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The Well-Appointed Antique Desk: 11 Essential Items for a Classic Workspace

CEO Tinh Phung
I've always had a soft spot for stationary stores. Growing up in a small town near Oberlin, Ohio, my mother and I would often visit the quaint Oberlin College book and stationary store. The smell...

I've always had a soft spot for stationary stores. Growing up in a small town near Oberlin, Ohio, my mother and I would often visit the quaint Oberlin College book and stationary store. The smell of fresh paper and the sight of endless aisles filled with notebooks and folders would captivate us for hours. It was during these trips that my fascination with antique desk accessories began. Together, we would scour flea markets and antique stores in search of the perfect letter opener, ink well, or blotter.

While the internet has made it easier to find these treasures, I still have a fondness for the thrill of uncovering hidden gems in dusty boxes. If you're looking to outfit your own antique desk, here are 11 essential items you'll need:

1. Letter Opener

Letter Opener A letter opener serves its purpose, but it can also be a beautiful statement piece for your desk. Choose from various styles, materials, and designs to add a touch of elegance to your workspace.

2. Paper Cutter

A paper cutter is a handy tool that was used in the past to slice apart the pages of a new book. Look for one as a part of a set of antique desk accessories to complete the vintage aesthetic of your workspace.

3. A Wax Seal

Wax Seal Wax seals were originally used to authenticate documents and seal envelopes. They add a touch of old-world charm to your correspondence. Remember, the design on the seal will appear in reverse on the impression, so be mindful of any text you include.

4. A Feather Quill

Feather Quill For an authentic vintage writing experience, a feather quill is a must-have. Hand-cut goose quills are still favored by professional calligraphers today. Look for vintage sets that come in a velvet carrying case for an added touch of sophistication.

5. Inkwell

Inkwell An inkwell is both a practical and decorative item for your antique desk. They come in various shapes and sizes and are made from materials such as brass, porcelain, silver, glass, or pewter. Consider adding one to your collection to complete the vintage look.

6. Letter Holder

Letter Holder Antique letter holders add a touch of elegance to your desk. Look for ones made of metal with intricate cut designs. While letters may not be as common nowadays, these holders will still make a statement in your workspace.

7. Desk Lamp

Desk Lamp No antique desk is complete without a vintage desk lamp. Whether you prefer the classic banker's light style or an antique gooseneck lamp, these lamps add a warm and nostalgic glow to your workspace. Look for brass pull chains for an extra touch of authenticity.

8. Globe

If you have the space, consider adding an old desktop globe to your antique desk. These globes, often with wooden or metal stands, are perfect for daydreaming and inspiring your next adventure.

9. Notebook and Blotter

Notebook and Blotter Complete your antique desk setup with a beautiful notebook and blotter. Vintage leather desk sets are a great find, and blotters are not only functional but also add a touch of sophistication to your workspace.

10. Postal Scale

Postal Scale An old postal scale is a practical addition to your antique desk. Apart from its usefulness, it adds a vintage charm to your workspace. Look for ones with brass weights and a wooden base for an authentic touch.

11. An Old-Fashioned Letter

Now that your desk is well-equipped, why not put it to good use? Sit down, take up your quill pen, and write an old-fashioned letter to someone special. In a world filled with digital communication, a handwritten note is a meaningful gesture that will make someone's day.

So, create your own vintage-inspired workspace by incorporating these essential items. Surround yourself with the nostalgia of a bygone era and let your imagination take flight as you sit at your well-appointed antique desk.