Cost-effective Office Design on a Small Budget | Soul Spaces

Cost-effective Office Design: Refreshing Your Space on a Budget

Joe Gillam
Founder - Design

Updated: May 8th, 2024

Published: January 29, 2023

Redesigning your business’ office space can be daunting, particularly when budgets are tight. In this post our co-founder Joe talks through some of the most effective places to start when it comes to refreshing your workspace cost-effectively.

I meet a lot of clients who, when it comes to office design, need help and ideas on how to make a big impact with a small budget.  If you too are unsure where to start, here are some some quick, easy and cost effective tips to maximising the impact of your fit out.

Put in Storage

The first thing I notice in to an office that needs freshening up is storage and organisation. Some spaces have too much, but many have too little. Print areas without shelving, lack of space for employees’ personal belongings and kitchen areas without enough cupboards are all common occurrences.

If you don’t have enough storage or organised storage, then this is a very simple win. Lockers for personal belongings should help keep desks clear and bike helmets or gym kits hidden away.

Review all the storage areas and identify where you need more in order to keep unsightly things out of sight. Coat storage and clever solutions for umbrellas are really easy wins that will make the office floor look tidier and organised.

Less is More

Having storage is a must, but too much storage can mean you are using space inefficiently. Space has a subconscious feeling of luxury. When you walk into a hotel there is a reason why the atrium or entrance is incredibly spacious and your room relatively small.

If you have too much storage, think about removing some and assessing the newfound space you have. Filling space previously occupied by a cupboard with a plant sounds simple but can have a tangible positive effect on workplace ambience.

Stay Neutral

Brand and feature colours can look great when first installed but often begin to look tired over time. Fresh decoration is very simple but getting the colours right can be quite difficult.

Choose neutral tones that work with the building infrastructure as opposed to your brand colours. This creates a sense of continuity and makes the space feel natural and warm when you walk in. Being blinded by a bright green or deep red can lose its lustre and you’ll likely have to think about changing bold brand hues in time, as the brand moving forward.

Warm greys, black, white and off-whites are best. Glass in the office provides the opportunity to create interchangeable graphics that make an impact. These are easy to change, cost effective and can look great if done right. Sticking to these principles for the office decoration will create a more timeless décor and easy to maintain in future too.

Invest in Furniture

The furniture you got from Ikea has probably lasted well and looked ok at the time but they make pieces based on trends and don’t really focus on design, ergonomics or manufacturing quality.

When you first move in there is so much to think through and costs start to rack up. Cheap easy wins like sofas and breakout furniture make sense, but buying in commercial quality products in these areas will make a big impact.

Furniture is a great investment. You take it with you, it can move around the workplace as you change and, if bought well and managed well, can even be sold again. I have seen hundreds of offices where a simple furniture change would work wonders and make for a much better impression to staff and visitors alike.

Floor It

Finally, I would look at the flooring. Depending on the condition of your existing carpet, you can make minimal changes to flooring layouts. A limited amount of alternative finishes can quickly brighten up a space. Carpet sucks in light whereas vinyl reflects, helping a space feel brighter and less heavy as you walk through it.

I can always tell if I am working with a good designer or an average one by the amount of thought they put into the flooring. It may sound a little over the top but the finishes on the floor and how they are laid shows an understanding of materials, colours and angles. This makes a huge difference to office design.

Other Quick Fire Tips  

– Replace all lighting lamps for new

– Replace the worktop, sink and splash back in the kitchen area

– Decorate existing doors and frames

– Decorate existing kitchen doors

– Add some feature lighting in specific areas

– Increase plants and share the responsibility throughout the office for looking after them.

Still Need Help with Design Ideas?

At Soul Spaces, we have a dedicated office design and build team that are here to help.

Be it a full office fit out or a simple office refurbishment project, we have the tools and experience to build the right space with the right finishes, bespoke to you. Get in touch to find out more.

Joe Gillam
Founder - Design
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