All the Scandinavian stationery and desk essentials to get you ready for autumn

By Rebecca Thandi Norman

Photo: Ferm Living

Here are the top Scandi essentials for your desk, from organisers and paper products to decorative items that bring a touch of beauty to your work space

It’s back to school time! Even for those of us no longer in school, autumn is a season to dive back into work after the sometimes less-than-structured period of summer and to think about what we want our work days to look like. Part of that is organising your desk: what are the items you need, and what are the items that make your work day a little bit easier or more enjoyable?

Here are a few of our favourite items to brighten up your desk.

Desk lamp

Flowerpot VP9 Lamp by &Tradition
A portable lamp is ideal for a small desk as it can be moved around easily – even removed from the desk for extra space – and doesn’t have that pesky cord taking up room. The Flowerpot VP9 by Verner Panton, produced by &Tradition, is a classic that comes in loads of great colours. Brightness can be increased or decreased by simply tapping the top.

Buddy Table Lamp by Northern
This cute little table lamp by Norwegian design brand Northern not only offers light, but also a small cup attached to the base that’s ideal for pens or other small desk items. Who doesn’t love a two-in-one?

Flowerpot VP9 Verner Panton 1968.


2x2 by Ferm Living
Made from powder-coated metal, these stackable shelves are ideal for loose papers, notebooks, and other little bits and bobs that often end up floating around the desk. The trays look light, but they are actually surprisingly heavy and sturdy, so they’ll last for a long time and can hold more than you think.

O-Tidy by Vitra
This small plastic tray includes a base that’s great for items like paperclips or a stapler, and a taller section for pens, rulers, and more. The choice of colours and thick material makes it a great choice for any desk, including a kid or teen’s work space.

Bookbox by August Sandgren
Hide anything and everything on your desk away in these gorgeous Bookboxes. Made from leather, wood, or textiles, these boxes come in three sizes and hold everything from magazines to folders and much more. The large size is best for books or documents. Get a full mix-and-match (or all matching!) stack for an elegant and functional storage solution.

2x2 by Ferm Living.

For under the desk

Waste-bin by Josef Frank
Don’t think a wastepaper basket can be chic? Let Josef Frank change your mind. The perforated metal of the body, with a design inspired by Gothic quatrefoil, meets the polished brass banding at the top for a classic look on this special waste receptacle, which comes in two sizes.

Magazine Holder by August Sandgren
Sleek and luxurious, this magazine holder is soft and foldable, while also being sturdy. There are two straps that can go over the top or on the sides. The holder is made to fit most shelf sizes, so it can easily be stored away if you don’t want to keep it under or next to your desk. It’s a totally unique organizing item that can be used in many ways.

Herman Magazine Rack by Ferm Living
With a powder-coated iron frame, cotton canvas cradle, and leather laces, the Herman Magazine Rack has a rustic-meets-minimalist look that suits a number of styles. Keep it under your desk to collect folders, magazines, or books, then fold it up when it’s not in use.

Waste-bin by Josef Frank, Svenskt Tenn.

Magazine holder by August Sandgren.

Pen holders

Pen holder by August Sandgren
A square container made from supple Oeko-tex leather with no visible stitching, this pen holder is as sleek and elegant as it gets. It’s surprisingly roomy; pens, rulers, erasers, and everything else will fit easily inside.

Pen Holder by Studio Arhøj
These glazed ceramic pen holders are like little vases for your writing implements. They add a splash of fun to your desk, while keeping you organised. With a huge variety of glaze colour combinations, you’ll easily find the one that appeals to you.

Pencil Plate by Svensk Tenn
If the standard pen holder isn’t for you or if you have too much space on your vast mid-century desk, then take a look at this pen plate. Made from pewter and designed in the 1940s, this gorgeous plate is classic and luxurious – the perfect gift for someone starting a new job.

Pencil Plate by Svensk Tenn.

Paper products

Paper Pack by Arhøj Studio
Maybe physical thank you notes aren’t required for everything anymore (digital seems to be the way these days), but having some beautiful paper and envelopes to send special notes – whether it be a thank you note, a birthday message, or something else – is a good idea for your desk. There’s something quite lovely about sending a physical letter on gorgeous paper. These cards by Arhøj Studio are perfect; a great size and excellent quality.

Memo Block by Josef Frank
Write yourself, or someone else, a quick note with this classic square memo block. The sides feature a gorgeous design by Josef Frank, so you’ll be happy to have it sitting out on your desk.

Notebook by Kikki.K
Whether you like your notebooks minimalist and neutral or colourful and printed, Swedish brand Kikki.k has one for you. Find the size, design, and binding that suits your style and get scribbling.

Paper Pack by Arhøj Studio.

Memo Block by Josef Frank, Svenskt Tenn .

Decorative items

Rock Pile Sculpture by Kristina Dam Studio
Made from marble, stone, and metal, these stones inspired by nature are ideal to keep on your desk for paperweights, and to randomly hold or touch for a sense of calm. Think of them as a very refined fidget item for adults.

Pearl by Studio Arhøj
The Pearl by Studio Arhøj is a hearty ceramic ball with colourful, smooth glazing on top. Use it as a paperweight or simply rest your hand on it for a tactile treat. There are lots of colour choices, so you can easily find the one that matches your desk or workspace's colour scheme. Side note: the names of the colours are almost as charming as the shades themselves.

CREATE by Nordstjerne
Available in brushed brass and antique black iron, the CREATE sculpture by Nordstjerne is a grown-up toy with an artistic look. It comes in two sizes, and the smaller one is ideal for desks. With 14 pieces, CREATE lets you channel creativity by building your own sculpture. And when you’re not playing with it, it looks great just sitting on your desk.

CREATE by Nordstjerne.