Making your cubicle feel a little more like home is no easy task. Sure, you may be a design maven at home, but working with only a few square feet definitely ups the challenge. How can a working girl decorate her space without making it too distracting or too overwhelming? How can you find balance between comfort and style? We turned to office design expert Shelly Lynch-Sparks, the head of commercial design at Homepolish, to find the answers. She helped deck out Nylon‘s offices and one of Homepolish’s teams designed the Man Repeller’s chic professional space. She’s a go-to resource on simple space hacks and finding the perfect accent piece and shared her top five tips with us!

1. Get Personal + Find Your Muse

Shelly advises starting with images as style inspirations. Maybe it’s a deep blue dress or some sparkly jewelry that gets your creative juices flowing. Roll with it and incorporate everything you like about the piece: the color, the flashy feeling or all of the above. Once you’ve narrowed down your style by honing in on a few feel-good ideas, you can focus on selecting larger statement pieces to ground the space. A few well-chosen pictures and a cute coffee mug will tie the look together.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to DIY

“Pinterest is my drug of choice,” Shelly tells us. We can totally 100% relate. Open your DIY mind and Pinterest boards to paint and design hacks. Paint a fun pattern on your door or create an accent wall with paint, fabric, photos or art work on one side of your space.

3. Comfort > Style

In Shelly’s fab words: “Comfort is everything.” Accessorize with pillows if you have the space, or toss a cozy throw over your chair for a little warmth on those cold dreary days (or when the office A/C is on way too high).

4. Bring Brightness In With Thrifty Finds

Shelly and the Homepolish team scour Craigslist, the flea market, antique shops and Etsy to find the cool, vintage-feeling accessories they’ve scattered around many of the offices they’ve decorated. Brightening up your desk with funky artwork or even switching out your swivel chair for something way more unique can make a big difference. And include plants everywhere.

5. Take it All Home

By now, your cubicle should be feeling pretty comfortable and stylish with the tips above, but if you work from your casa, you can still create the same feeling in your home office. Start with statement pieces and keep things sleek with clean and bright furniture. A large glass desk and a bright leather chair are all you need.

What are your secrets for designing your desk space? Share your favorite tips and tricks below!