It’s January of 2021 and many Americans are hunkering down and preparing for a long winter season of working or learning from home, not exactly where any of us thought we’d be at this point. While being home certainly has its advantages- cozy pajamas from 9-5 and more time with family and pets- working in the same surrounding day in day out can be draining, especially if your space is lacking in inspiration. If your reading this slumped over on a couch amidst clutter and close to distractions (TV), now is the time to create the home office, or study space, of your dreams.


After the obvious tasks of decluttering a designated space in your home for working or studying (doesn’t have to be a separate room but try and dedicate enough space for a desk), take it to the next level with furniture and accessories that spark joy, with the right color pallet. Color can have a serious affect on mood- we interviewed Environmental Psychologist Sally Augustin for her take on the best hues for productivity during your work or school day and how to use them in the office to create a space that you love.


Lighten up

One of the most important aspects to color choice is brightness, or the amount of white mixed into a certain color. Dr. Augustin stated that it is best to choose brighter colors, more white mixed in, to use in an environment where knowledge based work is taking place. This makes the space more relaxing and calming and has positive effects on mood. This can affect how you problem solve and interact with other’s positively as well. Another advantage to lighter colors is they can make a space look bigger, which can be great for anyone spending a lot of time in their office.


Pick a Color

According to Dr. Augustin it’s not only the brightness of a color that can affect your mood. Her favorite picks for an office are dusty blues or sage greens (green has been shown to increase creativity in studies). Blue and green work harmoniously together, as they are next to each other on the color wheel, and these more subdued tones are preferred. The bolder, more saturated options like sapphire blue and kelly green, while great for increasing energy, can be overstimulating for an office setting. One color that can have adversary effects on your workday is red. She also mentioned that studies have shown even short exposure time to the color red can degrade your analytical performance.



Patterns on accent walls or on desk accessories can be a fun way to add some personality to your space. We checked in with Dr. Augustin to get her thoughts on using patterns to decorate the space where you work. She suggests using patterns with similar kinds of colors, close on the color wheel, and to keep them bright. Look for patterns that are not too complex visually and any shapes used should be more round with soft edges.


Find more Working & Learning inspiration 

Download and browse our Work & Learn from Home lookbook for makeover ideas, tips, DIY projects and engaging activities. 

Take a look