If you caught part one of my home office revamp series, you’ll already have seen a little peek at my new desk space. After talking about the essential items last week (the desk and chair) today I thought I’d go into more detail on the accessories and furnishings to show how I added some personality to the space and really made it my own. Because that’s the fun part of any home decoration right?
I certainly had loads of fun picking out cushions, rugs, ornaments, and plants for the space and even more so re-organising all of my things to create an area I actually enjoy working from. In fact, I was having so much fun picking things out every time I found myself in H&M’s home department or Anthropologie that I ended up with far too much and had to be selective about what I actually displayed in the end (further reason for needing a whole room to call my office rather than just a corner ha!).
If you work in a creative industry, having inspiration around you when you work is so important, and staring at a black wall does nothing to get those creative juices flowing (believe me), so getting my desk all set up has made a huge difference to my motivation and work ethic since. I thought I’d share some of the ways I made the space more ‘me’ and of course provide you with all the shopping inspiration so you too can get carried away!
Desk – Lakeland Furniture | Chair – Retro Europe at Amazon | Rug – Next | Curtains – George at Asda
Choose your colours
My first step was to think about what I wanted to overall look of my desk area to be, and this meant thinking about colours. As the desk and chair are both white, I knew I’d need to go down a more modern route so scoured Pinterest for inspiration on all things monochrome and minimalist. As much as I love vintage inspired items, wooden details and quirky ornaments I knew they wouldn’t fit with the look of the desk and chair so I saved all those pieces for the rest of the flat and sought out anything bright, colourful and pretty for the desk. I decided to go for monochrome furnishings and then add a pop of pink (of course) through pictures and details to brighten things up. It’s my favourite colour (in case you didn’t already know) and it’s also pretty on brand for this blog too so it worked. By a happy accident, rose gold then got introduced as an accent too, after I decided to re-purpose a frame we’d spray painted in the hue for our wedding and found a gorgeous (and very affordable) desk lamp in the copper shade from Ikea, and so everything started to come together from there.
The monochrome striped rug is from Next (originally part of my reading nook) and the bold black and white pattern looked perfect against the white desk. A while back we invested in some grey chevron print curtains from George at Asda which have been such a good investment as they work really well with the space and were affordable too. I bought a bunch of different sized black, white and pink frames from Ikea to make a photo wall (more on that in part three) and found various pink and rose gold items to finish.
Shop my colour palette…
Alphabet cushion – Next | Grey check throw – Art of the Loom | Cinematic light up box – Lisa Angel | Photo frames – Ikea| Alphabet mug – Anthropologie
Make it personal
A few personal details are a must for your desk, and even if you’re renting an office space or desk hopping elsewhere, it makes a big difference to have a couple of your own things around to keep you motivated. It can be something as simple as bringing your own mug in, all the way through to pinning up some personal quotes or pictures that inspire you.
For me, it started with this cinematic light up box from Lisa Angel. I was originally looking for a J light up letter for the stand out piece of the desk, but couldn’t find one that stood up on its own (pesky J’s). I then came across the light box and was even more taken with this idea. It only requires a few batteries and comes with a whole alphabet of letters as well as symbols and back ups so you can switch up your saying daily if you like. A great idea for your desk, as you can add a word of the day/ quote to inspire you/ date to remember or simply your blog name as I have!
I then carried on the personal theme with a monochrome alphabet cushion from Next, framed some personal pictures (some from our wedding and some travel memories) to have around me (using a selection of Ikea photo frames), and of course finished off by making a cuppa in my favourite Anthropologie alphabet mug.
Shop personalised desk accessories…
‘Don’t be like the rest of them’ print – Jasmine Dowling | White box frame (with pink print) – George at Asda | Quote cards and stand – Kikki K | Polkadot trinket box – H&M Home
Everyone has different forms of inspiration so what motivates me day to day may not be the same for you, but whatever helps you to stop procrastinating and start making plans to take over the world, you’ll need it on your desk. For me I find inspiration in the visual, so lots of prints, pictures and inspiring reads were a must. The pink ‘Don’t be like the rest of them darling’calligraphy print above is by Jasmine Dowling (one of my favourite handwriting artists – check out her IG, it’s the dream) and I love it. It always makes me think of my Mum and reminds me of something she used to say to me when I was younger, so it really struck a chord when I spotted it. I’ve had it for a couple of years and never really found the right space for it, so I’m really pleased to now have it framed and displayed in my eye line so that I see it every time I sit down to work. I found the white box frame at George (pack of two for £9!) which is the perfect size.
