Monthly Archives: May 2009

A Minami For You

Minami 8oz porcelain tea cups at Crate & Barrel

Minami 8oz porcelain tea cups at Crate & Barrel

Check these out. Exclusively at Crate and Barrel, these white porcelain 8oz. tea cups are perfect for the desk. With a dimension size of 3.5″ dia x 2.75″ in height, you can use them for paper clips, push pins, and other small necessities. Or use them for their original purpose…sipping tea. Get rid of the traditional coffee mug on the desk and add some simple minimal style to your work surface. I really like the thinness of each cup; they feel fragile, yet uphold a rigid stability. And in fact, when dust settles or the tea starts to soil the bottom, you can place them in the dishwasher.

Buy a set of the Minami cups at http://www.crateandbarrel.com/family.aspx?c=725&f=27379&q=porcelain+tea+cups&fromLocation=Search&DIMID=400001&SearchPage=1</p> <div class=”>

Porcelain sake bottle at Crate & Barrel
Porcelain sake bottle at Crate & Barrel

Another suggestion for adding simple minimal style to your desk is to use  a sake bottle as a rose bud vase. This one found at Crate & Barrel is white porcelain with intricate beading that adds a sophisticated ornamentation without being too fussy. You can do a combination of the sake bottle with the Minami tea cups as a collection on your work surface, or try the power of repition with a few sake bottles perched on a shelf. These items are reasonable priced and provide a great way to upgrade your office.

Order online or visit your nearest Crate & Barrel for this and more ideas.

http://www.crateandbarrel.com/family.aspx?c=190&f=32264&q=sake&fromLocation=Search&DIMID=400001&SearchPage=1

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One From The Pros – Ideas from CB2

Some ideas from the pros at CB2

Some ideas from the pros at CB2

Flip through magazines and catalogs for some basic, quick, creative ideas. There’s a reason why companies hire stylists for photo shoots. The pros always have unique solutions and many of them love to be the first to start a trend. I remember producing shoots for corporate interiors and thinking, “how do I make this office sing and do it without copying someone else.” Not literally sing, but making an attempt to add life to the space. I will admit…sometimes, you do copy others and I hope the originator accepts it as a form of flattery.

Some items used for staging tend to be static. The tired tape dispenser and matching pen holder in a metal mesh is cheap and boring. The pop up calendar and picture frame of the family is so generic. And the small corner plant equals dull. Try to avoid most of these common items, that is all except for the family photo. I’ll talk about that in another post.

I started using my own possessions from the bedroom and living room to enhance the photo compositions. Now realize, the spaces we were photographing were amazing samples of corporate architecture and the subjects could completely stand on their own. In fact, many of the pictures were shot without any enhancements and fluff. However, in those few occasions where I dressed up the desk, conference table and reception areas, the splash of color, materials and unusual items strategically placed in the photo really complimented the design.

This image from the latest CB2 catalog reminds me of those countless nights of office interior photography. The catalog also provides great ideas of using nontraditional office items for the workspace as seen in the spread above. For example, the goldfish bowl vase is used to house the absorbent amount of paperclips that come in those cost-saving boxes.

Fin Bowl Vase from CB2

Fin Bowl Vase from CB2

Imagine the possibilities.The entire vase can be used for colorful rubberbands if you find the need for them at the office. An entire bowl of erasers for the drafter and architects who no longer use them thanks to technology. You can also order custom M&Ms in one of your favorite colors and set them aside for those impromptu brainstorming meetings in your space. Custom M&Ms can be ordered at http://www.mymms.com.

Another simple solution presented by the pros at CB2 is seen here with glassware being used as pencil holders. We have all used a coffee mug for the same purpose at one point in time. I’m guilty of doing so with a mug from my alma mater. What I like about the simple lines of the glasses is the ability to streamline and accentuate the idea with one type of pencil or a series of various pens in the same color.

Glasses used as pencil holders as seen at CB2

Glasses used as pencil holders as seen at CB2

Think of how easy it is to complete this look. If you have an incomplete set of glasses at home (the maid may have smashed a couple), take the rest to the office and start adjusting your workspace. Just remember, the clean design of using the glasses is best accomplished with one bunch of the same pencils and pens. If you’re like myself and prefer to use a different pen for different tasks, then make sure the exterior shell of the pens are the same color.

Be sure to check out http://www.cb2.com. The Fin Bowl Vase is currently priced at $24.95 USD.

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Pencil to Pencil

Reality desk set by Harry Allen

Reality desk set by Harry Allen

I often use the expression “apples to apples” when discussing the mundane similarities between two subjects. These days, I’m not a fan of matchy matchy. And I especially dislike the lack of open mindedness by some people. I’m sure you’re reading this thinking, “he has issues.” Perhaps. However, I’m a flexible individual and I’m finding that apples to apples might work in some cases as seen here.

Check out the clever and artistic desk set by industrial designer Harry Allen. Taking ordinary office objects and casting them in white resin for a unique and unexpected answer to the typical office accessories. The trio make for a stunning display of contemporary art for your work surface. How brilliant, a stand of business cards for business cards, pencils for a pencil tray and the playful rubber band ball for a paper weight. The collection is one simple and sophisticated way to express a sense of humor. I especially like the balanced nature of this set, suitable for both men and woman. Try using this on a dark surface or near the infamous black corporate Meridien phone.

Take a look at Allen’s award-winning work by visiting his firm’s web site at http://www.harryallendesign.com/


You can purchase the desk set at the MOMA Store by clicking http://www.momastore.org/museum/moma/ProductDisplay_Reality%20Desk%20Set_10451_10001_43835

The set is also available in gun metal gray through other various outlets.

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G Marks The Spot

g sake packaging is a perfect way to personalize your desktop

g sake packaging is a perfect way to personalize your desktop

By no means am I encouraging drinking while on the job, but even in the heyday of advertising as depicted on AMC’s Mad Men, there seems to be a rather enticing and polished appeal to the office mini bar. Perhaps a drink before a meeting was an acceptable way of getting the creative juices flowing or was the appropriate ice breaker for stressful presentations. Admittedly, that lunchtime libation from long ago provide only one sure thing  – the flowing of my slurred speech.

Instead of pouring, try displaying some unique bottles that provide a unique accessory to your work space. This simple, yet stunning design from the Oregon-based company, SakéOne, is a great bottle to have on your desk…especially if your first or last name starts with the letter G. G Sake can be ordered directly from the producers (http://www.sakeone.com/sakeone/catalog/index.jsp?cat_id=1003) or you can find it at your local Cost Plus World Market. When personalizing your space, look for items that might not necessarily be deemed traditional for your office. I really like black accents and accessories for the typical 10×10 white office or cubicle. Contrasting colors make for a dramatic effect, especially when most of your accessories are the same color, leaving a great impact.

Creativity sparks creativity, so be sure to find items that go well beyond the standard silver pencil holders and tape dispenser. In this case, a finely dressed bottle marks the spot for a design savvy worker.

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