You might not immediately think about how you can optimize your desk in terms of visual interest and style—but keeping your desk minimal and organized will not only make it easier on the eyes, it’ll also ensure you’re able to be as productive as possible while at work.
Whether you’re looking to add some flair to your home office or you’re in serious need of inspiration to help you finally declutter your desk, we’ve rounded up a list of great minimal desk setup ideas that don’t compromise in the style department.
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Consider a floating desk
“My favorite tip for those looking for minimal style is to try a floating desk,” says Andre Kazimierski, CEO of Improovy, a home services website. “By securing the desk to the wall, you avoid the frustration of table legs taking up unnecessary space.”
This is an excellent choice for those who are working in spaces with funky angles or odd corners that normally don’t accommodate flat, rectangular desks. Instead, consider a custom-built that will fit your unique space.
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Opt for monochromatic
The common advice when it comes to minimalism is to opt for an all-white color scheme—but a full on white-on-white workspace can be hard on the eyes. Instead, consider another neutral color like charcoal grey or blue, and use the same color throughout the entire workspace for a clean look.
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Hang a peg board by your desk
Small spaces can be challenging, even more so if you want a minimalist desk that doesn't have a lot of drawer space for storage.
“One innovative minimalist solution is to hang a metal wall grid or peg board in front of or behind your desk, depending on which direction the desk faces. Wall grids can be customized in a variety of ways with add-ons like shelves, racks, hooks, and clips, which allows you to create more space for things like calendars, clipboards, books, pencils, and pens,” says Eileen Roth, author of Organizing for Dummies. “You can also add inspirational minimalist quotes, fairy lights, or even small succulents for a tiny pop of color!”
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Opt for bookshelves
You can still achieve the minimal desk look without having to sacrifice storage or book space. Roth suggests getting a modular bookshelf that you can hang on the wall. If you tend to have a lot more clutter than you’d like to amidst, you can also get closed bookshelves from Ikea for storage, if you have space.Continue to 5 of 14 below.
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Don’t forget to add some greenery
Indoor plants can help give a more warm and cheery feeling to an otherwise ultra minimal space. Rather than decorating with knick knacks or picture frames, a couple of small plants can add a similar effect without feeling cluttered.
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Keep an IKEA Raskog cart for extra storage
This budget-friendly solution is another common minimalist workaround for small office spaces. “The Raskog cart comes in classic white and black, which work well with almost any minimalist desk setup, and features three levels of cart storage,” says Roth. “Raskog carts are great for keeping extra notebooks, folders, and small office supplies like staplers and hole punchers nicely tucked away.”
You can also add a natural wood lid to cover the top tray, which comes in handy in two ways: it covers up office stuff you don't want to be seen and gives you an additional flat surface to work on!
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Use drawer organizers to keep the inside of your desk tidy
“Keep the inside of your desk as tidy and minimalist as the outside with drawer organizers,” says Roth. “The most popular minimalist desk organizers are adjustable and made from materials like bamboo or wire racks, but you can also upcycle old electronic boxes or DIY your own with cardboard and washi tape.”
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Consider a plain flat table
With today’s digital world you don’t need much—a flat table that is high enough to put a file cabinet or pull-out drawers underneath is the best option for small spaces. “You need enough width to hold one or two monitors, a printer, and possibly a tiered rack for copy paper,” says Roth. “Take into account if you want space for papers you are working on to the side of the computer.”Continue to 9 of 14 below.
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Go for pull-out drawers
There are many modern-looking and minimal desks that come with pull out drawers for hiding away any not-so-aesthetically-pleasing items that are essential to your work. Roth also suggests adding your own system of drawers under your desk if you need additional storage. “Don’t forget to leave space for your feet and if you use a pull-out keyboard underneath!”
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Invest in a folding secretary-style desk
A desk that has the advantage of closing up when you’re done working is a great option for keeping your space look minimal and clean when you’re not sitting at your desk. There are ultra-compact options that can be installed directly on the wall or traditional secretary options should you prefer a more traditional look.
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Choose the right shape for your space
“If you have a small room, you should choose the right equipment,” shares Zac Houghton, CEO of Loftera. “You don't want to buy bulky office desks that will only take up space in your room.”
Instead, Houghton suggests that you go for something lighter, such as L-shaped or U-shaped desks. These desks are very easy to move around, and you can squeeze them into any corner of your room without making it look crowded.
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When you're trying to fit everything you need into a minimal desk setup, it's important that everything has its place, especially your work tools. “Keep things organized by creating boxes for your pens, pencils, paper clips and other items that you use often at work,” suggests Houghton. “Use these boxes to store them in an organized manner on top of your desk so that when you need them, they are readily available and easy to access.”Continue to 13 of 14 below.
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Consider a standing desk
If you are working in a cubicle, or your minimalist home office space is small, you may want to consider the idea of a standing desk. “Standing desks are a great option for those who sit most of the day at work and want the extra boost of movement during the workday,” says Houghton. “A standing desk can also be more cost-effective than a sit-down desk if you are building it yourself, as they can be built for far less than the cost of an actual desk.”
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Consider a work bench-style desk
If you’re hoping to build a minimal desk setup but don’t want to settle on a plain table, consider creating a work bench-style desk. All you’ll need is two sawhorse brackets on either side and a slim piece of wood or vinyl on top.