They say decor, and immediately your hand stifles your pocket. Why so?
Perhaps they are to blame. They—Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, the dainty independent decor store—don’t understand that you dig decor. You don’t dig the price tags.
I understand. If I were you, I’d sit on that wallet too.
True, WFH means fewer visits to the gas station, cheaper (and better) home-cooked food, and no office wear shopping. But then, WFH also means you crave more space, say YES to impromptu dinner plans, and pay beefy utility bills. It sort of balances out.
So, while your common sense (and good ol’ science) tell you to do something about your home-office decor, I feel you if you don’t. That’s until you landed on this guide.
Expect, at least, the following questions answered in this guide.
- The most important decor upgrade might just be the most inexpensive. How?
- Which decor trend has the staunchest blessings of The Science?
- Decor is not merely for the eyes. What else, is it for?
On with it then.
1. Where there’s light, there’s pretty decor
Edison bulbs dangle from ceilings. Giant candle-cages bedeck the storefront. Cringey captions call you out.
Your feet stop, your jaw drops, and your resolution evaporates. You’re seconds away from stepping in, and minutes away from signing a credit card bill receipt north of $1,000.
Glitzy store lighting blonds you, and you overspend.
Turn their weapons on to them, and say with me: let there be light, in my home-office. For light’s almost free. Quite literally, if you’re Interior Designer Abigail Ahern, who depended on natural lighting for her ambitious cabin-to-WFH haven project.
Find the middle ground; here’s how.
Stick-on lights: Peel, stick, click; what’s not to like? Buy a pack of 10 or more, and use the leftover in your cupboards and closets.
Plug-in chandeliers: There’s everything else. And here are rooms with overhead lighting. A plug-in chandelier will change your office from an office to the office. While they’re nothing like an Imperial chandelier, they’re stately nonetheless.
Flush-mount lights: Many use their home’s tiniest room as their office; perhaps you do too. For cramped spaces such as these, flush-mount lights are the bright side of working from home.
2. Experiment with live plants in your home-office
“I want to leave a signature campus that expresses the values of the company for generations.” (Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs, p.535).
And Apple’s Silicon Valley campus is this signature campus, because of its spaceship-shape, and for its 9,000 trees, which clarify the brains and bodies of its lucky workforce.
Amazon is the same. Float in a glider above Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, and you’d mistake it for a botanical garden, given its 40,000 plants.
Envious yet? Here’s more: workers in these buildings are—science be trusted—making their CEOs richer by 15% more than they deserve!
Get some green lovin’, here’s how.
Go maximalist, or minimalist: A tropical-forest themed office? A lone palm in an oasis? A plant shelf? What will it be? Decide, and you’ll find your purchases will deliver more bang for the buck. When your office plants are elements of a theme, magic happens.
Hanging plants: Try them: English Ivy, Burro’s Tail, Pothos, Maidenhair Fern, Spider Plant — the list goes on and on, and on. You’ll find them all, and many more, in Plantscapelive’s catalogue. There’s something inimitable about the graceful downwards trail of these hanging plants.
Plant shelf: Check out #plantshelfie on IG, and I doubt you’d find any time to put in some work today. It’s a basic idea really: get a shelf, get a dozen or more potted plants, arrange them, and your home-office is a green paradise.
3. Find the right furniture and accessories
We understand. You weren’t prepared for the home-office life. Now that you are, love it. Before that, make it lovable.
The marketplace is a junkyard of experimental, ugly, and plain ridiculous functional furniture for the home-worker. So, know what you need. Some ideas:
Wall shelves: They’re sleek, they’re stylish, and they save space — can you expect more? No unsightly metal brackets and screw ends to tolerate; pure wooden beauty, supporting your pretty picture frames, quick-access books, and mini plants.
Rugs and stuff: Don’t settle for the neutral, neither-here-nor-there theme of your makeshift home-office. Why would you, when you can bring home a yarn wall hanging, a couple of giant throw pillows, and a hand-tufted wool rug.
Mechanical keyboard: Click-clack. Click-clack. Ahh…for the purist, that’s next only to Classic FM. Caution: if your spouse works in the next room, ask whether the click-clack is music to their ears too.
Decor beyond what meets the eye
Above all: your home-office’s decor is meant to serve you.
That sense of belongingness, that feeling of ease, that swoon of being one with your task-list—that’s the goal for every decor project you undertake.
That’s why I say: decor charms the eye, then the brain, and then the whole of you. And no home-office can be wholesome, without the right gadgetry. Some ideas:
A footrest: There’s no going back once you try this. They’re available in many forms: wooden, rocking, hammock-style, upholstered, carpeted, and whatnot.
A mouse pad with wrist support: It straightens your arm to a comfortable angle. It adds a splash of color to your white IKEA work desk (just guessing). What’s not to like?
Laptop stand: Glass, metal, wood — your options are more than you’d care to count. We recommend the standard option, made of aluminium, with a dual-hinge design, big base, rubber pads, and a restraining hook. That’s perfection.
Your workspace is the room that pays for everything else; love it
Nothing will measure up to the feeling of being in the zone, while you’re at work.
Nothing: not your inventory of envious side-glances by wandering house guests, no count of WOWs of your Zoom callers, and no pleasure of careful posing for selfies in front of your shabby chic oval mirror.
Go get some greens, lamps, and shelves.