Moving a home-based small business into leased office space may help to grow your business. How you decorate the office in leased space may not be the same way you decorate a home office. Think of your office within the leased space as the corporate office or world headquarters of your business even if it’s a one-person office. Invest in good furniture, leased or purchased, to exude an appearance of success in the main entrance of your small business.
Imagine two equally sized rooms. One has white walls, inexpensive folding chairs for visitors and no pictures on the wall. The second room is painted in warm colors, with comfortable visitor chairs and interesting pictures on the wall. Of the two office spaces, which has a more welcoming interior design and leads you to believe the business owner is successful, has lots of customers or is a good at what he does? First impressions count.
Size and Function
Size of a leased space may be small, which is in keeping with the concept of a small business. Small office space can perform multiple functions, like a reception area, where customers may need to wait prior to a meeting, might also function as a conference room.
A kitchen or storage area in the office space, however, should be blocked from view. If separate rooms are not available, use standing panels, like those used to create cubicles, to section off the kitchen and storage areas.
Walls and Floors
The lease holder may allow painting the space, if desired. Check with the landlord before painting; the landlord may even pay for the paint. Choose paint colors that reflect the business theme. If you are a building architect, you may want neutral colored walls to accent with pictures of buildings you have designed. The landscape designer may choose shades of green or brown for the walls to mimic their profession. The lawyer may opt for warm shades of gold, tan or red.
If changing the floor is not an option, use large area rugs or runners (long, narrow rugs) to cover tile or worn carpeting. Choose rug colors that go with the wall color and furniture color. As with the paint color, choose the design of the rug to match the business but to also go with the furniture. For instance, if the fabric pattern of the furniture is ornate, try a single color and non-busy design area rug. Thoroughly clean the existing tile or carpeted floors before topping with area rugs. Adhesive backing can help to hold the rugs in place.
Items you use to decorate your home living room or home office can also be used in a leased office space. The wall décor should not include pictures of family and friends unless the scene applies to your business, like a travel business might include pictures of a vacation trip to Yosemite. Overall, choose pieces that stimulate the imagination, particularly in a waiting area. A painting of a cabin by a lake, for instance, might be beneficial to help calm nerves in a divorce attorney’s office.
Fluorescent lights or recessed lights are common in leased office space. Depending on the age of the facility, the lighting may be insufficient to adequately illuminate work areas. Table lamps can fill a lighting need, providing light directly to the desk.
Invest in comfortable seating where customers enter your small business. The seating may be fabric covered office chairs like that used around a conference table. In fact, for the small facility, the entrance may be a conference-type area with large table and chairs. For a professional look, go with office furniture rather than a dining table and chairs. A wide seating area, designed for two to three people, can accommodate most body types or a parent and child with room to spare.
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