I did Let’s Go with Layla (of the Lettered Cottage) today on Instagram Stories and thought I would share my tips and ideas for decorating a home office here on the blog as well! Aaaaand, I decided “five things” would be a good series to post on the blog now and then… just five little tips, tricks, ideas, thoughts, etc. in a neatly packaged post. I know there is so much information spread over 3,000+ blog posts, so it’s nice to consolidate some of those ideas in a short & sweet post.
So, here we go – five tips when decorating a home office…
sometimes new is better than vintage/antique
As a lover of antiques and all things old, worn, and patinaed, it’s really hard for me to say it, but sometimes you need a new desk or a new chair for a home office to be functional and comfortable. I use an old teacher’s desk in my studio and it works well for writing, podcast recording, but it didn’t work well for my computer, larger monitor, and all of the office supplies and filing options I wanted for my office.
So, for my office desk, I have a new L-shaped desk that can accommodate my laptop, large monitor, paperwork, office supplies, and gives me plenty of work surface. You can read more about my desk in THIS POST.
display pretty things in the open
While a lot of office supplies aren’t the prettiest to look at, there are some really lovely supplies that can be stored in plain sight. Papers, twine, envelopes, masking tape, rubber bands, binders, folders, etc. can all be selected within a color palette that works with your decor and can then be displayed instead of hidden away in drawers.
Shopping with this mindset accomplishes a few things. 1. ) It frees up closed storage for the unsightly things. 2. ) It forces you to put more thought into your purchases, so everything you buy and bring into your workspace is intentional. 3.) It makes mundane work tasks more enjoyable when your supplies are pretty!
surround yourself with things that inspire/motivate you
I think this is so important for a work/creative space! Every decorating decision should contribute to creating a space that’s conducive to doing your best work. This means that you’re not confronted with piles of bills, unfinished projects, and things that remind you of shortcomings when you enter your space. You see things that encourage and inspire you and foster new ideas. You have reminders of successes and past victories, hardships that have been overcome and lessons learned. The simple decision to have those things around you can be just the push you need when you feel stuck or defeated. You’ve done great things before. You can do them again.
magnetic whiteboards are more versatile than cork boards
I am totally sold on using magnetic whiteboards in an office instead of a corkboard. Pushpins can sometimes be stubborn to push in and switch around, the board can get chewed up over time, and I’ve never been a lover of the color of natural cork. Small, strong magnets are easy to move around and can hold heavy fabrics and papers, even a crocheted swatch and a dried fern. They can easily be moved and shuffled around. the white background also gives a clean surface to clearly see swatch colors and sample patterns. And, when I spot is clear, I can use it to write notes that can easily be erased.
arrange books by subject, size, and color
I know arranging books by color is a controversial way to organize and I wouldn’t suggest it in a book store or library, but it works in a home setting and makes the jumble of colors and sizes more pleasing to the eye. I don’t organize my books strictly by color, but first sort them by subject. My painting, drawing, and art resource books are in my studio. My design, interiors, and business books are here in my home office. With the books sorted into those larger categories, I can then sort them by size. This is necessary, so the books fit on the shelf either vertically or horizontally.
Once they are sorted by subject and size, then I sort them by color. I used to have all of the blue books together, all of the green, etc., but I have more recently sorted the books into small categories…light blue, bluish-green, warm greens vs. cool greens. I’ll then spread these smaller groups around the shelf so the color is more evenly distributed.
If this method doesn’t work for you, don’t do it! The entire point of making customizations when decorating a home office is so that it works for you! This works for me. I can find what I need and it’s inspiring to look at. It’s an entire buffet of inspiration – words, ideas, pictures, beauty, that I can access anytime.
Those are a few ideas I implement when decorating a home office. What are things you like to have in your workspace? Do you need things tidy or do you like a mess as a part of your method?