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

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 The Fin Bowl Vase is currently priced at $24.95 USD.

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