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white and grey chic home office desk styling ideas

Home Office Desk Styling: 6 Essentials for a Chic Workspace

Need to improve your home office desk styling game? Look no further because today I’m going to show you how to do it!

When Covid hit and the world went inside to work from home, almost nothing changed at TLC Interiors. We’ve been working from our humble abode since we started this biz back in 2012, so the concept of creating a space that feels gorgeous to work in is not a foreign concept.

What is a foreign concept however, is not being able to go to a bar for a wine and cheese platter. I’m still struggling with the idea of not having a Savvy B and some bree in the company of others. Someone send me a help package immediately!

Another interesting thing to come from this WFH scenario is a report that claimed those of us working remotely are actually more productive. It makes sense, given that we have no distractions. But I also like to think that home office desk styling, and creating a gorgeous little workspace for yourself, has something to do with it.

Today I want to take you through some must-have inclusions for your desk. I figure some of you might not have started decorating this new pocket of your home yet. It’s going to increase productivity, I’m sure of it, but it’s also going to make you happy. Because who doesn’t like to look at a well-styled, fully-curated workspace?

If you’re just starting to set up your home office, here are some must-reads from the blog that’ll help:

Now that you have a desk and chair sorted, here’s what else you need to include in your home office desk styling situation.

scandi home office with trestle table and black lamp
Via fancy crave

1. A Desk Lamp

Despite my wanting to work a solid 9am to 5pm, let’s face it; sometimes I start at 11am and am still tapping the keyboard at 7pm. That means a good desk lamp is a must. You don’t just want the light coming off your computer screen, and overheads can be so full-on. You want to create some mood, but make it workable.

It’s wise to choose a desk lamp with a theme in mind. Always think big picture because you might be working from home for a while. You don’t want to buy random products and not have them go together or suit the theme of your home. So consider if your style is luxe, mid century, coastal etc, and choose a lamp that suits.

While lamps with shades are divine, as are exposed bulb varieties (we have a full table lamp roundup here if you need), for a home office desk you want to avoid these two varieties. The shaded lamps are likely not to give off enough light and the exposed bulb ones are most certainly going to shine in your eyes. Not cute on the retinas.

Below are some of my personal faves when it comes to desk lamps for your home office. And they’re all under $100 too.

Desk Lamps under $100 mood board for home office desk styling

Home Office Desk Lamps Under $100

home office desk styling boston fern plant on white desk
Via martha stewart

2. A Plant or Vase of Flowers

You need to have a vignette on your home office desk (if you’re confused, I explain what a vignette is here). Even the smallest of desks should have space for a little decor moment. Use a small tray if you have the room and house three items on it that combine functional items and some purely for looks. If the desk is quite small, downsize your decor accordingly.

A plant or vase of flowers falls into the latter category. They aren’t going to help you get that report done, but I like to think they’re mood boosting. Make the plant or flower the largest item in your three-piece vignette, and then have two smaller items in the mix, which I’ll expand on in a second.

Now, you know I love me some fake plants, so if the conditions aren’t right for something real or you’re not that good at looking after greenery (guilty as charged!), then try a fake variety.

Here’s our roundup of the best fake plants, stems and flower arrangements from local suppliers.

boho feminine home office desk styling roses in vase on desk with brass lamp

via Minimaliving

3. A Scented Candle is a Must

I’ve made no secret of the fact that my candle addiction is out of control. Do you have as many as me at home? I think I hold the record, but by all means see if you can take me out!

I love changing candles with the seasons, I adore finding new suppliers to sniff, and when it comes to styling your home office desk, you simply have to include your fave candle.

Here’s a list of our top 18 local candle suppliers, with some makers I bet you’ve never met.

As mentioned, seasonal candles are a thing. Some scents are made for winter (earthy tones), while some just scream warm weather (like citrus tones). Fragrance is a very personal thing, so I can’t tell you which scented candle will give you nostril nirvana. All I can tell you is that when it comes to home office desk styling, a candle is a non-negotiable.

Include a candle bedside your flowers or plant on your desk, then there’s room for one more item in your vignette. Nothing is better than the flicker of a candle wick as you’re working from home. It just makes the vibe a thousand times better. I light one almost every day!

kristina dam designer pencil holder grey concrete desk accessories
Via kristina dam

4. A Holder for Pens or Pencils

So you have your flowers/plant, and then you have your fave scented candle. The third item I’d include in your work from home desk styling vignette is a holder for your pens or pencils.

Now, I kinda feel the same way about stationery as I do candles: more is more and less is a bore. I’ll buy stationery I never intend to use simply because it looks good. Don’t judge me, I’m just living my truth! So even if you don’t use pencils or pens (or need that many) it’s nice to have them on hand. There’s nothing worse than running out.

Your pencil holder doesn’t need to be an actual pencil holder either. Mine is a mug I purchased on a trip to Ireland (remember when you could travel? Remember flying?). It’s nice to showcase these keepsakes in interesting ways at home like this, so by all means rock a holder that has a story to it. Or, if you’re keen to purchase a new one, go for your life.

I have some cute pencil holders below for you if you’re keen to do some online shopping.

pencil holders and pen cups for home office desk styling

Pencil Cups & Pen Holders Under $30

face artwork on home office desk in oak frame
Via enokholsegard

5. Interesting Art or a Memo Board

You can’t be staring at just the computer screen all day. There aint nothing inspiring about excel spreadsheets or your gmail folder. You need to be able to move your peepers away from your PC when you’re working and see a nice piece of art. You know, just a little moment of escape.

Now, depending on the size of your desk, or where it’s located, this art might be a larger piece leaning on the wall. It might be a piece hung on the wall to the side of your computer screen. Or it might be a smaller photo frame. It’s totally up to you. But it’s an important element to include in your home office desk styling. We need some pretty!

Here’s my no-regret guide to choosing art for your home that’ll work.

The memo board option is going to be a little more visually chaotic, but I’m not against it. Some people like the idea of clipping things from magazines or printing of images or quotes they’ve found online and having them around their computer. I really like this ideas too. So let this be a bit of a ‘choose your own adventure’.

black and blush diaries and journals on white marble table flatlay

Via daisychain daydreams

6. Some Stunning Stationery

I’ve never met a notepad I haven’t liked. I’ve never discovered a to-do list I’ve not fallen hard for. These stationery packs are so affordable and they really make me feel more productive. Whether I actually am or not is a different story, but it’s nice to jot down things you want to achieve in a day and tick them off at the end.

Note: writing things like ‘each lunch’ is not a valid item to include on your to-do list 😉

If you have a drawer in your desk than you can pop all of these items away at the end of the day. But if you buy a pack that works with the vibe of your lamp, candle, plant pot and art, then it becomes an everyday item you can proudly showcase in your home office desk styling arrangement.

I just read an article that said the pandemic is bringing diaries back, so now is the time to grab one and get journaling.

boho home office design with grey chair on wheels and horse illustration artwork
Via temple & webster

So That’s it Gang!

They’re all the home office desk styling essentials I reckon you need to make your workspace a zone you actually want to turn up to and sit at each day. Getting motivation to actually work… sorry, you’re on your own there!

BTW, if you have to have your desk in your bedroom or living room and want to make it work, here’s my advice on seamlessly blending a workspace into an existing zone. I think it’ll help make the desk and chair feel more in harmony with your existing furniture and decor.

Happy decorating at your place guys and stay safe during these crazy Covid times!

The hero image in this post is via Cate St Hill.


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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3 Responses

  1. My fav shops: Bunnings, Officeworks & IKEA. I could spend hours in each. It’s no wonder Bunnings & IKEA have a cafe inside.

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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