15 Ways to Decorate Your Desk

A home office with a decorated desk

The Spruce / Jason Donnelly

Whether you've been working from home for years or recently found yourself carving out an at-home workspace in the kitchen, one thing's for certain: On a dreary, Monday morning, there's nothing worse than posting up at a sad, boring desk. We say, embrace that work-from-home life and decorate your desk in a way that will inspire and excite you—even when you're stuck in the snooziest Zoom meeting there ever was.

Not sure where to begin? From super minimalist to maximalist, and everything in-between, we've rounded up some cheerful, creative ways to decorate your at-home workspace. (You're not totally on your own when it comes to swapping your sad desk salad for a more creative lunch, either.)

  • 01 of 15

    Add a Pop of Color

    A white desk with a black lamp and modern accessories.

    cozy.happy.home / Instagram

    You don't have to waste precious desktop real estate to liven up your workspace. Pairing a sleek, simple desk and minimalist accessories with a bold, but miniature wall mural or piece of art can make a serious statement—and add some more color to your day. Need to add some calmness to your workday? Decorate with blues, greens, soft pinks and purples, or grays to give your desk a super zen vibe.

  • 02 of 15

    Catch Wanderlust—Even When You're Stuck at Home

    A beachy, bohemian-style desk.

    littlehouseonthecoast1 / Instagram

    When you have a hectic work schedule with back-to-back meetings and a never-ending to-do list, an escape to the beach or your favorite city may feel a little out-of-reach. So, why not embrace your wanderlust with some fun desk decor? Give it a beachy vibe with cane furniture, a mini palm, and weathered wood, or honor your favorite city with a painting of its most famous architectural structures or must-see sites. Just because you're stuck at work physically, you don't necessarily have to be there mentally—or at least not for the full eight hours.

  • 03 of 15

    Show Your Holiday Cheer

    A traditional desk with holiday decor.

    myhouseofcarters / Instagram

    No matter the holiday, nothing can cheer up a boring meeting more than embracing holiday cheer. Dress up your workspace with miniature pumpkins, gourds, and a fall-scented candle for Halloween; a miniature tree and twinkly lights for Christmas; and a DIY heart-shaped paper chain for Valentine's Day. Even if you're not taking a vacation day for your favorite holiday, the least you can do is celebrate it with some fun desk decor.

  • 04 of 15

    Choose a Soothing Color Palette

    A natural wood desk with neutral accessories.

    afrobohemianliving / Instagram

    If your work life is super hectic, your workspace shouldn't be. Opt for a simple, soothing color palette with lots of neutrals and natural textures. Think: a natural-colored wood desk with accessories in varying shades of white, cream, gray, beige, or brown. Add a plant or two for a totally natural touch of color and some extra fresh air, too.

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  • 05 of 15

    Add Fresh-Cut Flowers

    A modern, feminine desk with fresh flowers.

    crizzlee / Instagram

    If you're susceptible to the 2 pm, post-lunch slump, try adding fresh-cut flowers in a pretty vase to your desk. They'll add some color and cheer to the space, and can make a great pick-me-up when you're nodding off or reaching for the mid-afternoon chocolate. (On the other hand, why not treat yourself to some fresh flowers and the mid-afternoon chocolate?)

  • 06 of 15

    Try a Simple Color Palette With Lots of Texture

    A modern desk with black and white accessories.

    design_at_nineteen / Instagram

    What's black and white and chic all over? A minimalist color palette gets a major boost of interest and inspiration from furniture and accessories in different textures. Try pairing a sleek, metal desk with a cane or rattan chair in the same color palette, and gold accessories that are smooth, textured, tall, short, and everything in-between. We always recommend throwing in an easy-to-care-for plant for good measure, too.

  • 07 of 15

    Go Minimal

    A simple, modern desk with minimalist accessories.

    designonhermind / Instagram

    Your desktop doesn't have to be covered in tchotchkes to be inspiring throughout the workday. A simple, naturally-colored desk paired with black and white accessories in different textures adds plenty of visual interest without cluttering a small space. If you want to add some artwork—but don't have the space on your desk—consider wallpapering the wall you face. It's a simple, stylish, and space-saving way to boost your office's personality.

  • 08 of 15

    Maximize Your Storage Space

    A leaning desk with neutral accents and plants.

    jcdesign1.1 / Instagram

    Need to double-down on the storage in your home? Consider purchasing a leaning desk that can provide a solid workspace and display your favorite hats, books, framed photos, candles, and decorative accessories. That way, you can display all of your favorite things without sacrificing the surface or wall space throughout the rest of your house.

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  • 09 of 15

    Experiment with Maximalism

    A bohemian desk with a gallery wall and plants.

    nest_number_9 / Instagram

    A long workday (or week) can leave many of us feeling uninspired. One solution? Top your desk with all of the things that inspire you—from plants, to paintings, to accessories, to art supplies that you can use to doodle throughout the day. If an item can rejuvenate and excite you, we say: Add it to the workspace.

  • 10 of 15

    Add Low-Maintenance Plants

    A minimalist desk with cacti.

    seedandhome / Instagram

    The only thing sadder than a sad workspace on a Monday morning? A sad workspace on a Monday morning with a bunch of dead plants. If you don't exactly have a green thumb, low-maintenance options like cacti, succulents, snake plants, or aloe make excellent desktop greenery. What's more, the right plants can improve the air quality in your workspace.

  • 11 of 15

    Bring Nature Indoors

    A 70s-inspired desk with minimalist accessories.

    ann.living / Instagram

    We know, we know: Being stuck inside and working on a perfect, 70-degree day is the absolute worst. Here's a solution for you would-be work truants: Bring nature indoors and into your workday with wood textures, plants, geodes, and photographs of your favorite natural places and spaces.

  • 12 of 15

    Remove Distractions—Without Being Boring

    A white minimalist desk with fresh flowers.

    burcharddesignco / Instagram

    Many of us can have a hard time focusing on work when our workspaces are cluttered—or when our desk accessories are just way more interesting than the work task at-hand. A simple white desk with the bare necessities—like a comfortable chair, laptop, and writing supplies—can be dressed up (but not distracting!) with fresh-cut flowers or a scented candle.

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  • 13 of 15

    Feature Your Favorite Artwork

    A super minimalist desk with a framed photo hanging over it.

    dwellaware / Instagram

    Even the simplest, most minimal workspace can get a boost of color and personality with a framed photo, painting, or picture. Whether it's a beloved family photo, a painting your kid made in art class, or a line drawing of your dog, adding your favorite artwork to your desk can seriously liven up the space, and keep you inspired all day long.

  • 14 of 15

    Embrace Your Small Space

    A small space desk with plants and maximalist accessories.

    houseof.lais / Instagram

    The smallest workspaces can make the biggest impact with the right accessories, like woven wall hangings, abstract artwork, and low-maintenance plants. If you have a small workspace but want to maximize its accessories, stick to items with a similar color palette. Decorating your desk with too many different colors can be visually jarring and distracting, and make the space look even smaller.

  • 15 of 15

    Blend Different Styles

    A modern desk with traditional accessories.

    myhouseofcarters / Instagram

    Just because your desk is super modern, that doesn't mean your accessories have to be. Try pairing a modern desk with vintage or traditional-styled vases, lamps, or artwork for an interesting blend of colors, patterns, and textures. Have a traditional desk? Top it with a super modern globe lamp, sleek vases, or an ultra-modern clock.