SANTA MONICA BEACH APARTMENT TOUR: MY DESK AND FAVORITE "SCHOOL" SUPPLIES


I know back to school content has likely passed... but since I am just getting back at it, and really only care about grown up school supplies right now, I figured this would be the perfect time to share my little desk situation from our last home. Before moving into our unfinished condo, Arthur and I shared a one bedroom apartment with amazing views, but very little space. So this desk has continued to serve as my little slice of freedom and inspiration, and despite my strong preference for Arthur not to hang a giant television above it, I will say it worked out somewhat in my favor, as I would often watch The View or Bravo reruns while I worked away. And I am excited now for my desk to find a whole new purpose in our new home, whenever I can actually unwrap it and put it together. Hopefully this time it rests under a beautiful live version of a Pinterest board, instead. Enjoy! 



Not sure what you like to drink while you work but like most people coffee is my drug of choice, usually plain black, but I am also obsessed with vanilla lattes so I try to squeeze them in whenever I can. Fortunately we have an espresso maker that I have learned to use and foam my almond milk with and I even purchased the same vanilla syrup my favorite coffee shop uses, as a desperate attempt to avoid paying $6 for one everyday. However, when I do splurge from time to time, they are soooo worth it and pair very well with their delicious alfajores cookies, just in case you were wondering! 





After my coffee situation gets settled I tend to sit down and get to work. I have had this desk now for almost eight years, ever since coming to Los Angeles for graduate school. It's been with me for all of it; late night papers, the start of Gisele Chic, studying for my licensing exams, planning my wedding, endless episodes of The Real Housewives while simultaneously inhaling Whole Foods sushi. As a creative, I've always appreciated a clean space with good energy, and more importantly, beautiful things on top to keep me forever inspired and excited. Like I always say, pretty desk, pretty good chance of getting work done. 





To stay organized I am still completely old fashioned with my physical agenda and paper to-do lists. Even though I use apple calendar and the notes app on my iPhone, having a real life schedule is extremely essential to keeping me on top of everything. Fortunately, we still have lots of great options for chic and practical products, which I hope never changes. My go to agenda is from a small company in Maine, that makes really high quality leather products and does a pretty good job monogramming. The color and font selection is very old school but the reason I keep coming back each year is for the professional planner I have become so accustomed to. It lays out each day, hour by hour so it's a really great visual for my work appointments. For my personal life I just use the calendar on my iPhone but I kind of wish I used a real agenda, maybe one day I will just have one for it all, hopefully a Symthson (#goals) if I'm lucky! 

For to-do lists I tend to use a very basic notepad but I also love this little pocketbook my friend monogrammed for me, it was especially handy for wedding planning as I kept almost all my tasks and meeting notes in there and is kind of a nice memento to keep. Sugar Paper also does monogramming onsite if you happen to visit them in store which is the quickest item I have ever had monogrammed. I have also used their agenda one year when my usual one wasn't able to ship in time, which was great because of how easy it opened and the super quick monogramming! 




If I could give one piece of advice about organizing both an aesthetically pleasing and functional desk it would be to utilize trays, boxes and books. My palm leaf tray is a wonderful reminder of my favorite hotel but also serves as home base for a lot of the cute, but easy to loose office supplies. Even without fully stylizing a tray, just having things grouped in one will make your desk look 90% less cluttered. 

Since I'm a sucker for cute packaging, I tend to keep lots of boxes that are just too adorable to throw out, for example, the cookie tin container from Sant Ambroeus or the macaroon box from LadurĂ©e which just happens to be the perfect size for the matchboxes I collect (again with the nice packaging) but would also make a perfect spot for paperclips, pushpins, business cards- all the small and easy to loose things that would be so annoying to have sprawled out everywhere. I also love keeping cards from friends and family so I have about 2-3 boxes currently storing those and I will sometimes stack them on top of one another, which if done right can look really nice. 

Books, just like on a coffee table (or closet shelf) work in every space as great decor, but on a desk they can provide more surface space for papers, mail, a handbag, and add a little dimension to the desk in a more stylish way. And I of course didn't invent the genius idea to use a mint julep cup for pens or the occasional single peony but I am beyond grateful for whomever did. 





Perhaps the most practical desk item, however, hands down is this uber chic hanging file! It's absolutely perfect for keeping papers OFF MY DESK. It's a total pet peeve of mine when I have unfiled papers on my desk and I have no idea where to put them. I will often just grab another pink file and create a tab for it just to get it away from my workspace. The hanging files come in so many colors and its the perfect pop my desk needed. If you need more than one you can always store more below but so far I have gotten pretty good at cleaning them out and shredding whatever I don't need anymore. 





The least practical, but most beautiful items on my desk are of course my fabulous blue and white ginger jars that really when you think about it, belong everywhere in my home. Sometimes I will fill them with flowers but typically I have them stand alone and just add a nice energy and color. Flowers are self explanatory. At one point I did have fake flowers but now I just can't, give me the real thing or nothing at all. I've linked a bunch of favorites here but I strongly recommend finding vintage ones at antique stores or Home Goods!





-MGN

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