Interior designer Maggie O’Neill calls Washington the “beigest city in the world” — at least when it comes to office decor. Professionalism here often translates to staid, colorless workplaces. How can you enliven your office? O’Neill offers a few suggestions:

Ask to paint a wall

“Seriously. How hard can it be to ask that question? I think people just assume that they can’t. I know two office spaces where people were able to do it, and it gets painted over when they move out anyway.”

Buy original artwork

“I’m a big fan of anything that gets made by hand or by somebody. It sounds cheesy, but there is an energy to that. And buy it because you love it, don’t buy it because somebody told you it looks good.”

Use temporary materials

“There’s so many movable materials now. Vinyl stickers for kids’ rooms is a great analogy. But for adults ...you can put fabric on the wall or paper on the wall very, very easily, and take it back off and not hurt the drywall.”

Ditch dull furnishings

“Bring in some sort of decorative piece of furniture. A great lamp, a great pillow, a great chair, something with a little more soul than the average furniture.”