Think Outside the (Crayon) Box: Office Supplies for Grownups

Think Outside the (Crayon) Box: Office Supplies for Grownups

It happens every summer. The temperature rises, public pools see a rise in popularity, and store shelves fill to bursting with school supplies. Hello Kitty winks at you from atop pink-handled safety scissors. A rainbow of bedding for extra-long twin beds calls out to high school graduates eager to decorate their new dorm rooms. It seems every store, big or small, is imploring students to stock their lockers, stuff their backpacks, and individualize their study spaces. It’s all madness!

Office Supply cover 2

Then, with a turn of the calendar page, the schoolhouses fill with well-equipped pupils and a cool breeze seems to blow all the supply lists away. Now, my darlings, now it is our turn! After all, I enjoy the promises offered by a fresh notebook as much as any grade-schooler. Now that all the schedule-interrupting fun of summer is gone it seems the perfect time to fill my work space with things shiny and new.

Edgy Office copy

Get Edgy

Filling your workspace is a lot like stocking your wardrobe: if you are going to use it ‘most every day, you should love it; it should represent you. If, for instance, your favorite outfit includes a motorcycle jacket and oversized Lucite bangles, a plastic in-box and wooden ruler will bore you to tears. You need a little edge to your desk accessories. Grab a snakeskin tray, edgy colored pencils and tape dispenser, and lamp.

oppulent office copy

Glam it Up

Posh, elegant, glamorous — these are the adjectives that best describe your favorite things. Special touches will give everyday items a luxurious quality. Subtle shimmer, precious metals, and jewel tones help create a space that will appeal to the refined tastes of your inner heiress. Accessorize with a gorgeous paperweight, sophisticated planner and pen, and a floral desk calendar.

Naturalist Office copy

Bring the Outdoors In

The naturalist is inspired by nature and the desire to preserve it. If that sounds like the talk you talk, then your office is a good place to walk the walk. Give your space a bit of (flori)culture with supplies that mimic forms found in nature, like these leafy cable ties. Or, better yet, look for items made of natural materials such as these colored pencils. Don’t forget to re-use and recycle. Put a damaged hardback on the rebound by having it converted to a case for your e-reader or use upholstery scraps to make a chic business card holder resembling your favorite wildlife.

Whimsical office copy

A Touch of Whimsy

Nurture your creativity by surrounding yourself with the whimsical, cheeky, and fun. Your left brain will appreciate the functionality of necessities such as clothespin magnets and woodsy bookends, while your right brain thrives on the fanciful patterns and designs. Add other special touches with a floral phone case or cute hedgehog erasers. With both hemispheres satisfied, your work will be as productive as it is fanciful.

vintage office

Go Old School

If you like to rock retro, then you’ll thrive in a space with a vintage vibe. The key here is to buy vintage when you can and fake the rest. Swingline staplers haven’t changed their form or function much in the last several decades, so put that 40-year-old baby to work! On the other hand, I’m not sure how efficient one can be with an honest-to-goodness rotary phone; consider a reproduction. Also be on the lookout for things like calendars of vintage prints, antique lamps or lampshades, and good old-fashioned supplies (like paste!). When you surround yourself with antiques you love you’ll soon realize how taking a look back can really fuel your forward thinking.

At Plum Deluxe we’d never put you in a box, crayon or otherwise. The above supply types are just suggestions, so feel free to mix, match, or make up a style that’s totally new. Vintage glam with an undercurrent of eclectic hippie grunge, perhaps?

I encourage you to check out these great shops for restocking your supply drawer:

The Container Store
See Jane Work
Urban Outfitters
Stubby Pencil Studio
And any boutique, junktique, and antique stores you love to explore.

Then sit down at your newly-equipped desk, open your blank agenda, and fill the pages with all the promises fall has to offer.

Lead photo by dhester.

Think Outside the (Crayon) Box: Office Supplies for Grownups

Janice Bear

Janice Bear is still a girl despite her 30-something years. She laughs too loud, talks too much, and is certain her hair has a mind of its own. While unsure of what she wants to be when she grows up, she's positive the search will be a 5-star dramedy. Catch her when you can at Never a Plain Jane.

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