How to Decorate Your Desk

Five Methods:Changing the AppearanceGetting OrganizedUsing DecorationsStaying InspiredStaying Practical

Desks are an important place to work and have time to yourself. Whether you’re decorating your desk at home or in the office, maintain an effective workspace while still adding your personal flair. Make sure to check with your hr department before changing your office workspace.

Method 1
Changing the Appearance

  1. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 1
    Enjoy your favourite colours. Colour coordinate as you organize your desk. Create fun patterns or use colourful tape to create a fun design on the top of your desk or on the side. You may also keep everything monochromatic and have your keyboard or a picture frame be a single bold colour.[1]
    • Sort books, notepads, and office supplies according to colour. If you’re lacking a variety of colours, purchase what you need to complete your set. Books are an easy way to fill in your colour gaps.[2]
    • Mix and match black and gold, neutrals, pastels, or bold bright colours. Your decor should reflect your personality and let you enjoy working at your desk. Choose the colours that make you comfortable and effective.[3]
    • The colours you choose for your desk and decor may be part of an entire scheme for your room. Take the time to tie everything together.
  2. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 2
    Move your desk into natural light. Place your desk near a window and make sure you have enough natural light in your room. Save on energy consumption by allowing natural light to flood onto your desk. White on white decor can provide a clean and calming effect.[4]
    • Natural light can also help boost your mood and give you energy.
  3. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 3
    Choose the right accessories. Find accessories that suit your personality and work needs. Shop online or at speciality office accessory stores. Choose colours and designs that match your overall scheme.[5]
    • Find office supplies in your favourite colour or upgrade to high end accessories. Show off your personality with cartoon characters or goofy pens and pencils.[6]
    • Find desk accessories or decor by your favourite designer. You may be able to find complete sets. For example, you may find a limited edition keyboard, mouse, and charging station by Apple.[7]
    • You can use vintage pens and accessories to make you feel in touch with a different, more inspiring era. You may also use unique accessories to replace bland ones. For example, you can use a toy dump truck as a letter holder.[8]
  4. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 4
    Get creative with Post-It-Notes. Post-It-Notes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours. Colour coordinate parts of your desk or create imaginative murals with post it notes. Create simple stripes or patterns on the top or side of your desk. The best part is that you can change them with your mood.[9]
  5. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 5
    Move your desk. If you feel stuck in a rut or uninspired, easily change things up by simply moving your entire desk. A change of scenery may help revitalize you. How do you feel in each spot?[10]
    • The change in location may inspire you to make more changes like repainting your wall or reorganizing your workspace. Go with your inspiration.
    • You may always be short of space especially if you get a new addition to the family. Rethink about where you can work most effectively. For example, you may move your desk under the stairs or in the middle of the room to make room for a nursery. Use a rug to anchor your desk in the center of a room.[11]
    • Moving your desk from the wall allows conversations to flow more easily. It also lets you move around.
  6. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 6
    Focus on clients. If you will be having clients at your desk from time to time, you may want to invest in a new desk. You want to be professional but also let them see a bit of your personality.[12]
    • While your desk may be a professional setting, add accessories or position your desk to allow your life to inspire and relax your overtaxed brain. For example, face your desk towards the window to see your garden or keep a framed picture of your daughter as the centerpiece of your desk.[13]

Method 2
Getting Organized

  1. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 7
    Evaluate how much space you have. You may only have room for a small desk if you’re a college student. If you are just about to enter into the workforce, you may need a larger desk with personal yet professional touches. You may need a very large and specific desk if you are in a career that heavily relies on desk work but want to work from home to tend to your family.[14]
  2. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 8
    Make room on a small desk. Move your filing system off your desk and onto the floor. You may also place it behind your computer monitor. Separate files that you don’t need everyday so you can create needed space atop your desk.[15]
    • Organize vertically and use the side of your desk to keep your desk clear. Use tape, clips, or vertical filing systems to keep things nice and neat. Avoid marking up your desk with special adhesive you can purchase at your office supply store.[16]
    • Layer your decor to conserve space. Stack books on top of files or create other stacks organized by shape and size. Colour coordinate levels or organise by size to keep a neat and visually pleasing aesthetic. Layers are especially helpful when you have a small area to work with.[17]
  3. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 9
    Keep organized with a tray. Don’t let your office supplies, memos, and keys mess up your desk. Find the right tray or desk organizer online or at your local office supply store. Make sure that you have the right measurements because you don’t want it too large that it takes up too much space or too small that it can’t handle all of your clutter.[18]
  4. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 10
    Use a planner for your desk. Don’t get overwhelmed with little memo’s or stick it notes. Use a planner to keep all your appointments organized and easily accessible. You can find leather bound planners that look great displayed atop your desk. Stylish day planners can be purchased online or at your local office supply store.[19]
  5. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 11
    Display a fancy calendar. You don’t have to wait until the beginning of the year to put up a calendar. It’s actually cheaper to get a calendar after January. Stand up a mini calendar atop your desk. Calendars come in many varieties so it’s easy to find something that makes you happy like kittens.[20]
  6. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 12
    Organize your cables. Neatly roll and tuck away any cables for your electronics or chargers. You may also purchase fun and creative cable organizers and chargers that you can display atop your desk.[21]
    • Purchase cable organizers online or at an electronic store. You may also simply use twist ties or simple clips to neatly keep the cables, cords, and wires organized and in one place.[22]
    • Show off your personality with special docking stations and cord organizers in the shape of cars, toys, or cartoon characters.

