Now more than ever, people are looking to upgrade their office spaces with new and inspiring desk decor ideas. Many people who have spent time in drab Cubicle Land are now working remotely, and workplaces are recognizing that the sparse industrial look isn’t great for the mental health of those who still have to report to a physical space.
And no, that stack of old mugs piled next to your computer doesn’t count as decor. (Though if you really want to decorate with coffee mugs, we can hook you up with some cool-looking ones.)
Our 30 desk decor ideas will make your desk feel fresh and fun so work doesn’t feel like as much of a chore.
1. Light up the space
The addition of a light allows you to turn off ugly overhead fluorescents, or simply enjoy a brighter space. With so many shapes, sizes, and colors, it’s easy to find a lamp that perfectly fits your style.
If you’re feeling unconventional, consider trying other types of lights. For example, colorful lightbulbs or a string of fairy lights give off a more whimsical vibe.
Image by @thedaintysquid
2. Consider shelving
Desktop shelving is a great way to create storage space. Use clear containers to create an organized and aesthetically-pleasing display of pens and pencils, paperclips, rubber bands, candy, or whatever else you need to store.
You can also use shelves for something fun! Plants, works of art, books, and photos make desks feel cozier without creating clutter.
Image by @ashleyyash
3. Add pops of color
Minimalism is in, but if your desk decor is all neutral colors, you might get bored. Don’t be afraid to add pops of an accent color. If you need to stay professional, opt for jewel tones like sapphire blue, ruby red, and emerald green.
Office supplies provide a great opportunity for color. Spruce things up with boldly hued pencil cases, staplers, scissors, pens, and more.
Image by @emmamatthewsdigicontent
4. Personalize your mouse pad
There’s no rule saying you have to use a black mousepad. Make your space fit your personality by upgrading this oft-ignored piece of desk decor. Mousepads come in every color of the rainbow. You can also find mousepads made of materials you wouldn’t expect, such as leather, cork, and even agate.
Image by @magarisan
5. Display an inspirational quote in a framed print
Even when you love your job, work can become tiresome, frustrating, and difficult at times. Display an inspirational quote in a framed print to keep yourself going through low points. Short, meaningful quotes take only a second to read but can provide major motivation.
6. Add a plant to your desk
Plants boost your mood and reduce anxiety. Bring calm and happiness to your day by putting a lush, green plant on your desk.
Many plants, such as English ivy and snake plants, can thrive with low, indirect light, such as a small window across the room.
Image by @bonitta
7. Display fresh flowers
Who doesn’t feel happier while looking at flowers? Whether you put them in a vase or an old Mason jar, flowers bring liveliness to your space. They add a pop of color and, if you buy the right ones, also create a lovely smell.
Image by @heidimaetrix
8. Make the space comfortable with a pillow
A stiff chair creates aches and pains. Give yourself some cushion by sitting on a pillow. Or, if your chair is already comfortable, slide a small throw pillow behind you to improve your posture. Bonus: If you get tired during the day, you’ll have something to nap on. If your office tends to get chilly, consider adding a small throw blanket to cover your legs or wrap around you like a shawl.
Image by @vesnikproleca
9. Try creating a color scheme
Start your color scheme with two to three neutral colors. For example, black, gray, and white are neutrals for a sleek, modern color scheme. Brown and beige are good neutrals for a Boho style.
Next, add one to two accent colors that fit with your neutrals. Hot pink, royal blue, or yellow would all work well for a high-energy look. If you want something more subdued, stick to muted colors, such as blush pink and moss green.
Image by @thedaintysquid
10. Keep your schedule organized with a desk calendar
Stay reminded of important meetings, events, and deadlines with a desk calendar. Desk calendars are available in a wide variety of colors and formats, giving you more ways to upgrade your decor.
Image by @missmacyymarie
11. Include framed prints
Decorate with framed art to create the vibe you want. Your framed print can be serious, silly, rustic, or abstract. Search through a variety of prints before deciding what fits you best. You can even frame a poster to give it a fancier look.
Image by @lapalatine
12. Hang supplies from a peg board
When it comes to desk decor ideas, a peg board provides an opportunity for nearly infinite possibilities because you can change what’s hanging on it any time you’d like.
Your peg board hooks can hold, well, anything that can hang from a hook! Try hanging colorful scissors, mini shelves, or even a small plant in a macrame hanger.
