Spice Up My Cube!
October 20, 2004 11:24 AM   Subscribe

Looking for office cube decoration inspiration. My current job is in a grey cube farm. Floor to ceiling, everything is grey. I'm in the middle of the room away from the windows and I need to make my space more cheerful. Any ideas? What plants will survive in these conditions? (MI)

My cube is pretty large (6 by 9 feet). I have one light directly overhead and a desk lamp. There are no limitations to what I'm allowed to bring in and use. I'm having a challenging time adjusting to this after being on the job for the past 8 months because I'm at my desk more. The number of meetings I'm attending has dropped from 5 a day to only 5 a week. Plus, fall has arrived and the little light from the windows has been greatly reduced.

My previous job at a college gave me a private office with cherry furniture and a window overlooking the lawn used for commencement. The art I used there was all large, framed pieces that won't work in my current environment.

I love my current job (better pay, interesting people, challenging tasks) and just want to make my space happier and more stimulating.
posted by onhazier to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What plants will survive in these conditions?

Fake ones.
posted by kindall at 11:51 AM on October 20, 2004

I have similar conditions, except a much smaller space and NO windows in our office at all. It's very gray and depressing.

I find nature is the best solution - get a wandering jew plant, vine plants often need very little sunlight if at all and flourish. My lucky bamboo is doing ok.

Add some pictures of the outside, bright colors a must! Draw some pictures for yourself. Cover your gray cube walls with wrapping paper of an interesting texture or pattern. Get some sort of desk toy.

Add a fountain. Get a fish bowl. Anything to brighten it up and bring some good feng shui in.
posted by agregoli at 11:55 AM on October 20, 2004

Its not necessarily cheerful, but the Tent of Doom certainly is interesting.
posted by mmascolino at 12:06 PM on October 20, 2004

Collect postcards from places you've visted and ask coworkers to pick up a few on their travels. That'll give you something to look at and something to talk to coworkers about!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:07 PM on October 20, 2004

My girlfriend has a big fish tank in her cubicle with some wee little turtles and a couple of goldfish in it, and I must say it is constantly entertaining, as well as aesthetically pleasing.
posted by saladin at 12:08 PM on October 20, 2004

Plants, calendar, posters, fish bowl, quotes, dress up magnets (like old-fashioned paper dolls), magnet poetry, word-a-day or MENSA desk calendar, magic 8 ball, etch-a-sketch, nice desk lamp.
posted by Juicylicious at 12:19 PM on October 20, 2004

spider plants are pretty much impossible to kill.
posted by sauril at 12:59 PM on October 20, 2004

if your cube gets any sun at all from the window, indoor plants accustomed to lowlight will do fine. if you get no natural light in your cube, you do need to leave a light on for the weekend. i have an interior office, around the corner from the closest window and killed a couple plants before it ocurred to me that it was dark from 5pm friday to 830am monday and thus my plants were dying over the weekend. i leave a small light on over the weekend, now and all is fine.

but i like a goldfish bowl, myself.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:22 PM on October 20, 2004

The only thing that did my spider plant in was my cat eating it so second the spider plant. You can not water it for weeks or over water for weeks and they don't seem to be fazed. They also seem to tolerate high levels of indoor pollution (smokers, solvents), artificial light and low relative humidity.

A potential problem with a fish tank is finding someone to tend it while your gone on vacation. So pick cheap hardy fresh water fish like feeder comets. Or something that breeds a lot. I've got a 10l tank of guppies at home that I barely maintain. The population swings between 10 and 50+ but I always have something to destress to and babies are fun.
posted by Mitheral at 1:49 PM on October 20, 2004

Put a full-spectrum incandescent light bulb in that lamp, if you can, or get another lamp. More homey, a bit like sunlight, and more light is always good for the internal clocks and gears.
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:54 PM on October 20, 2004

When I was in a cube like that, I bought a nice, colorful kite and hung it from the ceiling. This not only cut the glare of the overhead fluorescents, it also gave me (and my co-workers) an easy reference point for navigating the cube maze. Augment with incandescents as needed.
posted by jjg at 3:06 PM on October 20, 2004

Do what my roommate did. The couch sells it.
posted by effugas at 2:00 AM on October 21, 2004

Thanks for the great ideas, everyone!! I definitely have room for a small fish tank or fountain. The spider plant will probably join me at lunch. Winter shouldn't be so bad now that I have your ideas at hand.
posted by onhazier at 6:21 AM on October 21, 2004

While I love the idea of a fountain, I had to ask a coworker to take one home after my 65th trip to the bathroom. I asked nicely and he agreed and said it was having the same affect on him.
posted by m@ at 7:22 AM on October 21, 2004

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