If you have decided to change your office interior, it would be a great idea to take into account your budget before you start. Also, a few ideas will start you in a good place. When the budget is big, obviously the options are more, but don’t get disheartened! Even with a low budget, you can create a functional workspace that will be aesthetically pleasing! So, if budget is a constraint, here is a list of low budget office interior design ideas that are both cost-effective and aesthetic!
But, before we venture into the ideas, let us discuss the cheap variants of the costly materials and some other options|
1) Type/Quality of Tables and Workstations
When it comes to the kind of materials for your workspaces, do you go for veneer, laminate or solid wood?
Laminate is a low-cost, synthetic, clean, and easy to maintain material which is quite durable. You also get a lot of color options, it is quite light and also flame-retardant. Assembly and disassembly is pretty easy too. But it will never give the opulent look you get with good-quality natural wood.
Veneer comes with a very thin layer of actual wood covering a synthetic base. This thin layer gives the plush, rich look of solid wood at a lower price. Again you get a more consistent, uniform look when compared to real wood and it’s also quite light. The negatives include that it is quite difficult to repair and is prone to scratches. It is best used in areas which will see less traffic while still needing a rich look. Price-wise, it is somewhere between solid wood and laminate.
Solid wood is synonymous with aesthetics and being natural, they look great. It is strong, while being the most durable. Any dings and scratches are repairable as well. The downside is some woods are prone to damage due to temperature or humidity. It will also lack in consistency when compared to synthetic materials. Also, it is quite heavy and can be expensive.
2) Lighting Options
When it comes to lighting, we need to compare LEDs vs CFLs vs incandescent bulbs. The last is no longer a viable option today due to its power usage. It is best to go with LEDs as much as possible.
One more thing, studies have shown that natural light makes employees much happier, increasing their output. It will also be more economical. But again direct sunlight or too much glare will result in higher AC bills. So look for areas that do not receive direct sunlight! Also, the windows may be filmed to reduce the direct sunlight.
3) Flooring Material
This is another aspect that can help you in cost curtailing. But what are the options? –
Laminate Flooring is quick and easy to install over just any surface and has a wide range of options and looks. It can emulate the look of stone, hardwood, cement, or ceramics. It is quite durable, though it doesn’t take to water well. If that is a concern you need to go for the water-resistant variety of laminate flooring. The prices are highly variable and there are quite a few economical varieties which look good, though there may be a concern with durability.
Carpet and carpet tiles are good for insulating sound and are just what you need if people will be walking around a lot in heels and formal shoes. They also give a plush look to your office and are available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and styles. But carpet needs a lot of cleaning and stain removal is next to impossible. In such cases, carpet tile is an option. In case of spills, you just replace one tile and you are done. Carpet tiles also come in a wide range of prices.
Ceramic/Vitrified Tiles is a very cost-effective and common option. For office flooring, the vitrified tiles are preferred. This is because vitrified tiles are water-resistant and way stronger being made of a mixture of silica, clay, and quartz while the ceramic tiles are made from clay. Vitrified tiles also come in lots of styles and styles and have a more consistent look. With the variety available, you can emulate wooden floors, stone floors, marble floors, and many others with vitrified tiles and that too at a lower cost. Ceramic tiles though having a natural look are not that strong and come in small sizes.
Considering these flooring options for your office interior design ideas, can save quite a bit of money in the long run.
The color you choose is certainly important when keeping the aesthetics of your office in perspective. Paint usually doesn’t form a huge part of your budget, so you can always discuss it with your contractors or designers before making the ultimate choice.
5) HVAC systems – VRV or split units?
This is again an important matter to consider, keeping the cost factor in mind. You will have to choose between long-term power bill savings or short-term capital expenditure cost savings.
With Variable refrigerant volume systems (VRV), you can control temperature for different zones and this is quite useful for office interiors where usage is non-uniform. If there are lots of individual zones and cabins, VRV is good. But if you are going for a huge open-plan hall, the profits of this system will not offset the high cost of initial setup. This initial setup cost is almost 30-40% higher when compared to a split AC system.
Split AC units are the traditional systems in many very tiny offices. You are able to take advantage of using many individual split units too. However, if the office is large, you will need a few huge external split units and run ducts across the ceiling.
Now that we are more up to speed on options and materials, let us talk about the ideas –
1) Go for an Open Plan Layout
If you have an open-plan office, the employees will work within an exposed floor plan, usually sharing workstations. It will have few individual rooms and some companies go as far as to have chambers for supervisors or executives only. Offices having separate reception and many rooms are high budget and thus an open plan is a cost-effective alternative, as you do not need to create more dividing walls. The best part about this plan is you can accommodate a big team with shared workstations and thus create a set up that will help in facilitating growth.
