Artists, designers, makers and photographers will all require different tech and tools for their work, but we can all agree there are some things that we could all benefit from to enhance our desk space.
Now that 2022 is well underway, we thought we’d have an enjoyable review of the latest products and desk accessories out there. From video conferencing gadgets, lighting and podcasting to brand new cameras, standing desk aids and funky additions to boost your creativity or just brighten your world.
Please note that some of the following recommendations have been gifted and tested by the team here at Creative Boom, so we’ll give you our honest feedback along the way.
The desk classic in a design that pops: Anglepoise & Paul Smith Type 75 Mini Desk Lamp
We’re starting strong with a design that’s familiar to all: the classic Anglepoise lamp but with a striking twist, as this ‘Edition Five’ has been made in collaboration with Sir Paul Smith. As such, the Type 75 Mini Desk Lamp comes in an array of interesting colours and is available from £209. It’s an accessory that will never date or let you down, looking as good on your desk as it is functional.
Lighting and charging with speaker: Groov-e Apollo
Groove-e’s Apollo LED lamp is the perfect fit for those of us with particularly small desks. It comes with a built-in wireless charger and Bluetooth speaker, too. It also offers three light modes, has touch control, is USB powered so you can take it anywhere, and is available in white or black. We especially love the soft glow, so it doesn’t distract or hurt our eyes. And the flexible neck allows loads of adjusting to get the right angle. Priced at £29.99, it’s an affordable option and our cheapest suggestion of the bunch.
Modern wooden lamp for a softer glow: Geo 200 Lamp
Not all of us want the sleek metal desk lamps of the Anglepoise kind. Some of us would prefer softer, more homely lighting. Enter the Geo 200 Lamp by Prior Made – modern, wooden lamp bases that are bold and eye-catching with a chance to design your own. There are 17 paint colours to choose from and 16 cables, so you can pick options to suit your office scheme. Made using sustainable and responsibly sourced plywood, finished with natural hard wax oil. Priced from £134.
When space is tight: Geo Filament Lamp
Sticking with Prior Made, we love this minimalistic wooden lamp that is once again customisable, depending on your home office interior. A little dash of geometric design with a filament bulb included, you can choose from 17 colours and 16 cables to add your own touch. We love Sea Blue with Orange, but there are countless combinations available. Priced at £114.
For when you need lighting to work harder: Key Light Air
With industrial-grade LEDs that keep intense lighting on your desk but without hurting the eyes, the Key Light Air is something many of us are considering as our next investment. It’s got a flat profile, small footprint and integrated cable management system that keeps your setup tidy. And the Control Center app gives you ultimate flexibility. Simply connect your Mac, Windows PC, iPhone or Android device to adjust brightness and colour temperature from anywhere in your studio, and get instant on-screen feedback. Fully adjustable and freestanding, it’s a pretty neat lamp that you’ll want to use for everything. Priced at £109.99.
Podcasting, video conferencing and more
Microphone for podcasting: Limelight by 512 Audio
Every creative knows that podcasts offer a fantastic chance for marketing. Saying you have a decent quality microphone on your About page, ready for recorded interviews, gives you a much better chance of getting noticed by podcast hosts than those who don’t. So what options are out there? We’ve got our eye on 512 Audio, a brand that has two affordable microphones available: the dynamic Limelight and the condenser Skylight.
For this review, we’d recommend the Limelight. Not just because it looks gorgeous and like something out of a vintage recording studio, but because it’s a dynamic vocal XLR mic that gives super clear vocals for close-range, talk-focused podcasts, broadcasts or live streams. Its hyper-focused pickup field captures your voice and cuts out any unwanted ambient noise – an essential for those working from home. And the built-in pop shield and switchable, low-frequency filter also remove intrusive plosives and low-end rumble for a clean, uncompromised sound.
To make life easier, we also highly recommend 512 Audio’s Boom Arm to attach to your desk, so you can swing the mic in and out of position whenever you like. The microphone costs £187.25, while the Boom Arm is £68.
