I was recently asked about tips for decorating office space. Not your home office, but your work office, where you may have heinous furniture and filing cabinets and fluorescent lighting. Basically, how to give your office a personal touch with out doing drastic things like getting new furniture or painting the walls.
My first tip is to bring in your own lighting. My office only has overhead drab lighting and no windows which means no natural sunlight. Bring in a fun table lamp to make things feel less like a cubicle.
You can also bring in elements from home--framed photos to personalize your space, or perhaps some wall art to make your office feel a little more homey.
If you're in a place where you can't do anything drastic, focus on accessories. Get a plant, or fill a vase with some branches if plants won't survive in your space. Adding small touches really makes a difference:
A perpetual calendar-
Fun binder clips:
If you can get a bulletin board up it's a great way to tack up pictures or notes--snag some fabric tacks too:
Bring in a pencil cup holder:
And a calendar that will make you happy to add in co-workers birthdays:
A sleek stapler:
Patterned sticky note cubes:
You don't want to overdo it with clutter on your desk, but you'd be surprised how the little things can make a big difference. Small personal touches really do go a long way. Think about the things that matter most to you and bring those elements in. An immediate pick-me-up for me are plants. Fresh cut flowers at home make me smile, but at work rather than bringing in fresh cut flowers to the office, scoop up an orchid from Trader Joe's that will last a long time. There are tons of elements that you can personalize in your office-- a tape dispenser, mouse pad or mouse, folders, pens and pencils, a tray for keys, etc. Work with what you've got and make it yours.