Posts Tagged ‘budget’

Refresh Your Office on A Budget

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

If you’re in the market to update your office but are not yet ready to commit to a big budget redesign, there are plenty of changes you can make to spruce up on a dime.

  • The first tip has absolutely nothing to do with design.  Before you look for ways to refresh your office, you need to minimize.  Clear out any old paperwork, broken or outdated machinery, and junk that you no longer need or use.  Take on the task of entering old paper files into electronic databases when the office is slow.  Minimizing the clutter and paperwork that are bogging down your office will make an immeasurable impact.
  • Assess what you use throughout the day.  There could be things clogging up your desk that you don’t use but once a week or so.   Do you really need a stapler, a hole punch, and a scanner all on top of your desk?  Items which you do not use several times a day should be contained in attractive, functional storage.   The less visual clutter sitting atop your desk, the more productive you’ll be throughout the day.
  • Find storage solutions that are aesthetically pleasing.  Looking at items that are well designed will make your office seem more like a retreat than a workspace.  You can find great containers, bins, and baskets on a wallet-friendly budget at places like Target and the Container Store.
  • Is your office space configuration functioning at its highest potential?  Consider looking at new configurations of furniture if possible.  Try your desk on a different wall or your bookcase set at a different angle.  If you have systems furniture that may be difficult to rearrange on a whim, take out the graph paper or talk to an interior designer about how you can achieve a more functional workspace while limiting the number of new components that you need to purchase.
  • Perk up worn fabric.  Choose an updated fabric in a bright new color to recover tack boards and seating.  This shouldn’t blow your budget and will instantly make your workspace feel refreshed.
  • Paint an accent wall.  You may be able to enlist a team of coworkers to tackle this project one day after work.  It won’t take long if it’s just one wall and can make a huge difference in the look of your office.
  • Personalize the space.  Choose a pen cup that you love to look at, display a beautiful picture frame with a beloved picture, or use a notebook in your favorite color.    Surrounding yourself with things you love will always make your office feel refreshed.

Hiring An Interior Designer on a Budget

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

There are some design projects that you can certainly tackle yourself, for example, picking out a new duvet or replacing the throw rugs in your bathroom.  However, if your project involves an overhaul of major pieces in a room or an entirely new  design scheme, it is probably best to bring in an interior designer.  The thought of this can scare the budget conscious among us, but there are ways to use an interior designer without breaking the bank.

  • Hire an interior designer on an hourly basis.  Many designers are willing to come to your home and  give  advice on an hourly basis.  In an hour, you can cover topics from rearranging the pieces that you already have to what kind of kitchen table you should look for or where new lighting should be placed.  Develop a relationship with the designer so that he or she will be willing to help you out anytime you need a couple hours of design consulting.  Make sure to tell the designer up front that this the kind of service that you are looking for.
  • Prior to beginning a do it yourself interior design project, consult with an interior designer to come up with a master plan.  Your interior designer will come up with the master design plan and tell you how to phase it so that the project goes smoothly.
  • Consider hiring an interior designer in addition to using a contractor when undergoing a renovation or remodel in your home.  An interior designer will have a better sense of what the space needs to accomplish and how to go about planning for your home’s needs.  A few inches can make a world of difference in how a space functions; an interior designer will know how to address these  details.
  • Contact your local design center.  There may be designers that are willing to take your around the to the trade only design center.  You will visit various showrooms for fabrics, furniture, and lighting.  The designer can then assist you in putting together these pieces and ordering them for you, without binding you to a contract or taking the time to travel to your house.
  • Buying furnishings and other home items through an interior designer can actually save you money.  Most interior designers buy their goods at a discount from retail.  This means that when you pay the professional fee for an interior designer, you will have the benefit of purchasing beautiful, high quality pieces at a discounted price.
  • When you decorate your home on your own, there are mistakes that decorating amateurs often make, such as painting the room the wrong color several times, selecting the wrong shape mirror, buying a rug that just doesn’t look right, or finding out that your new dining room table takes over the entire room.  These mistakes add up in terms of both time and money.  When you hire a professional, the chance of making these mistakes is greatly diminished.  With an interior designer that has a library of wall colors that look fabulous, a sense of what textures will bring a room together, and an idea of formulas for sizing accessories and furniture, your room may turn out perfectly the first time.  Hiring a professional can save immeasurable time and money, as well as preventing a cycle of failed decorating attempts.
  • Come prepared to your first meeting with your designer.  Communicate your household’s needs clearly.  Bring a collection of photographs of rooms that you absolutely love.  The designer will be able to quickly and efficiently evaluate your home, design a scheme, and problem solve any trouble areas in the house.  A designer will have the eye and resources to transform a room into one that resembles the over the top design from your favorite home decor magazine, all while on a modest budget.

Hiring an interior designer does not have to be reserved for those with millions to spend.  Even the homeowner on a budget can find a way to use an interior designer.  In the process, the homeowner may even discover that once the room is complete, using an interior designer saved a significant amount of time, frustration, and money.