I believe that we often underestimate how much of an impact styling, organization, and design can have on how we behave in certain environments. A really good example of how design can drive behavior is the way a grocery store is designed and organized; it's literally organized in a way to drive sales and make you spend as much money as possible (i.e. impulse buys near the checkout). It's incredibly interesting, of course, but can also be applied practically. I think a great example of designing to drive behavior is your desk surface, and since I was recently told by a friend who was visiting how much they loved the "home office" portion of the apartment, I thought I would share how I approached styling the area. I have outlined the styling approach and the items I have found to be essential in keeping my desk space tidy and a driver of both inspiration and productivity.
Task Lighting: I know it's a bit obvious, but there is a reason why every desk ever has a task light. I wanted one that was stylish, but would still get the job done, so I went with this gold task lamp from Target. Task lighting is so important because good lighting in general is important so that you can actually get stuff done. Natural light is recommended in terms of productivity, but even if you don't have an office with a window, task lighting can help.
Practical Easy Reach Items: Pens, pencils, scissors, rulers, notebook, planner, headphones - these are practical items that I typically leave on the desk surface. To me, these items are necessary to have within easy reach - I don't want them buried away in a drawer. Consider the items you use all the time and consider their placement. Maybe for you it's a pile of reference books, a calculator, and pens. Whatever the case may be, having these items within easy rach ultimately just saves time. It's not clutter when it's useful.
Creative Storage/Layout: Since I had the space (my desk surface is rather large, which is lovely), I sort of split my desk by halves. When looking at it, you can see that the left hand side is more focused on everyday items, while the right-hand side has more of a focus on creative items I use often enough to have them on the desk, but not every day. I like having it broken up this way and think it gives a little bit more flow and organization to the desk as a whole.
Sparks of Inspiration: The small gallery wall above the desk, along with some of the decor like the fresh flowers, fox candle, and miniature Eames chair, not only help to give the space more personality, but also help to serve as sparks of inspiration. The corkboard that I customized features two of my favorite color palettes, photos I took in England, a photo of Reggie, and a picture of the home where one of my favorite authors, Jane Austen, wrote many of her novels. The other images around the center corkboard include a photo I took of the Eiffel Tower, a certificate of achievement from work, sketch of Reggie completed by Andy's mom, and a quote. While some of these things may seem a little stereotypical, they are honestly things that I find really inspiring and that's why I added them to the space. Yes, I totally get that quotes especially can come off cheesy and so many people have photos of the Eiffel Tower, but I picked these items because of the personal stories and the personal sentiments they hold for me and encourage you to do the same when it comes creating your own sparks of inspiration.
Storage: This is vital for actually keeping your desk surface clean. Thankfully, this desk has six drawers and I use each and everyone of them to stow away items that I need, but only once in a while, such as paperwork, calligraphy supplies, charging cords, etc.
Have a great Monday and for those interested, a shop the look section is below.
SHOP THE LOOK
These are not the exact pieces (as some items were found and others are now sold out), but these items can still be used to capture a similar look.