What does the décor of your workplace say about your company? What does it do for the employees, customers and suppliers who use it? Can you make it better?
That last one is the stumbling block for many small and medium-sized companies. Faced with the idea that professional interior design is not ‘budget-friendly’, they leave the décor and ambience of their workplace to the builders and/or renovators who put it together.
That could work – if you rarely entertain clients and don’t need a particularly inspirational space for work.
To get an idea of how important the look and feel of a workplace is, think about one that you remember visiting or working in that sticks in your mind as being either particularly pleasant or fun. Chances are that someone designed it that way. And it still makes an impression on you.
But now we’re back to the cost of interior design.
Here’s how to not let that stop you from having the office and workplace décor you’ve only seen in other spaces.
DIY Interior Design for small Businesses
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Stop right there. You don’t have time to do any interior design and or decorating, right?
It might not seem that way, but if you take the approach of one of our customers, nvision, a web site design and digital marketing company in Markham, Ontario, you might just end up with the kind of workplace that makes an impression on everyone who uses it.
Faced with the need to move into a new, larger space, nvision’s owner George Arabian, decided to take a shot at doing the interior design for the new locale. But, as a busy entrepreneur, he didn’t really have the time, so he started with the first tip below.
1. Take it One Step at a Time
If you try to do everything at once, you’ll set yourself up for failure. Take one task at a time. For George, that began with getting help for the layout of the office from the renovators. Once that was in place, he went back to his day job.
2. Paint the Whole space in a Neutral Colour
Unless you are an expert in knowing which colours go together and have a clear vision of how you want the office to look, paint the entire office in a single, neutral colour. Think off-whites, light gray, light beige, etc..If that sounds boring, it is. But what it does, especially if you don’t have time or budget for more formal interior design, is gives you a ‘blank canvas’ to work with as your time allows.
3. Lighting, Lighting, Lighting
Nothing looks inspiring under the glare of banks of fluorescent lights. You’ll need to spend little time here, but it will pay off. George went with track-lighting using LED bulbs to save energy.
4. Find a Common Element and Paint it a DifferentColour
It could be the door frames, or support poles, or whatever you have in your workplace that works. But to help break up the monotony of the same colour throughout, use one of your corporate colours, or a primary colour, on that element. In nvision’s case, the plumbing for the sprinkler system, which is visible in the exposed ceiling, is painted yellow and red.
5. Pick One Wall in Give it Texture
If it’s a small space, maybe this is just one wall. In larger businesses you can pick a wall in each area. In any case, again to break up the monotone, but also to create interest, add a textural element to a wall. Check out how the ‘exposed brick’ in nvision’s boardroom gives it a distinctly urban vibe.
6. Indulge in a Passion
Do you have a favourite hobby? Activity? Or any other interest that you can use to help set your office’s décor apart? With a company-wide interest in sci-fi, it was easy to use it as a motif for some of the décor cues at nvision. In the kitchen, the Darth Vade toaster is backed by comic-book-themed back-splash tiles.
7. Have Some Fun With It
Creativity can be a serious business, but there’s nothing wrong with adding a dash of fun to your office décor. One way is with customized stencils, which nvision put to use to make sure everyone knows where to find the fire extinguisher.And one all was set aside for some ‘off the wall’ creativity.
It helps that nvision is in a creative business. But, there’s creativity to be found in every business and the sooner you unleash it for your company, the sooner you’ll make a lasting impression on your customers, employees, suppliers and everyone who uses your workplace.