Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
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My new office needs some decor!

Today will be my third day of work, and I'm so happy and excited to be here.  One sad thing is my nearly-empty office...

It's awesome to have my own space, and I feel so much more productive than when I've worked in cubicles before, but it is kind of dreary in there with the fluorescent lamps, white walls, and nothing pretty to look at.  Want to see?
I will need art on the walls, I suspect, although that alone won't do it.  I would like plants, but there's almost no sunlight that gets to my office (maybe just a little through another office's door across the hall when it's open, but not much at all).  I am not used to the black/white color scheme, either!

I would love suggestions on office decor.  My favorite things in other people's offices are their kids' artwork and cool photos of their families, but I don't have any kids, so no artwork, and I feel kind of on-display putting up pictures of me and my fiancé for all my professional colleagues to see... I guess I'm just insecure about it for some reason.

What plants, art, or other things do you thinkg would work in here? What do you think??


  1. Katherine1/05/2011

    For a plant you might try Zamioculcas zamiifolia. It is a wonderful "office plant". It can stand irregular water, once or twice a month is fine, and seems to thrive on very little light. check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamioculcas

  2. I second the ZZ plant above. They thrive on neglect and are perfectly happy with no water and fluorescent lights. I sometimes leave mine in my office over the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc) and I don't even have a window. Its happy!

  3. bring in your own lamps! those florescents seem to suck the energy out of people :)

  4. And I second the lamps. I have a desk lamp and a tall floor lamp in my office so I NEVER have to turn on the over-head light.

  5. I had an aloe vera plant on my desk before we switched offices, and watered it only with the dregs from my cup of tea. It got really healthy... until I put it in my car to move it to the new office and it froze. Turns out aloe veras don't do well in the cold.

  6. Congratulations on the new office space. To dress up the office a bit. Hang a few awards of recognition along with a few framed colorful photos of festive events to brighten up the space. Happy New Year!

  7. I recently had an office without a single window- just three concrete walls in horrible white with a terrible blue door. It was awful. Fortunately, my job was creative, so decorating it with my previous designs and vintage vogue covers was perfectly acceptable. If you want to keep it corporate-appropriate, why not framing some vintage patterns- it's a little of your personality, but not so over-the-top as to be out of place.

    Congrats on the new job!

  8. As far as pictures go, I have a huge collage of pictures and I don't have kids. I'm barely in any of them - I have pictures of my nephews, friends, cousins, other family, etc. I found that I really like being surrounded by those I love, even if only in picture form, to remind me why I shouldn't go postal. ;)

  9. Anything colorful will help, plants absolutely. Greens and yellows will liven up the black/gray/white color scheme. Art would be great: a large poster or mosaic of small prints... but depends on what's appropriate for your biz or dept. I'm sure you can express your creativity somehow. Hope the new job is a great success.

  10. Gretchen Hayman1/05/2011

    Congratulations on the new job and actually having an office to call your own!

    As for decoration, if you have some colorful squares of fabric (or scarfs) that you like, you could frame them or get get some small canvas stretchers and staple the fabric around the stretcher. Instant wall art that has some meaning for you. I used this trick when we were selling our house and I needed inexpensive, neutral art for one of the bedrooms. I covered three stretchers with pieces of decorator fabric I had lying about. Quick, easy and lovely.

  11. Not quite professional, but oh-so-cheery -- bunting. Even a small string would do.

    Good Luck on the new job.


  12. You should do a couple easy little embroidery projects and leave them in the hoops to put on the wall. I love that look!

  13. Well, now you've done it!

    I had to do a blog post about decorating my office.

    Here you go!

  14. Anonymous1/05/2011

    You will do a great job decorating I am sure of it - I hope you will show us an "after" picture!
    Check out Pothos plants - very hardy and do well with low lighting.
    Maybe make a rolled fabric wreath, in a pretty color, to bring your love of sewing/fabrics into the room!
    Lastly, you really should put one of your darling engagement pics on your desk, even if it is a small one! =)

  15. Lucky you, you have an office! I put up a calendar that I really like, instead of the bland company calendar. Some people put up there interests (pre-sorry for the ideas, I work with mostly guys) car photos, vintage maps of the world, framed degrees etc.
    I have a picture of the city that I live in from 1966 and stuff from my alma mater (Gig'em Aggies!) I also have my own lamp because the lights in my office give me a headache.
    I would suggest a color scheme and stick with it because it looks professional.
    Last but not least, you probably shouldn't bring in candles or incense because candles are fire hazards and the smell from the incense may make someone sick or give them headaches. (Dealt with that and it's no fun!)
    Sorry this is long but I know where you are coming from! Congrats again!

