10 Ideas for Great Office Design (on the Cheap!)
At Radish, we’re interested in more than just digital design. We spend a lot of time in our office, and as a company just getting started we wanted to create a warm, creative space that didn’t set us back thousands of dollars (just start Googling Herman Miller office chairs, and you’ll see what I mean).
We’re still adding to our space, but here’s ten things we did right off the bat that helped bring personality, color, and efficiency to our Bushwick loft.
1) Add bright textiles
You don’t have to spend a lot to add some great color and texture to your space. We bought our Turkish kilim rugs and Moroccan pillows on Ebay for a fraction of the price of what they’d cost in fancy interior design stores in New York. (Puppy not included.)
2) Stick on your whiteboards
Hard, physical whiteboards can be very expensive, especially if you like ‘em big. We love using whiteboards to keep track of our company calendar and also brainstorm with our team. We bought two huge whiteboard stickers from Writeyboard. While not entirely inexpensive, these saved us hundreds of dollars off the hard-shell models and allowed us to buy the right sizes for our space. And sidenote: we prefer these to the whiteboard wall paint. The stickers are less porous and clean easily with little effort.
3) Green it up, big or small
Buy plants that fit your space, whether you’ve got lots of daylight, or just a couple windows. We’re lucky that our loft is airy with high ceilings. We spend around $250 per tree in our office and they add life (not to mention some extra oxygen!) into our space. We love our big Fiddleleaf tree, but for a darker space, try something like a snake plant instead (don’t worry. Snakes not included.)
4) Don’t overthink your art
Sometimes simple is best. We mounted a big, bright color-blocked canvas in a dark corner of the office. Create your own canvas for around $100, and paint it yourself. You might just find you have a little Rothko in you.
5) Think about lighting
If there’s one consistently horrible thing about most offices, it’s the fluorescent lighting that plagues most ceilings. We wanted the opposite of that, and so went for task-lighting instead. We get a lot of sunlight in the office, so much of the time, we actually use natural light. But when we stay late, we like these Newhouse Halogen lamps. We also took advantage of an Ikea holiday sale and create a starry ceiling lighting pattern for about $300 (the cost of the stars, plus paying a handy-man to hang and wire them). You could easily spray paint these stars or other decorative lights to fit your decor.
6) Find your furniture on Craigslist, with a little help from an app
We love the site IFTTT (If This, Then That), an amazing app that lets you set up alerts for sites like Craigslist so you’ll get an email when someone posts something up that matches a search you’ve made. Lots of offices close, move, grow, shrink and if you can catch them at the right time, you can take advantage of office furniture sales. While we bought a handful of these comfortable and sturdy Bungee Chairs chairs from the Container Store at full price, a few months later, we bought about 6 more from an office that was changing up their style for a total of $150. That’s $25 per chair and most still had their price tags attached.
7) Look for great design replicas
While we’ll forever be in awe of Eames, he’ll probably forever be out of our budget. Until we’re sleeping on piles of money, we love that companies like Baxton Studios produces a replica of some of the classic mid-century seating. No, they’re not the real thing, but they sure look sharp around a conference table.
8) Hide your cords
Honestly, there’s nothing more unsightly than cords everywhere. We screwed some simple cord baskets under our desks ($10 from Ikea) to help manage computer cordage, strategically distributed a few Quirky Cordies, and tacked some inexpensive cord covers over our TV cord in the conference room to clean up visual clutter.
9) Hang your clutter
We love having extra seating for get-togethers or quick meetings, but don’t love having tons of chairs everywhere. We bought inexpensive folding chairs from IKEA and mounted them on a wall to save floor space and make them easy to grab when we need them.
10) Showcase your colorful treats
Putting jellybeans in an inexpensive glass jar adds a pop of organized color to your office kitchen countertop. We offer a healthier choice of trail mix too. Visually interesting and tasty too!