From Drab to Dreamy: 8 Ways to Upgrade Your Workspace

From Drab to Dreamy: 8 Ways to Upgrade Your Workspace

Don't settle for a gray cubicle—these tips will help you dress up your desk for style and functionality.

Most of us spend the majority of our time outside the home in our office, so why not sprinkle a little design dust to transform a ho-hum workstation into a place that inspires contentment and creativity? Here are eight ways to turn your cubby into a warm, welcoming oasis that helps you get your work done while reflecting your personal style.

1. Add a Dash of Color 

Though most offices tend to favor staff cubicles with a gray or neutral color scheme, you can break away from this monotony by bringing vibrant colors into your own personal work zone. You can do so with hued desk screens or panels, or by adding funky, decorative tapes to personalize your space with your favorite colors.

This vibrant room features Tango-painted walls by Delux, artwork by Rachel Castle and Beci Orpin, handmade beaded chandeliers by Emily Green, and a kicky pineapple lamp by Down to the Woods.

2. Include Textural Accents 

To combat a sterile office, introduce warm, personalized accents into your workstation, focusing on textiles to create visual interest and depth. Add rugs with pleasing prints, throw a woven blanket over your desk chair, or even hang a wall weaving by your screen. 

Jung worked in various graphic design studios before realizing that she had very little interest in graphic design and even less interest in working for someone else. When she was 26, she quit her job and started the creative studio Brook&Lyn.

3. Decorate With Personalized Accents

An effective way to make your office feel more like home is to bring in souvenirs and trinkets, whether it be knick-knacks, framed photos, artwork, floral arrangements, toys, stress-relieving lotions—what have you. If you have shelves, create a vignette out of your office accessories to keep everything in view and within reach.

In the cheerily outfitted office, a Herman Miller Embody chair lets Shino stay comfortable on business calls that can last for hours.

4. Hang an Inspiration Board 

Adding an inspiration or mood board to your workstation is a great way to stay focused and engaged in what you do. Hang a fabric or cork notice board on your wall, and use it to display photos of your loved ones and friends, or as a repository for sketches and ideas. Alternatively, dedicate it to a specific work project by posting images, quotes, and other media that helps articulate your idea. 

What was once a storage space is now a sun-drenched home office where the couple writes emails and stores their design magazines. The jute rug is from West Elm; the desk is a door on Ikea legs.

5. Surround Yourself With Greenery

Add a few potted plants to your cubicle, or place a bonsai or terrarium on your desk. Plants not only change the scene in your work zone, but they'll also provide you with a wee bit more oxygen when they photosynthesize.

Franson Wreland also designed the courtyard and a pair of 160-square-foot outbuildings—one is used as guest quarters and the other as storage space. While residents Julia and Fatima Olivero-Reinius chat outdoors, Chippie the dog approaches an Asplund desk and a chair by LucidiPevere.

6. Pick a Powerful Lamp

Table lamps are a great way to create a signature look for your cubicle. From industrial-style Anglepoise lamps that can be adjusted to provide focused light, to sleek pieces with slim profiles, the right table lamp can help you create a distinctive look while catering to your needs.

The newly released Original 1227 Brass Desk Lamp in Elephant Grey is at once minimalist and statement making.

7. Upgrade Your Waste Basket

Just because a product is utilitarian doesn't mean it has to be boring as well. A stylish, statement waste bin brings a touch of personality into your cubicle. Interesting choices include the award-winning Bin Bin Waste Paper basket from Essey that has a surface that resembles crumbled paper.

8. Use Playful Stationery 

Another quick and easy way to jazz up your cubicle is to incorporate chic desk organizers and stationery. These accessories will keep your desk looking neat and free of clutter while encouraging you to jot down notes.

Present & Correct has resurrected some vintage deadstock in the form of this plastic desktop wedge organizer (£45). The unit has areas for clips and pins, plus a letter rack at the side and pencil holders at the back.


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