Office Styling Tips for a Comfy & Productive Workspace

How do you feel about where you work? I’m not talking about the business itself – I’m talking about the physical space you work in. 

If you’re like most people, you don’t exactly love it. Whether you have a home office or an actual “work office,” or both, it might be boring and bland at best; ugly and outdated at worst. No matter what you’re dealing with, if it’s not a place you love being in it’s definitely sucking your energy, stifling your creativity, and slowing down your productivity. How do I know? Because human beings’ moods and psychological well-being are actually affected by their physical environments. 

I have both a home office and a “work office” in Milwaukee. I’ve been hard at work lately designing my office away from home, which got me thinking about all the little styling elements that take an office from cold and impersonal to welcoming and comfortable. 

Of course, having beautiful office furniture doesn’t hurt. But even if you’re stuck with what you have, you can still make a huge impact on how your office looks and feels – not to mention how you feel when you’re in it – just by styling it. 

In case you’re wondering what styling is and how to do it in your home, you can pop over to this post. But basically, styling is just adding a final layer of accessories to a space to make it look more personal and complete. When I’m styling a space for myself or for clients, I also like to include a few details that also make the room more organized and comfortable.

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A Cozy Throw

It is always cold in my work office. The air conditioning is either blowing like crazy or it’s cold outside!

Rather than try to work in a parka or leave cardigans lying around looking messy, I keep a pretty throw on hand. That way, when I’m not using it, I can just drape it over the back of my chair. It doesn’t take up any storage space there, plus it looks lovely and decorative.

A Scented Candle

My two favorite objects in the world are wallpaper and scented candles. I can’t get enough of either! For both my home and my office, I have no problem spending a little extra for a well-made candle that smells amazing and lasts a long time. 

Scent is such a big part of creating a mood in any space and I firmly believe our productivity benefits when our offices smell good. 

My go-tos for finding beautiful candles that smell fantastic are Volupsa and Anthropologie. 

Of course, if you work in an office that doesn’t allow you to burn a candle, you can always get a difuser with your favorite sent to set out on your desk. So you’ll still be able to catch little whiffs of it as you work. 

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Get some beautiful cards that have your name or your business name on them and keep them on a small dish or tray on your desk. Not only are the a lovely decorative touch, they’re also perfect to have on hand when you want to send a client or co-worker a thank you note. 

Decorative Trays

Speaking of trays, I think lovely trays are the perfect way to keep books, magazines, office supplies, and even decorative items looking neat and corralled. Even beautiful items can look like clutter if they’re scattered on a desk or coffee table. But arrange them all on a stylish Lucite or leather tray and voilà! It all looks beautifully styled.

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Plants (Real or Faux)

It’s pretty standard design advice to suggest using flowers and plants to style your space. The softness and greenery they bring are a perfect finishing touch every time – you just can’t go wrong! 

I love my FAKE plant on my desk. It adds color and I literally don’t have to do anything to it to keep it looking fresh. If you happen to have a green thumb unlike yours truly, I recommend going with real plants. 

Decorative Storage Boxes with Lids

Even if your office has lots of drawer and cabinet storage, offices tend to collect odds and ends that need to be stashed away somewhere where they won’t get buried amongst files and office equipment. Solve the problem and add a decorative touch with a beautiful lidded storage box or two. 

I recommend passing on the options available at office supply stores. Even the cloth covered ones are too office-y. Instead, search for beautiful glam or designer options in the accessories section at furnishings stores and online. 

Cleaning Wipes

It goes without saying that a clean workspace looks better and is more comfortable than a dirty one, so keep a tub of these on hand. I use the Clorox disinfecting kind that kill germs, as well as clean up coffee stains on my desk. It’s a great weekly ritual (and productivity hack) to put all your work away on Fridays and quickly wipe off your desk and computer before the weekend so you can walk into a nice, clean office on Monday!

A Candy Jar

I love using pretty glass containers filled with something that goes with the room’s color scheme to style any space, and an office is no exception. 

In my own office, I keep a cute little jar filled with Lifesaver mints. In addition to being a friendly styling element, I like having them handy because they curb my appetite if I’m hungry for a snack but can’t stop working to eat. And of course, I get great breath, too!

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It’s actually pretty simple to transform your office from boring and dreary to inviting and comfy. All it takes is a few thoughtful details. Or if you have a home office or work office in the Milwaukee area that you’d like us to style for you, our Designer on Call service could be just what you need. Learn more here.

Stay tuned to the blog for an upcoming reveal of my fresh, new office-away-from-home. You’ll love all the inspiration you get from it to take to your own office!

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