We’re all on a quest to foster creativity, boost focus, and amp up productivity during our working hours. While tweaking personal habits can certainly help with all the above, sometimes the answer lies not necessarily what’s in us, but what surrounds us. Given how much time we spend working, it’s important to make home offices as comfortable, thoughtful, and intentional as possible.
“Any space we occupy should be a reflection of ourselves. The more comfort we feel, the more relaxed we are, which can lead to better performance,” says interior designer Neffi Walker. “Your office space should reflect your overall approach towards your work, which is why it's important to consider your needs when it comes to creativity and productivity.”
Looking to revamp your space to boost your creativity? Below you’ll find expert-provided home office décor ideas that’ll help you do just that.
Infuse Personality Into Your Focal Wall
If your desk faces a solid wall, then aim to make that wall as stimulating as possible, says interior designer John McClain. Infusing your focal wall with more personality and function is a great way to liven up your space -- and energize your brain. You’ve got a lot of options here, including wallpaper, large paintings, a mural, a gallery wall, tapestries, or functional shelves, anything that is of visual interest to you.
If redesigning a blank wall feels too overwhelming, reach for a paintbrush instead. Walker says, “It has been scientifically proven that color can drastically improve one’s mood, enhance creativity, and increase productivity.” Want to make sure you choose the right hue? Colors that are known to boost productivity include shades of blue, yellow, and green.
Maximize Your Lighting Situation
“Regardless of the type of work you are doing, good lighting is vital in a workspace,” notes interior decorator Liz Toombs. “When choosing which room or space to make your home office, choose one with the most natural lighting. If you do not have the luxury of great natural light in your space, add overhead — as well as lamp and task lighting — anywhere that you can.”
One specific area to focus on is your desk, the intimate space where you’ll spend much of your working hours. A striking table lamp that speaks to your design preferences will have mood-boosting effects, incorporate a burst of your own style, and provide a better lighting situation (poor lighting can result in headaches and inability to focus). If you’re struggling with what kind of lamp to choose, McClain suggests opting for one that contrasts with your desk. For example, an antique brass lamp on a traditional oak desk or a modern glass lamp on a midcentury desk.
Swap Out Your Desk Chair
If you have a desk job, your home office chair is only second to your bed in terms of where you will spend the majority of your time, so it’s important to invest in the right one.The market is blessed with numerous ergonomic and functional options that don’t have that stuffy “typical desk chair” vibe, so there’s really no excuse to swap out a subpar chair for one that’s better suited to your style and comfort needs.
“If you are a midcentury modern fan, pull a tulip chair up to your desk as your main desk chair,” suggests McClain. “Or if your office is industrial, find a comfortable chair that blends wood and metal and accentuates the feeling that you have created in your home office. You could also add casters to your favorite wingback chair to create a powerful and functional statement piece.”
Whether traditional or not, just make sure your office chair is comfortable enough for your body to sit in for long stretches.
Add a Vision Board
Not only are vision or mood boards deeply motivating, they also add creative flair to your home office space. If you decide to create one, let go of trying to get it perfect and just have fun with the project. Walker says, “In the past, I've turned boards into literal pieces of art by strategically placing words and photos. The ‘extra’ factor comes from framing the piece with a decorative frame that matches the rest of the decor of the room.,but a cork board with images and quotes that inspire you works just as well.
Bring a Bit of Nature Indoors
Not only do plants help improve the air quality of indoor spaces — NASA even proved it in their own study — they’ve also been found to improve focus,boost productivity,, reduce stress levels, and make you feel happier. And if your home office is without windows, incorporating house plants becomes even more important.
Plants that are easy to tend to (read: ideal for newbie plant owners) include succulents, sansevieria snake plants, ficus, ivy, and peace lilies. Put your plant in a beautiful pot that speaks to your design preferences for an even greater daily dose of creative inspiration
Get Serious About Organization
Clutter happens, and very few people can be perfectly tidy all the time. You can improve overall organization in your home office, though, by utilizing closed storage options and ensuring every item has its place.
“Closed storage consists of upper [or lower] cabinetry, or a desk with drawers to contain all of the items that you use to execute your job,” says McClain. “I recently installed upper cabinetry in my own home office — which, by the way, is very small and basically inhabits a former closet in a hallway in my home — and it’s perfect for concealing extra reams of paper, folders, swatches, or anything else that I do not use on a regular basis and prefer to keep out of sight.”
Other options for storage include bins, baskets, built-ins, free-standing shelves, and trays for loose objects. When an item has a home, you feel less stressed because you know where everything is, and you also waste less time scrambling to find it.
Incorporate Personal Touches Throughout
“Just because your home office is designated for work, that does not mean it needs to be dull or boring,” says Walker. “Adding items throughout the space — including family photos in frames, artwork, and pieces with your favorite colors — will create a positive environment for you to happily work in.”
Choose colors that make you happy to be at work, be kind to your back with a great chair, keep clutter at bay, make a new plant friend, and incorporate décor elements that speak to your personal aesthetic. The result is that you’ll enjoy spending time in your home office, which breeds productivity, creativity, and joy.
Want to learn other tricks for boosting your creative potential? Check out Skillshare’s creativity classes for more ways to stay innovative and productive over the long term.