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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need Help with my Office

Jenna EmrichDecember 18, 2012
Besides getting rid of the obvious clutter, what suggestions do you have for my office. I share it with my boss and cannot spend a lot of money on changes because it would all be coming out of my pocket. Right now my desk is actually a table (hiding behind these two armless chairs). I do not meet with people in the office, it just functions as a work space.
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Jenna Emrich
Here is a third photo of my bosses desk/side of the room.
    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 11:11AM
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Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design
HI! Although you do not meet with people in your office, sometimes people come to chat, eh? (Even if its your boss) Turn those 2 armless chairs to face your table/desk. Find a small plain table to put between them. Stack some mags on table with a space for a beverage if someone does drop in - Is that a sleeping bag on floor against wall? It is taking up space - roll it up & out - pull your desk and chairs to fit under the two windows and give yourself some room from boss. Add a vibrant glass vase - fill it with fresh flowers on your table/desk - and on side of your desk closest to boss - add a lamp - this will act as a divider and give you light. It will also add warmth - this space need some human personality outside of coats . . ! have fun!
3 Likes    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 11:27AM
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Judith Taylor Designs
Wow, so many things come to mind. Firstly, I see what you are trying to do with the chairs but in my view they are just creating mystery to explore what they are trying to hide thus attracting attention. Rather than try to hide something unattractive, think in terms of creating something more attractive for the eye to travel to. For example, does your desk (table) have to be right there? If not perhaps the chairs could be placed under the windows with a small round side table between them. Add some attractive window coverings and give the eyes something lovely to rest on. I think the white is too much contrast from everything else in the space so you might edit them out altogether and focus on the windows and perhaps some framed artwork. It doesn't have to be expensive - IKEA has great images. I think we really need to get away from the idea that work spaces have to be so 'officey'. You spend a significant time of your life there. Why not inject it with something you love to look at and enjoy?
3 Likes    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 11:28AM
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Jenna Emrich
Thanks for the comments. I do plan to put some soft curtains up. The 'bean bag' in the corner is my dog on her dog bed :) I bring her to work with me every day so it's important to have a comfortable space for her.

The wall directly across from my desk is actually a large archway that opens up to the showroom. The wall across from my boss's space has the coat rack that you see and a door to the bathroom.

Any ideas on how to rearrange the furniture in a better way?
    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 11:46AM
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NuWay Kitchen & Bath
Hi Jenna,

Case in point, this is why there are designers in the world. Can't afford to hire one? Luckily, there are people as nice as the previous to give free advice, as well as myself (not to toot anyone's horn). I'd be happy to give some tips, but it's hard to say how to rearrange your furniture not knowing the room size or the size of the furniture pieces. If you get some free time and an extra set of helping hands, perhaps you can try moving the furniture around until you feel good about it. You may find that you'll need additional items and props, as the first two people stated, to help with the ambience and functionality of the office. Oh, it may sound silly but blue painters tape can work wonders in mocking up a floor diagram first before straining your over worked muscles to move the furniture!

Best Regards,
My pockets are shallow too ;)
    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 12:47PM
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Judith Taylor Designs
I use painters tape to mark out furniture - it is a great tool. For rearranging the furniture I would step out into the showroom and look towards the office. That line of sight is the most important for your clients so make the wallscape directly across from the entry attractive. The functional work spaces could be off to each side so people passing by are not focused first on the clutter. Without seeing a floor plan it is hard to be specific. What sort of showroom is outside that door?What type of impression do you want to make?
    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 3:33PM
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First of all, why can't you boss get you a proper desk? A table is most likely not the right height to work at and use a keyboard.

I would find it distracting to look out on to a showroom. Can you swing your desk around so it faces toward your boss's area? Or put up a low screen? I worked in a area with a lot of people and Out areas were surrounded by chest high screens. It kept the place looking neat, since all of the things on peoples desks and under them were hidden from view. But it wasn't so high that you couldn't see or be seen by a passer-by. Here is one folding screen:
Upstaging Your Homes · More Info
or something like this:
San Francisco Decorator Showcase · More Info

Maybe you need more stroage. There is a lot of stuff on the floor, which makes the place look sloppy. Nothing should be on top of the coat rack. Coats should be in a coat closet. It seems that you need some task lighting. Simple Roman blinds would look nice and some large graphic posters or prints on the wall would also look good.

Good luck.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 4:10PM
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The Look Interiors, Inc.
You're getting some great advice. I agree that the white chairs, if there's room, should face one of the desks and a small table between them would be great. If the space is too tight it may be best to remove them if they're not serving a function. You could put a couple of small, desk height bookcases in front of your table, giving you additional storage - use baskets for literature and other items that might look like clutter on shelves. In your furniture arrangement, be sure that neither of your desks puts your backs to the showroom doorway.
    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 4:49PM
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You need more storage space, for you and your boss. Convince the boss that you both would be more efficient with a couple of bookcases for all the stuff that is stacked on the floor.

