Nope, you don’t need to get everything from IKEA. Great workspace design is key in coworking, from hubs to clubs and community. Designer accessories which are clever – yet practical – are also important. From New York to Berlin, Barcelona and Copenhagen, here are 10 products which might come in handy in your office or work lounge. Some are creative touches, others are practical additions. Some might even save you money – keep reading to see if you want to add these to your wish list.
App my Box
This February in Frankfurt, the Ambiente housewares fair sparked some buzz when Rotho, a storage box company, premiered the world’s first app box. Each plastic box (made in Switzerland) has its own individual QR code. The app boxes help keep track of storage directly from your smartphone. You can download the free app on your smartphone, give the box a name and enter the contents with all the deets. Best part: If you’d rather keep your box contents private in a coworking space, you now have an alternative.
For those coworking spaces which are a tad sterile, perhaps a handmade lantern might warm up the fluorescent lights and IKEA desks. Ana Kraš, a Serbian artist based in New York, has created a delightful series of lamps called Bonbons. These multi-colored, dyed-cotton string lamps soften the coldest of any rooms. Made by looping threads onto wire frames, you can see the bulb peeking through the strands, casting abstract shadows onto walls. This series is handmade and one of a kind by Kraš, and is referred to as a “family of lanterns.” They have a fantastic, retro Japanese vibe to them.
Dopper Water Bottles
If the recycle bin at your workspace is filled to the rim with water bottles, Dopper has a solution. They promote filtered tap water (over bottled water). They started their own dishwasher-safe water bottle design that will never hit the trash can. Dopper is on a mission to put an end to ‘plastic soup’ as they call our oceans, which have a billion kilos of water bottle plastic. Buy one of their plastic water bottles and a portion of the proceeds will go to support drinking water projects in Nepal. Bonus: The Dopper app helps you find a free tap location anywhere you are in the world. “Keep asking for drinking water, this will increase the number of tap locations,” they write.
Dachshund Piggy Bank
If you’re saving up your pennies while waiting for an investor breakthrough, Dachshund piggy bank from KCG Chaoskind will help give you faith. A great reminder of ‘saving’ on any desk space, this green dog speckled with stars is perfect for coworking – it has three slots along its long, curvy back. Besides, if you’re saving money from going out for coffee and lunch every day, this is a good way to keep track of how much.
If you’re going to pull out any pens in the office, you might as well write to impress (when you’re not at your laptop). If you ever need to write a thank you card, start with Kaweco pens, an old school, 130-year-old German pen company which treats writing instruments like diamonds – very preciously. Known for their top quality writing instruments, the DIA2 series is a perfect example of a classic design which hails back to the 1940s. Black glossy pens with brass clips, metal fittings and chrome plating will dress up any desk. You can pick up Kaweco pens at Colekt, a concept shop and gallery in Frankfurt. Just don’t lend this pen out to your fellow coworkers. You might never get it back.
Stelton Coffee Mugs
The Circle Mug from Stelton, a design company from Denmark, offers two-tone stoneware mugs designed by Francis Cayouette, a Canadian designer who runs the award-winning design firm, Unit10. They come in a variety of spring colors, from a coral reef to lime green. They even have a matching vacuum jug (the trademark Stelton jug from the 1970s).
Sigel Magnet Board
The Artverum glass magnet board from Sigel is a practical addition to any coworking space. The board, which comes in various sizes, is magnetic. Post flyers, calendars and scrawl reminders, as can write and wipe on these boards. The boards come in seven colors, from black to white and turquoise. Great for group meetings, Artverum also sells a white satin sheet for the larger boards, so presentations can be projected onto the screen. You might want to show movies, too.
Iris Lunch Bag
Coworking has its pitfalls – it’s easy to rush off to lunch with the group, when you could be bringing in a packed lunch and saving your money. Motivate yourself by gifting yourself and others the Twin Bag Orange by IRIS from Barcelona. Insulated and lined with zippers to keep food fresh and crispy, it has two carry options so you can swing it over the shoulder on a bike or tuck it into a backpack. It comes with plastic containers and cutlery.
If you find yourself in online overload, be sure to take a coworking break with Upon Paper, a new art magazine with enormous newspaper-format pages. Featuring cutting edge architecture, animation and technology, it is a project by the art paper company, Hahnemühle Fine Art. The magazine recently released their second issue, themed around color. Featuring photos by American artist and musician Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth, the cover image is by English art director and designer, Peter Saville (who designed record covers for Joy Division and New Order). Covered in high contrast pigments and florescent ink, this is a winning option if you need creative inspiration in the workspace.
Monkey47 German Gin
Monkey 47, a local German dry gin is made with spring water from the Black Forest. At 47% alcohol, it’s a strong taste and best saved for special occasions. When one of your coworkers has a birthday, there’s a work anniversary or someone gets a promotion, everyone deserves a shot of Monkey 47. The name is in the recipe – made with 47 ingredients, including blackberry, cloves and ginger. It comes in an old school medical bottle, sealed with a cork. Every visitor will be asking: “What’s in that bottle?” Be prepared for refills, unless you tuck it away in the coworking office kitchen.
Do it Yourself
All of these designer accessories bring a touch flavor into your working environment. Yet sometimes prices can run a little high, so luckily for you there are also tons of DIY websites out there such as Instructables, DIY.org or Greenupgrader that show you how to make everything from lamps to recycled desks. For example, you can create a large spherical lamp made out of mini Ikea lampan lamps or toilet paper or add an elegant addition to your space with just a piece of wood and $3 fruit bowls.
Of course you don’t need to make everything yourself…for example, if you like the DIY wood lamps found in the first picture of the article, you can purchase them from places like Vuka coworking in Austin, Texas – as long as their online shop is not broken.
- Design and development firm Fueled officially launches its boutique startup coworking space in New York (thenextweb.com)
- See the fastest growing, most up to date, global coworking directory!!! (coworking-news.de)
- Why Coworking Spaces Are Here To Stay (iteam212.wordpress.com)