5 Ways to Create the Desk of Your Dreams

Consider #DeskGoals achieved!

Now that August is winding down, it's officially back to school time. And even if you're not actually a student gearing up for a new year of classes, it's still the perfect time to get organized. Not only are your favorite stores stocked with stylish office supplies and the cutest planners, but the changing season means it's the ideal time to refresh your desk.

White Home Office With Glam Gold Leaf Desk

White Home Office With Glam Gold Leaf Desk

Glam up your home office by adding shimmery sheets of gold leaf to a basic desk. Complement the glass desktop with a clear lamp for unobstructed creativity.

Photo by: Honey & Fitz; photo by: Ruth Eileen Photography

Honey & Fitz; photo by: Ruth Eileen Photography

So, to get you inspired to whip your workspace into shape, I chatted with organizational expert Alejandra Costello, who recently teamed up with Marshalls and T.J.Maxx to make #deskgoals a reality. Read on for tips straight from Alejandra, as well as a few of our favorite office products, that will help you create the desk space of your dreams.

1: Keep your needs in mind.

Because everyone has different expectations for their desks, Alejandra suggests keeping you and your desires in mind at all times, whether that means you need a stylish set of desk accessories or a more sparse space. "It’s important to surround yourself with the right systems that will allow you to be productive and feel focused," she says. "There’s no 'one size fits all' approach to setting up a workspace, as all of us have different needs and priorities!"

2: Don't focus on perfection.

If you're not sure where to start, or you're feeling overwhelmed, Alejandra suggests taking a minute to remember why you want to update your workspace. "It’s easy to get bogged down in the details or get caught up in the mindset of creating a 'perfect' workspace. Remind yourself of your high-level goal, and keep taking steps in a forward direction," she says. "Think progress, not perfection."

3: Just forget about trends.

"Trends fade away and oftentimes leave us with possessions that turn into clutter," Alejandra cautions. So, instead of following fads, she suggests investing in "classic desk items that speak to your individual personality. For example, if your style is traditional, add a simple clock to your desk to help you manage your time more effectively. Likewise, if your style is bold and edgy, use fun and quirky organizing products in your favorite color that won’t fade away as trends change."

Elegant Home Office Includes Charred Wood Writing Desk

Elegant Home Office Includes Charred Wood Writing Desk

Though at first glance the office at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2015 appears perfectly traditional, a closer look reveals a charred cedar wood writing desk that offers a bit of destructive, rustic charm. "The design was inspired by the idea that some of the most beautiful pieces of literature, art and design result from destruction," designer Brittany Haines says.

Photo by: Jason Kisner; Design by Brittany Haines

Jason Kisner; Design by Brittany Haines

4: Don't go overboard.

While Alejandra says there's nothing wrong with picking out accessories that speak to you, she says it's important to keep cohesion in mind. "One thing you want to avoid is using too many patterns, incorporating too many colors or buying too many accessories, which can create a visually distracting environment and be counter-productive," she says. "Ask yourself what you need, while being mindful of how you want to feel."

5: But surround yourself with items you love.

While it's easier to stock your desk with a few mismatched pens, plain folders and an old letter organizer, decorating with pieces that inspire you will keep you feeling inspired and excited to work. "It’s about finding what speaks to your own personal style and creating an environment where you feel good," Alejandra says. 

To kick-start your desk revamp, we rounded up a few fun office products below:

Blue and Gold Desk Lamp

$29.99; Marshalls stores

 I Am Very Busy Notebook

$16; bando.com

Mint Green Desk Starter Set

$40; poppin.com

Black Desk Organizer

$12.99; HomeGoods stores

Sugar Paper Magazine File Holder

$14.99; target.com

Weekly To-Do List

Colorful Binder Clips

$4.99; T.J.Maxx Stores

28 Desks + Study Zones

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Contemporary Kid

Bright colors of chartreuse, orange and blue are combined with muted grays and blacks to create a fun, contemporary place for a kid to work or play. Design: Brian Patrick Flynn

Custom Storage

To add custom storage without breaking the bank, a desk from a flea market is sprayed with lacquer in a coral color. Design: Brian Patrick Flynn

Energizing Colors

The combination of white furniture and aqua walls with punches of canary yellow creates an energizing study space. Design: Brian Patrick Flynn

Bright & Open

This bright, open workspace provides plenty of shelf storage and a desk area with room to spread out. Design: Ilija Karlusic

Simple Sophistication

A simple white parsons desk is dressed up with an elegant chair to suit the sophisticated nature of this bedroom. Design: Nicole Sassaman

