Kawaii Desk Setup: Understanding the Trend and How to Use It
Workplace Inspiration

Kawaii Desk Setup: Understanding the Trend and How to Use It

|Sep 18, 2021

2021 has seen some major changes in the way people work and communicate. The global population has spent more time at home than ever before, both for leisure and work purposes. Remote workers have become a driving force in modern business, and the trend does not seem to be reverting as the world’s offices re-open. 

The home office phenomenon has seen a style revolution, with personal touches and creativity becoming central to our desk setup ideas. One of the most instantly recognizable trends is a Kawaii desk Setup. 

Popular amongst gamers, vloggers, remote workers, and students, this cute desk setup is undoubtedly eye-catching. This article aims to provide a better understanding of what the aesthetic is all about. It may also give you some simple Kawaii desk ideas to try for yourself! 

What Is Kawaii?

What Is Kawaii

Kawaii is more than just a design aesthetic - it is a huge part of Japanese culture. In a nutshell, it is the culture of cuteness. The history of Kawaii is fascinating, and it has evolved dramatically over the years. Since the early 70s and possibly centuries earlier, according to some artist theories - cuteness has become synonymous with Japanese fashion and design. 

Everything from round, bubbly writing to doll-like clothing and anime idols counts as part of the culture. Although they may be viewed as childish in most western cultures, these things are perfectly normal in Japan. Teenage girls may be the biggest fans of the look, but it is by no means exclusive to them! 

No character quote epitomizes the Kawaii culture as perfectly as Hello Kitty. Adding cartoon, human-like faces to animals and inanimate objects, like this iconic cat, is central to the Kawaii look. 

Part of what makes Kawaii so unique is the constant evolution. It has come a long way from just pretty pastels and bug-eyed animals. These days, gothic lore, punk-rock, and even some more sinister elements can be incorporated. Essentially, Kawaii is about expression. Cuteness is portrayable in many ways, and this style covers them all. 

Understanding the Kawaii Aesthetic

Kawaii is pretty much the opposite of a minimalist desk setup. Think color, accessories, figurines, and lots of personal touches. Of course, a toned-down cute desk setup using the Kawaii aesthetic is possible if you want to. 

The essential elements that make Kawaii cuteness what is it are:

  • Round shapes
  • Oversized eyes
  • Simple features
  • Pastel colors (in traditional Kawaii) 

You can incorporate as much or as little of the look into your designs. The beauty of the Kawaii aesthetic is that you can express yourself through it in whatever way feels right to you. 

You can bring the Kawaii aesthetic into your daily life in many ways. Clothing, hairstyles, footwear, make-up, and accessories are some of the ways people take the culture with them everywhere they go. 

Home décor is another popular medium for expressing your love for Kawaii. Cute plushie collections, posters of iconic characters in the genre, and fully integrated pastel color schemes are some of the go-to methods of bringing it into your home. 

Kawaii Desk Setup: Step by Step “How To” Guide

If you plan to create a Kawaii office, either at home or work, there are some simple points to start with. Remember to keep the design purpose appropriate - functionality is equally as important as style. 

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to plan and execute your very own Kawaii-inspired cute desk setup!

1. Choose a Color Scheme

Choose a Color Scheme

The most popular Kawaii office color scheme is based around baby pink, but it is not the only option. Any pastel color is a great base for any design in this genre. A combination of a few can also work well. Lilac, sky blue, and soft yellow all work really well for this style, in addition to the classic pink shades. Decide what color you want as the central focus and pick a few accent colors you can use for accessorizing. 

Remember, Kawaii is not exclusively soft and "girly." It can also follow a darker, moody color palette if that is your preference. There are even some well-known characters in the genre that are almost creepy while somehow staying cute at the same time. Individuality is key to a successful Kawaii design, so let your creativity wander a bit.

2. Decide on a Desk

Decide on a Desk

It’s pretty difficult to plan out a Kawaii desk setup without a desk to work with. A standing desk is a practical and modern choice for a remote working office or home setup. The flexibility that this type of desk allows is ideal when working from home. It allows you to seamlessly move between sitting and standing at the touch of a button. 

The SmartDesk Core is our top pick for a Kawaii office. It comes in three color options to suit any design you choose. Choosing the all-white option is a perfect way to bring all your pastel colors together. With two size options, a lifting capacity of up to 265 pounds, and a range of excellent smart features, this desk is a fantastic addition to any workspace. 

If you want to push the boat out with your desk design, the SmartDesk Pro lets you do just that. Although the sleek, sophisticated, and advanced design is available in classic white, there are also custom top options available. Depending on your color scheme, you can find some artistic desktops to use as a central feature, which is the most suitable for your Kawaii desk setup. 

Even if you stick to the simple colors in your Kawaii office, this desk is sheer perfection when it comes to functionality. With more range, power, and strength, there is not much it cannot handle. The seven-year warranty offered with the SmartDesk Pro stands as a testament to its durable reliability and unrivaled excellence in engineering. 

3. Design the Layout

Design the Layout

When you know what desk space you are going to be working with, draw up a plan of what you want to add. Some people like to keep their setup minimal and clean, whereas others choose to fully embrace the Kawaii style and add lots of office accessories.

