This is one over the very rare times this is just a post for fun. No greater lesson, just ‘hey we did this.’ 🙂 As some of you are far flung and never actually see the office, thought this would be fun.
For years, I worked out of my small house with my desk in the corner of my living room (it was a studio situation). But when I wanted to hire, I realized I couldn’t exactly ask the person I worked with to sit at my kitchen table, pet my dog, and otherwise get anything done. I had also been getting increasingly annoyed having a pile of work in constant view.
So I got an office. The owner of the building was welcoming and the affordable price let me make the leap. It came with furniture and cream colored walls which hadn’t been painted in at least ten years. The only thing I actually had to do was get internet hooked up.
Anyone who has ever worked with me knows I have a Zen like focus. This ability to ignore crap around me is what makes me so productive… but it also meant I put 0.0% thought into how the office looked and felt. It seemed secondary, silly, not worth spending time or money on.
One day I looked up at the cracking wall and the too-big-for-me desk with the busted drawer and thought “This blows.” My office looked like the office of a struggling business owner, not someone on their way up.
First, I had a bold idea. The office I was in had no door, which made it difficult to close off distractions when my landlord used our common meeting room. So I asked if I could have his office, to have a bit more room and also to have a closable door. After a couple weeks thinking it over, he agreed to a switch.
So I embarked on a mission to make the office as cute as I possibly could and spend $600 or less doing it.
The biggest investment is one that most people probably wouldn’t have thought of: covering up part of the floor with cool Flor tiles. This did two things: 1) Added a pop of color and 2) Leveled out the unevenness of the floor in the old building. Pretty and functional, just my style.
I also had these letters spelling ‘Breaking Even Inc’ I ordered a couple years ago and never got around to painting. So I dug them out of the basement and put them up with two sided tape.
And, even though technically I had office furniture, I decided to give the big old desk back to my landlord and order a sleeker looking Ikea table, which is a bit more airy and also offered more surface area for additional monitors, etc. (I kept, and probably always will, the desk I started the business with as the second work station.)
I asked my landlord to pay for the paint and in exchange, I’d paint the room. He agreed and in return, I picked a non-offensive but pleasant blue color for the walls and painted the trim in white to make the color really pop. (Thanks to my mom for coming down and spending the better part of one day visiting doing this with me!)
As you see, there are some dormers that needed to be worked around but overall, I think it turned out well. The twinkly lights give more lighting to the darker portion of the room and Kassie and I regularly switch desks which means no one is banished to the desk without a window for more than a couple days at a time.
I mean honestly, I am not sure if this increased productivity or boosted morale or anything but now when I walk in, I am definitely happier. And that, I suppose, is a start!