Cubicle chic: tips for decorating your desk

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Working in a cubicle can still be chic and professional.

For a lot of us, living the cubicle life is just a part of our everyday experience. It’s a part of mine and I often find myself feeling a bit like a Dilbert comic strip in my confined square office space. Being in such a grey, drab environment is not how I prefer to spend 8 hours of my day so I have taken it about myself to turn my work space into my home away from home. I find that a more cozy, comfortable office means I can be more relaxed, focused and intentional with my work. Being organized means I know where everything is – and it can look pretty too. Here are a few decor ideas to add to your home office or work office in a professional way without going way over budget.

The before: disorganized and drab office space

This is what I had to work with. What’s pictured here isn’t my current work space but it doesn’t matter because all the cubicles are the same! I’ve had to move my desk a few times over the years so I figured I should beautify the space I was given and find a better home for all my folders, paperwork, knick knacks and other essentials.

Messy, disorganized, not-so-pretty desk.

Messy, disorganized, not-so-pretty desk.

The after: a brand-new cubicle

A brand-new office!

A brand-new office!

 

Organized desk

Color coordinated in blues and teals.

Ok, I have to admit, my desk does not stay this clean all the time now, but it sure does look more beautiful! I chose a color palette of blue and teal to theme my office around. This included things like color-coding my files and paperwork into proper folders and binders. For all my little knickknacks, I found this cute paper box desk organizer that has tons of compartments to hold highlighters, binder clips and more. A colorful blanket added some life to the space and is usually a necessary requirement in cold office buildings.

I went with affordable decorating touches like fake flowers in a vase and an interesting poster to spruce up my cabinet. The bike poster is actually Papyrus gift wrap paper that I decided to hang up instead – it was only $5 on sale!

Poster-flowers

Papyrus bike wrapping paper hanging as a poster, fake flowers in a vase, floral cutlery for lunchtime.

 

Yes, that is a pot holder! I bring my own lunch to work everyday and it usually requires some microwave heat treatment. I also gave the grey cabinet a little love with some temporary washi tape on the edges. Cute and fun!

Pot-holder-2

Washi tape is an easy way to temporarily decorate surfaces.

 

Every girl has a variety of shoes that they keep at the office. This storage basket is an classic way to keep them stored and out-of-the-way.

Basket for shoes

Keep your shoes in a tidy basket.

 

My wine rack desk organizer probably gets the most attention from my co-workers. I love to repurpose non-traditional items to do different functions. This rack lets me put away all sorts of items in a clever, yet practical way.

Wine rack desk holder (Custom)

Wine rack turned desk organizer

 

A good desk lamp goes a long way to combat the fluorescent lighting in most offices. My desktop background is also another area I like to beautify with motivational sayings to inspire me throughout the work day. There are many free wallpaper options online or you can get creative and Photoshop your own.

Desktop and lamp

Rotate out different wallpapers on your monitor to match your real-life desk theme.

 

I ended up using some other jars for pen holders so I decided to turn this box into my business card holder.

Business card box

Business cards in a pencil box.

 

Bringing some personal pieces to work help brighten up your day too. I printed off my favourite Instagrams into square prints so I can have my favourite memories around me. London Drugs offers affordable print options at just 39 cents a piece.

Photos on magnetic whiteboard

Print off photos for a personal touch.

 

Traditional office supplies can be quite pricy so opt for cheaper ideas by getting creative! For the main desk area, I found this awesome gold kitchen placemat and used it underneath my keyboard for some glam! My monitor risers are covered in some trendy burlap to hide the plain plastic underneath. It’s amazing what a little fabric can do for decor.

Keyboard gold running mat

Yes, that’s my mouse in the picture. It’s an ergonomic device which is why it looks so weird.

 

What do you do to make work feel more like home? Let me know your office decorating tips by commenting below or tweeting me at @heyseto.

 


Irene Seto

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1 Comment

  1. Jennifer B - November 12, 2015

    Very cool! My desk is mostly organized but doesn’t have the coolness factor that yours does!

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