5 Ideas to Spruce Up Your Office Cheaply

Has your office slowly picked up a retro look--without you realizing it?

April 1, 2011

Require clean desks.

"Clutter makes you look unprofessional and incompetent," contends Maureen Calamia, a designer at Luminous Spaces Feng Shui in St. James, N.Y. Keep paperwork to a minimum in public areas and on sales associates’ desks, and keep all areas neat and organized.

Clean and paint.

Give your office a deep cleaning and then a fresh coat of paint, suggests Pablo Solomon, an artist and designer in Austin, Texas. "Use more than one color," he adds. "It might cost another $20-$40, but it’ll be a nice touch." To save on painting costs, solicit bids, and offer to add the winner  to your list of referrals to clients if the painter’s work is acceptable.

Tuck away plaques.

"While you’re proud of the plaques you’ve won, clients couldn’t care less. Too many plaques make your office look more like that of a coach than a real estate professional," argues Solomon. "Instead, have a few outstanding photos of your area professionally framed and hung. Use photos that present the best your area has to offer and that start conversations."

Buy bargain furniture.

"Make sure your furniture matches," says Solomon. "If you’re working with builders or developers who use professional designers and decorators, ask them for tips. Also ask if they’ll be selling the furniture in their model homes when it’s no longer needed. You can sometimes get a great office setup at a great price."

Add nature.

"Plants are an inexpensive way to brighten up a space and make it welcoming," says Calamia. "Maybe even add a water fountain by the doorway: According to feng shui principles, that will keep abundance and opportunities flowing."

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