Similar to having a functional and organized workspace, “Customize storage to suit your needs,” says Davin. “Figure out what you need easy access to and make your storage work for you so that everything has a home.” She suggests creating custom storage for just about every need—from files to yarn to books—so everything has a place. And besides, “Good office feng shui starts with decluttering.”
Now for the fun part, storage design. According to Davin, a clever office designer trick is to repurpose pieces you already own for storage. For example, a dresser turned to a filing cabinet or adding old bins and baskets to fill empty shelves. Or try using old dining chairs as chairs for your guests or a built-out closet with ample shelves to fill with woven baskets. Here, function and design intersect, as it adds a sense of home and personal style to your office space.
If there is one thing that can make us feel sleepy and drained, it’s bad lighting. Especially traditional fluorescent office lights. As a smart and aesthetically pleasing solution to what we would call a serious aesthetic problem, pepper your office with lamps—big or small, standing or table.
Lamps bring in a nice sense of relaxation and comfort (even with overhead lighting installed). “Table lamps instead of task lighting are a great way to make a desk feel warm,” says BHDM Design principal Dan Mazzarini. Plus, a beautiful table lamp can be the perfect statement piece on a simple desk.
We know sitting all day is not great for our bodies, especially if we’re in an uncomfy creaky chair that invites us to slouch and shift. So use this information as an excuse to invest in a big comfy office chair that will encourage good posture and to get up to take breaks.
When selecting your chair, keep the design top of mind. A chair can really pop out behind a plain wood desk or even serve as the focal point of the office. Plus, you deserve a throne to sit on. “Good looking is important, we love something with leather,” says Mazzarini. Mazzarini recommends the Eames Executive Chair from DWR in tobacco leather.
Your rug can come in many shapes, sizes, and designs that connects your office space look. Though some office décor stylists like celebrity interior designer Cathy Hobbs have their personal favorites. “Shag rugs. Think soft and fluffy, solid colored and sleek,” she says. “Shag rugs come in various thicknesses and shapes and can help anchor and define a space.”
Midcentury-modern design naturally lends itself to a blend of simple angular professional design with traditional home comfort. “The beauty of midcentury-modern design is the pieces are timeless, and they can be staples that won’t go out of style, so you don’t have to worry about updating your office furniture,” says Hobbs.
Now it’s time to address affordability. There are many affordable art pieces you can illuminate your office with but one of the best office designer–used tricks are mirrors, whether oversize to make space feel twice as big or small and decorative. “Small mirrors placed in a series or grouping can be a creative and attractive display,” says Hobbs. Mirrors can also complete a space when you feel that you’ve filled it enough with wall art or because you simply want to take the less-is-more approach to your office composition.
Have a big office to fill? Hobbs notes that the office entryway is prime mirror real estate.
You’re going to be spending potential late nights or stressful weeks in your office, so at the end of the day, be around things that make you feel elated and relaxed. “Personalizing your space helps you stay inspired and get through the day,” says Davin. “Set out your favorite flowers, objects, and hang artwork. When you like the pieces around you, it improves your mood and productivity.”
Put up a photograph of you during your favorite zen vacation, adorn the room with greenery to give the mirage feeling of being outdoors. A beautiful candle can also work wonders. Think of it this way: When you look up from your computer after reading a detailed long email or because you need to quickly problem solve something, whatever you see should help ignite your brainpower.
Up Next: Stop Hitting Snooze—Here Are 16 of the Best Ways to Wake Up