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Giving your office space a professional makeover will make it more functional and aesthetically pleasing. However, hiring the services of an interior decorator can cost you between $50 and $500 an hour. The professionals insist it’s worth the outlay, but you can enjoy a professionally decorated office space without the expense if you follow these seven clever tips. 7 Ways to Decorate Your Office Like a Pro

1. Choose the Right Desk and Chair Combos

Two-thirds of office workers sit at their desks for more than six hours every day, so it’s crucial to find the right desk and chair combination. That means considering not just the aesthetics, but also ergonomic designs.

More than half of workers slouch in their chairs, but choosing furniture with good back support can break this habit and increase productivity. Office chairs should also be adjustable so every employee can be comfortable.

Office desks should be generously sized so workers have enough space to complete duties and fit their chairs comfortable underneath. Wood and stainless steel finishes are timeless options that will never date. Don’t be afraid to mix and match these furniture materials for a modern look.

Modern Office Desk of Steel and Wood

Office Desk of Steel & Wood for a Modern Look by OFM

2. Store it Right

The business sector might be abuzz with talk of paperless offices, but most workplaces aren’t there just yet. It’s important to implement office storage solutions that are stylish and functional.

Bookshelves or wall-mounted shelves are ideal for storing books or magazines. These resources make workplaces appear informed and current. Just take care which materials you’re storing there. The wrong books and trashy tabloids can actually undermine your professionalism.

File cabinets are office staples, but they can be eyesores. The best approach here is to decide how much file storage space you really need, and buy a cabinet that’s appropriate. With more files existing in digital formats today, you might find that you can downsize to a more compact cabinet.

Office Storage Solutions by HON

Cluster Lateral & Vertical Storage by HON

Don’t think of bookshelves and file cabinets as separate pieces, but as part of your complete storage solution.

3. Love Your Lights

Research suggests people get about 85 percent of their information through their sense of sight, so lighting your office right is crucial. Working in poor light can cause eye strain and headaches, and increase the risk of office accidents. A well-lit office can increase productivity and work quality, reduce fatigue, and boost employee morale. Thankfully there are plenty of great lighting options which are just as stylish as they are functional.

Recessed lights are an unobtrusive lighting solution. If you prefer something that makes a stronger statement, choose a funky light fixture.

Love Your Office Lights

Image via Flickr by BAKOKO

Don’t forget about desk lamps, which provide localized light to help workers focus. Look for lamps with adjustable heads and dimmer controls so employees can control the brightness for optimal productivity.

LED lamps are the best choice, as they have the most controlled beams of light and are inexpensive to run. For example, an LED lamp will use roughly one-fifth of the energy of an equivalent non-LED lamp. As LED is a modern lighting solution, lamps using this technology generally look contemporary. If your office has more of a classic feel, choose a vintage desk lamp to avoid an aesthetic clash.

4. Personalize Office Space with Artwork

Hanging artwork is a great way to add personality to an office space without adding clutter. Your favorite pieces can also make you appear more cultured to visitors. If you work in a creative office environment, you may like to consider special paint treatments or think beyond the walls and incorporate sculptures into your office decor as well.

Office Paint Treatment

Image via Flickr by outreachr.com

Remember to save space on your walls for your degrees and any awards or certificates your company has earned. These achievements advertise your accomplishments to potential clients and business partners, and enhance your professional reputation. They will also help provide balance between your personal and professional image.

5. Really Impress with an Aquarium

An aquarium is one of those office fixtures that screams success. It will make your firm appear more professional and add color and interest to your office space. It also makes a great conversation starter, which can break the ice with clients and business associates. In addition, if you believe in feng shui, aquariums are meant to attract prosperity, which is a plus for any business.

Bigger is definitely better when it comes to aquariums. Large tanks won’t just hold more fish; they’re also easier to keep clean. Experts suggest choosing one that holds at least 60 gallons of water, and ideally more than 80 for maximum impact.

Office Fish Tank Aquarium

Image via Flickr by Ron Goodrich

Aquariums with fake wood trim were once all the rage, but today they look dated and tacky. Instead, opt for tanks with clean, black trim. LED or fluorescent lighting will make your aquarium look its best.

While a beautiful aquarium will enhance your office, a dirty one will have the opposite effect. If you’re not sure you’re cut out for the upkeep, a picture frame aquarium is a fuss-free alternative.

6. Add Warmth with a Rug

A rug is a great way to add warmth to an office space, particularly if yours has a hardwood or tiled floor. It’s also a more economical option than carpeting the space.

Office Carpeted Rug

Image via Flickr by Richard Smedley

A basic single-toned rug is perfect for presenting a professional appearance and coordinating with other decorating items. If you want something a bit more interesting, a Persian-style rug is a classic choice.

7. Bring Outside In with Plants

Plants can make an office environment feel less artificial and much friendlier. Bright flowering plants can add a pop of color, but even flowerless varieties will add a fetching splash of green. If you think you’ll forget to water them, choose cacti or succulents, or use self-watering probes.

Office Plants

Image via Flickr by Dave Fayram

The reasons for adding plants to a workplace go beyond their aesthetic appeal. Studies show they enhance productivity by 12 percent and decrease workplace stress. They can also absorb noise, making for a quieter office environment, and improve air quality. Just don’t go overboard, or your office will appear like a jungle rather than a professional work space.

Beautiful planters or pots will complete the look. These will appear much more professional than the plastic ones plants are sold in.

So why hire a decorator to do what you can do yourself? With a little design know-how, it’s not too difficult to give any office space a professional makeover.