Spicing Up the Office

Office ugly 3Those of you faithful dear-hearts who have been keeping up with Design Cents probably noticed the sad lack of new posts the last few weeks. I offer you my apologies for my silence, along with my primary excuse: which is that I started a new full-time job three weeks ago. This new job came with many perks; a stable salary, benefits, the ability to move out of my parents’ house, AND my own office!


Office ugly 2Now, let’s be honest, my office is not exactly glamorous. There are no windows, it is quite small, and when I moved in the overall vibe of the space was “bleh”. Some words that come to mind are gray. Bland. Cave. You get the idea. The good news is that it gave me the challenge of finding ways to brighten up the room with limited money and space.


Office from doorMy three main goals were to make the layout more functional, bring some color into the room, and to personalize the space. The person who inhabited the office before me was apparently Olive Oyl, because she had arranged the desks so there was as little space as possible for one’s body to fit. So the first task was to separate the two units and push them against different walls so that I have more room to breathe.


Next I focused on color. I had a field day at TJ Maxx and picked up frames, vases, a pot, and a throw pillow. I matched everything up in my shopping cart to make sure the overall scheme worked. Then I ordered an inexpensive poster of Monet’s Water Lillies to break up the white wall. If I had wanted to step it up I could have framed the poster, but by that time my coffers were empty.


Office- top of cabinetsThe easiest way to personalize the space was by bringing in pictures of my husband and family. When things get really tough at work, having pictures of your loved ones close by can be so helpful in reminding you that “there’s life beyond these four walls”, “this is a means to an end”, “that little mistake is not going to alter the course of the universe”, and ultimately, why you do what you do. It helps to ground me in reality and puts a smile back on my face.

Office cardsAnother personal touch was displaying some birthday cards that meant a lot to me.







Office pillowA throw pillow might be unexpected on an office chair, but why not? It makes the space feel more comfy and homey. Also adding an indoor plant was a good response to not having a window. It’s always lovely to have something green and living in your space.


I hope this inspires you to have fun with your office space. If we have to spend 40 hours a week there, why not add those personal touches to make our work environment a place we enjoy being? What are ways that you’ve spiced up your office?