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Bring your personality into your workspace

Home often expresses who we are, filled as it is with accumulated treasures and trinkets. But skip on over to the office cubicle — or, for that matter, an office with actual walls — and it can be a different story
By JENNIFER FORKER Modified: March 9, 2013 at 9:53 pm •  Published: March 11, 2013
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Soto suggests using lacquered boxes or stylish fiberboard boxes, like those sold at The Container Store. Good lighting, an attractive memo board, and at least one living plant or cut flowers are also essential for cultivating good cubicle ambience.

Soto likes to paint her frames in bright colors, as does Pezeshki, who's all in for the bling. That's the important thing: to decorate your cubicle according to your own personality, the three designers say.

If you like sports, use memorabilia. If you're a movie fan, go that route.

“For me, a place I want to be is a place surrounded by the things I love,” says Richter. “I think (the office cubicle) is an area where you can let your personality do the talking.”

More tips:

Keep it tasteful, says Richter, and check with your human resources manager before turning a cubicle into a fully furnished room. “There's a fine line between personalizing your desk and going overboard,” he says.

Ditch the sticky notes and the hanging calendar, which add clutter, Soto says. Lean a small dry-erase board against one wall and jot down notes there. Use an electronic calendar.

Hang an attractive fabric along the cubicle walls, attaching it with decorative pushpins. Hang framed artwork. “Anything to make the cubicle walls look like normal walls,” Soto says.

Cover bookshelves and cabinets with printed contact paper. “It instantly pulls together the look,” Pezeshki says. Pick five or six things currently sitting on your desk and replace them — pencil holder, frames, tape dispenser — with the look you want.


Office decorating tips

Old metal coffee tins and vintage ceramic planters for holding pens and other supplies.

Bring a desk lamp from home for task lighting; it'll cheer up the space.

Bring in low-water, lowlight plants — at least one. Two plants that are good at surviving indoor light are pothos and heartleaf philodendron. Peace lilies also crave low light and are excellent at cleaning indoor air.

For the memo board, frame a section of cork, dry-erase board or good-quality plywood painted with chalkboard paint. Frame it in a vintage frame — it's a tenth the price of a new frame — or float the memo board inside the cubicle wall's frame.

Add silver accents, including the metal “in/out” box for papers.

PHOTOS BY ASSOCIATED PRESS, STOCKBYTE, GETTY IMAGES AND HEMERA TECHNOLOGIES

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