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.
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
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.
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
Mint Green Desk Starter Set
Black Desk Organizer
$12.99; HomeGoods stores
Sugar Paper Magazine File Holder
Weekly To-Do List
Colorful Binder Clips
$4.99; T.J.Maxx Stores
Bright & Open
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
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
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
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
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
Wood Plank Workstation
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
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
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
- transitional style
- white photos
- gray photos
- multicolor photos
- contemporary style
- kids' rooms
- butterfly design
- butterfly desk chair
- hardwood floors
- striped area rug
- open storage
- hidden storage
- white cabinets
- stainless steel hardware
- white drawers
- desk accessories
- green accessories
- white accessories
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
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
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
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