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7 Ways to Brighten Up a Drab Cubicle

Cubicle designers aren’t known to be the flashiest of folks.

They stick to simple modular structures in safe, if not boring, shades of beige, oatmeal, gray, off-white and linen.

Sure, the No. 1 job of office furniture is to be functional, but wouldn’t it be nice to walk into a cube that didn’t borrow its color palette from a hospital?

Well, lucky for you, your little humdrum workspace doesn’t have to be drab and colorless. With a few bright accessories, a new lamp or two and some ingenuity, you can make your cubicle the envy of the office.

Here’s how:

1. Add art.
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Show off your creative side by hanging up brightly colored (but noncontroversial!) works of art. You can buy it (this site specializes in cubicle art) or make some of your own. Pick up a small canvas and some paint at your local craft store and brush your workday stresses away – no art degree required to create a personalized piece of abstract art.

Painting courtesy of CubicleArt.blogspot.com

2. Add critters.
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You might not be able to take your dog to work every day (well, unless you work here) but you can bring a cute and useful reminder of Rover with the Morris Memo Holder (watch out it bites!).

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While you’re add it, pick up some uber-adorable animal-shaped paperclips.

3. Add lighting.
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The cold, dead fluorescent lighting in your office might get points for efficiency, but it certainly doesn’t when when it comes to style. Add some warmth and much-needed light to your desk with a small lamp. Browse handmade designs on Etsy.com for handcrafted styles.

4. Add wall coverings.
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If you would rather not have to look at the dull walls of your cubicle at all, consider covering them up. Painting the walls will probably be frowned upon by HR, but luckily there are plenty of other options. Pick up cheerful fabric, wallpaper or wrapping paper (note that the first two options will be sturdier) and hang it up using push pins or double-sided tape. Or, you could use Cubicle Paper – self-adhesive wallpaper for your cubicle (people really do think of everything!) Make sure the pattern is tasteful and not so busy that it distracts you from your work. Not only will the colorful walls cheer you up, but your boss will probably be impressed by your ingenuity and resourcefulness.

5. Add flowers.
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A pint-sized bouquet will add a nice pop of color and a little bit of the outdoors in your office. You don’t want your flowers overwhelming your desk (not to mention sneaking into your co-workers cube and causing them to sneeze), so use a small vase and stick to one or two types of flowers. Gerbera daisies, roses or peonies all have large and colorful blossoms that are suited for simple arrangements. If you don’t feel like replacing flowers weekly, buy fake ones (just make sure to dust them off periodically).

6. Add a window.
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No, we’re not talking about cutting a hole in your cubicle wall so you can stare at your neighbor all day. We’re talking about window-themed art. There were enough people pining after windows at work that at least one company got wise and started manufacturing laminated window murals. Why not give yourself the gift of an ocean view?

7. Add a smile.
My dog Messi portrait.
Nothing will brighten your day quite like a big smile. Find a picture of your kid, spouse, best friend, mom, dad or dog giving you their biggest grin and put a framed copy on your desk to remind you that there is more to life than work.

Photo courtesy of sarej on Stock.Xchng

Posted by James Wilkie

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