Shopping for Desk Accessories – The New York Times

Shopping for Desk Accessories – The New York Times


Shopping Guide

Putting your work space in order isn’t just about getting organized — it should also make your work more fun.

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Tim McKeough

Desktop organizers — pencil cups, trays, staplers, tape dispensers — aren’t there just to help you work better or faster. They also represent an opportunity to bring a little everyday joy to your work space.

“I’m at my desk so much, I like it to be a collection of favorite things — things that I find beautiful,” said the interior designer Thomas O’Brien, whose latest book, “Thomas O’Brien: Library House,” due out next month from Abrams, has a photo of an artfully arranged desk at his home in Bellport, N.Y., on the cover.

Mr. O’Brien prefers accessorizing his work space with an eclectic collection of pieces rather than using a matching desk set, and he frequently employs things that weren’t necessarily designed for a desk: a vintage glass goblet serves as a pencil holder; a decorative bowl contains binder clips.

“It’s definitely about the mix of old and new,” he said, “and having different things with different materials.”


  • Which accessories suit the way you work? “I’m a big pencil person,” said Mr. O’Brien, whose favorite brand is Blackwing. “So there’s usually a pencil sharpener” on his desk, he said, along with a pencil cup and blotter. But there is little point in cluttering your work space with things you won’t actually use.

  • Where do you work? Mr. O’Brien likes to spread his work out on the dining table, which makes portable, grab-and-go accessories particularly useful.

  • Will your desktop evolve over time? Mr. O’Brien said his desk changes more frequently than other parts of his home. “As I collect and find things,” he noted, “things take a turn.”


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Concrete Tape Dispenser

Small cast-concrete dispenser by Magnus Pettersen

$20 at Areaware: 800-783-5683 or areaware.com


Brass Pencil Holder

Multilevel pencil holder from Ferm Living

$99 at Danish Design Store: 877-787-0032 or danishdesignstore.com

Canaan Tall Bowl

Small bowl of black and white marble

$198 at Jonathan Adler: 800-963-0891 or jonathanadler.com


Lucite Stapler

See-through stapler with brass-colored center

$26 at Poketo: 213-537-0751 or poketo.com

Super Stacked

Set of stacking trays, pen cup and pens

$55 at Poppin: 888-676-7746 or poppin.com


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