Creative Workspaces: 4 Ideas for Decorating Your Cubicle (and Why It Matters)

By Susan Schoenberger Mar 31, 2017
Susan's Cubicle

When you moved in to wherever you live, how much time did you think about decorating your home? Whether you own or rent and regardless of whether it’s big or small, you probably spent some time figuring out where to place your furniture, thinking about what color to paint the walls, deciding which pictures to hang, and which keepsakes to put on display. Everyone does – that’s because we instinctively want to make our environment feel comfortable. We don’t just want to be at home, we want to feel at home.

Why It Matters to Have Creative Workspaces

Now, consider how much time we spend at work: on average, eight hours a day – sometimes more. If you spend more time at work than you do in your living room, then why not spend some time making that work space feel like home, too?

I sit in an office cubicle with five-foot walls covered in beige, burlap-textured fabric and gray storage cabinets. I love my job, but the space in my cube was a lot less like home and more like solitary confinement on Shutter Island. To remedy that, I used some simple tricks to make it more like my home away from home. Below are my tips on how you might do the same.

4 Ideas for Decorating Your Cubicle

1. Brighten up those walls

If you have boring cubicle walls, cover them in brightly colored fabric or, for a less expensive option, vibrantly patterned wrapping paper. I used fabric with lots of orange to show my Schneider pride and for a visual punch. Tuck the edges under the cubicle frame or fold the cut edge of the paper to keep things neat. Keep the fabric or paper in place by using standard t-pins, or mix things up and use upholstery tacks or decorative pins. If you have hard walls, you could apply fun, removable decals.

2. Hang framed prints

There are millions of inexpensive frame choices available, and ripping an eye-catching print out of a magazine takes only a minute. I took an old map of my hometown (shout out to Minneapolis) and cut the section that showed my old neighborhood. I threw that in a frame from home I wasn’t using. For zero cost I now have a picture that makes me happy every time I look at it. You could use concert posters or canvas prints of family and friends. Framed mirrors or landscape scenes can help make space seem bigger.

3. Organize with a splash of color

I solved the problem of the gray cabinets by leaving the doors open and filling them with inexpensive storage bins of various colors, sizes and textures. The containers accomplish two things: it keeps my stuff organized – and they add some visual variety. I mixed in three-ring binders, photo boxes and magazine holders that have bold hues and interesting designs.

4. Don’t forget the desk top

I spruced things up with a graphic-print wireless mouse and a fancy mouse pad. Then, I put some orange artificial flowers in an art deco container, slipped a woven cloth placemat under my phone, and set out my 24-carat gold Swingline stapler. Keep your desk tidy – otherwise all your décor gets lost in (and adds to) the clutter.

Obviously, any changes you make shouldn’t be permanent, leave damage or break facility rules.

No walls? Working in a truck? Sitting in a call center? Share a desk? It doesn’t matter – most of these ideas could easily be adapted to any workspace. There countless simple ways you can make your space more interesting and reflect your personality. Why bother? Your environment directly affects your mental state of being – and the more time spent in that environment, the bigger the effect. My decorated cube helps inspire my creativity and makes me feel at home in my work home.

We’d love to hear about your home away from home. What are some of your ideas for decorating your cubicle or making a creative workspace?

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About the Author

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Susan is an Internal Communications Manager in the Marketing department where she is responsible for communicating enterprise messages that reach Schneider associates at all levels, roles and locations. She is proud to serve on the Schneider Foundation board supporting their philanthropic efforts. She has been with Schneider since 2016; she previously worked in the insurance and financial service industries. When she’s not writing communications, Susan usually has her nose in a book.

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