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Minimalist Desk: How to Make Your Beautiful Workspace Oasis

a photo of a clean minimalist desk

Regardless of whether you’re a minimalist, any working professional and desk owner can benefit from an efficient and serene minimalist desk.

Clutter often heralds the Grim Reaper of creativity—not to mention how a cluttered desk negatively impacts productivity. Mountains of paper lead to mountains of confusion. Not to mention that it makes finding necessities all the more difficult.

So how can you escape this disorganization? For starters, try cutting down on unnecessary “stuff” by taking a hint from Monet. Keep your workspace simple.

So, let’s take a look at the characteristics of a minimalist desk along with some tips to bring sanity and organization to your workstation.

Minimalist Desk Qualities

an uncluttered table with a laptop workstation

A minimalist desk is characterized by… well… as little as possible. The desktop possesses clean lines and neutral colors. Not bare, per se, but lacking any uninspiring distraction.

Other well-known traits of a minimalist desk:

  • “Invisible storage” (located elsewhere in the room)
  • Wrapped and organized cords or (better yet) no cords
  • Small desktop lamp or natural light only
  • Ergonomic yet comfy chair

When creating this serene workspace style, less is definitely more. Objects are chosen with intention. A premium placed on function. Although that doesn’t mean sacrificing form. 

Please don’t mistake the minimalist desk for boring or drab. Because you can still incorporate a subtle, personal touch without sacrificing the serenity of order and tidiness. For example, pops of color, avant garde design, and captivating artwork.

Minimalist Desk Décor Ideas

a minimalist desk against a bright orange wall

Decorating is not forbidden from the minimalist desktop. 

At the same time, accessories, pictures, and furnishings are kept to a minimum. Hence the name minimalist desk. 

We don’t mean to suggest you sweep everything into the trash can. It means that the objects you do choose to keep atop your desk represent a strong emotional connection or distinct expression of character. This includes merely decorative elements.


A small potted plant, for instance, can add a pop of color. A miniature succulent would be ideal. Another good option is a Bonsai which enhances the aesthetic quality of your minimalist desk without taking up a lot of room. Plus, the Bonsai tree is a symbolic microcosm of the thoughts that go into a minimalist desk.


Also, simple and potentially necessary accessories can serve the dual purpose of function and form. For instance, receptacles for writing utensils, paperclips, and other supplies. Place a prominence on beauty when it comes to these items, and you’ll have a minimalist desk worth admiring.


It’s more than okay to include one or two mementos. Like your baseball that was autographed by A-Rod might fit into the picture. But keep in mind the keyword is “fit,” because you want to maintain a balance between empty and filled space. Too many keepsakes make for a cluttered desk, which does disservice to the keepsakes by causing them to ultimately blend together.


When looking at functional accessories for your minimalist desks, include a healthy dose of lighting. This can come from as simple a source as a desk lamp with a small base. If you want to splurge, there are some high-end options such as light strips and other small footprint lighting sources.

Also, don’t forget to maximize the overhead lighting, which eliminates the need for a large lamp. This can be track lighting or simply the bulbs from an overhead fan. There’s nothing as minimal as nothing at all.

Or you can simply situate your desk close to a large window that allows for plenty of natural light. Pull back the curtain and let the sun be your time clock, starting with sunrise and winding down with the sunset. There’s not much in this world more soothing than a well lit room completely free of artificial light.


A work of art can be an astounding addition to a workspace: a conversation piece, a source of inspiration or reflection, and a welcome rest for the eyes.

If you’re an art collector, bring some of your favorite pieces into the workspace your desk calls home. For larger pieces, hang them nearby. For smaller ones, place them directly on the desk in an unobtrusive but honorific position.

Don’t have any artwork to display and don’t know where to begin? That’s okay. We can help with that. Head on over to our artwork print subscription page. 

Minimalist Office Desk vs Minimalist Computer Desk

a desk with two computers, one laptop and one desktop

You may be wondering if there’s a difference between a minimalist desk and a minimalist computer desk. The short answer is yes. The long answer amounts to “sort of.” Let’s explain.

First, you should know that there are actually many different types of desks.

  • Pedestal Desk
  • Writing Desk
  • Executive Desk
  • Return Desk
  • Secretary Desk
  • Adjustable Height Desk
  • Computer Desk

We won’t go into the definitions of them all. That’s a subject for another article. But it helps to explain what defines a computer desk–it’s not one of the other desks.

Computer desks are often smaller. They may contain drawers but it isn’t necessary. Frequently, they come with a keyboard tray. Otherwise, most any of the other desks can be used as a home for a computer, transforming almost any desk into a de facto computer desk, even if it wouldn’t normally get that title were it standing alone.

From there, the minimalist principles apply to a minimalist computer desk, just like all of the other desks mentioned. 

Some Final Hacks for a Minimalist Desk

person working at a minimalist desk

Finally, here are some tips to guide you in the process of creating the ideal minimalist desk:

  • Consider obtaining some multifunctional gadgets such as a tablet/laptop or a power cube that suctions under your desk
  • Modify your desktop to where you can stand while working to free space and promote a healthier alternative to nonstop sitting
  • Hang pictures on the wall or place them on floating shelves

By setting up a minimalist desk as your minimalist workspace, you’re looking at increasing productivity by pairing down unnecessary items that get in the way of organization. 

If you’re looking for more tips on organizing your workstation (or life in general for that matter), sign up for our newsletter. We promise not to clutter your inbox.

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