Have you put much thought into decorating your office at work? Or did you just pin a few photos to the cubicle wall on day 1 and get down to business?
Creating an environment that feels like home (even if you can’t actually be at home) is a great way to bring more pleasure into your daily life. I always find that I am more productive when I am in an environment that I enjoy, don’t you?
The great thing is that offices are small spacesI, so a little bit of effort can go a LONG way. It’s much easier and affordable than decorating a whole house!
Today I’m sharing 4 steps to upgrade your office and including all my favorite picks for organizing and decorating your office at work.
Upgrade Your Office SupplieS
First, let’s talk office supplies. If they are going to take up valuable real estate on your desk, they can at least be beautiful! There are SO MANY beautiful office supplies out there that whatever your go-to supplies are, I guarantee there is a prettier version out there.
The whole Sugar Paper section is a winner at Target if you’re looking for office supplies. I’m obsessed with these scissors; they match my decor, are heavy duty and bring me inexplicable joy when I use them daily. That was $12 well spent. They also sell this AMAZING stapler. I just added it to my cart.
You can customize the color palette on this to match your color scheme and the layout has everything you need to keep your important weekly to-dos top of mind. There’s a habit tracker, an area for recording your goal, daily breakdown, and my fave, an empty box to use as a brain dump space.
Target is my go-to for grabbing quick office supply upgrades when I’m on a milk run, and they always have pretty hanging file boxes. If this link is out of stock, just browse their current options. They always have something fun.
A hanging file box magically keeps your papers organized if you actually use it. Set one on your desk for incoming papers, completed projects, receipts, etc. I prefer it to the more open filing systems because it keeps everything concealed with no messy papers peeking out. For extra bonus points, pair it up with pretty file folders!
These boxes are MIRACLE workers in any room of your house, but they were born to make your office shine. Most of them have labels for you to identify the contents. If not, The Container Store also sells stick on labels.
- Use a stack of the smallest photo boxes to hold printer ink, rubber bands, wash tape and thank you cards.
- Use the magazine holders (try a row of 3 or a row of 5) to hold tech items, notebooks, and files.
- Use the little drawer unit as an amazing storage option for extra printer paper.
I have white in my office, but they come in so many colors. There is sure to be something to fit your decor. If cleaning up your desk or shelf space is your goal, then these clutter hiders are a great place to start.
Tame Your Tech
A desk full of tech is unavoidable; you might as well make it functional and pretty if you’re gonna stare at it for 8 hours a day.
A monitor stand magically creates space on your desk AND gives you a neat little place to tuck away items that aren’t in use. There are options out there with drawers, multiple shelves, and other features depending on your needs. Still, I love the simplicity of this beauty. It comes in black and white finishes paired with beautiful natural wood.
I use something similar to this to bring power up to my desk. Tuck the receptacle under your monitor stand for quick and easy USB charging access. The time it will save you from fishing around trying to plug in your phone cord really makes it worth it.
I used to use double sided velcro to keep cords tidy (like in the photo) but have recently discovered these silicone straps and I love them. They keep long cords from bunching up or getting tangled. You can use them while a device is in use or for storage.
Just Like Home
To decorate your office at work, treat your cubicle or office space like you would a room in your home. Shop at the same stores and choose the same colors/styles as you would for your living room. Here are a few of my favorite home decor touches for an office glow up.
If your office is very small or you work in a cubicle, peel and stick wallpaper can be an awesome way to add personality to your vertical spaces.
I have used the faux grasscloth from the Scott Living line of self adhesive wallpaper in several areas of my home. So far, it’s holding up well after over a year. It was easy to install and the adhesive is holding, so I feel confident recommending it if you want to try peel and stick wallpaper for decorating your office at work.
Use it to:
- Line drawers
- Cover wall dividers
- Decorate file cabinets or drawer fronts
- Recover books or binders
Another great source for peel and stick decor is Wallpops. We used several of their papers in a recent interior design project, and they looked beautiful. This store has a great pattern selection.
