It may be that geniuses can work best in an attic room littered with dirt, but such a condition shows that they are the exception that proves the rule. The rest of mankind can work better in attractive surroundings.
Fortunately our surroundings can largely be selected or altered to suit our needs.
What estimate would you place on the working value of your surroundings? In my workroom at the laboratory here I have curtains, potted flowers, and an attractive, fresh paint. Window curtains and flowers seem rather out of place in a laboratory. But the truth of the matter is that they are exceedingly in place, although they are not common. Whether I am experimenting, writing, working over data, or conferring with students, the appearance of the room increases my efficiency.
Some rooms radiate the spirit and desire for work – others suggest Saturday night and spring housecleaning.
~ Dr. Donald Laird, Increasing Personal Efficiency (1936)