Every day has 24 useful hours, but chances are you spend a LOT of those hours at your home office desk, and unless you’re one of the lucky few whose office boasts a beautiful view, your desk is probably a little dark and depressing to look at. But it doesn’t have to be that way. After all, the way your desk and office space look can positively (or negatively) affect your mood and productivity throughout the workday and beyond. According to Sherry Burton Ways, an interior designer, color therapist, and author of Feel Good Spaces: A Guide to Decorating Your Home for Body, Mind And Spirit, “marketing research has shown that approximately 80% of what we perceive or experience is based upon the visual sense of our environment…most office design is uninspired. Therefore, work environments create uninspired and stressful employees.”

So how do you make sure you create a home office workspace that is inspiring, peaceful, happy and stress-free? For starters, you need to give your desk a little aesthetic love. Too often we just toss our work down and ignore the design of our desk, leaving us to work in a cluttered space with no personality, no beauty and no joy. These simple tips can help you change that and achieve a working environment that will not only feel happier, but also more inspired to do good work every day.

Flaunt Some Personal Photos
Nothing can make your space feel more comfortable than adding some personal touches from home, and what’s more personal than photos? Images of your kids and your dog, pictures from a recent or photos from your wedding day and other happy memories can all make your desk space feel full of joy, rather than like a prison you are stuck in all day. According to Kevin Kuske, general manager of furniture-maker Turnstone, when employees add their own personal artifacts to an office space “you really start to build a community…people act much more natural, which of course is really good for innovation and creativity. When you build trust in relationships and comfort, people will take risks” with their work.

Read Related: In-House: 8 Work from Home Ideas to Elevate Productivity


Let There be Light
A dark desk is just plain old depressing. Add light as much as you can, and no, we are not talking about unflattering or blinding fluorescent lighting (which most offices have anyway). Bring a happy and bright desk lamp so that you will not only be better able to read your work, but also feel awake and uplifted no matter what time of day or night you are working.


Create a Vision Board
It’s completely normal to have time at work when you feel uninspired, which is exactly why you need to have objects and images at your desk that will remind you of your goals, your passions and your purpose for doing what you do. A vision board is a great way to make you desk space or office look beautiful and keep you working toward your ultimate goal. Include quotes that motivate you, photos that make you smile, images of success from the past and images that remind you of what you want to achieve.


Incorporate Happy Colors
A study conducted by the University of Texas found that “bland gray, beige and white offices induced feelings of sadness and depression, especially in women.” Not entirely surprising—gray and dull colors are often connected with sadness and a lack of energy. On the flip side, a joyful color like yellow, which can feel optimistic or energetic, or calming colors like blue and green, which can make you feel calm and more productive, are wise choices when it comes to your office and desk space. While you might not be able to control the color of your entire office, you can control what is right in front of you on your desk. Affix artwork to your walls or decorate your desk with colorful accessories that will positively impact your mood.

Get Organized
No one likes a cluttered desk space, but more than that, it is really hard to be effective in your job if you are constantly struggling to find what you are looking for. An organized desk looks better, and is more enjoyable to work at. And eliminating clutter doesn’t have to be annoying or look ugly. You can get cute folders and compartments to help you keep your papers and work in order, and even use a color label system to keep track of your work.