Multifunctioning lamp for more than just soft lighting: Steelcase Eclipse
Steelcase Eclipse is a beautiful, elegant LED lamp that seamlessly integrates the functionality of a video and task light. Ah, yes! That all-important glow for your face during video interviews, calls and more as it makes shadows disappear (goodbye wrinkles, too) and has 14% Flicker-Free technology and superior colour performance to boot.
Eye strain shouldn’t be an issue either. The lamp is highly adjustable – in light level and position – which means we can personalise how our desk is lit. The kickstand, meanwhile, supports mobile devices in landscape or portrait, and the LED lights illuminate ourselves reflecting in the copper-tinted mirror. Available from Hunts Office soon in a choice of finishes: silver, white or black. Priced at £218 and available soon.
For ultra-bright, fully dimmable, on command lighting: Elgato Ring Light
Elgato’s offering is a slightly more affordable option and more of a specific “ring” light, currently priced at £129.99 directly from its website. Premium edge-lit lighting, it’s designed to flatter the skin, eliminate shadows, and give your eyes that special sparkle without glare. Wirelessly connect your Mac, Windows PC, iPhone or Android device to adjust brightness and colour temperature from anywhere in your studio, or use the onboard controls. Ideal for video and portrait shooting, or even just making yourself look good on camera when chatting with clients or delivering a talk.
Headphones for top quality sound: Beoplay HX Wireless Headphones
Every podcaster needs to stop the audio from their computer from getting picked up by their mic, so you might as well have a pair of headphones with the latest generation of “sonic superiority”. The Conran Shop has you covered with these Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX Wireless Headphones in a gorgeous sand colour. Priced at £449, they’re a bit of an investment, but we think they’re superior in terms of battery life (up to 35 hours wireless) and advanced noise cancellation technology. The headphones also feature a built-in microphone to take calls on the go.
Adjustable iPad stand: Twelve South HoverBar Duo
Do you know when you’re working on two screens and just need something to hold your iPad in the right position, rather than straining your neck to see what you’re doing? The Twelve South HoverBar Duo is an adjustable stand that can securely hold an iPad at different heights and in multiple positions and angles. Even better, it comes with a weighted desktop stand as well as a desk/shelf clamp, so whether you want to use it to help with illustration work, lift the iPad camera to eye level for FaceTime calls or clamp it to a kitchen cabinet to follow recipes whilst cooking, the HoverBar Duo is incredibly versatile. It’s also portable, sturdy and stable, making it an ideal companion for co-working and trips away. It’s yours for £79.99.
To stop you from sitting too much: Chalkdown Standing Desk
Eco-friendly, adjustable, perfect for laptop, keyboard and sketch pad, what’s not to love about this handy gadget by Chalkdown, an independent maker based in Sevenoaks. Made from FSC Hardwood Birch Ply, the standing desk is stable but with flexibility and sustainability in mind. And it’s been designed to suit any person as there are 144 different height adjustments to get the perfect setup for you. Priced at £99.50, we can see this working for our home studio but also when we’re working on-site for clients or at a co-working space, as the product is so lightweight.
Storage galore to keep your desk organised
For creatives who don’t sit still: Carry All Folder
Before the pandemic, many of us enjoyed a hybrid way of working, switching between home desks and co-working spaces. The Carry All Folder by Present & Correct addresses the issue of keeping all your stationery in one place. Yes it’s a file, but it’s also a smart accessory that allows you to store all your pens, pencils, scissors, and notebooks and then stick it on your shelf or carry it around with you. It’s the gadget you never thought you needed until now.
Flexible desktop organisation: Arrange Desktop by Muuto
A flexible system for when you need it, Muuto’s Arrange Desktop Configuration No.1 is a flexible system that allows you to organise things on your desk. Playful in design and gorgeous to look at, it’s essentially a combination of trays made in 100% recycled plastic with lids in either cork or aluminium. This is hardworking modern storage brought to you via Haus and priced at £85.
When you need a little extra: Oak Desk Trolley
Another beauty from Present & Correct is this perfect office trolley, made from sustainably-sourced oak that wheels under your desk and can be used to store everything from books and folders to that all-important paperwork. It’s finished in a waterproof, matt lacquer, so it is built to last. And its helpful wheels make it super easy to access and store away. Priced at £275, it’s not the cheapest of the bunch, but it certainly adds style.
