Monthly Archives: March 2010

Window To The World

Home office perched near a window.

This image is from Katy Elliott, a personal journal site (aka blog) about restoring a 250+ year home in Massachusetts. She writes about her need for mid-height shutters for street level windows, but I’m more intrigued by this home office that is perched near her view to the world. Her beautiful artisan desk is sparse and clean with just the necessities – laptop, black & white globe, a few reference books, a picture, envelope holder. The companion Eames aluminum chair is one of my favorite and together, the entire ensemble is subtle, elegant and modest. Even with a little attention, you can have a designated space that really catches your attention. Remember, “less is more.” This reminds me that I really need to purge my desk.

The shutters may help create privacy, but the simple pivot of the blinds provide a new look on life. Keep a view of the outside while sitting at your desk. You’ll find yourself tilting your head up every so often for the break. It’s a mental refreshment!

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Good Ole George – Modern Touch

George in his Americana gold frame.

George after Tyler Goodro's modern reprise.

Design*Sponge is another great design blog with inspiration for your home and, occasionally, for the office (forgive me if I have already mentioned this blog on this site – it’s really that good to mention again). Here’s one prime example of a junky antique store find updated with a modern twist for contemporary living. Submitted by Tyler Goodro of Plastolux, the tacky old gold frame with plexiglass was treated to an artful redo including new glass. Every time I enter an antique shop, I always find similar pieces just like this. Now I’m inspired to try my hand at something that makes for a contemporary reinterpretation for my office. With a little acrylic paint and the time and patience, you too can have a modern one-of-a-kind. Just avoid the urge to buy the picture with the dogs playing pool.

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Get The Look – Apartment Therapy’s Marketplace

Mid-Century Home Office

Of course, I’m thinking of the 80’s classic The Look of Love by ABC at this very moment mostly because Apartment Therapy has launched their “Get The Look” on their beta Marketplace site. I’d say that the song is quite fitting for this well curated home office with its mix of mid-century and contemporary finishes. Some points to notice in this example – an all white space is a great backdrop for art. Not only does the framed art wall add color to the room, but the furniture itself provides the subtle accent of color. Make your space a environment that sparks creativity and you’ll never think of work as a chore.

Check out Apartment Therapy’s “Get The Look” with a list of the items found in this room. You too can have an office just as fun.

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Filed under Accessories, Decorating, Design, DIY, Furniture, Office, Organization

Bon Voyage – Mayfair Steamer Secretary Trunk

Restoration Hardware's Mayfair Steamer Secretary Trunk

It’s so Get Smart, right? I love the idea of having a home office that you can completely stow away and push aside. Talk about the hidden message behind that – being able to pack up any lingering work and de-clutter your home, de-clutter your life. Personally, I believe in having dedicated space in your home that is strictly for an office. For either paying bills or, if you’re like me, bringing work home to do throughout the night, you should have a place for being productive. After seeing this clever system from Timothy Oulton and Restoration Hardware, I started thinking about those tight studio apartments and loft living that requires a streamlined lifestyle. Handmade of distressed cigar leather, brass nailheads, canvas lined with oak accents, the Mayfair Steamer Secretary Trunk is a beautiful piece of furniture that provides ample storage, filing and enough space for a desktop computer.

Measuring 39″ w x 29″d x 76″h, the trunk’s castors makes for easy moving. $3,000 USD at Restoration Hardware, online and catalog only.

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Write From The Earth – DBA 98 Pen

The DBA 98 Pen is the only 98% biodegradable pen in the world.

If you’re feeling eco-chic and embracing green living, or if you just like great design, check out the new DBA 98 pen that claims to be the only 98% biodegradable pen in the world. Unlike the petroleum plastic writing instruments that we all use on a daily basis, the DBA 98 is made from a new bioplastic made mostly of potatoes and contains a non-toxic ink from water, non-toxic pigments, glycerin (a food-grade sugar alcohol ), and sodium benzoate (a food-grade preservative). All this, plus manufacturing using 100% wind power and recycled packaging and you will be writing with a new purpose.

Buy the three pack directly from DBA for $8 USD.

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Instant Artwork – Posterazor

Posterazor your world. Pic from ApartmentTherapy

You’ve heard me say this a few times – personalize your space with art. The thing is, art is subjective and it doesn’t have to be something expensive. Quite honestly, you can do a white wall with a blue square and call it art. Grant it, this would be a lame installation in my opinion, but I think you get the idea. From our friends at ApartmentTherapy, here is a great option for a quick, easy and cheap custom art wall. Posterazor is a free download software that will take a single image and explode it to any size you want for a homemade poster. Even better, as shown above, print it and hang it like a modern day grid for a very contemporary look. What’s great about this example is the contrast of the dark background and the white paper.

All you need is a digital image and a printer and voila! Instant art. Try it.

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Out in the Field – Field Notes products

Field Notes products made in the USA

I’m taking a moment before I have to get ready for dinner to write a few posts for The Desctop. My absence from the blog is due to an overwhelming amount of tasks with my real job (yes, I finally have one) and I’m eager to share some great new finds for your home and/or corporate office.

I’ve been subscribing to more blogs and web sites that promote great products, design and merchandise. One such rare find is A Continuous Lean – a self proclaimed site that is about “American things, good looking things, well designed things and all sorts of other things.” I love it! The man behind the genius is Michael Williams, the savvy PR mind behind the small shop Paul+Williams. He’s a curator of great design and you can now buy his choices directly at his web site A Continuous Lean.

Among the small collection of hand-picked brands, Williams is supporting Field Notes, the flashback inspired stationers of old-fashioned memo books and classic pens and pencils.  The Draplin Design Company of Portland, Oregon and Coudal Partners of Chicago, Illinois bring you a small collection of simple products that complement any desk, modern or traditional. I bought my first memo book while out shopping at J.Crew one day. Funny how the small little accessory fit perfectly with the spring awakening of the store’s new collection of new American classic menswear. As a sidenote, I’ve fallen in love again with J.Crew for both casual and office clothes.

The 18-month calendar, the set of six pens, old school No. 2 pencils, and the three-pack pocket notebooks are all available at ACL. Be sure to check them out. It’s amazing how the little things on a desk will make a great impact. It’s a quick way to add your POV to a rather simple worksurface.

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NY travel? Check out the new Surrey Hotel

The lobby at the renovated Surrey hotel in New York.

Not your traditional post today about items for your desk or office, but considering the possible business travels by my readers, I’m taking some liberties. You may have seen me write about her once or twice, but today is the birthday of Lauren Rottet, the acclaimed interior architect who designed the $60 million renovation of The Surrey, a boutique hotel from The Denihan Group located in the upper East Side of NYC. The project was just published last month in Interior Design magazine and it was my first look at the completed work. Lauren and her amazing team are leaders in the corporate environment world of dream offices you would kill to work. And trust me, I know how crazy it sounds to say “kill to work.” Now, her exquisite sensibilities can be experienced by those staying at the newly opened hotel.

If ever wanting to experience how big companies work and play, then check out Rottet’s portfolio on her company web site, Rottet Studio. You’ll get a glimpse of the beautiful clean lines and modern aesthetics that spark a romance to working in corporate America.

Happy birthday Lauren.

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