Laying out a rough idea of what you want the space to look like before you start buying items helps avoid overspending and over-cluttering. There are plenty of Kawaii desk ideas and inspirations out there to use as reference. We recommend that you do this before committing to any further purchases. 

4. Pick your Kawaii Desk Accessories

Pick your Kawaii Desk Accessories

Now for the fun part! Kawaii desk accessories are what really pull the whole look together. Everything from the organizational and practical tools to figurines and artwork, accessorizing is how you express your inner Kawaii Goddess (or God). 

Start by selecting your statement pieces. In other words, choose a few items to center the whole design around. That could mean a personalized computer monitor, a piece of art, a plushie, or some bespoke lighting. Truthfully, the only limit is your imagination. 

Once you have your big-ticket items, think about what other little touches you want to add. Maybe you have some anime figurines you want to display, some cute Kawaii animal stickers, or other minor décor additions. 

If your desk is going to be actively used as a professional workspace, avoid getting carried away with accessories in your Kawaii office. Although some people are undeterred by clutter, studies show that an overly busy desk does not contribute to a productive work environment. Working from home has its perks, but maintaining a work-life balance is essential.

5. Put it All Together

Put it All Together

Playing around with the final display is how you perfect your cute desk setup. Try come color combos, add some soft furnishing in your Kawaii desk setup, and find out what works best for you. Remember, Kawaii is all about expression, and it evolves all the time. Feel free to add more later or make some changes as your personal aesthetic changes. 

Gaming: Kawaii Desk Ideas

Gaming: Kawaii Desk Ideas

gaming desk setup is slightly different from one intended for remote working. Depending on how much gear you have and how much time you spend gaming, you may want to implement a few additional features. 

Kawaii is a huge part of gaming culture in Japan and around the world. Anime has a global following and a lot of crossovers with Kawaii. If you want a cute desk setup for your gaming area, here are a few ideas.

  • Opt for a corner standing desk rather than a standard shape. Corner desks provide a lot more space for your equipment- especially if you use double monitors. Standing desks are popular for gamers who like having the option to stand up and move around without disturbing gameplay.
  • Incorporate your game collection into your display. The boxes are ready-made decorations if displayed effectively.
  • Try a bit of DIY to build a simple Kawaii-inspired display case. You can either build one from scratch or upcycle an existing one to suit your theme. Re-paint in your choice of color and decorate it using Kawaii stickers. Use it to house your games, plushies, or figurines.
  • You can buy Kawaii consoles and joystick covers online for just a few dollars. Having this cute detail is the icing on the cake of a gamer’s Kawaii desk setup.
  • Get creative with your lighting. Lighting is also one of the most important Kawaii desk accessories. LED desk lamps and string lights can add a glow to your desk area and fit in perfectly with the aesthetic. 

All in all, the principles of Kawaii stay the same no matter what setup you are going for. The difference between a gaming space and an office space is predominantly functionality. 

Gamers need close access to everything quickly. They may need more desk area and can afford to have more clutter. A desk for remote workers needs to maintain a professional, productive atmosphere and be organized enough to get through work efficiently. 

Pros and Cons of a Kawaii Desk Setup

The Kawaii design style is by no means for everyone. Even if you love how it looks, there are a few considerations to make before committing your home office to a Kawaii makeover. 

Here are a few pros and cons of this Kawaii desk setup style:

Pros and Cons of a Kawaii Desk Setup

  • icon checkFreedom of expression is a valuable asset for positive mental health.
  • icon checkThere is a lot of room for personalization when using this style.
  • icon checkYou can go as big or as small as you want.
  • icon checkGamers or vloggers using the Kawaii aesthetic have an instantly recognizable style.
  • icon checkBecause it is such a large community, there is lots of inspiration to draw from.
  • icon checkCreative people can push the boundaries when coming up with Kawaii desk ideas.
  • icon timesThe style is divisive and not to everybody’s taste.
  • icon timesIf you facetime for work and have the Kawaii style in the background, it could look unprofessional to some.
  • icon timesYou may love the look now, but your tastes may change.
  • icon timesA loud and busy color palette can be distracting, as can excessing accessories.
  • icon timesHaving a cute desk setup may detract from your professional mindset and interfere with your work.
  • icon timesUnless your entire interior is Kawaii-inspired, the desk area is likely to stick out and clash with your surroundings.

Overall, the most essential element is personal taste. Everything else is secondary, although there are some important things to think about for remote workers who do not work independently. 

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt that Kawaii culture has a cult following and allows for endless creativity. Your home desk setup is highly personal and must fit with your individual personality. Expressing that individual personality is part of the Kawaii mantra. 

Far from exclusive to teenage girls in Japan, Kawaii design reaches people of all ages from all around the world. Remote workers have the luxury of designing a desk setup exactly as they want it that includes Kawaii cuteness. 

Whether you are a gamer, remote worker, or just looking to revamp your multi-purpose at-home desk area, a Kawai desk setup could be the way to go. Accessories are a must in your Kawaii desk setup, so choose wisely when making your plans! 

Remember, always keep practicality in mind, especially if it is going to be a functioning workspace. Find the balance between cute accessorizing and clever use of space, and you are sure to have the perfect Kawaii desk setup!

SmartDesk One offer