Monthly Archives: November 2009

Darts for Coats – Dart Hooks


Dart Hooks for hanging your coat and bag

I think it’s often overlooked to have a place for hanging your coat and bag when you get to the office. Those lucky enough to have a coat rack behind the door probably make use of it, but they tend to be generic and dull. Oy, I’m having flashbacks of those darn ugly gray plastic “Z”-shaped coat hooks you can get at the supply store. Blah, dreadful!

Here’s something interesting for your wall. These darts screw into the wall, providing some visual interest. Avoid the door and try finding a stud behind the wall to provide optimal support when screwing them in. I love that these darts are shiny and modern. Buy the set of three darts from The Curiosity Shoppe for $32.


Coat Hook Darts

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Hand Craft with Hard Graft


One of a few laptop sleeves from Hard Graft.

I’m totally obsessed with Hard Graft, the Austrian and English team producing an array of gadget accessories made from wool felt and Italian Nappa leather. This Butterfingers MacBook sleeve comes equipped with an armband for full support when carrying without a tote bag. The perfect color combination of a dary gray wool with chocolate leather makes for a nice masculine look with a soft touch. Made in Austria, Hard Graft offers worldwide shipping. The beauty of this, folks ordering outside the EU avoid the 20% Austrian tax…ouch! And I’ve been complaining about the 9.75% here in the LBC. Orders yours from Hard Graft for $95 EUR.

And by the way, Happy Turkey Day! Good luck with the start of your holiday shopping on Black Friday.


Functional and handsome, the Butterfingers laptop sleeve.


Wool felt with Nappa leather, 100% Austrian made

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Photo Rock – Panasonic MW-10 photo frame/iPod dock

panasonic mw-10

Add some music and pictures to your desk with Panasonic's MW-10.

Set for release next month, Panasonic’s multimedia sound system is perfect for your office. Offering everything you need for a serene backdrop to your busy work schedule, the small electronic system offers a 9″ screen display for your photos, an integrated CD player, FM radio, and an iPod dock, along with a clock and calendar. You can even screen music videos or other saved media on your portable device.

I’m amazed how background music played ever-so-softly near your desk can help you remain calm during the day. Better yet, there’s nothing like seeing a repeating slideshow of your co-workers antics with the digital pictures you shot of them at the weekly happy hour…so, hilarious! What’s great about this system is its streamlined design for your desk.

The MSRP is $299. visit Panasonic periodically for more information.

panasonic mw-102

Panasonic MW-10, $299

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Talking Trash – Bin Bin Wastebasket


Conran's Bin Bin Wastebasket by John Brauer

Max at Apartment Therapy ran his recent interview with Sir Terrance Conran and it reminded me of my recent post of a letter box found on The Conran Shop’s online store. The mastermind behind the great store of accessible modern taste is still in top form and influencing the design industry to date. Here’s another great find for your office. The Bin Bin Wastebasket is designed to look like the stuff you throw in it – crumbled paper. Made from high density polyethylene, choose either white or black and place next to your desk.

If curious about the creative mind behind the product, you can read a small bio on John Brauer at


High Style Trash

The Bin Bin Wastebasket is available online for $59 USD. Order directly from

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Another Horrible Desk – Car Desk

car desk1

Another bad idea

Remember this post? I think I’ll start a Hall of Shame for the worst desks in the country. Here’s something I found online that still has me…speechless. sells custom workstations made from the rears of fiberglass Corvettes. Order it in your favorite color. Have fun with its working tail lights. Honestly, I can’t imagine why anyone would. Maybe a mechanic? But even then, it’s still an eyesore. If you’re still curious, check it out by clicking here.

car desk2


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Zoom Zoom Keyboard – Elecom Keyboard


Add some gloss to your desktop with Elecom's keyboard

Even with a laptop computer, I still use a full size keyboard when docked at my desk. It’s comfortable using a 10-key for managing budgets and I still prefer the delete key versus the backspace button. Yes, it’s odd. The other reason for using a keyboard is…well, for the look. Yes, I know it’s shallow, but my matching aluminum keyboard is the perfect match to my MacBook Pro and I revel in the streamlined aesthetic. I’m hoping you might have the same finicky taste. Here’s another option to consider. Japan’s Elecom Technology produces these high gloss USB keyboards that add a nice splash to any desktop. I especially like the silver color, but the basic white and black provide the added flair for something special. At just about $110 USD, it’s a small investment, but we all know that it costs to look good.