Additional toys that double as beautiful ornaments
Compact camera for snaps on the go: Leica M11
Deemed as a “legend reinvented”, the new Leica M11 isn’t the cheapest option of the bunch. Still, fans will love to hear how it combines the experience of traditional rangefinder photography with contemporary camera technology to deliver maximum flexibility to every photographer. It’s got an exclusive triple resolution sensor, expanded ISO range, dual memory, extended battery life and a streamlined and intuitive menu system – all making it the new benchmark in digital photography and the most flexible M-System camera in Leica’s storied history.
Of course, it doesn’t just perform beautifully. It looks gorgeous, too, with the iconic design of a traditional Leica M but the helpful additional focus on efficiency and ergonomics. For instance, the controls have been arranged in a unique layout around a new, 2.3 million pixels, high-resolution touchscreen. At the same time, the menu structure of the M11 remains consistent with that of the Leica SL2 and Q2, offering a more user-friendly experience.
For real technical insight, the Leica M11 has a sensitivity range of ISO 64 to 50,000; it records a 14-bit colour depth and has a dynamic range of up to 15 stops. And with the optional electronic shutter featuring a shutter speed of up to 1/16000 of a second, you’ll get to work with wide-open apertures in bright light without ND filters. Need we say more? We’d opt for the silver version for classic looks. Priced at £7,500, it’s only for the more serious photography lover.
The original artist tool: Wooden Hand
For many creatives, the classic wooden hand is the go-to prop for their art practice. For the rest of us, it’s a nice reminder of why we love being part of the creative community, making a gorgeous ornament for our desk or nearby shelves. From Present & Correct, it’s available for £24.
For measuring or just adding a little colour to your desk: Wooden Ruler
Danish design brand Hay, the company founded by Rolf and Mette Hay in 2002, has become a firm favourite in the creative community. We love these gorgeous beechwood rulers, available for £7 each from Haus, adding colour and fun to your desk. Essential tools, yes, but also stylish ornaments.
For keeping things together: Elephant Staplers
Another beaut courtesy of The Conran Shop is this elephant stapler designed and made by Suck UK. Available in large or small and completely functional, they stand up on their own and make a charming addition to your desk. Made from sustainably-grown beechwood, the smaller version can hold no.16 staples while the larger can take no.56 staples. Priced from £20.
The decorative yet essential stuff
For keeping an eye on the time: Cylinder Flip Clock
Sleek, battery-operated clocks via Present & Correct that won’t take up too much space on your desk. Housed in a neat, crisp cylinder, they run off German quartz-based movement, so accuracy is guaranteed. Made in Hong Kong since 1968, these design classics are available in four different colours: black, grey, white, and yellow. Yours for £115.
For the stuff you throw away: Dusen Dusen Waste Paper Bin
Add a little colour and creativity at your feet with a printed wastepaper bin by the New York design brand Dusen Dusen, made in collaboration with Areaware. Its signature Face print on the outside will bring joy to any desk space. It is priced at £80 via Earl of East.
For a little greenery and clean air: Prayer Plant & Vibes Pot
Beards & Daisies are our new go-to online shop for indoor plants, and we just had to add its Prayer Plant with Vibes Pot to this important list. The recycled plastic pot by Elho is available in four gorgeous colours, including rose, butter, white or teal, as featured. And the plant is distinctive as its lush green leaves have red veins and pink undersides, adding just enough interest to any creative desk. It’s called a Prayer Plant because of the way the leaves fold together at night, as though contemplating its very existence every time you leave your desk. It’s yours for £21.
For holding down any paper: Grid Cube Paperweight
Ok, so many of us have gone digital these days, but the odd paperwork still graces any creative’s desk. Keep everything in place with a classic paperweight, only one that’s an old maths teaching aid that also functions as keeping anything from flying away. Nerdy yet gorgeous and available at £29, it’s just the accessory to complete your stylish new desk.