Your cube is your castle: TONS of non-standard desk decor without a cliche in sight

November 8 | diezyn
Your cube is your castle: TONS of non-standard desk decor without a cliche in sight
By: Hey Paul StudiosCC BY 2.0
Wanted: ideas for cheap and easy cubicle decor.

Already considered: potted plants, pretty pictures, and subversive cross-stitch.

Do not want: anything that smells, or makes noise, or blinks

Help!
-Sarah

We have posts about desks, but what about how you decorate your desk and cubicle? My favourite way is mundane office supplies turned très cool. Let's check out some ideas to make your desk less hum-drum.

Art like this print by ngun on Society6 is always great for the ol' cube.
Art like this print by ngun on Society6 is always great for the ol' cube.
 
Brick building mug
Brick building mug
 
A dino buddy for your memos and pens
A dino buddy for your memos and pens
 
These desk accessory sets come in nine different colours!
These desk accessory sets come in nine different colours!
 
Put a bird on your business card holder
Put a bird on your business card holder
 
Want to push the limits of NSFW just a tad? You need this mug by minervamopsy
Want to push the limits of NSFW just a tad? You need this mug by minervamopsy
 
Change up the art and photos as often as you want with this photo display
Change up the art and photos as often as you want with this photo display
 
Cutest owl magnets ever
Cutest owl magnets ever
 
The USB Hubdog
The USB Hubdog
 
A pen stand that doubles as some greenery
A pen stand that doubles as some greenery
 
What about a throw pillow for your chair with some original art, like this one by former Offbeat Home editor Cat Rocketship?
What about a throw pillow for your chair with some original art, like this one by former Offbeat Home editor Cat Rocketship?
 
A lightning bolt power strip
A lightning bolt power strip
 
Magnetic paperclip mini-chair
Magnetic paperclip mini-chair
 
Just in case you find yourself looking at the clock a lot at work, make it a nice one! This one's by oliverlake
Just in case you find yourself looking at the clock a lot at work, make it a nice one! This one's by oliverlake

So, what are the best ways you've made your cube feel more YOU and less beige?

  1. Things that make my desk feel like home:

    A toy.
    A plant with a name.
    A jar of cookies.

    2 agree
  2. A gigantic block of chocolate, usually one of those 10-lb bars. Great for making friends and meeting people in a new office, and also for snacks; but they're totally big enough to be decor. You'll need something to chip pieces off with; I used to use a knife but offices are more paranoid these days. You can get chocolate chippers, though; they look like gigantic wire forks.

    4 agree
  3. I keep my rubber ducky collection at work (There are something like 60+ of them on the wall behind me and around my monitor). I work in a pretty laid back place, so people are amused by this, typically.

    Photos in amusing frames are a huge help – I have a little photo frame that spins around so I can keep two different photos in it if I want to, and change it up a bit. Or just sit there and flick at it to make it spin around as a nice distraction.

    Also, if you drink water/coffee/tea at your desk, consider getting a coffee mug or other drinking vessel that just screams YOU. Or get more than one, if you have room. My wooden mug (admittedly not microwave safe) gets a lot of comments, and reminds me of fun times at the Ren Fest.

    1 agrees
  4. I have an orange dino, a Chicago Blackhawks beanie baby, a slinky, and a stress ball. Toys make it all better and cute!

    2 agree
  5. My Mum has worked for the same place for nearly 30 years but has moved buildings a fair few times but has always taken her original phone with her. Everyone in her office has a shinny new phone whilst she rocks the 80's.

    2 agree
  6. I've got a stuffed companion cube from Portal, an "infographic wall" that gets updated regularly (people stop by and look at it), a "Flip Flap" solar powered plant (I kill real plants).

    The big winner for me is a lava lamp. I love the thing, and it's also an indicator if I'm still around the office. If I'm gone (out at lunch, meeting across town, etc) and the lava lamp is still bubbling, the rest of the office knows I'll be back later.

    3 agree
  7. OH LETS SEE.
    I have vintage cameras all around my office (I lazily collect, plus work at a company that is known for shooting photos at events), a projection lamp, photos, two matching potted plants (one in either window), scarves over each filing cabinet, glass pumpkins for autumn, a vintage doctor's bag… we have Ikea furniture and my desk set/computer are black, so it's like vintage meets modern. Also, these guys.

    My tips for people looking to make their office feel more at home is to shop their home decor. I find that there's always stuff strewn about my home here or there that I know my room can part with that will be PERFECT for my office. Since it's an item FROM home, of course it's going to make the office feel more homey. :)

    4 agree
    • I love the idea of scarves draped over things – cloth always makes places look cozy, and I have tons of scarves etc at home that aren't used very often.

