By Ande Waggener
What are the best office décor items? The best office décor items wear two hats; in other words, they’re décor items that are more than just decoration.
Whether you’re decorating a professional office or you’re designing a dedicated home office or an office setup in a guest room, focusing on your décor choices is essential to create a space that facilitates productive work time.
Instead of just choosing generic office décor like plants or desk accessory sets, you can create captivating character and uplifting usability by selecting the right office décor. The right office décor — both office décor for him and office décor for her — has an objective. It’s there to do more than just look pretty. It’s there to help you be in the optimal headspace to succeed in your work.
Here are seven ways office décor items can help you make the most of your working time.
No matter how impressive an office space is, no matter how up-scale or eye-catching it may be, if it isn't comfortable, then it’s not going to be an environment where you can get much work done. Setting up an office that includes ergonomic furniture and proper placement of computers, monitors, and other equipment is a good start. But it’s just a start. True comfort goes further to invite relaxation — even in a workspace. To add this level of comfort to your office space, choose a throw and a pillow (or pillows) in a color and style that pleases you and add these to your office décor. If you want them near to hand, style your office chair with them.
To achieve success in your work, you need to have confidence. Although generally considered a quality that comes from within, confidence can also get a boost from the outside. If you surround yourself with images or items that remind you of your talents and abilities, your space can give you a confidence upgrade. The best office décor, then, includes items that tell you daily that you’re “all that and a bag of chips.”
These items include framed diplomas, award plaques, and trophies. It doesn’t matter whether or not these displays of your achievements are related to your work. If they make you feel good, even if it’s a Little League pitching trophy from years ago, include it. They also can include items that represent milestone achievements. In my office, I have a framed copy of the first check I ever received for fiction writing. That check nudged me toward the eventual sale of a novel.
Although the words work and fun are often seen as mutually exclusive, they shouldn’t be. In fact, the best work is fun. To promote the level of fun that elevates your creativity and your productivity, you need to actually see the fun in your work area. Because of this, one of the best ideas for decorating your office is to include whimsical items that bring out your inner child. Whatever makes you smile will work.
My husband loves to golf, and anything golf-oriented makes him happy. Therefore his office space includes golf motif pen and pencil holders.
One of my favorite office décor items is a “toy.” It’s an acrylic cylinder filled with a slow-moving clear liquid; flip it over and watch bubbles drift upward. This simple doo-dad has gotten me through several creative blocks … and I like how it looks sitting on the desk.
Although comfort, confidence, and fun will help you tremendously in your work, you still need some functionality in your space. Setting up your office for convenient access to office products and equipment is obviously important, but keeping your desk organized is even more so. It’s one of the best tips for setting up an office space. Handy decorative storage containers or baskets for often-used office supplies are therefore indispensable office décor items.
To reach any goal, especially a work goal, you need to stay motivated. Office décor items are great tools to help you with that. One of the smartest home office décor ideas is hanging motivational prints near your desk. Ticking the box of wall art and daily kick-in-the-butt at once, a framed print that inspires you is a fine choice for wall décor in your office.
Every office needs some style that reflects the design sensibilities of its occupant. Whether you like modern or rustic décor or something in between, your office space needs to speak to that. An office is like a suit that you wear every day. It should fit you well.
If you’re designing an office space in your home, you can control the style. In a professional office, you might not have that luxury. That’s okay. You can use small office décor items to reflect your personal style. I, for example, used pottery pots for pencil and office supply holders in my institutional-look office space when I taught legal writing. Their color and design reflect my more colorful, warm design sensibility.
It doesn’t take much to capture a personal style. You can even do it with just a mug that represents who you’re. Mugs are small but effective décor items you can use to display the essence of you.
If you’re going to do a good job in your work, you need “backup.” In an office, your “backup” is in your support materials — your office equipment and your professional resources. Even in our electronic age, these resources usually include books. This is a good thing because books are perhaps the best of all the office décor items.
When the books you display also reflect your interests and projects, they add personality and flair to your office space. To get the most design impact from books, merge them with some interesting accessories that have meaning to you.
As you can see from these ideas, office décor items don’t have to be large or expensive. As long as they’re deliberately and thoughtfully chosen, even the smallest décor item can make a powerful statement in your space. It can also have a strong influence on how well you do the work you do when you’re in your office. When you keep in mind the above seven intentions when you choose your office décor, you’ll give yourself a leg up toward success.
Images used with permission, courtesy of Ande Waggener