Designer Ashley Brooke shares how to style a desk three ways! |


Let’s Break It Down

I’m a desk girl…always have been and always will be. I try on occasion to work from a coffee shop or “on location” somewhere, but it never really ends up working for me. I get distracted and end up down a Pinterest rabbit hole, so for the most part I work from my desk. Since it’s where I spend the majority of my time, I like to keep it looking inspired and fresh! But, I’ve got to be honest with you. As of late, it’s been looking less “inspired” and “fresh” and more messy. So, I wrote this post for both me and you. I am hoping this will jumpstart a new season of desk inspiration for all of us!

Also, I’m circling this post back to an Instagram Story I did recently did on “How to Style a Nightstand“. Quite a few of you asked me to do a post on how to style a desk, so your wish is my command! I hope you enjoy!


Triangles, Always Triangles:


Designer Ashley Brooke shares how to style a desk three ways! |


I have a degree in Interior Design, and worked in the field after college for a bit. So, whipping up this VERY rough sketch felt like I was returning back to my roots! Plus, the sketch is a fun visual way to explain all of the basics before we get into the fun stuff, the decor.

Let me just start by saying TRIANGLES ARE EVERYTHING. When I was growing up, I heard the word “triangle” literally every day of my life because my dad is an artist. If you look closely, you will see lots of tiny triangles in his photographs. As a result, whether I’m designing a room or an illustration, I see things in layered triangles. I always start with that in mind because it’s what I know. And, it’s honestly what ends up being the most pleasing to the eye. 

In this sketch, you can see the three triangles, one big overarching one and two layered ones on either side, building up to that main triangle with smaller vignettes layered in. Does that make sense? Anyway, keep this in mind when you are designing. This way you are able to keep a space looking balanced without being completely and utterly symmetrical. Balance is key!

Side Note: I said “triangle” 187 times in those last few sentences, I’m sorry. Welcome to my childhood! 

Designer Ashley Brooke shares how to style a desk three ways! | 

The Basics:

When designing a space, especially a desk, I keep a few categories in mind:

1. Light – Do you need extra light? And, do you have space for light? I don’t like lamps on my desk because I need all of the space I can get, so I usually gravitate toward a floor lamp.

2. Inspiration – I like to keep something close by that offers inspiration. Whether it’s a quote or a pin board, inspiration at a desk is KEY!



3. Resources – I always have Pantone books, design guides, and more close by and on my desk because I never know when I’ll need them!

4. Tech / Tools – These are obvious. 

5. Art – Keeping art on or near my space helps it feel more creative and less of a crazy mess (like mine is right now). Frame pieces you love to keep you inspired. 



6. Living Element – This is so important. Call me the crazy plant lady, but I believe that every space needs a living element. If you don’t like plants, get a gold fish. 

7. Whimsy – Lastly, get yourself something interesting for your space. Think of it as an icebreaker piece, like a hat hanging on the wall or a funky cat figurine. This is where you can let your inner weirdo shine!


Designer Ashley Brooke shares how to style a desk three ways! |


Know Your Colors:

Whether you are an all pink girly-girl, a classic prep, or an eclectic traveler, figure out your colors is next.  Think about the colors that feel the most like you, and go from there. The easiest way to do this is to look in your closet and see what colors you have the most of because it will usually tell you a little something about yourself! 

Once you’ve figured out your palette, stick to it and really lean in and see what you can do with the colors you love. If you are more of a neutral girl, mix in your favorite straw hat with some of your art prints. There are so many options!



Designer Ashley Brooke shares how to style a desk three ways! |


Desk Accessories

Now that you have the basics in place and know your colors, it’s time to add in personal touches and accessories. I’m always adding pieces like a great coffee mug, a desk calendar, and a notepad or two. Just because you are at work does not mean your space can’t feel sophisticated, bight, and inspirational. Adding in a few extra pieces will make your work day feel a bit more fun!



You Are Ready! 

Okay, now you know just about everything there is to know about setting up your space! I can’t wait to see what you do with yours, and you’ll have to let me know if you try out these techniques! 

Happy designing, friends!

P.S. Here are a Few of My Favorite Desk Items:



Desk photographed by Danielle Nichol Photography 


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    • Hi Allie,

      I downloaded mine from! It’s the best. I think you’re going to love it.


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