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Topic: office redecorating project  (Read 766 times)
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« on: May 23, 2006 08:57:47 AM »

hi,  My 16 yo daughter would like a decorating project and our office is in need of something.  It's a mess!  We've got junk furniture.  There's a door going into the room and a door on each side that goes into attic space.  My daughter would like bold colors and I thought that might not be appropriate.  My sweety hubby said to let her go with whatever she likes.  So, it's a great big fun project.  We haven't set any type of budget, but economical is best.  (We planning a big vacation this year.)

Any ideas?  Do you know of any good books/websites for office decor?

thanks.  catdaddytn

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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2006 03:22:40 PM »

I have been struggling with this for my tragic office cube at work.

Here is the thread. 

What I have done so far is get furniture that matches. I am lucky I just had to go to the state office warehouse. Do you have a used office furniture store in town? You can get some great deals and for a few extra dollars in paint and fabric make a really cool retro look. Maybe use some orange and fuchsia with hints of lime green or zebra stripe thrown in every now and then. Keep the main pieces neutral either brown or taupe or off white, maybe even white? That would depend on the light in the room and the overall feel you want. Then go nutty with fabrics and inexpensive accessories (bulletin board, mouse pad, pots for plants, lamp shades...etc) that you can easily change. That way if your daughter wants to go with red and purple or totally neutral colors or something different in a year it won't be difficult (or expensive) to change.

I cannot paint my furniture (since it is government issue) so I just got stuff that matches....dark brown. I'm now going to recover my chairs in darkbrown and teal and light blue fabric. I'm waiting for a sale. I'm going to cover my tragic cube walls in something a bit more soothing than the dirty ripped taupe that it is now. The two real walls I have I'm going to hang a couple of coordinated ornate fabrics and some bulletin boards painted to look like one painting. Fashion and form meets function.  Wink If I can find an affordable area rug I'd like to put one down. If not, I'll live with the rug I have.

Here is are the chairs I got and the fabric I currently have. It was on sale from $25 a year to $1 a yard. You can't beat that!!! I have two of them now and like I said, I'm waiting for brown and teal and light blue fabric to go on sale so I can recover them again. The chairs are pretty darn good for free standard issue government office chairs!

Just make sure when you pick furniture that it is easy to take apart and recover. That is why I have these chairs. Let me assure you they were in sad sad shape before they were recovered!

Someone suggested this book for ideas. I haven't seen it yet but it looks like it might have some good ideas. At the very least it has ideas that are not old and tired!

I also like to flip through decorating magazines for inspiration. I may not make my room look like the exact room in the magazine but I might take an idea from a room in a magazine or get color combination idea from magazines. They are a good source of inspiration for me.

The bottom line is you can make a really hip office for cheap.  You can make an AWESOME office if you are able to spend just a little bit on it, especially if you shop smart and cheap. And you can have a down right awesome office if you can spend little bit of money and alter the furniture and area (aka paint or wallpaper or cover the walls and/or furniture with fabric or some other covering) you have to work with! Just use your imagination and go for it!! Don't ask why ask why not!

People think I am just plain crazy for decorating my office cube but I figure I spend 9+ hours per day in there so I should not spend that much time surrounded by that much ugly. We don't give office space the credit or time it deserves. That's my theory anyway.

Good luck, keep us posted along the way!

« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2006 07:12:55 PM »

...and everyone thought I was nuts for putting an oriental area rug in my cube...  LOL

Actually, you hit on the best way to design on a budget:  color.  Paint is gonna be your best bang for the dollar there. 15 bucks and you get a whole new space!!!!  And heck--- if it's truly junk furniture--- I say paint everything!  Give it all a new life---  in the end, you can be fearless- it's just paint!

Some suggestions for the home offce savvy:  My favorite tool for home offices have been chalkboard paint or the metallic additive that makes magnets stick to painted areas (both cost well under 20 bucks for an area of 4x8) that add functionality and a fun creative kick of color.  Both available at HD--- and I've seen chalkboard paint for like 6 bucks at Target (yes, I got a quart there in black.) 

Also, consider that not all things in the home office have to be specifically for the office:  Last time I was out for a desk, I ended up swiping a coffee table at a junk store for it's 1/2 thick glass top (I think the table was $30- and I donated the base back to them)- and set it on 2 towers of coffee table books (found free from a community book salvage)- yay desk!  Kitchen items are also incredibly useful--- my aforementioned desk supports a glass utensil holder (the kind for spatulas and turners and tongs) that corrals all my Sharpies- and a chromr toast caddy supports my file folders (a buck for refined elegance at the salvation army versus 15 for generic black plastic at Officemax)...

One place not to scrimp, I'd have to say, would be lighting.  If you're gonna have only one splurge in a room, make it a functional one and lighting is crucial for homework, craftwork, computerwork, etc...

Best of luck to ya!
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2006 07:52:12 AM »

hi,  Thanks for the ideas.  The idea about buying furniture that can be recovered in whatever color is a great idea.  Colors and lighting thoughts are great.  thanks.  Now, the first thing for our office space is to CLEAN!  Maybe, not just clean, but clean sweep.

A couple of days ago, I went through a box from almost 20 years ago.  So, I'll be doing some filtering or throwing out with this project.  My hubby and I are both packrats.

thanks.   catdaddytn

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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2006 09:33:25 AM »

Heheheh I understand the clean sweep thing! We finally bought a shredder a few weeks ago and my husband spent an entire weekend shredding years worth of documents! We had more than six boxes full of the stuff!!  Do we REALLY need to worry about a utility statement from 2000 on a house we no longer own? Yes....it has the ss# ugh!  I felt like I was part of some big corporate cover up or something!

« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2006 12:53:10 PM »

Must be the season or something--- I was compelled last weekend, for some ungodly reason to mix cocktails and then rearrange/clean out my linen/hall closet!  Oddly enough- I ended up using a spate of office supplies there: my labelmaker to label the shelves and bins of doo-dads, some wire/clippy bookends to hold rows of towels and sheets in place...
Ah well...  This is gonna be a holiday weekend- so I'm onto the cocktails without the OCD...  LOL

Good luck on the office teardown!
(remember to work from the ceiling to floor!)

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