CREATING A COZY AND INVITING OFFICE SPACE PROMOTES HAPPINESS, CREATIVITY AND PRODUCTIVITY. LIFT YOUR MOOD, BOOST YOUR FOCUS AND SAVE YOUR DOLLARS WITH THESE FUN (AND OH SO CHARMING) IDEAS FOR HOW TO DECORATE YOUR OFFICE DESK AT WORK ON THE CHEAP.
2,080. That’s how many hours many of us will spend each year cozied up behind an office desk.
And how you decorate that office desk — or don’t decorate it — actually has a very real impact on your mood and work performance.
But even so, it can be easy to plop down day in and day out without really giving a second thought to how the vibe of your office space is affecting you.
Stop overlooking the power of personal touches. Start finding ways to decorate your office! Ways you can combine color and fun with functionality.
Psst! I’ve got more for ya with these 7 fabulous office wall decor ideas that’ll lift your mood on the job. Go check out the article here.
And part of the reason why you might be here is because you want to decorate your office on a budget, is that right? Perfect — there are plenty of ways to spruce up your office desk without breaking the bank.
I’d say that most (or all) of the ideas on this list are pretty low-cost decor options — just so long as you don’t go on a shopping spree to buy ALL the things. 😉
Enjoy this roundup of decorating ideas for your desk — which are perfect whether you work from home or in the office — to freshen up + glam up your space for a nice little boost in workplace happiness and productivity.
Adopt a friendly, low-maintenance desk plant
Indoor plants have long been known to improve air quality, increase productivity and act as a mood booster. But it’s important to find the right plant for the job. Especially if you work from home with your pet or at a pet-friendly office.
Aside from being non-toxic to animals (if this applies to you), the ideal desk plant flourishes in low natural light, lovingly forgives if you forget to water it before an extended weekend and doesn’t mind a little dust or fluctuating temperatures.
There are some serious contenders when it comes to choosing low maintenance greenery for your workspace, including:
- English Ivy
If you’re looking for pet-friendly options, consider:
- Spider Plant
- African Violet
Green thumb not so green? If you’re not entirely convinced you can keep a plant healthy — or alive for that matter — a faux plant would be a fantastic alternative.
Plus, considering many living plants need at least a hint of sunlight to thrive, faux plants are also a good choice if you work in an area with low natural light.
My favorite faux plants are succulents or an air plant resting in a geometric terrarium tabletop container. Not only easy to care for, but so stinking chic.
Inspire your day (and your best work)
There are tons of talented creatives selling unique + inspiring printable art. And if you ask me, Etsy is the absolute best place to find these inspirational prints.
The secret is to find an art print that is a printable or instant download. This means that the seller will send you a digital file — no physical product — which you can open on your computer to print out yourself. Easy peasy!
What you’ll want to do is head over to Etsy and type into the main search bar “inspirational art print” or something similar. Then browse the results. (Here’s what’s trending now for inspirational art print.)
These art prints are pretty cute for an office desk, dontcha think?
Alright but what if you want to punch today in the face? You got it! Check out this print by ArtCoStore.
Now it’s time to dress up that office desk, sis!
Just get your print and slip it into an equally charming, classic or funky frame to complete the look.
A frame size of 4×6 or 5×7 would work well for this purpose. But if you have a decent sized office desk, then an 8×10 could look quite chic.
I LOVE to go shopping for frames at my local thrift store. My favorite look? Find a gold frame, take it home, paint it white. Once the paint is nearly dry, distress it just enough to let some of that gold shine through. I tell ya, if there’s ever such a thing as thrift-store-find-frame-perfection, that would be it.
Light it up
A desk lamp is a darling way to add character and warmth. Not only that, but poor lighting may actually lead to low productivity and eyestrain.
So go ahead and buy that uber chic — but still reasonably priced — lamp you spotted last weekend!
If you haven’t found your match yet, check out this stylish gold piece on Amazon. Or if you’re more into function over form, a simple dimmable desk lamp could be for you (I’ve used this exact one before and it works fantastic).
For an elegant and vintage-inspired look, pair your shadeless lamp with an Edison light bulb.
When in doubt, accessorize
It never fails. Every time I walk into a craft store or place like Target, I am amazed at the slew of adorable — yet practical — supplies and decor that are just waiting for me to take home.
Fruit-shaped push pins, floral tape dispensers, golden pencil holders!
Goodbye to the days of boring trash cans and unsightly business card holders. Now’s your chance to add a burst of color with new accessories.
Look how stylish these office desk organizers are:
Beyond organizers, we MUST talk about your options when it comes to choosing accessories for your office desk. Just look how flippin’ cute this stuff is.
Plan your workday right
Maybe you already keep track of your tasks, projects and meetings all on your computer — which is absolutely doable as helpful as technology is.
But there’s something different about writing down everything I need to do using pen and paper. I find using a physical planner makes tracking my days and weeks so much easier. Do you feel the same?
And sure, you can certainly use the planner you found tucked away on your first day on the job. On the other hand, I think planning your day in style with a PRETTY planner (one that you actually enjoy using) is something special.
Think about the key features you want in a planner. You’ve got the calendar, of course. But what’s your ideal calendar layout? Do you need a section for notes, somewhere to jot down goals or a place to check off to-do items?
This simple 12-month planner by FavoriteStory on Etsy is noted as being well made and portable if you’re on the go. Check out their other planner offerings if you have your heart set on something personalized with either your name or a short phrase.
Make it smell nice with something pretty
Keeping your office desk clean is one way to keep it smelling fresh. But of course, there are other fun ways to invite amazing smells that can also double as decor!
Know that some of these ideas may or may not work for your working situation, depending on factors like if you work in an office or from home accompanied by a cat, so choose what works best for you.
My favorite scent options are candles and essential oils:
Light a candle. So many smells, so little time. What is a good candle smell for work? I’d say go for what scents you like best. But here are a couple of suggestions just in case: vanilla for a warm and comforting vibe or citrus to feel energized. Consider a 100% soy wax candle if you want something non-toxic.
Freshen your space with essential oils. Use essential oil for a natural way to scent your office. Select oils that are 100% pure (here’s an article to help you find a quality oil). You could try:
- Lavender for relaxing vibes
- Rosemary to improve concentration
- Bergamot for a mood booster
There are several options when it comes to burning your essential oils, including water diffusers, candle diffusers or reed diffusers using reed sticks. See below.
There’s no telling what kind of treasures you’ll find at your local thrift store. And because goods cycle in and out of there pretty quickly, checking back every week or two will most likely guarantee you’ll find something new every time.
You might score a desk accessory that’s in primo shape — I once found a brass vintage table lamp that was in excellent condition for only $5 — but you can also spruce up a piece that could use some TLC. A little paint can go a long way!
Keep an eye open for desk accessories like:
- Decorative vases — to me, a beautiful milk glass vase will always be in style
- Letter holders — or napkin holders that could be used for holding letters
- Lamps — if you can test them on the spot
- Wire baskets
- Small plant pots
- Picture frames — for photos or to make a cork board
- Anything else that catches your eye!
Rehome your dust bunnies
Dusting and wiping down your desk and belongings (I like to use Clorox wipes) isn’t technically decorating or personalizing. It’s also a chore and not really any fun.
But it’ll immediately freshen up your space and reduce the likelihood you’ll suffer from allergies, sneezing, eye irritation or germs.
And the best part? Aside from the cost of a Clorox wipe or two, it’s completely free!
What are some ways you like to decorate your office desk at work? If you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them! You’re more than welcome to share in the comments below.