Fewer walls is also a beautiful scene in the modern office environment. When you have more views across multiple spaces, it helps in collaboration. Also, the employees move more frequently as it is easy to get around in an open floor plan.
2) Reuse Simple Objects and Infuse Art
This is one way you can make your office appear creative and elegant. You will have to reuse some objects to decorate your office in such a way that it will speak of the core culture of your given geographical demographic. You may reuse old jars as plant holders, old glass bottles into light lamps, and so on. It will cut down the cost factor and at the same time bring an authentic look to the office.
3) Spend More Now to Save Later
If you spend a bit more while setting up your office and bunk on quality over quantity, things might be easier, as far as your pocket is concerned, later on. Office spaces undergo extensive usage regularly, so you should focus on durable furniture. It is better to go for furnishings which have veneer finishes and place them in places like management offices, conference halls and meeting rooms to up the glam quotient. For the regular workstations, it is wise to choose high-quality, durable, and economical furnishings.
4) Add Bright Textiles
If you wish to add some great texture and color to your office space without investing a lot, you may buy Turkish and Moroccan furnishings on eBay. This will make your office cozy and stylish in an inexpensive way. Office interior design ideas that incorporate bright colors will always uplift a workplace.
5) Reupholster or refinish
The existing fixtures and furniture can be reupholstered or refinished to give a new look. This is an excellent way to save some money and express creativity as well.
6) Makeshift Department Dividers
In open layout design, makeshift dividers are a budget-friendly way to give a departmental feel. You can become creative by using furniture and storage solutions instead of just privacy screens. If you can stretch your budget a little more, you may use glass partitions as dividers. Such dividers do not block natural sunlight which you can enjoy throughout the year.
7) Redecorate Your Office Space with Recyclable Materials and Plants
When you have plants in your office, you make it stylish and plants are not expensive. Also, they reduce the stress factor of the employees, minimize noise, cleanse the air and enhance creativity in the workspace.
You can purchase plants that fit your office space, while also keeping in mind the amount of light they are going to receive. They will add life and extra oxygen. Hardy varieties like a snake or ZZ plant are ideal. You may also go for artificial plants, as these won’t wilt or die, and are thus cost-effective.
This style is bound to provide the best of both the worlds and make your office more environment-friendly.
8) Color Psychology
Using colors properly is a very important part of modern office decor. Colors have shown to have noticeable impacts on people without them knowing about it. For example, the color orange makes people feel more energetic. Greens, blues, and yellows are also very common in many work environments.
9) Whiteboard Stickers
Hard, physical whiteboards are costly, more so when they are big. If whiteboards are necessary, you may opt for whiteboard stickers which are much less expensive. Also, these clean easily and are less porous and will effectively serve the purpose of keeping track of the company calendar or brainstorming team ideas.
10) Purchase multi-tasking furniture that can be used as benches for seating, as well as storage cubes. This space saving idea is a great place to start.
11) Think Outside the Box
You may implement many tried and tested ways in your design to offer a great visual treat, leaving a maximum impact. This ‘out of the box’ thinking is helping companies gather momentum with an increase in footfall in their establishments.
12) Use Customizable Contemporary Office Partitions
Customizable office partitions can change the look of your office. These are cost-efficient with lots of options like frameless glass walls, demountable walls, and melamine office dividers. These are versatile, a good investment and are quite easy to install. With natural light streaming in, the performance and health of the employees will improve too.
Diffusing ceiling lights and frameless glass walls create the exact ambiance for creativity. They will work fantastic if your office has ceiling windows, as these amplify the natural light coming in. Stylish mirrors may also be added to diversify the light coming in. They will add elegance to your office making it appear clean and clutter-free. This is one of the office interior design ideas that can really set your space apart from other places.
13) Get Cost-Effective Chairs, Desks, and Storage
Go for budget office furniture and storage. They should perform the basic functions, while still getting the job done. Some of these are –
- Task Chairs – Upholstered task chairs are both economic and comfy. Mesh back office chairs are also quite budget-friendly and at the same time prevent sweaty backs during summer or warmer weather.
- Standard Desks – Goal post frame or Cantilever desks are cheap yet functional. If you require a height-adjustable desk, you may go for a ‘standing workstation.’
- Metal Storage – Is yours a paperless concern? If not, you will need pedestals, filing cabinets and other storage solutions. Go for metal storage as these are inexpensive.
These options are more practical and come in a huge range of finishes like oak, standard white, maple and beech.
14) Homely Environment
Today, workspaces are no longer uninviting or sterile and this keeps the employees completely engaged. Rather homely touches aid the employees in relaxing and working calmly without pressure. You may have cushy seats all around a table for a brainstorming session with coworkers to come up with new ideas! It would be more inviting and fun!
