We think about styling your homes pretty often here at Ahrens Designs, because that's literally what we do. But how often do you think about styling your office space? Really think about it: you spend 40 hours a week in this space (give or take), so why wouldn't you want to customize it? Well, we're going to give you some pointers on how to style three different types of offices based on what we use right here at Ahrens Designs!
Debbie: The True Office
This is for the person who has their own office room; I mean with a door and walls and everything. At our offices, Debbie Ahrens is the only one with a true office, because she requires a space for client meetings and some quiet time when she needs to focus.
As you can see, she has her writing desk front and center. Debbie chose this desk mostly for aesthetics, but it truly is functional with the drawers she has for easy access to office supplies.
Your office may have already purchased furniture for you that you have no say in, and that's ok! You can still style it your own way with trays, like Debbie. Having a small dedicated space for personal items gives you an eye-catching display without it becoming a distraction.
But she's not lacking in large-scale storage, either, Behind her desk is a large credenza with plenty of room for anything Debbie might need when working on a job.
Debbie's leather chair is comfortable and ergonomic so that she can spend long hours working without risking the pains that come from sitting for a long time.
No office is complete without guest seating. Debbie is constantly meeting with clients, and thus requires some stylish and comfortable seating.
Having a true office is really the best option when you want to incorporate your own style into your workspace. Debbie is able to hang up pictures of her family on the walls, incorporate a gorgeous cowhide rug beneath the desk, and the beautiful mirror and lamps on the credenza.
If you can't do all of this, a simple framed photo on your desk or credenza will help bring a little bit of home into your office. And anyone can add a lamp to diffuse some of the unflattering and uncomfortable flourescent lighting that dominates so many office spaces.
It is such a good idea to have another designated space for your guests, whether it's a tray on your desk or a small end table between two chairs. This is a great place to keep little candies for clients to snack on and definitely set up your business cards here. You don't want them leaving without one.
Debbie also has a small table by her desk where she keeps all of her inspirational materials and catalogues. Nothing gets the creative juices flowing like flipping through an industry-related book magazine!
Remember: if you've got something unique to your office (for example, Debbie keeps blueprints and floorplans in her office), find a fun way to display them. Here, Debbie has used an urn typically set outdoors for plants to store these pieces. It keeps them out of the way while adding a bit of personality to an otherwise mundane item.
Claire: The Desk Office
Claire is one of our assistants here at Ahrens Designs. She's been here for two years and has a large desk with a desktop computer to use because the majority of her job is dedicated to the computer. This is a pretty typical setup for most businesses to use with their employees. It's very similar to a cubicle, so we're going to incorporate cubicle styling tips in here, too.
You may not be able to tell, but this desk is custom built, and as such a piece we were able to add this gorgeous wallpaper underneath the glass overlay to give it some pizzaz! This is super easy. All you need to do is get a piece of glass and have it cut to your desk shape. Cutting the wallpaper is the easy part; just don't glue it to your desk unless your boss gives you the OK.
On Claire's desk are two gold lamps (again, you cannot forego lamps) that truly warm up the space. She accents these lamps by adding gold office accessories, too. This is one of the easiest things you can do to customize your office space: cute office supplies. You can find fun colors and designs for tape dispensers, hole punches, staplers, scissors, you name it, almost anywhere. Also, scented candles are such a fun (and affordable) way to add personality to your space.
And if you're looking for something you can't find in a store around you, there are so many online office supply stores like Poppin, See Jane Work (where you can find tons of Kate Spade office supplies), Yoobi (who donates a portion of every sale to help a classroom in need), and so many more that are easy to find.
Claire is our resident plant-whisperer, so she takes care of all of our office plants. So it stands to reason that she'd have a few of her own on her desk. The little succulent pictured earlier requires very little maintenance while still bringing a touch of green to the office. Also, these beautiful orchids Debbie brought in really bring a splash of color to our lives. If you can't keep plants alive, bring in some fresh flowers from the grocery store to add a pop of color to your day.
Lots of spaces like this have bulletin boards that the employees can use to tack up personal effects. Most of the time, though, this winds up being a boring grey or beige color. Let's face it: that can get really boring really quickly. So, to spice that up, we like the idea of wrapping these mundane boards in a fun fabric or wrapping paper. There are so many Pinterest boards and pins with tutorials, we honestly wouldn't know which one to use here.
Halli: The Mobile Office
Halli is our newest assistant at Ahrens Designs, so she doesn't necessarily have a designated work space. Most of the time, she posts up at our conference table with her laptop, planner, and to-do list. That is, when she's not out on job sites. This is another typical setup for employees today.
The traditional office is waning with the growth of technology and the lack of necessity for a large designated office (truth be told, Debbie really spends most of her time also at the conference table so she can work more closely with Claire and Halli).
Since this type of workspace is so fluid, it can be hard to customize it to your personal tastes and needs. Super easy solution: motivational wallpapers! Halli has her laptop stocked with a rotating cycle of colorful and motivational wallpapers (all downloaded for free online) to keep her smiling throughout even the longest days.
If you can, add little decals to your laptop (most that you can find online are easily removable if you're required to turn your laptop in when you leave a job) right next to the track pad as a little nod to anything you want (this one is a little bit of a nerdy Sherlock Holmes decal that suits Halli to a T).