Then you can use the bookcases as a wall between you and the boss or you and the showroom.
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 2:06AM
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An employee with initiative is good. Your boss needs to buy or find more storage space. It is not an employee's responsibility to buy major furnishings for the workplace. You and your boss can look around the showroom and storage areas to see what you find that can be repurposed. The brown/gray furniture is obviously part of an office suite and there may be more of it around. Also take a look at the third (corner) desk to see if its closed shelves and under desk shelves can be used for storage. Sometimes an offer to rearrange is met with relief and gratitude but its best if you sort things out together. Get rid of any obsolete work material and trashy looking shopping bags. The New Year is a good excuse to clean house.

Things to be put away: shopping bags and binders. A closed door bookcase that will fit under the windows is ideal. A cubby storage area near the coat rack and dog bed would be ideal.

The dog looks comfortable. I like the dog bed.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 6:28AM
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Julie Thome Draperies, Inc.
Your windows are the wrong shape/size/placement for drapery panels. Some type of shade, roman or woven mounted at ceiling height would work well.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 8:58AM
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Would be helpful to see a 360 of the room, measurements and locations of any entry ways (without doors) and entries with doors.

I see three places to sit (not counting the two white chairs). Your "table" that's hidden by the two chairs, the modular unit in the corner with the dining chair and your bosses modular desk and credenza. How is that modular unit in the corner used, ie, the one with the dining chair? Does it have the same depth as the credenza in back of your boss's desk?
    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 5:49PM
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Laura Long
If you do have to buy it yourself instead of your boss (!) don't be afraid to look at vintage pieces aka thrift stores, resellers, etc. You can get some pieces with great personality really cheaply. If you're handy at all or can follow the tons of directions online, you can even attempt to refinish or paint something. Good luck Oh and if you have a little to spend, check out Ikea's office cabinets and tabletops. They're not exactly top of the line but they're good if you have a very strict budget.
    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 9:37PM
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It is hard to be too definitive without a floorplan and dimensions, but my immediate reactions are:
1. You clearly need more storage and a tidy up.
2. Swap the furniture on the boss's side of the room so that the corner unit is in the opposite corner not bocking the window and the desk is under the window.
3. Turn your desk sideways under the window and put a storage unit/bookcase in front of it to form a low screen that you can still see & talk to the boss over but which helps define your workspace an keeps all those files tidily accessible.
4. Arrange the two white chairs with a small coffee table into a comfortable sitting group. Perhaps an L shape grouping positioned to screen the dog bed a bit from the show room. I'm sure your dog is gorgeous but not all customers will be thrilled by the sight.
5. Can the coat rack move to the other side of the door (where the cool box thing is?) so that the dog bed can move tight into the corner and free up a bit of floor space. From my understanding of your layout this would also make the coats less visible from the showroom area.
6. If the showroom is only separated by a large archway then your office is effectively part of the showroom so needs to be presentable - is there no way the boss will stretch to a bookcase or cabinet for all the files?
7. I would not put curtains on those windows. The shape is wrong and curtains are just too domestic for an office space, however homely you want to make it. Roller or Roman blinds in a graphic print would be much better and take less fabric to make so good for the budget too!
8. Once you've sorted the furniture, add a few SIMPLE prints and accessories in bold colours to lift the space and your spirits. Try and keep any purely decorative items off the desks and use coloured pen pots, lamps, paper trays etc to add the colour and interest here. Candles, vases etc just add clutter to a desk. IKEA is always a good source. If you have a particular colour in your company logo or signage try to include that (unless it's really awful!!).
9. Paint the wooden chair at the corner unit a snazzy colour and recover the seat with the same fabric as the new blinds.
A few changes will make a big difference and this will be a lovely workspace. I have seen so many offices that are much smaller and tattier. You are especially lucky to have such a beautiful timber floor.
    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 2:53AM
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Kevin Retired Decorator
I agrre with other comments move the corner desk away from the window it could be placed next to the other desk unit, I would focus on the three windows. adding shelfs in between the windows on either side of the center window. Then add books and accessories to the shelfs and window sills making a whole statement across the entire wall. Place the white armless chairs under the center window with a table in between & lamp then move your desk opposite the bosses desk think the whole room would flow better and have a sense of balance then. And the chairs would service the entire room. Add a large plant or two for a finished look faux palm or real. Have fun. Kevin
    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 3:07AM
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