If you work full-time, you spend 40+ hours at your desk. Why not make it an inviting space? You’re probably accustomed to exploring some home decorating ideas — and it’s worth your while to transfer some of that creativity into cubicle decorating ideas and cool cubicle decor. There’s no need for your office cubicle or your home office cubicle to feel like a dingy, gray jail cell.
The case for investing in cubicle decor
Research suggests that decorating a cubicle with office cubicle accessories may have more than aesthetic benefits — potentially, its user may benefit psychologically, as well. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that being able to personalize one’s office cubicle or workspace can help soften the negative effects a lack of privacy can have on employees in a crowded (meaning: typical) work environment. This kind of stress can lead to emotional exhaustion and increased burnout rates, as well as decrease workers’ productivity.
In other words (or, the words you can use when explaining to your boss your office cubicle decorating ideas), you don’t merely want cubicle decorations. Your psychological health and usefulness as an employee depend on them.
Ideas for Decorating Your Cubicle
Of course, not all of us are blessed with the Pinterest-gene, and you may not be addicted to decorating, so if you're feeling a little stuck, here are 20 ideas to help you beautify your work area with cute cubicle decorations.
1. Desk decoration
First, before you delve too deeply into desk decoration ideas, start by keeping your desk clean. I know this might seem a tad obvious to some, but not all of us are naturally tidy people.
If your desk is feeling particularly drab to you lately, you may just want to spend a few minutes cleaning it. Dust it with some disposable wipes, or for a more eco-friendly option, invest in a washable duster. Ask someone in the IT department for one of those little air blasters to clean the crumbs and gunk from your keyboard. Straighten up your trinkets and office supplies. It's a small step, but it can work wonders.
Once your desk is looking neat in organized, start considering desk decorations for work. Whether you keep paperweights on your desk or find some cute accessories that help you organize your pens and such, the right desk decorations just might make you smile when you’re having a particularly rough or low energy day.
(Source: Maximleshkovich / Adobe Stock)
2. Plants are your friend.
Some of the chicest office decors will come in one particular (read: green) color. Having a couple little desk plants can really liven up your workspace. If you're not keen on having to water something every day, try a durable plant like a succulent or cactus. These are usually pretty adverse to attracting bugs or allergies, so your coworkers can appreciate your choice in cubicle decor ideas, too.
(Source: Alizee Marchand / Pexels)
3. For a quick fix, change your screensaver.
When considering your office cubicle design, one of the quickest ways to personalize your space is to download a photo of your favorite painting, your kids, a beautiful sunrise, or some cool graffiti and use it as your display. Chances are, your computer is the main focal point on your desk. Making it eye-pleasing will go a long way toward prettying up your workspace.
(Source: Fabian Grohs / Unsplash)
4. And customize your mouse pad.
Want some creative cubicle decoration? You can personalize your mouse pad by using a photo of your loved ones, a scene from your favorite travel destination… whatever!
(Source: spacedrone808 / Adobe Stock)
5. Add some favorite magnets or a car decal onto your filing cabinet.
Be beige no more! Magnetic poetry makes for super cute office decor, too.
6. Print out your Instagram photos.
These can be some of the best cubicle decorations (and they’re cheap, too!) A woman I used to work with did this and it was adorable. You can use image source services like Shutterfly or Social Print Studio. You can also print them at home using these tips. Use your printed IG photos to create a cute collage, hang them up with clothespins and yarn, or even tape them to the walls of your cubicle with little talk bubbles and funny quotes.
7. Select a color scheme.
I know, I know. That sounds like a lot of work just to decorate your desk or cubicle space, but hear me out. Color schemes can help to tie together your decor and they make it easier for you to look for new desk accessories. You're not just looking for a new mousepad. You're looking for a dusty rose mousepad and a teal pencil cup. It gives your decorating more direction and will make everything look more put together.
A cute desk lamp is both functional and eye-pleasing. Plus, if you get a softer light bulb, it will help to make your workspace look less sterile. You can usually find cute, affordable desk lamps at stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls. If you're looking for an even better deal, swing by your local Goodwill. Level up your desk’s coziness by bringing in a throw blanket and chair pillow.
Depending on how much space you have, floor lamps can also make great office cubicle decorations.
