05 November 2014

Fresh New Finds for a Cheerful Desk

The most intriguing Pelikan fountain pen highlighter. I'm not doing 
much highlighting in my books these days, but I can imagine neon 
yellow doodles and flourishes for correspondence-- what fun!
Image via likecool.com

If you've browsed my past posts here, you might have gathered that I have a passion for antique desk things. This is still true of course (!), but I've recently come across some interesting new things to add to my desk. 

Art on a roll: fabulous printed tape by Angie Lewin for St. Jude's.
Image via stjudesprints.co.uk

The porcelain shade on this functional and cheerful lamp by
Original BTC gives a warm and wonderful light.
Image via originalbtc.com

A bit of art for the desk: an art print by Warpaint Studio.
Image via Signal Return Detroit.

There is a sense of permanence and continuity in contemporary design that's rooted in function and tradition. Perhaps it's because of the way they're made that these pieces mix seamlessly with antique prints and porcelains.

These are of course perfect for a cuppa, but wouldn't they be perfect for
pens and  pencils? Beautiful mugs from my favorite shop, Pentreath & Hall.
Image via pentreath-hall.com.

I always like to have a cushion on my desk chair, and this one is fantastic!

Emily Sutton's charming print for St. Jude's. 

It's wonderful to know that there are products out there that are designed and crafted with the same attention to quality as the antiques that I so adore. I feel a special affinity with these artists because in my work at the bindery, I aim to find that perfect balance between traditional craft and fresh new design as well. Adding these pieces to the mix on my desk has been such a treat, and has made everything seem new again. I hope you'll be inspired to do the same!   


  1. Hello Erika, It is well worth seeking out objects like these that can elevate the tone of everyday desk work. I never imagined putting highlighter ink in a fountain pen; even the ink bottle all by itself looks beautiful with that jeweled fluid! I especially like the way you adapt things that are not necessarily desk accessories to begin with. Of course, I mostly like to hunt for antique items, but adding some new ones can prevent a sense of stodginess.

    Looking over my own desk, I can see that it is time for some upgrading.You have given me a higher standard to aim for.

  2. Hello Jim,
    Thank you for your message-- I'm glad you enjoyed this post! It's amazing how 'invisible' our surroundings become, even after having been so carefully collected and arranged... Like you, my preference is for antiques, but these new things seem to sit very easily with them, and have added a bit of new life. That neon ink is interesting, isn't it??
    Warm regards,

  3. Hi, Erika,

    I too like your new additions, and I can imagine that they complement whatever antiques are on your desk. In fact those pink mugs remind me of an antique china that I've always heard described as "luster ware." The lamp also intrigues me because I've been looking for a small table lamp for the Pompeii Room, and have had so little success that now I'm thinking that the solution might just be a modern one like the one you've showcased. And those are great sites — I enjoyed the links!

    Best wishes,


  4. Hello Mark! Thank you for your message. I am enjoying this injection of color to my collections-- isn't it amazing how we stop seeing our beloved things until they're recombined with new things? I can't wait to visit your blog and see what's been happening with your masterpiece! I think sometimes when you can't find the right period piece (with lighting especially, a bad reproduction can be REALLY bad!), a completely modern one can make an interesting addition. Good luck-- so glad you enjoyed those links!

    Warm regards,

  5. Hi Erika,

    I just got this notice for a Desk Accessory auction at Cowan's. Quite a few newer pens to plow through, but also some interesting items, such as the Staffordshire inkwells:



  6. Oh my goodness, Jim! What a wonderful link! And such temptation-- thank you! Those inkwells are amazing.... I'm going to save the images for a future posting. What fun! Warm regards,

  7. I don’t know how should I give you thanks! I am totally stunned by your article. You saved my time. Thanks a million for sharing this article.