CREATE AN OFFICE SPACE THAT YOU’LL LOVE USING THESE SIMPLE, INEXPENSIVE IDEAS.
The majority of us will spend a hefty chunk of our adult career cozied up behind a desk.
Even so, we might overlook the idea of adding personal touches to create an inviting office space that brings us happiness and good health.
I’ll admit I haven’t been the best at personalizing my current workspace. Because I work from home part of the week, my desk at the office is bare, aside from a few pens and one squishy, rubbery trinket shaped like a cat.
It hasn’t always this way, I promise! So, my goal for the upcoming month is to add at least one welcoming touch that will bring a smile to my heart. Wanna join me?
If so, keep reading to learn how you can brighten up your office—on the cheap. Ready, set, decorate!
Adopt a friendly, low-maintenance 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 accompanied by 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 the extended weekend and doesn’t mind a little dust or fluctuating temperatures. (Anyone else convinced that you’re employer is secretly housing penguins and polar bears?)
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
Here’s an alternative: If you’re not entirely convinced you can keep a plant healthy and alive, faux plants are an excellent option. 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.
Frame a favorite picture with stamps
You might be wondering what this means. It’s basically an inexpensive, unorthodox way to dress up a favorite photo using stamps.
This idea may not be for everyone, since getting your hands on random stamps is more difficult if you aren’t in frequent contact with incoming mail. (And I’d say it’s still feasible if you’re willing to collect stamps from mail sent to your home address, but does anyone really get snail mail much anymore?)
So once upon a time, I was in charge of opening and distributing incoming mail at my job. It all started with a stamp of Remy and Linguini from the movie about a rat who can cook, Ratatouille. (Mr. E and me LOVE Ratatouille.) A spur-of-the-moment idea drove me to snip out the stamp, attach the tiniest bit of tape to the back and stick it along the edge of an unframed photo of Mr. E and me.
One stamp turned to 14. Each reminds me of a memory, Mr. E, or something else I love: ice cream, favorite animated films, antique vehicles, our wedding. A simple photo is now a collage of what makes me happy—and it’s awesome.
PS—If you aren’t in the stamp-collecting mood, just a happy photo or two can do the trick.
These days, there are tons of highly talented creatives who design and sell inspirational quote artwork. Simply find a quote and style that resonates with you, make the purchase, and pair it with an equally adorable, classic or funky frame.
For this, I turn to the crafty shop owners of Etsy.
In Etsy’s main search bar, type “inspirational quote artwork,” “inspiration quote,” or something similar, and browse the results. Most likely, you’ll find both prints and digital downloads, so if you find an image or illustration you like, double check it’s your preferred format.
A desk lamp is the perfect way to add character and warmth. (Psst. Here’s your reason to go ahead and buy that uber chic lamp you spotted last weekend.)
If you haven’t found your match yet, check out this stylish brass piece on Amazon. Or if you’re more into function over form, a simple dimmable desk lamp could be for you (I’m using this one at the moment).
As far as health and efficiency go, poor lighting may actually lead to low productivity and eyestrain. Plus, desk lamps are excellent providers of task lighting (concentrated light to help with reading / writing or projects that require precision when working with small objects).
When in doubt, accessorize
Every time I walk into a craft store (or Target), I am amazed at the slew of adorable, 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 (and hopefully encourage your office-mate to do the same).
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, or eye irritation.
And here’s the best part—it’s completely free!
How do you choose to make your office space your own? Have any DIY craft or product recommendations that bring joy to your work day?