Home Office Makeover: Quick Cheer-Up Tips

how to cher up your home office

Working from home? You're not alone. Many people have been working remotely since the COVID-19 pandemic. But how do you cheer up your home office? Well, there are plenty of ways to improve your comfort and happiness without breaking the bank.

First off, a pair of headphones is a worthwhile investment. They don't have to be expensive, but they can make a big difference in how you sound to others on video calls. Noise-cancelling headphones can also help you focus by blocking out ambient sounds.

Another simple way to improve your setup is to raise your monitor or laptop so that your eyes are level with the top of the screen. This will help you maintain better posture and avoid neck strain. Adding a back pillow to your chair will provide lumbar support and make sitting for long periods more comfortable.

To improve your video call setup, ensure you have good lighting. Try to position yourself near a window during daylight hours, or use a table lamp or selfie light to brighten your face.

Plants are also a great way to cheer up your home office. Studies have shown that proximity to nature boosts productivity and decreases stress. If you're on a budget, you can take clippings from friends' plants or ivy found outdoors, root them, and pot them in upcycled containers.

Other ideas to consider include keeping chargers and cables tidy, using aromatherapy, and adding personal touches like photos or colourful stationery to your desk.

So, there you have it! A few simple and inexpensive changes can go a long way in cheering up your home office and making your workspace more inviting and productive.

Characteristics Values
Lighting Natural light, table lamp, selfie light
Decorations String lights, coloured sticky notes, illustrated quotes, plants
Desk accessories Funky desk lamp, upgraded stationary, desk plant
Desk organisation Tidy desk, clear surfaces, organised drawers, cable management
Wall decorations Positive affirmations, motivational quotes, photos of friends and family
Snacks Healthy snacks, favourite snacks
Music Uplifting music
Scents Essential oils, candles


Add some colour with fairy lights or bright decorations

Adding some colour with fairy lights or bright decorations is a great way to cheer up your home office. Fairy lights can be used in a variety of ways to create a cosy, magical, or elegant atmosphere.

One way to add colour to your home office is to hang fairy lights across the ceiling in a zigzag pattern. This will create a relaxed look and add a subtle ambiance to the room. You can also wind the lights around any bookshelves, greenery, or other items on display to highlight your decor and make it stand out.

If you have a mirror or a favourite mirror frame in your home office, you can wrap the fairy lights around it to create a brightly lit corner that will light up the entire room. This can make you feel like a celebrity and add a touch of glamour to your space.

For a more creative approach, you can fill glass jars or Mason jars with fairy lights and place them on side tables, dressers, or shelves. This will add a warm and inviting glow to your home office while also being a unique decorative piece.

Fairy lights can also be used to create a romantic or elegant setting. You can drape them over your furniture, such as a four-poster bed, and pair them with pastel-coloured curtains to create a magical atmosphere. This can be a great way to add colour and charm to your home office while also making it feel more comfortable and inviting.

In addition to fairy lights, you can also use bright decorations to cheer up your space. Consider hanging colourful plastic balls or origami flowers that you've made yourself. These DIY decorations will add a personal touch to your home office and make it feel more like your own.


Bring nature inside with flowers or indoor plants

Greenery has gained popularity in recent years, and for good reason. Bringing nature indoors is a great way to cheer up your home office, and it's easy to do.

Adding flowers or indoor plants to your home office is a simple way to bring nature inside. Not only do they add a decorative touch, but they also improve your mood and have a relaxing effect, benefiting your mental, spiritual, and physical health. Houseplants also filter noxious pollutants from the air. If you're looking for low-maintenance options, succulents or cacti are great choices. For something more involved, try growing herbs or citrus trees. Herbs like mint and basil smell wonderful and can be used in cooking.

When it comes to placement, don't be afraid to cluster plants together for maximum impact. Include plants at different levels, such as on the floor, on tables, or near the ceiling. Even the bathroom shouldn't be overlooked, as some plants thrive in humid environments. Incorporating natural light is also important, so keep curtains open whenever possible.

In addition to plants, you can bring nature inside by decorating with natural elements. Opt for rattan or wood furniture, which are typically associated with the outdoors. Display items like stones, pine cones, branches, or pieces of driftwood on shelves or countertops. You can also fill a vase with wildflowers or create your own artwork by taking photos of nature scenes and hanging them on the wall.


Make your space comfortable with a back pillow

Making your space comfortable with a back pillow is a great way to cheer up your home office. The right back pillow can help reduce pressure and tension in the neck and shoulders, promote spinal alignment, and provide comfort and improved sleep quality.

When choosing a back pillow, consider its loft, or height. The pillow should be tall enough to support your head and neck and keep your spine aligned. You may need to try a few different pillows to find the one that works best for you. Some pillows have an adjustable loft, allowing you to customise the height by adding or removing filling.

In addition to loft, consider the firmness of the pillow. The best firmness for your back pillow will depend on your sleeping position and weight, among other factors. The pillow should strike a balance between comfort and support. If you are a back sleeper, you may prefer a medium to firm pillow, while stomach sleepers often prefer a softer pillow.

