Office Chic

By Hannah Wallace April 30, 2008

Dramatic entrance

Who says you can’t judge an office by its receptionist’s desk? Your clients might, so create a striking first impression with a dramatic glass desk designed by Dario Antonioni for the Arches collection of Elite Manufacturing. This sleek model is a high-tech mix of tempered glass, steel, chrome and wood, with enough style to be the sole piece of furniture in the room. $2,000. Or pair it with Dario Antonioni’s floating glass shelves, with their gleaming chrome arc and striking angular frame. $1,015. Home Resource, 741 Central Ave., Sarasota (941) 366-6690.


Shed some light on the problems at hand with the German-made sleek and serious-looking Holtkotter Halogen Table Lamp. The glass shade is flying saucer-shaped; the base is available in a variety of finishes, including antique brass, hand-brushed old bronze and satin nickel. The bulb sheds 75 watts to 100 watts of halogen light with a full-range dimmer. $600 to $650. The Lamplighter Shop, 2628 17th St., Suite C, Sarasota (941) 953-4292.

Hang it up

What office doesn’t need a coat rack, and what office doesn’t deserve the maestro of all coat racks—the Landscape Coat Tree from Calligaris? This Italian design firm was founded in 1923 and still leads the industry in creating versatile and functional products with impeccable design and craftsmanship. This suave coat rack, crafted in satin silver steel with solid walnut accents, is the perfect accent to a variety of interiors. $499. Living Walls Furniture & Design, 1311 Main St., Sarasota (941) 957-4411;

Go, go Gubi

In Sarasota, dk vogue offers a host of Gubi (Danish design firm) designs, including the GOS II series of work tables created by celebrated industrial designer Anders Lundqvist. These height-adjustable tables sport simple, elegant lines and a seriously stable design. They’re great for meetings and deskwork: the crossbeam-free design makes either side of the desk a comfortable place to sit. They’re available in a rainbow of finishes and sizes, and feature such accessories as a cable entry, shield and tray, a CPU holder and a filing drawer. $2,600-$4,000. DK Vogue, 1830 S. Osprey Ave., #104, Sarasota (941) 952-9351.

Vintage chic

Awarded the "Design of the Decade" by the Industrial Designers Society of America and Business Week magazine, Herman Miller’s Aeron Chair is comfortable, ergonomic and stylish. In Sarasota, Exit Art features this classic chair ($749-$1,025). Pair it with Herman Miller’s vintage Eames three-seat sofa, designed by Charles and Ray Eames for their Pacific Palisades home and a staple of Herman Miller since 1954 ($3,229). While you’re there, check out the circa-1950s wooden and metal wall clocks by George Nelson—perfect for that retro accent ($265-$340). Exit Art, 203 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key (941) 387-7395.

Simplify, simplify, simplify

Need expert help designing your office? First things first: make sure your desk faces the door, advises interior designer Micheline Laberge, who has spent years designing public and private spaces for a host of commercial enterprises. It’s not only good feng shui, she says, but polite as well; you don’t want your back to be the first thing seen when entering your office. Next on her list: Get rid of all those chotchkes littering your office. Less is more. You might delight in your ceramic frog collection, but others might not. Lighting is critical, she says, and should include, if possible, a combination of natural and artificial light. Micheline Laberge, ASID, 924-1778.

Heartfelt art

“Art is the most important accessory for any office,” says Pat Dabbert, co-owner of the Dabbert Gallery. “It sets the tone for the whole room, inspires conversation and helps make your office space distinctive.” Prints and posters are a great way to light up a wall; we recommend Craig Rubadoux’s 2008 Florida Winefest and Auction poster. Entitled Vino, Amantes y Tiempo Para Gozar Media Luna (Wine, Lovers and Time to Enjoy the Half Moon), this signed, limited-edition print is a whimsical glimpse of two lovers embracing in a tango. All proceeds are directed to children’s charities so you’re sprucing up your office and helping a great cause. $125. Dabbert Gallery, 76 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota (941) 955-1315.

Toys ‘n’ gadgets

From a slingshot-flying monkey to a penguin stress toy to a desktop Zen sand garden, Office Playground ( takes your office fun seriously. Bitwise Gifts ( claims “you can only do so much work in a day without going crazy. Grab some office toys for the other seven hours!” Bitwise’s selection includes a book entitled Fun Games to Play at Boring Meetings and a “Mr. P. Human Tape Dispenser.” Hammacher Schlellmer ( offers more useful gadgets, such as the Desktop Light Therapy Box, which delivers 5,000 lux of daylight spectrum light. Its manufacturers claim this blocks the release of melatonin, a sleep hormone, and keeps you alert and energetic. $89.95.

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