How to decorate the space above your desk

Considering the amount of time we spend at our desks, it makes sense to have something pretty and interesting to look at, don’t you think? You’re lucky if you have a window to gaze out of, but those can be limited in office settings. So, if you’re staring at a blank wall all day, how about jazzing it up with art and adding accessories to your work space? We had fun with ours by hanging a trendy black glasses frame, a white canvas and a super large clock – after all you need to know when it’s time to log off.

Before hanging anything, make sure your desk is placed exactly where you want. You’d hate to realize it was a little too far to the right after hanging your pieces.

Here’s how we hung each piece

  • We used our measuring tape to find the center of the desk and marked it with a piece of Painter’s tape.
  • Doing this helped us clearly see where the center of our display should be.

Hanging the glasses frame

  • First, we hung the glasses frame. It was fitted with a sawtooth hook, so we used Hang&Level to mark exactly where to hammer the nail into the wall.
  • We hung it fairly close to the desk because you’ll most often be looking at the art from a sitting position. Keep that in mind when decorating (see the measurement chart at the very bottom of this post).
  • We hung it a couple of inches away from the center of the desk (our green tape marker).
  • We hammered the nail in, and used the picture hanging tool to level the frame.
  • Usually, we’d use one of our nails to hang stuff, but here, I just used a plain old nail to hang it with because the hook was so close to the frame.

Hanging Carpe Diem

  • Next, we hung the Carpe Diem canvas.
  • Like most canvas, it didn’t have any hanging hardware on the back, so we installed CanvasHangers.
  • We placed a bracket in each top corner and pushed the canvas into the wall. Watch this short video to see how these little brackets work. Since there are 2 contact points, the brackets keep the canvas straight forever. No fussing over re-leveling it every time you open or close a drawer!
  • We centered the canvas with the glasses frame and placed it a couple of inches away from the other side of the green tape.
  • Since the frames are close to each other, we simply eye balled. Easy to do. We only measured at the end to provide you with the measurement chart.
  • Quick note about the 4 different knobs on the drawers… We swiped out the old knobs for new ones, but we had 4 sets of knobs that we liked! It was only once the art was up and the accessories were on the desk that we were able to pick one. Can you guess which one we picked without scrolling up or down to see the reveal? Check out this Desk Makeover article we wrote to see more. 

Hanging the big clock

  • Hanging pictures is all about trial and error – unfortunately there’s no one-fits-all rule.
  • Before hanging anything, we rested the frames on the desk and tested different hanging heights with the clock while our photographer snapped a few pictures. We started low, then went way high (you can see my stretched out arms) and them came down a bit.
  • The winning height was the one closest to the frames sitting below.
  • Tip: once the 2 bottom frames were hung, I sat at the desk while someone lifted up the clock for me to see what height was best from a sitting position. See that’s why we say hanging pictures is all about “trial and error” – every wall display is different.
  • About the time on the clock, the funny thing is that it all happened in real time. Yes, we started at 10:10 and finished before noon. Of course it takes us longer because we take lots of pictures for the purpose of the blog.

  • Clocks are a real pain to hang because most of them are fitted a keyhole on the back.
  • We used a Déco Screw to hang it with because the head fits perfectly in the opening and it holds a lot of weight. You don’t have to worry about time crashing down on you!
  • Once again, we used the yellow tool to help mark the exact spot on the wall.
  • We drove the screw into the wall and that was it.
  • By the way, we centered the clock with the middle of the desk.

Once the art was on the wall, the really fun part began – accessorizing! We were going for an industrial chic look, so nothing too fancy.

By the way, this is a desk that we were ready give away! Instead, we decided to give it new life. We’re sure glad we did, because we love it all over again. Check out this link to see the before, you won’t believe it’s the same desk.


On a design note:

We decided to hang the “glasses” on the left, close to the lamp because the Carpe Diem canvas blended in too much with the white floor lamp shade. The lamp had to stay on the left because of the location of the outlet.

The mini level that we used to hang the black frame and canvas with is included when you buy CanvasHangers. It’s very handy, we use it all the time. It has an adhesive backing that sticks to the art and stays in place when hanging things up.

We always love hearing from you, so tell us what you think of this post in the comment box below.

Thanks for hanging out with us, and remember, Carpe Diem




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