Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ta-da: The office makeover

As promised, I'm posting photos from an office makeover that my friend Marianne and I did recently. A nonprofit organization won the makeover as part of a larger prize.

The space posed a few challenges for me and Marianne (who owns Consignments Ltd.): The office is in an old mill building, and is large (probably 600 square feet). The organization, Options, puts out a newsmagazine, so it needs tables for preparing it for distribution once a month.

It also uses some bulky items, like bins and carts, but had no storage space. Options would also like to hold meetings at the space, and there really was no comfortable spot for hanging out.

Marianne and I did the makeover in about a day. This would not have been possible if Marianne wasn't such a workhorse. (Only not a horse like this: ; more like this: .)

Chances are you don't have a space quite like this, but there are some ideas you can steal:

We bought some office dividers at a business surplus store and put them together to create both a storage room and a wall that would act as an entrance to the large space. The Options sign hangs on one end of the new storage space. (In the Rhode Island area, this is a good place to find business surplus items at very reasonable prices: the aptly named Business Surplus Inc. Rhode Island.)

Along with the bins and carts, we stored a few of the tables and some chairs in the storage area. The tables and chairs can come out once a month, but in the meantime there's room for the lounge we created with sofas from Marianne's store. We added a rug, and few pillows and accessories, and it's a comfy meeting spot. (Check out the little tables I painted, too.)
We used a print they already owned in the bathroom (tip: a big piece of art in a small space makes a really big impact) and the mirror I also painted orange. (I like taking a traditional item like the Chippendale mirror and paining it a bright color to create a funky look.)

Paint is a great tool to use when you've got a lot of space to decorate.

Options already had 25 of the first pages of its newsmagazines mounted on huge poster boards. But only six or so of them were up. They were painted in rainbow colors. So, we painted a bunch more and hung them up, too. Not only did the posters look colorful, but they helped unify the space.

We also hung some curtains (thanks to Marianne climbing a 15-foot ladder), switched out a bookcase for better organization, and a few little odds and ends and we were done.

Done, but too tired for even a glass of wine. And that's saying something.

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Tip Junkie said...

LOVE it!! How fun.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing difference! A simple office makeover can have a big impact on coming to work everyday. Although you might be doing the same work having a remodeled office can change the atmosphere and productivity of an office.
Love what you have done!

Janet said...

This is awesome. I just wanted to sit down on that couch. Any small, small space ideas? (4.5 feet x 9 feet). See photo

At Home Redesigns said...

Hi Janet:
Hmmm...interesting. Is there a door on either end?

Janet said...

Yes, but the one in the picture is boarded up. It seems it was once an entry. So, on the outside of the house there are stairs that lead to...nowhere. I'm calling it my secret office portal. (I've started covering the outside stairs with ivy and put a bistro table in front so you can't really see the stairs from the road)...bizarre. Anyway, that's what I'm working with.

At Home Redesigns said...

Hi Janet:

I'd try placing your desk at the far end of the room, with your back to the door since that is not used anyway. That way you can see out to the rest of the room. Then you should have room for a shallow table along one of the walls for office things or a spot for filing cabinets. Let us know how it works out! Thanks for writing.

Janet said...

Thanks for the advice. My first instinct would've been to put it sideways. Thinking now about the neck pain of always looking sideways. Definitely makes sense to put sit looking forward.

lynda said...

I love your blog. One thing- I had to go ick--- the Orange mirror. Even if it is red. Although I do have a red sewing room- it was my ds before he left for the marines. I need you help. LOL I don't think you are in Indiana. I am still working on the mess. I'll send pic when I am finished. I want that dog with long neck- he'd look great by a front door. I am keeping an eye on your blog.

Kathi said...

Great work! I love an organized & pretty space.