  16. I second the idea of the vintage patterns, or the material.
    What about the engagement shot of you guys that's just your shoes?
    Have fun deciding :)

  17. Lots of plants survive perfectly well under fluorescent lighting as well! Go to a flower shop or a nursery and ask for some richly productive plants so you have lots of oxygen (it makes a difference, trust me) and tell them that it'll be growing under fluorescent lighting. I second the vintage fabric idea, you must have scraps that you can put under matting and frame! It'd look pretty and very unique. Maybe even words formed from lace?

  18. Get a grouping of succulents- they do great even without natural light and look mod in a concrete or ceramic pot.

  19. You could use cute frames for photos of your favorite flowers. Also there are tons of lively/colorful storage bins and office organizers like pencil cups and desky things. Lucky you have your own office! Belated congrats on the new job :)

  20. Try air plants for your office -- they were all the rage in the 70s (at least that's what I hear) and they need very little light and/or water. Just a spritz. I LOVE mine and it's basically impossible to kill.

  21. I love the idea of adding some decorative embroidery, some framed fabric, or a hand made quilt wall hanging. You've got to have a little DIY in that office.

  22. This year I got my first office, too. I made it more "me" by bringing in a lamp I added my own touches to ( see here at: http://apearledlife.blogspot.com/2010/09/lamp-re-vamp.html), and then I printed out some of these free prints (http://indiefixx.com/Feed_your_soul/downloads.html) and put them in inexpensive frames. They are bright and cheery and I love them in my office. Congrats on the job!

  23. I also don't have kids and don't want to go crazy with pictures of me and my husband. Even at home (which is actually where my office is, now) I decorate only with things with some type of meaning. I use a lot related to our colleges (luckily the mascots are bees and scotties and I also have a class mascot that works) or things like travel photos and now our pup. I don't use licensed stuff for the college items, just motifs. It's a great way to choose which vintage prints plus mix and match. Most people don't think "college mascot" (or whatever it stands for) so it's meaningful to you but not "all about me."
    I also had a coworker that did the lamps as mentioned above plus an oriental rug and a small glass table. She also had a windowless office but it was fabulous.

  24. These are such great ideas!!

    I will have to go to a plant store and ask them what they think, since I know very little about plants... also, I will be getting a nicer lamp or floor lamp once I get my P-card, so the lighting will definitely help!

    I am thinking about getting some cute fabric to cover the bulletin board things with, and definitely need to go to IKEA and get some new Ribba frames and put cool things in them... I guess it doesn't have to be family, but I do love pics of places I've been that I've taken. Thanks again for your ideas!!

  25. A plantlight will take care of the lack of windows.

    A lot of good ideas you got.

  26. Your office needs some color...how about a pretty colorful dish with some marbles in it?

  27. Congratulations! you could still incorporate a picture frame of you and your fiance but change the picture around in photoshop so that it looks artsy (black and white, sketch, etc) that way it dosent feel like on-display at all and it would be artsy. Good Luck!


  28. Oh the possibilities! An empty office is just as exciting as a blank piece of paper. Oh, that sounds weird but I mean because of the blank slate aspect not the asylum aspect...

    Anyway, I am completely behind the "bring your own lamps" plan. Also, if you want plants, why not look into a grow light?

    You also have a little window thingie calling for a covering - a swag, a panel, sparkly beads.

    As for the black and white thing, embrace it! Select an accent color you adore. Make silhouettes of you and the fiance to hang instead of photos. Frame vintage pattern envelopes and matte them in your accent color. Get a shawl or a blanket to toss over the back of your chair. Are you allowed to do anything with the ceiling tiles. You can now get those suckers in an amazing number of colors and patterns - I adore the ones that resemble pressed tin. Or get a few paper lanterns or pom poms to cluster in the corner. .They are so light weight you can hang them from the little metal cross squares with paperclips.

    Congratulations! And good luck!

  29. I feel the same way. I love seeing pictures of family, but pictures of just me and my husband seemed too personal. I really like the idea of stretched fabric. One thing that makes me smile at my office is a "mug rug" that I quilted with a few fun fabrics & a favorite coffee cup that I use every afternoon for a tea break. Have fun and congratulations on the job!

  30. Thanks! I love the idea of black and white photos or something else simple but artsy. I will have to order some prints!
    I will have to embrace the black and white!

  31. I didn't read through all the comments, so I might be repeating someone else's plant suggestion, but orchids are low light plants that are easy to take care of...two ice cubes a week! That's it! They're also VERY pretty and you can find them in multiple colors! =)

  32. Anonymous1/07/2011

    How about pinning up some accent wallpaper with tacks for a really quick and easy face-lift?

    A bright, laser-cut felt place mat would look bold and funky on top of the filing cabinet

    A vase of flowers would brighten the place up and low-level desk lighting is definitely your friend :)

  33. I have some bamboo shoots in stones in a vase with water - in my kitchen that gets very little light. You could try that. Makes me feel very zen too.
    (here's a photo of my kitchen that includes the bamboo:



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