I have my own office for the first time. In fact, it's my first office that I plan on staying in for a while. And despite my beautiful pond view, I had to do something about the sterile colors.
I'm in a very new and pristine building, and we have pretty strict rules about what we can and cannot do in our offices. So here's what I did! (And I don't think I broke any rules.)
1. I covered my gray cabinet doors in fabric.
Aren't the birds so great and silly? The fabric is from Ikea, and it was about $6.99. (When I was house-sitting this summer, Karen's kitchen drapes were made out of the same fabric.) Also, my idea wasn't original; a new history professor covered her cabinets first. Essentially all you do is wrap the cabinet doors with fabric. You can attach the fabric to the inside with box tape, magnets, or temporary hot glue.
Note: My comfy throw pillow is from Ikea, too. I'm pretty sure Dan will start charging my throw pillows rent if I bring anymore home. Clearly, I needed one in my office.
2. I decorated the walls, and I brought some green inside!
We are actually not allowed to hang anything on the walls ourselves; maintenance is supposed to come in and do it for us. However, whoever was in my office before me left picture nails in the walls. I brought in a print of my favorite Klimt painting (slightly creepy but very bad-ass little girl), and some art that my former students submitted as final projects for their literature classes. There is one student's painting on the wall and two on the windowsill (although they're hard to see). (From left to right: they are based on Flynn's Gone Girl, Weise's Book of Goodbyes, and Irving's Owen Meany.) And I bought a mini orchid and a stem of lucky bamboo from Ikea to bring some actual life into my office.
3. I personalized my bookshelf!
Besides bringing in my books (which I'm still doing), I also stocked up on tea and brought in my hot pot and an apothecary jar to stash my tea and snacks in. I decorated my bookshelf with Scrabble magnets and two of my former students' paintings (responding to Bierce's "Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and to Hughes's "Let America Be").