Cubby Storage

Bright colors, personal artwork and plenty of cubby storage help make this kids' space functional and fun. Design: Fiorella Design/Photo: Frank Paul Perez

Sleek Nook

Sleek furniture keeps this home office nook from feeling cluttered or cramped. An organizational center on the wall cuts down on the need for messy paperwork, as seen on HGTV's The High/Low Project. Design: Sabrina Soto

Cool Hangout

This colorful and contemporary study and hangout spot for teens includes a vaulted tongue-and-groove ceiling, light wood floors, iconic midcentury-modern furniture and fun teen accessories. Design: Anne Rue

Side Table

Dual functions help a small space feel grand. This parsons desk doubles as a side table for the sofa. A cozy chair tucks under and can be pulled out to use as additional living room seating. Design: Lisa Sherry/Photo: Ron Royals

Under the Stairs

The space beneath these stairs has just the right amount of room for a built-in desk, maximizing an often overlooked area in a home. Design: Brian Patrick Flynn

Bedside Table

Soft colors and whimsical fabrics give this young girl's room a feminine touch. A desk can function as a bedside table between twin beds. Design: Elinor Jones/Photo: Chris Little

From: Elinor Jones

Interesting Hardware

Use interesting hardware for a quick and easy update on a desk. Design: Erinn Valencich/Photo: Melissa Valladares

From: Erinn Valencich

Stylish Spot

A white lacquer desk and iconic ghost chair create a stylish spot for a teenager to study. Curtains frame the space, visually separating it from the adjoining bedroom. Design: Anne Rue

Seeing Double

This study area is equipped with two full-functioning workspaces complete with computers and filing cabinets. Custom-made corkboards and hanging rails provide additional organization. Design: Shane Inman

Seeing Red

Red is a stimulant, so it's the perfect color for a homework and craft station. Ready-made cabinets in a glossy red lacquer finish from a big box retailer made a spot to work on school assignments or get creative with crafts. Design: Brian Patrick Flynn

Simple Desk

This bedroom includes plenty of space for relaxing as well as a small workspace with a simple desk and comfy chair. Design: Joseph Cortes

Neutral Alcove

Adding color or wallpaper to the ceiling -- the so-called fifth wall -- is a great way to add detail to a space. The neutral walls in this craft room create enough of a break between the pattern of the ceiling wallpaper and graphic flooring for the design to feel completely unified. Design: Jaimie Belew/Photo: Jason Kisner

Bright Attic

Sloped walls were kept white to keep this attic room from feeling too closed-in. Bright punches of color in the striped runner, accent wallpaper and sofa help highlight the unusual architecture without overwhelming the space. Design: Kriste Michelini/Photo: Jason Kisner

Photo By: Jason Kisner © 2013, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Wood Plank Workstation

Wood planks were installed in this former closet space to create a useful workstation. Design: Brian Patrick Flynn

Distinct Zones

The workstation in this home office sits at counter height, while the meeting/lunch table sits lower, helping to break the space up into two distinctive zones. Design: Brian Patrick Flynn

Feminine Space

Cabinet surfaces are painted white and distressed in this feminine office space. The windowsills are used as extra seating and storage areas. Design: Luis Caicedo

From: Luis Caicedo

Creative & Crafty

This craft room brings out the creative kid in all of us. Plenty of storage and an energetic color scheme provide the perfect space for projects of all sizes. Use resilient materials like laminate countertops and a graphic vinyl rug for easy cleanup. Design: Jennifer Reiner

Vertical Stripes

The vertical stripes in this boy's bedroom emphasize the tall ceilings, while the mossy green rug and headboard add a fun punch of color. Design: Regan Billingsley/Photo: Angie Seckinger

Personalized Pinboard

A pinboard fills the wall in this niche, offering a place for interchangeable memos and artwork. A pair of sconce lights provide the perfect task lighting for the desk area without using any precious counter space. Design: TerraCotta Properties

Relaxation Room

The neutral tones of this room make it the perfect place to escape to for some rest and relaxation or to work on a project. Design: Allie Mann/Photo: Angie Seckinger

Comfortable Craft Area

With a vaulted ceiling and plenty of elbow room to spread out and sketch, the craft area beckons the artist. Durable resin wicker chairs, designed for outdoor use, offer comfortable seating. Design: Linda Woodrum

Vintage Table

A nook in this contemporary living room seen on HGTV's Secrets From a Stylist is the perfect spot to get some work done. A vintage table serves as a desk while a ladder shelf provides storage. Design: Emily Henderson/Photo: Aaron Rapoport

Outstanding Accents

A neutral wall color allows the rug, curtains and artwork to shine in this open office space. Design: Brother vs. Brother

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/Getty Images

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