Our design philosophy is simple: Your decor should make you happy. Nowhere is this more important than in your workspace: an area you spend years (if not decades) in yet one that we rarely prioritize. It’s tough to make office decor feel inspiring, especially when you have a seemingly never-ending stack of files that have taken up permanent residence on your desk and a clunky computer.
Yet to ignore your office decor is to do yourself a disservice. A 2013 workplace survey by Gensler found an irrefutable positive correlation between workplace design and employee performance. It’s a logical connection: The more inspiring or personal your workspace is, the more likely you will want to spend time there and be productive.
Unfortunately, much of the office essentials available focus primarily on function. While we’re not suggesting anyone surrender practicality for style, there are a few easy upgrades you can make for an instantly chicer workspace—one that will make you happier to be there and hopefully inspire creativity. We scoured our favorite retailers for elevated office decor pieces—consider these the best.
Ditch: Your tiny agenda
Try: 2019 Wall Art Calendar, Poketo, $19
Think of your Google cal as a functional add-on to this chic wall calendar. If you’re someone who stays organized by keeping appointments and deadlines readily visible, this is the best way to do it—plus, you get to stare at a new page of modern artwork each month. It’s a calendar and piece of art rolled into one.
Ditch: Your plastic swivel chair
Try: Tubby Armchairs, Coming Soon, $1,500
Admittedly, this isn’t the most practical (or budget-friendly) option for a professional workspace, but if your home office decor is in need of some TLC, consider upgrading to a plush option. These two-tone rolling armchairs are especially great for small-space dwellers—people whose desks are situated in the middle of a living room or bedroom—who need something that can double as extra seating.
Ditch: Your file tray
Try: Gilded Black File Holder, CB2, $20
A sleek, contemporary little piece of desk candy that’ll also keep all your necessary files within easy reach. As an added bonus, this will help you declutter: Having all your papers visible on your desktop in one simple holder forces you to toss things you don’t need and make space for only what’s essential.
Ditch: Your trash can
Try: Wire Bin, Menu, $9
It may famously contain the least chic particles of any room, but there’s no reason your desk’s trash needs to look that way. This Scandinavian-inspired bin is perfect for any paper waste. Bonus: If you don’t need a deskside trash can, use it to hold things like magazines or newspapers.
Ditch: Your corkboard
Try: Daily Roller, George & Willy, $95
Designed to help its users remember things by writing them down, this will fast become a staple for brainstorming creative ideas or writing the day’s to-do list. It’s an upgrade from the average corkboard or whiteboard and will help you stay just as organized.
Ditch: Your standard desk
Try: Reserve Desk, Industry West, $1,300
Another big-ticket item to consider if you want to make a larger overhaul of your workspace, this white oak desk is a gorgeous, modern piece guaranteed to last you years. You won’t be sacrificing storage, either, as it comes with a wide front drawer and two cubbies to house your office supplies.
Ditch: Your mismatched supplies
Try: “Anything” Desk Essentials, Hay (available at various retailers)
It’s easy for mismatched supplies to look like clutter—particularly when there’s nowhere to hide them. Hay offers a more stylish approach to the essentials available in three muted colorways for peak Scandi simplicity, but we’re partial to the pale mint hue for office supplies that double as decor.
Ditch: Your old desk lamp
Try: Tip Lamp, Muuto, $257
The beauty of this sleek lamp lies in its versatility. It comes with a dimmer and adjustable light head so you can control the angle and intensity of the light according to your workspace needs. Opt for the terra-cotta hue for a hint of color that won’t overpower.
Ditch: Your stacked plastic drawers
Try: Wood Desk Organization, Target, $35
ICYMI: Chip and Jo’s Target line is chock-full of modern farmhouse office decor pieces. The four sections ensure that there’s space for everything, from your most-referenced books to your go-to face mist that gets you through that midday slump. Customize the cubby with a quick coat of whatever color paint works best with your home office decor aesthetic or keep it simple for a timeless look.
See more ways to get your chicest workspace ever:
Inside a Music Company’s Cool, Colorful Studio in Brooklyn
How to Refresh a Home Office for Under $500
9 Items to Spruce Up Your Desk