The Full Guide to: Desk Styling
If you work from home, study or are simply working hard on the weekends on your side hustle, a stylish desk is essential to boost focus and productivity. Whether you have your own home office, or a little corner in your home dedicated to your desk, upping the style factor of your workspace can make putting in those extra hours that little bit easier.
Desk spaces big and small can be tricky to configure – you need to leave enough space so that you can work freely, using your laptop without having to tuck your elbows in or having enough space for a cup of coffee without the fear of knocking it over with one wrong move. With just a few simple style hacks and a pinch of creativity, it is possible to create an ultra stylish workspace – one that you’re happy to sit down at and get stuck in.
If your desk space is in need of a motivational makeover, read on to discover desk styling tips and tricks, creative ideas and some swoon-worthy products…
A source of inspiration…
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No matter what you do, your office space should provide inspiration. Every time you sit down you should feel inspired to achieve. A bland and impersonal space is never going to achieve that go-getter vibe, so when it comes to inducing inspiration, add items that are personal to you.
Try installing a grid board in the space above your desk, this will allow you to pin images, cuttings, and printouts of things that inspire and motivate you. If you are building your own fashion empire, this might be a printout of your logo, a photo of you and your team at a recent event, magazine cuttings of brands you aspire to be like, motivational quotes and even figures and statements about what you have achieved so far and what you are proud of.
An inspirational board should be mostly visual as we respond quickly to visual cues. While you are working you might occasionally glance up and catch a glimpse of an inspiring image, giving you that boost you need to push on. For a stylish and spacious board try the Wire Wall Desk Grid in copper from Urban Outfitters.
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When it comes to your desk surface, it’s important not to clutter it up too much – just a few key items that help you feel inspired and provide the resources that you need are key. Push the inspirational factor further by stacking a few books that you find motivating on your desk. If your desk is quite deep, try stacking books by laying them down placing one on top of the other. Keep the look uniform and try to select books that feature similar tones on the spine, but most importantly choose books that you felt inspired by.
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Your desk space should be organised, providing everything you need to get on with your work without added distractions. If you have enough space, invest in a small storage unit to keep the resources that you need in one place. We love the Grid Two Shelf Storage Unit from Oliver Bonas. Use the bottom shelf for folders, to keep all of your paperwork tidied away, the top shelf for books, and the top of the unit for stylish accessories, such as a plant and a candle or a lamp.
If you haven’t got the floor space for a storage unit, make use of the wall space and install a few shelves above your desk. These can be used for storing files and books, but also to help you style your space. Choose folders that work with your colour scheme, and try to fit all of your paperwork in just two or three, to avoid filling the shelves up with folders.
If opting for two shelves, try stacking two folders on the bottom shelf and one on the top, or if you just need two folders just stack two together on the bottom shelf, leaving the rest of the space free to style up. Stack a few books on one of the shelves, placing them on their side. Opt for a stack of an odd number of books – either three or five – then finish by placing a short candle holder or candle in glass jar on top.
Add a few prints to the shelves by leaning against the wall. Choose prints that will compliment your colour scheme, and opt for matching frames such as black or white to keep the look simple and stylish. It’s not necessary to fill every little space on your shelves – a busy desk space is unlikely to help you concentrate. Finish the look off with a potted plant and a couple of candles.
When choosing your shelving, remember they are as much as a feature in the room as anything else. Choose shelves and brackets that will work with your scheme, as well as providing the storage that you need.
Pulling the look together…
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Styling your desk isn’t just down to adding inspirational images and storage, it’s also about creating a scheme that invokes the feelings and emotions that you need to get your work done. Whether that’s a calming space or energising space, it is possible to create the perfect environment that you need to work in with clever use of colour and finishes.
In a space that you need to feel energised in, it’s a good idea to keep your scheme bright. This is particularly important if you work from home – natural light is key to keeping us feeling awake and focused, so enhance the natural light in the room by opting for light wall colours to keep things bright and airy. Try white or a soft grey – neutrals make a great base to build on.
Once you have established how you need to feel when in the space, you can create your overall scheme. A well-styled room has a clear scheme, with each item purposely chosen to fit in with that scheme. For a bright room opt for monochrome, with a focus on white and using grey and black to add contrast. Or try adding a pop of colour to otherwise white interiors, such as blush pink, teal or mustard.
For a calming room introduce darker colours and lots of textiles. Stick to one dark shade and mix with neutrals to avoid the room becoming overly busy. Try a rich deep blue feature wall, dark wood furniture and brass introduced through lighting, shelving brackets, and accessories.
Lighting is key to your workspace too. If it’s likely you will often be working in the evenings ensure you layer lighting to provide the level of light that you need. Try a pendant light with a bright bulb. Choose something that works with your scheme, such as a white industrial style light for monochrome, or a brass pendant for a cosier feel. Go for a light with a long cord, this way you can position it where you need the light most in the room, without having to move the light fitting. Simply wind a hook into the ceiling, and wrap the cord around the hook to get your desired placement and height.
If you have the space, add a floor standing lamp and desk lamp too, so that you can create a bright light should you need to boost your energy, or a dimmer light to create a calming environment.
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Your desk top doesn’t need much more than a lamp, a few books, and a few accessories. If you’re not opting for a wall grid or shelving above your desk, consider propping a print on your desk against the wall, or creating a gallery wall above.
Scented candles are a great way to help channel your desired mood, try grouping two along with a potted plant on top of your desk. You can always swap candles around in accordance to how you want to feel while you are working. A pot of pens is also a must – try a brass pot, copper wire or marble.
A stylish but comfortable chair is also key to your overall look and creating a space that is practical. If you’ll just be using the space in the evenings or for just a few hours at a time, try the Peacock Blue Velvet and Birch Vintage Chair from Maisons Du Monde. If you work from home choose something with a sturdy back and sides, such as the Keira Office Chair in Grey and Copper by Made.com. Create a cosy feel for long evenings by draping a blanket or sheepskin throw over your chair.
Creating the perfect desk space can go a long way towards helping you focus and stay motivated while in your work environment. Desk styling is key to making your space work for you, from providing all of the resources you need, to creating the right mood to ensure you get the most out of the time you put in.
Have you styled the perfect desk space for yourself? If you’ve got any desk styling tips of your own comment and share them here...