Method 3
Using Decorations

  1. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 13
    Put up photos and mementos. Whether you use personal photos, quotes, concert tickets, or any combination of personal decor, displaying them in matching frames is an easy and inexpensive decorating upgrade. Make sure there is enough space on your desk for at least three frames. You can find cheap frames at dollar stores or arts and craft stores.[23]
    • Show off your quirky trinkets. Use decor that you love even if it doesn’t fit into the design scheme of your workspace. Feel free to display tacky souvenir from a fun trip, use stationary with your favourite cartoon character, or place an old toy sitting at the edge of your desk. Keep your desk both entertaining and professional.[24]
    • Create a collage by pasting pictures, photos, and memorabilia together in a fun way on your desktop. Sketch an outline and then glue your pieces on poster board so that you don't damage the top of your desk.
  2. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 14
    Use rugs. Whether you place one under your desk for comfort, drape one over your desk for display, or use one on your desk as an ink blotter, rugs can bring colour and personality to your desk. A sample rug can be free or very inexpensive depending on the size that you’re looking for.[25]
    • Throw pillows can add a splash of colour, personality and comfort similar to a rug. You may display a small one on your desk and use it whenever you need to rest your head. [26]
  3. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 15
    Utilize arts and crafts. Cut out patterns from a piece of wallpaper or measure the right amount to cover your desktop entirely. You may also use it to line the drawers of your desk. This is especially handy if you have stains on your desk from the previous owner.[27]
    • Add some tassels. Use paper tassels and staple or tape them at the bottom of your computer screen or to the handles of desk drawers. You may also use real tassels on a string to create a border around your desktop. Purchase tassels at a sewing supply store, craft store, or a dollar store.[28]
    • Place googly eyes on your office supplies. Show everyone your goofy side with googly eyes. You may purchase them at a dollar store or at your local arts and craft store. They are inexpensive and easy to take on and off.[29]
  4. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 16
    Get creative when holding your accessories. You can use a fun mug to store your pens and scissors or a hollowed out coconut. Make sure that whatever you use is the appropriate size for your desk. You want it to be able to fit your accessories without taking up extra real estate.[30]
  5. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 17
    Let the light shine. While you may not be able to have it lit, a candle can be a fun display. Choose a scented candle to keep your desk smelling fresh. You may also use a lamp can create just the right amount of warmth to your desk as offices often use only fluorescent light.[31]
    • If you don’t get a lot of sunlight into your office, get a full-spectrum light bulb for your light as it simulates natural light. These can be purchased online or your local hardware store.[32]
    • You may also string up some Christmas lights or fairy lights off the front of your desk or find fun and quirky lamps online or at thrift stores.[33]
  6. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 18
    Get creative with your love for coffee. Show off your personality with a fun mug. You can find a lot of cool mugs online or simply find a colourful mug at a hip kitchen supply store. You can even add a mug holder to your desk.[34]
    • Accessorize with cool coasters to rest your mug or to bring some personality to basic office supplied mugs. You may even bring your own French Press and beans to display on your desk if you’re a coffee aficionado. Display your favourite brews.
    • Display coffee table books. While you may need books for professional purposes, add some personality to your desk with coffee table books. They can add colour and be great conversation pieces if clients are around.[35]
  7. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 19
    Put a mirror up. If you have a small space, a mirror is a great way to make your desk feel bigger. A large mirror allows your desk to be used as both a vanity table and workspace. It’s also great to be able to check yourself out without leaving your desk as you work.[36]

