.

We knew we wanted to create a bright, creative, collaborative space that people would like to spend time in. We also knew that the cost of our new space, plus the cost of building a business, would leave us with a modest budget for making this happen.

With some crafty Craigslisting and sourcing, we managed to put together the beginnings of what we think is a pretty rad space. We saved a lot of money without sacrificing design — something we do every day for our clients.



The big space


    1. IKEA Expedit Shelving | Source: Craigslist, Price: $300 for 2 [no longer available, much to our dismay!]IKEA stopped making this incredible shelving line (why they’d do that is beyond us), but we managed to find two sturdy units on Craigslist. It took some assembly, but these help us divide our space from a shared kitchen that sits behind them.
    2. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S59932636/#/S49929639″>IKEA Linnmon Desks with Legs | Source: Craigslist, Price: $200 for 8If you’re going to set up an office in New York, save yourself some major dollars and search for companies selling desks. Especially if you’re already thinking of getting them at IKEA. There were so many options when we went looking. We saved about $360 getting these desks used. Sure, there are a couple nicks and scratches, but nothing we wouldn’t do ourselves within a couple of months.
    3. Martha Stewart Craft Pom Poms | Source: Amazon.com, Price: $11.23We bought these pom poms to add a little pizazz for our office warming party. We’ve left them up because they add some playful character to our high ceilings, not to mention they play off our Radish pink.
    4. Whiteyboard Stick-On Whiteboards | Source: Amazon.com, Price: $210 for 2

Wall Pops Dry Erase Monthly Calendar Decal | Source: Amazon.com, Price: $99.78 for 3

We are whiteboarders here at Radish. Nothing breaks a creative block like having a brainstorm session and drawing on a wall. Our development team also uses them a ton for working out code details, and we love having a physical calendar that we can reference at a glance. These humongous (4×8”) Whiteyboard whiteboard stickers are easy to apply and visually unobtrusive. And while $100 might seem expensive for a sticker, it’s cheaper than any whiteboard that size you’d find somewhere else. They work just like a regular whiteboard and clean easily with a brush or some whiteboard spray. We bought three of the same simple wall calendars to create a set.

  1. HON Filing Cabinets | Source: Craigslist, Price: $150 for 4These HON filing cabinets usually retail for upwards of $300 each. They’re super sturdy and the real deal. We found a set of four. If you’re in New York, be sure to check for used filing before shelling out the big bucks. You’ll save a lot of money and do the environment a favor. We also used two of these cabinets as a divider between our seating area and our desk space.
  2. IKEA Branas Basket in Rattan | Source: IKEA, Price: $116.91 for 9 [$12.99 each]These sturdy baskets offer us some privacy in addition to storage. We love that they bring some natural texture into the room and that they’re truly utilitarian.
  3. IKEA Plants and pots | Source: IKEA, Price: $150 for 6 plants and 2 potsA selection of what we bought:

    Ficus Microcarpa Ginseng

    Paranot Plant Pot


    Socker Watering Can

    We were so excited to get some greenery in our sunny space. You can spend hundreds of dollars per large plant at specialty stores, and we wanted lots of life so we went the IKEA route. They’ve got a great selection and it doesn’t break the bank.

Conference area

Radish Lab office

Conference area

  1. Sony Bravia 46″ 1080p Flatscreen Television | Source: Craigslist, Price $350

We use our TV to share designs or digital concepts within the team or with clients when they come in. New flatscreens can run as high as $2000 a pop. If you live in a big city, we guarantee someone who is more TV savvy than you is selling a pretty new model so they can upgrade to something fancier. We bought a simple wall mount from Amazon for around $30. 

  1. Tornado L2000 Ladder Hook | Source: Amazon.com, Price: $15.99 for 2


The folding chairs we bought from Ikea had holes in their backs and we decided to hang the extras on the wall to reduce clutter. These super sturdy hooks that people who don’t live in the city use for practical things like hanging tools and ladders can be used by us city folk for interior decorating.

  1. Wiremold White Cord Mount | Source: Amazon.com, Price: $13.52


IKEA Pluggis 7-piece storage set | Source: IKEA, Price: $8.99


We tucked the ugly cords of our TV away using a self-adhesive cord hiding strip and an easy-to-mount IKEA storage bin. This keeps our shared area neat and tidy and we never have to look far for the remote.

  1. IKEA Trendig Dining Table | Source: IKEA, Price: $249.00


We loved the stylish legs on this dining table and its size is perfect for a small office. It serves the purpose of a conference room table without feeling like one. Not to mention its price is just right.

  1. IKEA Terje Folding Chairs | Source: IKEA, Price: $107.94 for 6


We wanted something light and modular for extra seating. Office furniture has a tendency to be super clunky and, well, ugly. While these chairs maybe aren’t something you’d want to spend all day sitting in, they’re great for quick meetings or pulling up for a chat. Plus, we loved the color and the price!

Brainstorming Area

Radish Lab office

Brainstorming Area

  1. IKEA Tajma Wall Clock | Source: IKEA, Price: $2.99

[no longer available]

We think this clock is boldly designed and does a pretty solid job of keeping all of us running on schedule.

  1. West Elm Modern Weave Handled Basket | Source: West Elm, Price: $69.00


We wanted something stylish to tuck our office yoga mats into and this woven basket from West Elm handles the task perfectly.

  1. Baxton Studio Fiorenza White Plastic Armchair | Source: Amazon.com, Price: $156.99 for 2


One day, we promise to honor Eames and have the real deal in our office, but until we’re rolling in a bit more dough, we opted for these replicas that share the same vibe. They’re comfy and can handle the wear and tear the office gives them.

  1. Crate and Barrel Topsider Coffee Table | Source: Craigslist, Price: $60

[no longer available]

While you could go and pay $600 for a new coffee table from on of the big-box retailers, we’re fans of getting better deals on Craigslist. We promise, people are always liquidating great furniture options. We were lucky to find this table in our neighborhood, for the cost of a nice lunch out. 

  1. IKEA Stockholm Pillow | Source: IKEA, Price: $30 for 2


Yeah, everyone has this pillow. But IKEA’s Stockholm collection is sleek and graphic and we couldn’t resist. Perfect for napping on Friday afternoons. We’re kidding — maybe!

  1. IKEA Leather Karlstad Sofa | Source: Craigslist, Price: $250


This sofa retails for close to $900 from IKEA new, and we scored with this Craigslist find. Persistence and detail help when looking for really good Craigslist deals. Know what you have in mind. Do you want a leather sofa, do you want mid-century styling? Are you looking for a particular model? Knowing these details plus having the patience to wait for the right find to surface is all part of experience. We’re hoping this leather sofa withstands at least a couple of years of team brainstorm sessions and client meetings.

  1. Kilim Rug | Source: Ebay, Price: $349.00


There are some amazing finds on Ebay and some of our favorites are textiles and rugs that come straight from a dealer. We saved a least a couple hundred dollars buying this colorful area rug straight from Turkey.

Nothing we bought cost more than $350, with the exception of our office chairs, which we had to buy new. We got a set of 8 chairs from The Container Store (http://www.containerstore.com/shop/desks/deskChairs?productId=10028229) for around $1700.

The total cost of furnishing our sunny, creative space? Around $4,500, and close to half of that went to desk chairs. Not bad for a startup!