My small wooden card holder and calligraphy quote cards are from Kikki K. The set comes with 5 different quotes (all written beautifully in rose gold) so you can switch them around to suit your mood.
I love owning beautiful fashion books, and have amassed quite a collection over the years, but always felt that they didn’t get shown to their full potential on the bookshelf so decided to display all of my favourite ones more prominently on my desk. They make an ideal stacking plinth to display things on, and isn’t my book shelf pretty?
Shop inspirational desk accessories…
Rose gold desk lamp – Ikea | Rose gold coaster – Anthropologie
Think of the practicalities
You’re always going to need a few practical items on your desk – it is, after all, a working area. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be pretty! This corner of our living room gets pretty dark in the evenings so I knew I’d need a light, and this cool rose gold Ikea desk lamp was a total bargain, and fitted the metallic theme perfectly. It’s bendable so you can move it where you need the light which is really handy.
Once I got my new desk, I found myself overly precious about keeping it pristine and was very aware of possible coffee stains or food marks. The answer – a stylish rose gold coaster from Anthropologie, and forcing myself away from my desk for half an hour to eat my lunch on the sofa (beneficial in more ways than one).
My current ‘practical’ need, is a quirky mail tray so that letters and deliveries don’t take up space on my desk. If anyone has seen any stylish ones, let me know.
Shop practical desk accessories…
Yellow storage box – TK Maxx | Wicker basket – Vintage
Storage Storage Storage
I spoke about all of the extra storage this desk has in my last post, which really has been a godsend for me as everything is able to be tidied away and put in its place at the end of each day.
If you don’t have storage in your desk (I didn’t previously), invest in a few good storage boxes for all the things you don’t want on show. I still have a couple of extra ones at the end of the desk (because clearly I have way too much ‘stuff’) and love the contrast of this wicker trunk (vintage originally found for holding blankets at our wedding) and this bright yellow box (from TK Maxx – they have a great selection).
Rose gold candle holder – Anthropologie | Happily Ever After candle – Katie Loxton | Gold Lomography Camera | Instax Mini Polaroid Camera
Surround yourself with your favourite things
It’s a given but it really does help. Bring all of the items you love, the things which mean something to you, and the pieces you just love to look at onto your desk and work is guaranteed to feel more enjoyable, I promise. I decided I wanted to display my favourite cameras (my Diana F gold lomography camera and pastel blue Instax Mini) so that they were on show, and it also means they’re on hand for flat lays when I need them.
I have polaroids and fun memories pinned to my makeshift frame board (more on that in part three) which always make me smile, have found a spot for my favourite Katie Loxton candle (a wedding present) and GB bought me the rose gold candle holder as a little desk gift which I love.
Shop my favourite desk accessories…
Pink ‘Eat Cake for Breakfast’ notebook – Kate Spade at Amara | White and Gold Notebook – Paperchase | Floral Notebook – Nikki Strange | Weekly planner – Kikki K
Make your stationary work
Stationery shopping is possibly one of my favourite types of shopping (coming second to shoes of course) so finding quirky stationery to match my new desk was a fun task. I shared more about my favourite stationery pieces in a recent post but the three notebooks displayed are by Kate Spade, Paper Chase and Nikki Strange (at Etsy) and the striped pencils are also Kate Spade.
I feel better when I’m organised so planners and to-do lists are a must for me. My weekly blog planner is by Kikki K and doubles up as a mouse pad, and my to-do list pad is from TK Maxx.
Cacti and Succulents – Homebase | Blue striped plant holder – Anthropologie | Glass vases – Charity Shops | Pink succulent pot – Homebase
Go green (and pink)
My final tip is to add some greenery to your desk, it really makes a huge difference to the overall look. I knew there was something missing from my desk once I’d styled it all up, and it was because I didn’t have any flowers or plants. I took a trip to Homebase and bought up some desk friendly green friends in a Cacti trio and a succulent (neither requiring much watering or looking after thankfully) and then snapped up these peonies, in the perfect shade, as the finishing touch.
Now that those have finished, I’ve got a gorgeous vase full of hydrangea which works equally well, and I’m hoping (praying for no rain) to get a trip to Columbia Road flower market in this weekend to stock up.
Those are my tips for adding personality to your desk and making it more motivational, do you have any extras to share?
Part three of this series will be up next week, and I’ll be sharing more on the DIY details including how to make your own photo wall and how to create an inspiration pin board (without the board).