Method 4
Staying Inspired

  1. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 20
    Personalize your desktop background. Use a work of art or find a motivational quote to be your desktop display for your computer. There are many resources online to find just the right look. You may also use a personal photo. A picture of your newborn might just be the spark to inspire you during a stressful work day.[37]
    • If you don’t have enough room on your desk for framed photos, use the desktop image of your computer for an inspirational quote or use a photo from your more recent vacation.[38]
  2. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 21
    Display some inspirational quotes. Keep yourself motivated with inspirational quotes pasted on your desktop. You may also frame them in a standing frame. Choose between displaying several quotes or only displaying one large quote that has significant meaning to you.[39]
    • You may also use special tape to put up your quotes if you are adhering it to the front or sides of your desk. Make sure that the tape or tacks fit your design scheme. Choosing the wrong tape or tacks can make your decor seem out of place.
  3. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 22
    Have fun with Magnetic Poetry. If you have a metal desk, create your daily or weekly poems with Magnetic Poetry. You can purchase a set online or a novelty store. You may even find it at your local dollar store. They are a great conversation starter.[40]
    • Magnetic Poetry can also be used to leave messages and reminders.
  4. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 23
    Use a whiteboard. Whiteboards come in many sizes but choose a standing white board to sit atop your desk. Write funny or motivational messages to yourself everyday. Use different coloured pens to draw murals. Let yourself have this creative escape. You’ll find that others may gravitate to your musings.[41]
    • Whiteboards are also handy for brainstorming and practical office functions.
  5. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 24
    Enjoy your favourite scents. Burn a scented candle, have an air freshener, keep a bottle of perfume, or keep a vase of flowers on your desk. Certain scents can keep you productive and inspired throughout the day. You may also choose the right candle, bottle, or vase to display.[42]
  6. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 25
    Create a vision board. A vision board is a great centerpiece to bring your desk together. It can inspire creativity and keep you motivated to work towards your goals. It can also de-clutter your desk while keeping your inspirations, dreams, and ideas in constant display. Use a standup corkboard to pin your vision.[43]

Method 5
Staying Practical

  1. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 26
    Display your business cards. Use a creative display to carry your cards. You can find a bold colour or design at your office supply store or online. Keep your cards within reach in case you have a surprise visit from a client.[44]
  2. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 27
    Raise your computer up to eye level. You may get neck pains if your computer screen is slightly too high or too low. Make sure you have your screen at the correct height. Use laptop lifters or create your own with books. Get creative if you need to lift the screen.[45]
  3. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 28
    Display thank you cards. Have thank you cards on hand to both inspire you and remind you to maintain professional and personal relationships. Choose from a number of designs and display the cards that have the most meaning to you.[46]
    • Place cards in frames, on a bulletin board, or together in a letter holder on your desk.
  4. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 29
    Get a plant. Add a splash of life and colour to your desk with a plant. Make sure it is an adequate size and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. Adding greenery can increase productivity, spark creativity, and reduce stress. A great option are succulents because they don’t take up much space, don’t have pollen, and require little care.
    • Succulents are a great choice because they won’t require care when you’re not at your desk during the holidays. And they don’t have pollen that can irritate people with allergies.
    • Find mini succulent magnets online or at your local plant store if you have a metal desk. Air plants require no work. If your work doesn’t allow plants, use fake plants, like a faux-plant pen holder, to bring some green onto your desk.
    • Use a colourful pot to bring some personality on your desk. Choose a plant that suits your personality and workspace.[47]
  5. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 30
    Display hygiene products. Line a wood box or purchase a creative organizer to keep hygiene products neatly organized and on hand. Keep them at the corner of your desk rather than hidden in your bag or pocket.[48]
    • Hygiene products may include things like tissue, chapstick, makeup, and face mist.
  6. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 31
    Get a colorful dorm-sized fridge. Place your fridge under your desk or, if it’s small enough, use it to prop up books, files, or your printer atop your desk. It’s great for keeping snacks and beverages within arm’s reach. Purchase them online or at your local hardware store.[49]


  • Do not write on your desk.
  • Make sure you have permission from your hr department before changing your office workspace in any way.
  • Avoid eating at your desk to prevent stains.


  • Don’t display anything inappropriate at work. Everyone has a different sense of humour so play it safe and be conservative with your decorations.
  • Set an appointment with yourself to declutter your desk. During a busy work week things can pile up and there may be no end unless you schedule time to organize.

Sources and Citations

Show more... (46)

Article Info

Categories: Personal Space