How to Create a Pretty and Productive Office Space

This is a guest post from Courtney Davis, mom and co-founder of the design and styling firm, Kelly + Olive.

Hi there, mogul moms! I’m Courtney, from the design and styling company Kelly + Olive.

Like many of you, I work from home so that I can maximize the time I get to spend with my 18 month old girl. And, like many of you, I feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

I work with clients on their home office setups all the time, helping them create spaces that are inspiring as well as productive. Here are a few tips that help me, and my clients, be as productive as we can, in that little window of time we have!

Tip #1: Make Pretty a Priority

Even if work requires only you and your laptop to get things done, having a workspace that is both practical and beautiful changes the way you feel when you sit down.

If your desk is cluttered, you’ll end up moving to the couch, and if you’re on the couch, you’ll end up switching on the TV, and before you know it, the afternoon’s productivity is out the window! So how to make it gorgeous? Sleek modern furniture that is comfy and easy to clean (wipe coffee rings off this acrylic desk in mere seconds), easy access storage that holds a ton, and a comfy place to sit worthy of a CEO like yourself. Don’t forget task lighting that’s easy on the eyes (in more ways than one), and a pretty print with an inspirational quote may be just what you need to “Make it Happen.”

(Print, Lamp, Wallpaper, Envelopes, Chair, Drawer Unit, Desk

Tip #2: Create a System that Works for You and Your Space

Often our home offices end up in unconventional spaces (mine is in a closet!), so why are we only shopping for conventional office storage solutions?

Don’t be afraid to look outside the office aisle when looking for storage ideas. Check the closet section: a hanging sweater bag might be the best solution for storing shipping supplies, or shoe cubbies could sort brochures, envelopes, and other printed materials.

Or, how about the kitchen aisle: a humble dish drainer can hold frequently accessed desktop files, and the silverware caddy can corral pens and highlighters.

And, don’t forget wall space for storage! A metal pegboard from the hardware store has a lot of small bins that attach to it which could be great for all kinds of supplies. There are also quite a few furniture solutions these days as well: a comfy file storage ottoman can turn a quiet reading corner into a satellite office. Just add laptop and your caffeinated beverage of choice, put your feet up, and get down to business!

(File storage ottoman, shoe and sweater hanging bag, pegboard, shoe cubby, dish rack)

#3 Keep it Stocked

A chef has her mise en place, you have your workspace.

It’s the worst feeling to get started working, only to realize you’re out of something, and can’t continue until you run and find it, or worse, have to go out and pick it up! Stock your workspace like you stock your pantry, or your purse.

For me, that means keeping an extra set of paint swatch fan decks at my desk (the other lives in the car for client visits) so I never have to run and grab them, and then make sure they get put back. It’s an added expense, but it’s worth it to save me time when I need it most. So don’t forget to add office supplies to your list when you’re headed to the wholesale club, and pick up a couple of rolls of stamps instead of one when you’re at the post office.

Those are Kelly + Olive’s tips for an uber-productive office! We hope they help you accomplish more in less time, and feel creative and inspired while you do it! Thanks so much for having us, Heather!

Note from Heather: I just loved these tips from Kelly + Olive – so out of the box! If you’d like more tips like this, check out Kelly + Olive’s blog and their Pinterest boards!


Courtney Davis

Co-Founder at Kelly & Olive
Courtney Davis is a mom and co-founder of the design and styling firm, Kelly + Olive.

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  1. Leelo Bush PhD

    Absolutely love this article. I also have a home office and feeling good in a beautiful office was my number one objective. I wanted it to be functional and luxurious at the same time. With a little planning, it is very possible to do. I hope you are out there coaching others to do this too. 🙂
    Love and blessings,

  2. Angie

    OMG love those groupings! Its so true, cute stuff can make your space more fun to organize. I love getting cute office supplies from Target and …. obsessed!

  3. Kiki Polglase

    All round super post – thank you ! Loved their Pinterest boards as well. x

      • Kiki Polglase

        Heather, I work in a ‘creative jungle’, as a friend called it, but really DO like and appreciate a pretty and ORDERLY space.
        In my case it is indeed like making an effort clearing and organising ( my studio actually IS pretty ‘underneath’ ), then the ‘jungle grows back fast….
        Kiki x

  4. Amber

    I couldn’t agree more!! Having a pretty work space is a TOP priority!!!

    So much easier to get work done and focus when I’m in nice surroundings. 🙂


    • Heather Allard

      I totally agree, Amber! It really does make a big difference. 🙂


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