Popular TV shows like Trading Spaces and Design On A Dime, along with budget, design-conscious stores like Target, have raised the level of design consciousness in the U.S. — and not just at home. Today it’s not uncommon for employees to form color advisory committees at work and be kept up-to-date with meetings about office renovations. Even if you can’t help design the building — and even if you are a cube dweller — you can still add design elements. Barbara Hillier, principal at international design firm Hillier Architecture, notes that for less than $30, you can buy a cool-looking file organizer, add different-colored file folders, buy a coordinated stapler, scissors, and tape dispenser, throw in a cool bowl for paper clips, and add an interesting jar for rubber bands. As Hillier says, “It’s amazing what visual order and clarity can do.”
— Beth Snyder Bulik