15) Don’t Overdo Art
Simple is always best! Overdoing art may spoil the natural beauty of the space, making it an eyesore.
16) You can hang curtains inside glass conference rooms to frame the room. This will give some privacy and absorb sound that might bounce off the glass.
17) Have Multipurpose Areas
If you wish to save space and also maximize office usability, you will have to get more than one work designated area. This is achievable by creating un-designated zones. A reception having a waiting area can function as a comfy staff meeting room after work hours. Versatility and collaboration make modern offices work well. For this, you would have to choose the ideal furniture and furnishing to suit your multi-purpose requirement. This will help you match today’s fast pace and demands.
A single area can serve as a workspace for two workers to work together in comfort or to take a break. This same space can also used host an informal, small meeting by placing a few couches or seats around a table, with a bit of privacy with a rug or a divider.
18) Combine Work with Play
If there is some unused space in your office, you may create a Play Room for the enjoyment of your employees after long hours of work. You will require room dividers, bean bags, board games, comfy chairs, or swings. Demountable walls or standing dividers may be used to divide the office space. Then you can add any indoor game or a set of cards or a board game table and this is bound to pull your employees together and increase morale. You may also go for yoga mats for weekly sessions. All these are bound to energize and relax your employees and at the same time give the space a cool look! This is another one of the office interior design ideas that can be a big morale booster.
19) Keep it Simple, Minimalist and Aesthetic
It is always better to go for a bright, minimalist aesthetic for your office when the budget is a concern. ‘Less is more’ should be your mantra. And how? The following ways will keep your workspace from appearing too clinical –
Company Signage – You may introduce company signage using a vinyl graphic. You may also add your company motto.
Simple, Bright Color – Just combine white walls with company brand colors to make your office space look spacious, bright, and at the same time create company identity.
20) Modern Integrations in Furniture
You need furniture of everyday life to make working easier. Work areas and desks should conveniently and successfully integrate technology and at the same time hiding it so that it does not appear formidable. Cords are both hazardous and unsightly. Therefore, it is advisable to add outlets in the tables to funnel the cords away discreetly and safely. It is office interior design designs like this one, that will keep people more safe and will keep things tidy.
You may go for task lighting instead of fluorescent lighting on the ceilings. Sunlight is also welcome and should be used as much as possible. You may use halogen lamps or decorative lights to suit your decor.
22) Employees should get matching desk organizers and accessories in brand colors so that all personal items fit in with the company theme.
23) How about a Feature Wall?
Feature walls are cost-effective ways of adding persona to your office space. They also provide another way to instill brand identity. You may add a forest scene to your wall if you have an eco-friendly ethos.
24) Add Natural Elements
Biophilic design helps you incorporate natural elements for a good reason. You can do so by decorating with plants, which bring in a natural element and enhance productivity, while making the workspace look attractive and appealing for both the employees and outsiders.
Other than plants, wood paneling on ceiling and walls, water features, stone accents, and fireplaces also add a natural touch bringing in tranquility. Natural elements such as these are great office interior design ideas that can be inserted in any company.
25) Hang the Clutter
You can hang the extra seats for meetings and get-togethers, but the look may not be appealing. It is better to go for folding chairs and then mount them on a wall to save floor space and you can easily grab them when you need to.
26) Use Existing Features
If your workspace is in an old building, it may contain period features like a fireplace or a decorative covering. Just refurbish these instead of ripping these out. You can mix the period features with contemporary design to enhance the aesthetics! Sometimes with office interior design ideas it’s better to work with what you have, than try to reinvent the wheel.
Comfort plays a huge role in creativity. Lounges can be the place to kick your feet up and brainstorm ideas for a project! Both your mind and body need it! It also allows the people to come early to work and relax a bit before starting or stick around during lunch breaks, as they are comfy in the office too.
28) Install a Tea Point
A tea point would be fine if you cannot afford an office cafe. These points are stylish, compact, and perfect for the joy of employees. You may add the seating too for staff lunches or ad-hoc meetings.
29) Encourage Activity
If you can incorporate exercise for your employees in the workspace you can increase their energy levels and stimulate their physical and mental health! The employees will not need to go for a gym membership and will be saved from the to and fro drives to the gym. They will be able to use the on-stage gym for their workouts after, before, or during work. Office interior design ideas like this one will save employees a ton of time and they’ll get in better shape physically.
30) Window Views for All
Modern office design has done away with the correlation of work title hierarchy and quality of workspace. Rather the top exclusive offices are placed in the center of the floor plan. These central rooms have transparent or translucent walls to all the light inside. And everyday workers are given exposure to light and outdoor views which are so necessary for their health.
This small luxury can bring about a huge change in their output and lifestyle!