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There’s a certain office style that seems to dominate over most others at the moment: lots of angles, sharp lines, and hard, artificial materials. Lots of glass, chrome, and very dark, cold colors. But it doesn’t have to be that way! These products will help you bring in an organic influence to warm up your office without losing the sleek look that’s so popular.
Grovemade Apple and Desk Accessories
Walnut is a gorgeous wood, and Grovemade combines it with the nice lines of Apple products to make an absolutely stunning mashup of technology and nature. The keyboard tray ($79) fits the Apple Bluetooth keyboard like a glove, and gives you some extra storage space, and the monitor stand ($119), mousepad ($79), and wrist pad ($49) will work with any sort of equipment that you have. And the varied dishes, planters, and a desk lamp ($119) round out the collection.
But you don’t have be at your desk to appreciate the beauty of Grovemade products: they make cases and bumpers for iPhones, cases and backs for Macbooks and iPads, and even a watch ($239). If you appreciate leather, you can also pick up a notebook or an iPhone case with a leather front, and if walnut isn’t your thing, most of their products come in maple, as well.
Pfeiffer Woodbase Collection by Evernote
Evernote has been getting into the branding game lately (with things like a Côte&Ciel backpack and the Adonit Jot Script Evernote Edition), and my first thought is usually, “Wow, that’s expensive.” However, I was struck by the Pfeiffer Woodbase Collection‘s simple design and multi-material look. Eric Pfeiffer has done a phenomenal job of creating desk accessories that work extremely well with the things you use every day: the slotted cup holds your phone or business cards and has a secret compartment in the bottom; the tablet stand has a cutout through the bottom so you can plug in your iPad without cluttering your desk with cables.
If you want all three pieces, you’ll be dropping $110, which is a lot for desk accessories, but the walnut accents are beautiful, and will definitely help create a warmer, more natural feel in your office. If you like the design and convenience aspects, but not the price, you can also purchase three colors of the slotted cup and stacking cups from the Brightbase Collection (including, of course, Evernote green).
Although I’m trying to get you away from the steel-and-glass look of the office, there’s definitely room for some of its influence. There’s no denying that concrete, metal, glass, and hard plastic have a sleek look that’s connected to the minimalist-tech-startup vibe. Combining this aesthetic with the most “naturey” of office decorations, the desk plant, gives you a super cool way to add some green without cluttering your office with those little terra cotta planters.
There are tons of options for glass terrariums, but I especially like Cube Terrarium from West Elm, pictured above. It’s a bit of an investment at $49, but the fact that it serves as several small terrariums makes it a better deal than it sounds at first. You can also go for a more natural shape, like the shell terrarium pictured directly above ($17 from Dot & Bo).
There are tons of options for housing plants in your office — find one that works for you! And if you think plants just take up space, try an herb terrarium — you’ll have fresh herbs to bring home for cooking. And if you’re looking for more great ideas, check out this Fun Office Plants board on Pinterest!
Not all of the best ways to make your office feel more organic have to do with plants and wood. Materials like canvas and linen can make a big difference too — they look and feel quite a bit warmer than plastic or metal, and they’re generally a lot cheaper than wood, too. You can find canvas boxes and bins in a lot of different shapes: the one shown above is actually a kids’ art supplies organizer ($15), but would work perfectly for desktop storage.
Rubbermaid also makes a series of canvas- and cloth-covered storage options, that come in a number of sizes and colors; above are two bins that could be used as letter trays or temporary file storage ($12) for your office. There are others that include flexible dividers that can be removed to create different storage configurations. A quick search on Amazon will show you a huge range of bins that will solve just about any office storage need.
Organic Writing Implements
Now that you have storage, organization, and plant life covered, you can focus on the really small, day-to-day things. I mentioned some of my favorite pens in this article about great notebooks, but I didn’t mention some of the more stylish ones that I like, including almost the entire range of E+M’s pens and pencils, pictured above. They use multiple different types of wood (including the awesome zebrano wood seen in the Shaper ($6), center, and the Sketch Pencil ($27), right).
And if you’re writing with a wooden pen, you might as well go all-out and get one of these wood-covered notebooks from Franklin Mill ($9.99 for 5″ x 8″, $11.99 for 7″ x 10″). The covers are 100% wood, but they’re designed to flex and are reinforced by laminated webbing. You can also get a really cool reclaimed wood version.
Let Nature In
We’ve been striving to push nature out of our buildings and offices for a long time, but the synthesis of nature and technology makes for some beautiful, warm spaces that will help you be productive and make you feel more comfortable at your desk. Embrace nature!
How do you let nature into your office? Have you taken any steps to make your office or home feel more organic? Share your thoughts below!