Elecom's glossy "crystal" USB keyboard

Order yours from

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A Desk for Mikael – IKEA’s Mikael Collection


IKEA scores with another low price office solution

IKEA…need I say more? The Swedes have a great way of making design accessible for the masses. Here’s a really cheap solution for a desk that takes up little space. If you’re in tight quarters, this piece can serve as a console table when you have friends over and provide suitable space as a desk when placing a computer on top. Measuring 55″w x 29.5″ d x 30″ h, the dark chocolate-almost-black stain is contemporary in style and will go with practically any existing furniture you have…well, almost. Don’t expect much. IKEA is also infamous for poor craftsmanship, but they have greatly improved throughout the years. The best thing about the Mikael desk (no, not the name) is the price, $49.99. Yes, assembly required, but how hard can it be. It only has two legs with a top. Check it out,

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Magnify Your View – Anthropologie’s Magnifying Glasses


Standing Magnifying Glasses from Anthropologie

I highly suggest that you watch Man Shops Globe on the Sundance Channel, Wednesday nights at 10 PM E/P. The show follows Anthropologie’s Buyer-at-Large Keith Johnson as he tackles flea markets and antique stores across multiple continents. You will have a new found appreciation for his search of unique items from around the world. It’s actually quite inspiring. What I find interesting about Anthropologie’s business strategy is the obvious detour from strictly being a women’s clothing retailer and luckily, it’s paying off.

Awhile back, I wrote about their recycled stadium bulbs as a great accent piece for your office. In the same style, these standing magnifying glasses are great for adding a sense of mystery to your office. They remind me of the era of Sherlock Holmes with an environment full of understated elegance, simple gadgets and traditional touches of leather and velvet. Four sizes are available with the smallest standing 13″ high and the largest at 29.5″, with a price range from $48–$128.

Screen shot 2009-11-03 at 8.03.57 PM

Magnify your office view.

If you can swing it, create a set with a few in varying sizes. I’m obsessed with these and hope you are too. I can easily see these sitting on a credenza with a small framed artwork placed behind them. Check them out at

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Old School Sharp Looks – Pencil Sharpener


Solid Aluminum Pencil Sharpener

I’ve been thinking about L.A. Reid’s executive office and wanted to make some recommendations for small objets d’art and trinkets that make for a luxe suite. The solid aluminum pencil sharpener from Canoe is a great companion piece for your desktop. Measuring only 1.5″D x 2.5″H, this small item will have a subtle elegance amidst the clutter in your office. Pair it with other polished aluminum, silver and chrome accents. Try hitting an antique store for other pieces to make for an interesting set, perhaps a silver tray and a mint julep cup for your pens. The German made sharpener is available for $48 at

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One Ringy Dingy – Cell Phone Headset


Old School headset for your cell phone

I was reminded of Lily Tomlin’s infamous character Ernestine last weekend when my closest friend was likened to the comedian at a dinner party. A far cry from a complement, but some people seem to think that looking like any celebrity is a good thing. The visual came to mind again when coming across this funny, yet practical accessory for your cell phone. More and more businesses are opting for one mobile phone rather than a traditional land line at the desk. I have to admit, I only have my cell phone and when working with my clients in their own office, my mobile is my connection to vendors and colleagues. After awhile, it does get old holding the tiny iPhone up to my ear. I despise the look of ear plugs, but often sport the look for convenience.

Here’s another option you might like to explore. The Curiosity Shoppe sells old school phone headsets for your cellular gadget. You can acquire an adapter for your specific make of the phone. I think it’s a great pop art piece for your desktop and with Google soon offering one single number for all of your phones, I’m sure you’ll be using your mobile even more for work purposes.


Turn your cell into that important red phone

Available in black or red for $45. Adapters are $9. Buy from

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