      You're cube sounds lovely (and two windows! jealous…). Unfortunately, I am lazy and disorganized, so cloth will have to do for me. :)

      1 agrees
      • Cloth does wonders in any space. It can be used like paint or can be used to make a new texture in an area. A coworker of mine used a really interesting table cloth to cover an entire wall of her cube, so it offered a bold color and pattern and awesome!

        I don't so much have a cube as a legit office. I feel like a queen in there. My last office with this company was more cubey and was a shared space with another coworker, so I'm really loving having a space of my own.

        1 agrees
  8. i have the little mario bros candy tins to organize my office supplies (an ibuprofin/aspirin mushroom, a paperclip star…). i moved my pens from a cheap plastic pen holder to a nice, but chipped, glass from home. oh, and i use a blank photo frame as a wet-erase board for my to-do list. many fewer scraps of paper =)

    what i would really like to get now are some good personal-but-professional posters (such as the periodic table of typography), a plant, and (in my dreams) a glass top for my desk so that i can put decorations and references under it.

    1 agrees
  9. Here's what I have in my office:
    A yoda,
    The one ring
    Alien magnets,
    Tetris magnets,
    Demotivational "Wishes" poster,
    Lots of pics of my family and friends on my bulletin board,
    A tiny steampunk hat on a headband,
    A small Hogwarts castle,
    Plush wasabi and ginger,
    LOTS of origami (it's what I do when my computer is booting or I have a minute or 2 of downtime),
    ASL magnets

    These things make me VERY happy!

    1 agrees
  10. In my uni cubicle I have a bunch of posters and tickets from events – mostly the local Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School and roller derby, a bunch of webcomics (PhD comics, xkcd, Hyperbole and a half), some art cards from a Tim Burton exhibit, a REALLY CUTE calendar (which is also practical!) and a stuffed wombat i got on my last holiday.
    And a lot of food. oh! and a cute coaster for my mug.
    Basically, i have a lot of really colorful crap which is great – everyone else's cubicle in my office is deathly boring.

    1 agrees
  11. I used a beautiful set of Japanese sushi dishes on my desk to organize stuff: One sake cup held paper clips, the other held tacks. One little wasabi plate held my white-out tape, the other held my erasers. The big plates were where I kept writing implements and highlighers, respectively. Oh! and a paper flower sat in the sake caraf. Chopsticks were tucked away for lunch eating purposes.
    My husband bought me the set for Christmas one year, but we rarely used it. Like Ariel, I'm a preener, and hate having pretty things hidden away. Now that I'm on maternity leave I enjoy it daily as a bathroom set (soap, hankies, toothbrushes, etc)

    1 agrees
  12. My desk is fairly minimal.

    However, I have a picture with my beau, Happy the Oil Drop stress ball, a owl from Athens Greece, and a Baker Smurf. I think I'm going to grab playdoh to add to the mix…or silly putty.

    1 agrees
  13. What if your company doesn't allow anything much besides a picture or two? :'( Any subtle ideas? (The place I worked at last summer had a strict "no non-work related" policy – I think they would have made pictures illegal if possible. It sucked.)

    But, if you're a fidgeter, definitely something your style to fidget with (look on thinkgeek.com for some awesome things). Even when I technically wasn't allowed, I still has a koosh ball and a set of buckyballs (magnetic spheres) that I played with that helped me concentrate.

    1 agrees
    • Could you get away with a calendar of something meaningful? It's a calendar, after all.

      1 agrees
    • My work place is pretty laid back about what's in our cube… but I try to keep it work related… When you work for a company that is in the automotive industry you find all kinds of neat automotive related stuff.

      1 agrees
  14. A big corkboard can hold an evolving collage — art that inspires you, photos of friends or family, quotes — and information/pressing work reminders. I'm a bug fan of this as someone with decor ADD.

    2 agree
  15. hmmm i do home health so my office is my patients house, so it changes from day to day, or my car.

    1 agrees
  16. My day jorb is in a cubicle forest with soft, fabric-covered walls, and I try to decorate it for as free as possible. I use t-pins to tack up flyers from past charity bake sales I was involved in, colorful art gallery flyers from favorite local artists' shows, and the snowflakes I cut from pastel copier paper when I get bored. And a David Bowie postcard!!

    2 agree
  17. I buy fabric, and use it to upholster my walls like wallpaper. i change it out seasonally, so I don't get too bored of looking at the same thing all the time.

    1 agrees
  18. I recently gave my office/magazine department a makeover. Huge differences: we painted a bookshelf and covered a magnetic board with pretty fabric. Used Washi tape to cute up existing supplies and owl bookends made files/binders cute… I also used pretty glassware, finger bowls, and candle holders for desk supplies instead of classic desk stuff.

    We hung corkboards for IRL pinspirations and put curtains on the windows.

    Also a throw pillow in your office chair or a snuggly lap blanket can be the BEST on chilly days. We may still add a wall decal, if we decide we need one. I also thought about using Con-tac or sticky shelf paper to cover our desks.

    1 agrees

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