9. Add some personality with a cubicle sign or desk nameplate.
We love the feminist nameplates especially!
10. And BYOM.
(Bring Your Own Mug, of course!)
(Source: Kristina Paukshtite / Pexels)
11. Buy cute file organizers.
You've got to keep your files neat somehow. Why not do it with a turquoise file organizer or a light pink one?
(Source: Geralt / Pixabay)
12. A tray for your supplies can be both pretty and practical.
(Source: Mike Petrucci / Unsplash)
13. Corkboards are the actual best.
If you need some wall decorating ideas, start by considering a corkboard. You can do a million things with a corkboard, and if it’s lightweight enough, you can easily hang a few up with double-sided tape or Command Strip products. Tack on some photos and reminders to help you stay on track. Print out some cute sayings or inspirational quotes and throw them up there. Put up a little calendar. Bonus points if you invest in some cute thumbtacks.
(Source: Ella Jardim / Unsplash)
14. Or if you’re going to go the dry erase board route — at least make it a colored one.
Nothing is worse than a white dry erase board that's written upon with black marker and hung on a gray cubicle wall. The horror!
(Source: iQoncept / Adobe Stock)
15. Fairy lights can kick things up a notch.
If it's not against your office’s rules (fire hazards and whatnot), fairy lights are a great way to add some whimsy to the office. You can string them up using clear tape, or thumbtacks if you have push-pin-friendly cubicle walls.
(Source: Dzenina Lukac / Pexels)
16. And jazz up your boring office chair with a cute pillow.
(Source: Photographee.eu / Adobe Stock)
17. While you’re at it — why not toss an area rug into the mix, too?
We’re not talking about a full-size Persian rug here; that’s a bit much. But there are plenty of cute entryway rugs that could double as some extra color in your cubicle space.
18. Go the extra step with washi tape or removable wallpaper.
This is a Level 5 Desk Decoration. You can go all out by completely wallpapering your cubicle, or you can add a border or cool designs using Washi tape. Talk about an all-in-one-solution for bidding your office decor blues goodbye!
19. Washi tape is great for spicing up your keyboard, too!
Qwerty never looked so good.
20. Organize your books with bookends.
Bookends can not only keep your books and supplies organized but they can also add a touch of festivity to your space.
(Source: Steve PB / Pixabay)
21. Spruce up your space with some shelves.
If you already have shelves in your cube, make full use of them by adding decorative knickknacks along with your supplies. Otherwise, if you can, install some temporary shelves to display pictures, books, and other homey items.
22. Get some fresh flowers.
While flowers may be temporary, occasionally filling a vase with a bouquet of fresh flowers can brighten up your cubicle—and your mood!
(Source: Georgia de Lotz / Unsplash)
23. Frame your photos.
Putting in the extra effort of framing photos you love will certainly be worth it. It will bring your cubicle together and add a little something extra.
(Source: Pineapple Supply Co. / Pixabay)
24. Decorate your chair.
Pillows aren't the only things that can make your chair a little more festive. Add some stickers, a blanket, or another touch of decor.
(Source: CG Trader)
25. Use coat hooks to hang odds and ends.
You can use it to hang knickknacks, photos, or supplies.
26. Post inspirational quotes.
Print out some of your favorite motivational quotes and display them prominently. Tape one to your computer or keyboard, or you could even frame a particularly special saying.
27. Velcro decorations.
If you have fabric walls in your cubicle, attach velcro stickers to your decorations so you can display them.
28. Try removable stickers.
Attach them to your computer or keyboard to add another layer of festivity.
29. Think T-pins.
They can be a great way to hang decorations so you can maximize your space.
(Source: Online Fabric Store)
30. Last, but definitely not least, turn to Etsy or a local artist’s market for some cool prints.
Keeping art that inspires you close by while you work is a great way to elevate your whole workday. Plus, it’s a cool way to support artists you love if you can't afford to go all-in on an original piece.
(source: Mikes Photos / Pexels)
With a few of these ideas, a little elbow grease, and at least a reasonably cool boss, your workspace can go from drab to a darling DIY cubicle. Happy decorating!
Lauren McEwen is a freelance writer based in the Atlanta area.