Monthly Archives: November 2009

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.

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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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Attitude with Latitude – Dell Latitude Z


Dell Latitude Z

I still have found memories of being a PC user back in the day. I thought I had mastered all of the unique settings from the control panel and prided myself with knowing the essentials that seemed to make life a bit easier for the IT department. I found it to be a great challenge that kept me entertained until one evening I could not connect to my wi-fi. It was maddening. Thank goodness for Dell’s phone support.

My old Latitude laptop was generic. A black model that was simple and non-offensive unlike other ugly models that obviously try too hard to look cool. When asked to make the transition from PC to Mac when I switched industries, I was a bit apprehensive. I actually liked the complexity of Windows and really hated the user-friendly reputation of Apple. I was so naive. The upside was the BEAUTIFUL look of Apple’s computers. It took a couple of months, but I then became a true Apple lover. The attention to details and the design alone provides a great streamlined look to any office. One of my most common recommendations for any desk is to select a computer that is well designed, and of course has the power to sustain the technological advances expected within the next few years.

Enter Dell’s new Latitude Z, the thinnest and lightest 16″ laptop on the market. Just over half an inch thick and weighing 4.5 lbs, the computer is equipped with several impressive features that make for a compelling argument for venturing back to the PC universe. With a soft-touch exterior finish, silky-touch backlit keyboard and a first-of-its-kind EdgeTouch ™ LCD sensor, the Z also provides quick scans of business cards and documents via the 2mp autofocus webcam. Finally, the PC is getting a sophisticated look that competes for the attention of design savvy patrons.


Dell Latitude Z is the thinnest and lightest 16" laptop


Scan using the integrated webcam

Dell’s Latitude Z starts at $1,999 and offers convenient upgrades like a solid state drive, 8gb RAM, and the latest integration of Windows 7. Check it out at

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2010 – Pentagram’s Typography Calendar

Pentagram's large format Typography Calendar

I agree that some basic fundamental office tools remain a necessity despite the advances of technology (this seems to be an ongoing theme, right?) Yes, my entire calendar is on my computer and my iPhone, but I still like to look at a full size print for planning the upcoming week. I imagine that you might prefer the same. Please refrain from the cheap looking calendars you find at a local Hallmark shop. Even worse, avoid using the tacky calendars that come through the mail from local real estate brokers.

Try this out. Pentagram presents their annual typography calendar (annual…calendar, I’m feeling redundant) for 2010 featuring new and familiar fonts for each month. There is a subtle beauty within each month with the contrast of the black numbers on a stark white backdrop. The 12″ x 18″ size is great for a tack board above your desk. Or try the super size format that measures 23″ x 33″ for a bold statement on the wall. Here’s another suggestion. Buy a frame from Aaron Bros and frame the current month. It’s another one of those quick, cheap art tricks…and it’s functional.

Pentagram's calendar available for sale at

If you don’t know who Pentagram is, I urge you to check out their web site. They were established in the 70’s and have been a design powerhouse ever since. I often refer to them as the international design think tank.

The 12″x18″ format is available for $30 (includes shipping). The 23″ x 33″ is $50. Buy directly from

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