Working | Decor

Personalize your work area with style

Think outside the box — the photo frame or the bulletin board, that is — in bringing personal photos into the work space.

"People are kind of looking for style everywhere now," says Samantha Thorpe, senior home design editor for Better Homes and Gardens magazine. "They want to make their (work) place look more personal and pretty."

Ideas include applying images to surprising surfaces — a porcelain vase, a lamp shade or inside a clear glass jar.

"A lot of us spend so much time in our offices. We should try to incorporate the people we love into our spaces," says Rachael Liska, senior editor at Fresh Home magazine.

The key is to decorate a work space for attractiveness without distractions.

"It's kind of this whole decluttering feeling," Thorpe says. "Declutter your photos and declutter your work space. It makes your space feel more organized."

Better Homes and Gardens' photo-displaying ideas for the home often can translate to the office. Thorpe suggests painting or decoupaging a simple desk organizer, adding a few sentimental words such as "Worth a thousand words" with stencils or scrapbook letters, and grouping matted photos on top of that.

If the photo mattes are the same color, it lends consistency — thus elegance — to the collection. Displaying only black and white photos helps, too.

Another easy tip: Thorpe suggests tucking computer-printed photos — again, preferably in black and white — inside clear glass jars that then can be used for pencils and other office supplies. The photos can be switched out at any time.

From a recent issue of Fresh Home, Liska shares several home-to-office photo-keepsake ideas:

Print a simple black-and-white image onto a clear or white self-adhesive label, available at office-supply stores, and attach it to a smooth surface, such as a ceramic vase.

Or print a family photo onto photo-transfer fabric and wrap it around an existing lamp shade; attach with decorative brads, or spray with fabric adhesive or liquid fabric glue.

Another use for a larger image printed onto photo-transfer fabric: Stretch it across a stretcher frame or a pre-existing canvas frame and staple into place for a canvas painting look.

For the traditionalist who wants to showcase framed images, here's something new: Kodak has created a "metallic" paper for printing digital images, which adds brightness and sharpness to photos.

Jeff Lawson, store manager of Wolf Camera at Colorado Mills in Lakewood, Colo., says the metallic printing process works best for pictures that have high color contrasts, so black-and-white images are ideal. And outdoor scenes work best.

Personalize your work area with style 10/12/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 5:30am]

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