11 WAYS TO STYLE YOUR DESK AT HOME

Go for glamour

Go for glamour


If your desk is squeezed into a living space or even a bedroom, you might want it to blend in rather than shout ‘workspace!’ at you the minute you wake up or as you’re trying to wind down in the evening. This is a perfect example of how to give your desk space a non-officey feel: the marble and gold details, sandwiched between beautifully made cupboard doors, look elegant, even though they’re also eminently functional. Work paraphernalia can easily be tucked into the drawers or inset wall unit after hours, leaving that opulent marble desk free for a couple of chic accessories. A nice trick to try is the desk tray: contain small, disparate bits and bobs within the confines of an attractive tray to keep things feeling tidy. This would make for the perfect bedroom office – you’d hardly know it was there.

Work in some retro

Work in some retro


While the modern desk can, in theory, consist of a wireless computer or tablet and little else, a nod to the old-school can introduce some charm and warmth. Here, the iPod dock has the look of a classic 1970s speaker, while the desk phone is not only a good-looking classic, but also a great way to introduce a shot of strong colour.

Embrace antique

Embrace antique


A desk with character and heritage, like this one, is doing most of the styling all by itself. A vintage metal lamp is pretty much all it needs (but it looks wonderful with that bentwood chair). What stops this dark wood arrangement looking fusty is the bright white walls, pale, narrow boards and clean-lined modern prints on the wall. So if you have a family heirloom or a slightly incongruous antique at your disposal that could be used as a desk, keep it clear of fussy accessories and dark colours for a similarly contemporary look.

Hang up

Hang up


There’s something strangely satisfying about hanging storage and these suspended shelves seem to have the visual effect of lightening the load on the desk below. Closed cardboard storage boxes are a good trick here, too – why not empty that unruly in-tray into one, then shut the lid? A deep filing cabinet will look after any other paperwork or stationery, leaving you to keep nothing but the essentials on your work surface.

Make it mainly monochrome

Make it mainly monochrome


Many of us find a montage of cherished photos, cards and personal mementos to be an inspiring view from our desks. Here, what could feel like a chaotic display has been given order by a strict black and white framing rule. Images will really stand out against a dark backdrop, which also has the benefit of disguising your computer screen. You could make a simple desk like this one from a pair of matching drawers or bedside cabinets plus a length of kitchen worktop

Help raw materials to shine

Help raw materials to shine


This desk, essentially a giant, custom-built shelf made from a wonderful, solid slab of wood, looks especially beautiful because it’s so unencumbered. To achieve this, the owners have chosen to mount two interesting lamps on the walls, rather than having desk lamps with bases. There’s also a sleek, slimline drawer built into this end of the shelf, perfect for dumping pens and Post-its or to-do lists into, rather than displaying these, as we’re often inclined to do, on a desk. That the desk is long also allows the luxury of keeping the majority of it clear. Having key accessories in the same colour – here the Eames chair, desk tidy and one of the lamps are all black – continues the streamlined feel.

Coordinate your colours

Coordinate your colours


If you’re tucking in a small table, there may barely be room for ornamentation at all – but you can still style such a workspace. In this instance, colour coordination is your friend. Here, a statement chair and Anglepoise lamp in the same, strong red do the job. To tie this little spot to the rest of your landing, living room, hallway – or wherever it sits – hang a print or framed postcard featuring the same accent colour nearby to create a visual connection.

Let it breathe

Let it breathe


No drawers, shelves or storage is a luxury many of us won’t have if we work at home every day, or use our desk regularly for household admin and filing. But don’t you just covet a large, pale desktop like this? One where there’s no need to fill it with anything other than, perhaps, a few favourite art books, maybe a single bloom in a jar or an expensive candle and your favourite notebook. If you have a whole room to use as a study or office, consider keeping all the clutter away from the space where you work and need a clear head to think: here, on the wall we can’t see, a large antique armoire, perhaps painted to blend in with the background, could easily stash all your office-y bits and pieces beautifully and, importantly, behind closed doors.

Rack it up

Rack it up


How’s this for a pretty take on a pinboard? You can buy sheets of wire mesh in assorted dimensions online, or at some builders’ merchants and DIY shops. Either leave yours in its galvanised metal state or spray-paint it in the colour of your choice. This relaxing work spot is all about the neutrals, even down to the images held in place by buff coloured pegs. Layer up pale, muted shades when choosing accessories for your own desk to create a similar effect.

Keep things clear

Keep things clear


An entirely different approach to keeping a desk empty is illustrated in this contemporary, Scandi-style office in a renovated Scottish cottage. Here, the clean and serene feeling is largely down to the all-white paintwork. Don’t hold back if you’re going for this effect: choose white light fittings, accessories, chairs and flooring. Here, even though the shelves are jam-packed and full of different colours and everyday acoutrements, not all beautiful, the effect is still one of calm order and an uncluttered space. Again, raising storage up off the desk is a neat trick, allowing the workspace to remain empty, poised for nothing but a pair of matching laptops.


Make it Appealing

Give your front door a sparkling coat of paint. Add plants to your front door, and redo your garden. A home that looks well cared for is more attractive to people.