What Are the Best Tips for Cubicle Decoration?

Lumara Lee

Some people spend over 2,000 hours a year working in a cubicle. This can be a sterile environment, so personalizing it can make the workplace more pleasant and help to keep the worker motivated. Before changing the look of the cubicle, it is important to find out if company policy allows the use of decorations. If it does, cubicle decoration can be as simple as adding a few photographs or a colorful calendar. Going overboard with cubicle decoration, however, can detract from maintaining a professional environment.

Some employers have strict rules about what can and cannot be done when decorating a cubicle.
Some employers have strict rules about what can and cannot be done when decorating a cubicle.

Some themes should be avoided when decorating a cubicle. Political, racist, or religious themes can disrupt a working environment, so should not be used. Erotic paintings or statues can get a person in trouble and should be avoided as well. If a cubicle is shared by two or more people, it is important to make sure that any decorations are acceptable to all workers in the space.

Desk lamps are common in cubicles.
Desk lamps are common in cubicles.

Many cubicles are done completely in gray, with gray walls, counters, and carpeting. Adding a lamp with a colorful shade can help break up the monotony. There are many different styles and colors to choose from, so it is easy to find a lamp that will reflect an individual's taste.

Peace lilies are popular office plants.
Peace lilies are popular office plants.

Plants can add life and color to a cubicle. Some plants that do well with the lighting in an office environment are the peace lily, kalanchoe, small cacti, and sanseveria, also known as snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue. African violets also thrive in an office and add a splash of color with their constant blooms. Silk flowers are an attractive option for cubicle decoration for those without green thumbs or who do not have the time to water or fertilize desk plants.

Hanging a painting or colorful poster will add color to a dreary workspace. For example, sports enthusiasts can display trophies or football pennants to make the cubicle more inviting. Another option for cubicle decoration is to change the decor with each season or holiday.

If a company doesn’t allow cubicle decoration, there are still a few things that can be done to personalize the work area. All computers have screen savers, and it is easy to set one up that will appeal to the individual. This might be a series of photos or a colorful, changing pattern. A scrolling marquee with a favorite quote or inspirational saying can be used as a screen saver, which can be changed daily. It is also possible to purchase colorful folders to organize paperwork or use a mouse pad that reflects a hobby or a favorite piece of art.

Parents of student athletes may decorate their cubicle with sports memorabilia.
Parents of student athletes may decorate their cubicle with sports memorabilia.

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Discussion Comments


If I had to decorate a cubicle these days I would take inspiration from those people who have been making Post It pictures in the windows of office buildings.

It's actually quite amazing what kind of pictures can be made with simple squares of paper.

I'd use the mini Post Its, since it will be a smaller space, and make sure that the office manager knows what you're doing and that you're using your own supplies and not raiding the office (since your handiwork will be quite obvious!).

I'd also look for other cubicle decorating ideas online. I'm sure there are whole websites dedicated to the amazing things you can do with such a small and bland space.

@umbra21 - I think people should be able to express their religion as well, but I do agree with the article here. Religion is just too contentious. You might claim to be a Satanist and insist on being able to put up those religious symbols, but those are going to be offensive to any Christians in the office.

In an ideal world, maybe everyone would be completely tolerant, but we don't live in that world. And I assume that most decent workplaces will have a dress code that allows small religious symbols in jewelry and so forth. So it's not like people can't express themselves at all.

I just think that it can be really hard for some people to have to deal with other religions and it's better to have a blanket ban than picking and choosing what can be put up and what can't.


I don't think people should have to completely refrain from any kind of religious decoration. As long as there aren't any really intolerant people in the office, I don't think anyone will mind a small cross or another religious symbol.

One thing you need to be careful of, though, is using religious symbols in an inappropriate way when choosing cubicle decor.

I think religion and art mix really well, and I even think that people should be allowed to be offensive, particularly if they are trying to get across a particular message.

However, the office is not an appropriate place for that kind of thing. Even if you are displaying, say, a sacred heart symbol because you think it looks interesting, religious people might take offense to that. And in an environment where they can't walk away from it, or ignore it, I think it's best to try and be as non-offensive as possible, just out of common courtesy.

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