Image by bongkarn thanyakij
13. Decorate with family photos
Bring a little of the joy you feel with loved ones into your workspace. Photos of your family, friends, and pets will remind you of what makes you happy. Choose images of particularly good memories, such as your favorite vacation or holiday gathering.
Image by kittehinfurs
14. Keep your supplies organized with trays
It’s hard to feel on top of things when your supplies are all over the place. Trays to the rescue! Put them in your desk drawers or leave them on top of the desk if you have nice supplies you’d enjoy looking at throughout your day.
Image by Julia M Cameron
15. Use washi tape
If you haven’t heard of washi tape, get excited. This versatile tape can stick onto and easily peel off of nearly anything. Use it to hang photos on the wall, decorate your desk calendar, or even create your own removable wallpaper.
Image by @cottonbro
16. Decorate with wallpaper, contact paper, or stickers
Speaking of peel-off decor, wallpaper, contact paper, and stickers are all options for beautifying your space. Do you want an emerald green desktop? With the right contact paper, you can make it happen. Once you’ve covered something with contact paper, use stickers to create a pattern or make it more interesting.
Image by @fbclark_89
17. Choose a fun clock
Clocks are useful, but they can also be fun. You can choose a clock that hangs on the wall or sits on your desk. Either way, pick one that complements your color scheme and fits with your design aesthetic.
Image by @mozdeb
18. Update basic items like a tissue box
Take a standard, boring tissue box, and make it your own. Cover the box in washi tape, contact paper, or stickers to personalize it so it fits your overall style.
19. Incorporate a dry erase board or bulletin board
Dry-erase boards and bulletin boards are useful and contribute to your space’s look. Dry-erase boards are fantastic for to-do lists and bits of information you don’t want to forget, while bulletin boards are better for hanging photos, art, and little items you don’t want to lose.
Image by @ellajardim
20. File documents in a magazine holder
Stop rustling through stacks of disorganized papers and wondering where things are. Desktop file or magazine holders organize important documents while looking classy.
Image by Slava Keyzman
21. Repurpose tin cans to hold your supplies
Tin cans are perfect for holding pens and pencils or even flowers, and they fit well with rustic and industrial design styles. If you’re feeling crafty, paint your tin can or use washi tape to make it fit your color scheme.
Image by @nietjuh78
22. Use mirrors to open up the space
Because they reflect, mirrors can make a space look twice as big! Open up your space by hanging mirrors on the wall, or even using a mirror as a desktop.
Image by @thedaintysquid
23. Keep your books organized with bookends
Bookends keep your books from falling over, but they can look good, too. Go for solid wood if you want a professional office feel, or liven things up by making your bookends more colorful with paint or washi tape.
Image by @ashleyyash
24. Strategically hide your cords
Cords are ugly and they get in the way. Use a box or shelf to keep yours hidden. Your space will look cleaner, and you’ll be less likely to accidentally unplug your computer with your foot.
Image by @simonwoehrer
25. Scent the space with candles
Delight more than just your eyes by bringing a scent into your space. Candles will do the trick. Choose a scent that transports you to where you’d like to be, whether that’s in the forest or on the beach.
Image by influencer
26. Color code your supplies
When you color code your supplies, they double as decorations. Bring office supplies out of the drawer and onto your desk or shelves so you can show them off, organized by their place in the rainbow.
Image by Ann H
27. Add texture to the space with a fun rug
Most office supplies are pretty rigid and flat. Add some texture with a fun rug under your feet. Use a bright color to really catch the eye.
Image by @girlandtheword
28. Incorporate geometric decor for a modern look
Geometric art is in, but you don’t have to buy a costly painting to incorporate it into your decor. Opt for a geometric notebook or a geometric coffee mug. These are both easy, low-cost ways to bring the angular look into your space.
29. Try hanging plants
If you want plants but don’t have the desk space, try hanging plants! Can’t drill into the ceiling? No problem, hang smaller plants from hooks on a peg board.
Image by Charles Deluvio
30. Use metallic accents in the space
Metallic accents add a classy feel to your workspace. Gold is especially popular, but you might find that silver or bronze complement your color scheme even better.
Image by @thebstudio
Enjoy your desk
You don’t have to try all 30 desk decor ideas to enjoy your workspace even more. Find the desk decor inspiration that speaks to you, and start there. Soon you’ll have a desk that is well-organized, fitting your personality and aesthetic, and more pleasurable to use.