If you have room, consider adding your own shelving unit. There are options for every size of space. If you line them with the Bigso boxes (see above) or a row of pretty matching baskets, they will add tons of beauty AND function.
This piece is super versatile. You can tuck it under your desk and use it to store everyday essentials like your lunchbox, purse, or extra shoes. It’s sturdy, comes in lots of colors, and would be easy to repurpose in your home if your office situation ever changes.
If you have a larger space, look at the Levi Bookshelf from Urban Outfitters. This is a lightweight and affordable bookshelf that can be purchased in multiples to fill your space with lots of valuable vertical storage.
I chose this one because it fits my neutral, minimal aesthetic but Urban Outfitters has a lot of great and affordable options. It’s one of my go-tos for affordable and fun accent furniture.
If you’re sitting at a desk most of the day, you’re probably staring at the wall. A lot.
Give yourself something positive to look at by adding some wall art that is both meaningful AND beautiful. You can create your own on Canva, or purchase one off a site like Etsy for instant gratification.
Buy a frame with a white mat at a local home store and add something you want to see regularly. Or, buy a set of 3 or 5 and print a set for instant wall art if you have a larger wall. You can also print digital files LARGE at a local print center and hang it with a poster hanger to decorate a large, blank wall. You could display:
- Word art with a favorite affirmation or quote
- Your vision board
- A “word of the year”
- Habit Tracker (check days off with a dry erase marker on glass)
- An image that inspires you
Just like in a home, paying attention to the details of the atmosphere is an important part of decorating your office at work. Sensory cues help relax your brain and get into a productive state.
These seem simple, but don’t overlook them. They are game changers!
This is just a general life hack, but flowers and plants always improve a space. If you’re lucky enough to have daylight in your space, add some real plants. Black thumb? Why not make a commitment to treat yourself to a regular bouquet of fresh flowers when you make a grocery run?
If you know you want low maintenance, go for a realistic looking faux. I like the Threshold line at Target, especially the trailing ones. They’re perfect for decorating your office at work and add some great movement to a shelf or the top of a cabinet.
Aromatherapy is a thing for a reason. Getting intentional with scent in your environment makes a huge difference in your mood. Plus, if you use a unique scent for your office hours it can improve focus by creating a “cue” + telling your brain that it’s time to work.
Candles are a go-to, of course. But if your office won’t allow open flames there are still some great ways to incorporate scent into your office space.
This Area diffuser reminds me a bit of the Scentsy plug-in I used to have in my classroom when I was a teacher… without the messy wax. The perfect size for a small office space, this plug in diffuser is an amazing way to scent your space. They sell the coordinating essential oil cartridges in a great array of scents. Also cool: you can program the device to start/stop according to your work schedule so you don’t waste power or scent using an app on your phone. I’m obsessed.
Here are some additional office friendly options:
- Reed Diffusers (this one is my favorite smell and this version is a special edition vessel).
- Rollerball (if you’re in close proximity to others who have sensitivities, using a rollerball on your pulse points in a work-specific scent still gives you a lot of the same benefits! I love the Nest ones from Sephora or Doterra rollerball blends).
Finally, I have this tip. You can instantly bring a touch of home to your desk with a table lamp.
Notice I didn’t say “desk lamp.” I prefer table lamps for office spaces because they have the ability to add warmth to your space. Don’t be afraid to go a little bigger on this, either. A bigger light will give you a nice glow. You might consider hammered metal, ceramic or even a textured seagrass or rope version. Add some personality and TEXTURE!
PSA: Don’t forget the WARM WHITE lightbulb… bulb temperature matters!!!
Phew, that was a lot! If you want to save this for later, here is a checklist of easy ideas for decorating your office at work that you can print or save to Pinterest.
Which one are you going to try first? I’d love to hear in the comments.