There’s something charming about a well-used desk: A few spare notebooks stacked up for when an idea hits you. A wastepaper basket filled with crumpled notes. A tea you forgot about because you were deep in thought. Pencil shavings. Ink splotches. The occasional bit of cigarette ash.
A desk is something that’s innately elegant, if you ask me. While a modern desk with utilitarian desktop accessories might be a preference for some, I’m old school. I want my desk to be messy and piled with beautiful objects. What’s the point of making time for you and your thoughts if you’re not surrounding yourself in beauty?
Montblanc Fine Stationery Notebook #146
While it’s easy to fall in love with Montblanc’s pens, the company’s stationery is equally impressive. The #146 notebook, especially in indigo, has a presence that far exceeds its competitors. With the snowcap logo and silver-edged paper, it’s understated and elegant, making each journal entry feel that much more special.
Smythson 2023 Premier Week-To-View Agenda
My favorite part of the holiday season is the anticipation of getting a new planner, digital calendars be damned. And while there are certainly cheap options on the market, investing ina high-quality planner is one way to make sure that it’s actually used. The Smythson’s pages (which come in a pale blue to complement the warm brown leather exterior) have ample room for recording dates, with a notes page for additional marginalia throughout the week. Smythson has been a favorite for everyone from Winston Churchill to Grace Kelly, so anyone using one is in good company.
Galen Leather A5 Zippered Folio
Galen’s zippered folio is ideal for anyone in a hybrid work situation (or anyone who simply prefers to take meetings at a coffee shop). While it’s beautifully crafted from a natural leather which will age into a rugged patina, the thoughtful design is the real show-stopper here. With various pockets and loops for pens, as well as a large interior pocket for an A5 notebook, this is a folio that is ready to go wherever you do.
Esterbrook Estie in Tortoise
One of the most popular American pen brands, Esterbrook has reinvented itself in recent years into a top-tier writing instrument company that punches way above its weight class. Its flagship line, the Estie, is a handsome pen that’s well balanced and easy to write with. The vintage-inspired acrylic design, called Tortoise, harkens to a bygone elegance. It’s a great first pen for anyone looking to dive into the world of luxury fountain pens.
El Casco Gold Pencil Sharpener
If pencils are more your thing you’re going to need a sharpener on hand. This gorgeous sharpener from El Casco is vintage-inspired and as handsome as they come. It’s plated in 23k gold and black lacquer, making it more of an heirloom than a workhorse desk object.
Hermès Mises et Relances Desk Mini Change Tray
Desks have a way of collecting all of the miscellanea of one’s day: ticket stubs, loose change, the odd paperclip. One way to inject a little elegance into your desk is to elevate even the most ordinary item with the right tray like this option from Hermès. Crafted from fine leather and stitched with the brand’s signature H, it’s an item that’s as much art as it is a place for everyday objects.
Peg and Awl Large Desk Caddy
Peg and Awl makes a desk caddy that’s great for the artist or writer who has too many tools and not enough space. Built from reclaimed pine, maple, or walnut, this desk caddy is fitted with 12 holes to keep everything in place.
Ystudio Classic Reflect Paperweight
Before you start getting any thoughts that the paperweight died out generations ago, consider Ystudio’s solid brass weight. It’s certainly a handsome upgrade from the glass rock that sat on my high school principal’s desk. The slight conical shape adds an upgrade to the look without diminishing its overall vintage-inspired feel.
Dempsey and Carroll Bespoke Stationery
You’ll be surprised how often you find yourself writing notes when you have nice stationery. While there are many brands out there that can do a bespoke set, none beat Dempsey and Carroll. With an array of options and styles (and a staff full of knowledge), there’s an option for anyone looking to upgrade their stationery game in the New Year and beyond.
Ettinger Capra Bookmark
It doesn’t take a lot of money to add a little luxury to your life. Take, for example, this bookmark from Ettinger. Made from a pebbled leather in a variety of colors, it’s just a touch of something special for even the most mundane job, like keeping your place in a book.
Ralph Lauren Brennan Leather Desk Blotter
A leather blotter protects a desk from ink spills and pencil scratching, but it’s also a beautiful addition to a desk’s tableau. The Ralph Lauren blotter comes in four colors of dyed calfskin and includes a pencil catch to make this item a blend of form and function.
Graf von Faber-Castell Desk Accessory Set
A full desk accessory set covers all of the bases when outfitting a work station. While this set is pricey, it comes with an array of items to upgrade your current desk with objects you’ll cherish. This set pairs warm calfskin leather with chrome accents and includes six pencils and a letter opener, pen holder, note box, pen tray, and desk pad. If not for yourself, it’s the ultimate gift for the writer in your life who is looking to spruce up their office.