The shape of your back pillow is also important. Look for a pillow that retains its shape without constant fluffing or adjusting, as this can help you sleep without interruptions. Some pillows are contoured for additional neck support.

Finally, consider the price and quality of the back pillow. Setting a budget is essential when shopping for a new pillow. Polyester and down-alternative pillows are often more affordable, while memory foam, latex, buckwheat, or down fill pillows may be more expensive. Investing in a high-quality pillow may cost more upfront, but these pillows typically last longer and provide more consistent support.

By choosing the right back pillow and considering factors such as loft, firmness, shape, price, and quality, you can make your home office space more comfortable and inviting.

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Raise your screen to eye level

One of the easiest ways to protect your health when working at a desk is to arrange your workplace ergonomically. This means setting up your work area in a way that is comfortable and efficient, and that protects your health. A key part of this is the position of your computer monitor.

The position of your monitor influences the posture of your neck and back, so it's important to get it right. If your neck and back are out of alignment, this can lead to musculoskeletal injuries and chronic pain, which could impact your job performance and overall well-being. Even if you aren't in pain, a well-positioned monitor can make working more comfortable and enable you to focus better.

The top of your monitor should be at eye level when you are sitting up straight in your office chair. If your chin is tilted down or you're looking up to view your monitor, it is either too low or too high. You can adjust the height of your monitor by buying an external monitor stand, or by using a hard book to raise it up. Make sure the book is wide and sturdy enough so that the monitor isn't at risk of falling over.

The distance of your monitor from your eyes is also important. A good way to ensure your monitor is the correct distance away is to use your arm as a metric. Stretch your arm out in front of you and touch the monitor with your fingertips. For most people, this will be around 50–100 cm away from you. Having your monitor an arm's length away means that the screen is close enough to not cause eye strain, but far enough away that you can see the entire screen without excessively moving your head.

The angle of your monitor is also important. The top of the monitor should be at eye level, or at around 0–30 degrees. Your eye level should always be perpendicular to the screen, and you should be able to easily see the screen while looking forward with a straight back and neck.


Improve lighting for video calls

Lighting is a crucial aspect of video calls, as it can affect how you are perceived by others. Here are some tips to improve your lighting for video conferences and look more vibrant and professional:

Natural Light:

  • Choose a spot near a window to leverage natural light, which is softer and brighter than artificial light. Ensure consistent lighting by selecting a window with steady light during your meeting times.
  • Position your desk directly in front of the window so that natural light falls on your face. Avoid sitting with your back or side to the window, as this will cast shadows.
  • If the natural light is too strong, use semi-transparent curtains to reduce intensity, or slightly close the curtains or adjust blinds to diffuse the light.

Artificial Lighting:

  • If natural light is unavailable, use artificial lighting sources like lamps or overhead lights. Place the brightest light source directly in front of you or at a 45-degree angle to create flattering lighting and avoid harsh shadows.
  • Avoid overhead lighting if possible, as lamps and natural light tend to produce better results.
  • Use LED bulbs, which are cooler, more energy-efficient, and often adjustable in terms of colour and brightness.
  • Choose bulbs with a colour temperature of around 5000K, which is similar to bright afternoon sunlight and provides a balance of warm and cool light.

Three-Point Lighting:

  • For more advanced setups, consider three-point lighting, which uses three light sources to create a balanced and shadowless effect.
  • The key light, placed in front of you and slightly off-centre, is the primary light that illuminates your face.
  • The fill light, placed on the opposite side of the key light at the same angle, fills in the shadows and is dimmer than the key light.
  • The backlight, placed out of sight behind you and directed at your head, creates a halo effect, adding depth and making you stand out from the background.

Diffuse Harsh Lighting:

  • To soften bright, direct light that may wash you out, use diffusion techniques. This involves passing light through a semi-transparent surface, such as a shower curtain or parchment paper, to create a softer, scattered light that reduces shadows.
  • Keep the diffuser at least 2 feet away from the light source for safety reasons.

Reduce Reflections:

Reflective surfaces in your background can be distracting and cause issues with your camera's adjustment. Remove or reposition reflective objects, or redirect your lighting to avoid reflections on screen.

Avoid Harsh Backlighting:

Bright lights or windows behind you can create a silhouette effect or cause glare for others on the call. Turn off or move lights behind you, and avoid sitting with a window at your back unless you can close the blinds or curtains.

Test and Adjust:

Before your video call, test your lighting and make adjustments as needed. Preview how you look on the call and fine-tune the lighting to ensure a professional and well-lit appearance.

By following these tips, you can improve your lighting for video calls, making yourself more visible, looking more professional, and enabling better non-verbal communication.

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Frequently asked questions

There are several ways to cheer up your home office without breaking the bank. Here are some ideas:

Hang up illustrated quotes or typographic prints.

Improve the lighting in your office. Get a funky desk lamp or let in more natural light.

What are some simple ways to make my home office more comfortable?

Adjust your monitor or laptop to eye level to improve your posture.

Get a comfortable pair of headphones to improve your video call experience and focus.

How can I keep my home office organised and clutter-free?

Dedicate a space for papers and other items that tend to clutter your desk.

Keep a cloth on hand to wipe down your screen and desk, and to maintain a dust-free space.

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