How can I breathe life into an uninspiring corner workspace?

Your question

My office is in a corner, away from any window or natural light. It’s well lit but I still find it depressing and uninspiring. What’s wrong, and what can I do to breathe some life into it?

Our answer

It may not be a question of light but rather the impression your space is giving out. A corner can feel like a box or an institutional cubicle, so why not turn your desk into the corner and create a feature of your work space? Then you’ll have a more interesting semi-circular area to decorate.

A wall of shelves can be pretty and hold lots of things more interesting than files and supplies. Put personal treasures, photos and art amongst necessary items, and keep the rest out of peripheral view.

My art professor used to remind me that ‘There’s no output without input,’ so why not create a pretty pinboard for the opposite wall to inspire you with cards, notes and cartoons?

In the office in the picture, the answer was to build a triangular desk into the corner. The shelves were already in place with the lovely finished edges, but you can easily buy finishing mouldings for your own purpose-built shelves. Wall paper behind the shelves creates interest and warmth, giving the impression of a room, not a sterile office.

You can also turn an ordinary corkboard into an inpsiring work of art using an ornate frame and patterned fabric.

If you’re longing for a window with a view, try picking a leafy screen saver to welcome you to work. Use a photo of a favourite spot – your garden at its best, a holiday shot of the seaside, or a dreamy waterfall. A mental trip to this from time to time is a known stress buster!

Answered by Janet Pain, author of the blog Janet’s Workshop, where you’ll find tips on selecting tools, building simple DIY shelves, and even making framed pinboards. You’ll also find lots more inspiring ideas for small home offices on our Pinterest board.