In my teens I remember joyously flipping through Wallpaper magazines, excitedly anticipating “Desk Job” on the last page, which was a full-page photograph of a stylised desktop of an anonymous figure.
Think speculative fiction, but table toppers. The answers to this monthly game was released online, revealing a motley crew of phantom figures, from Damien Hirst to Santa Claus.
I was equally captivated by the playful fantasy element as I was by the idiosyncratic tabletops and the beautiful objects that populated them.
I’ve always dreamed of having a picturesque landscape of a desk but, alas, it’s a plan that was never to pan out in my professional life.
One of my first jobs as a fashion and beauty editor saw my tiny cubicle stacked to the brim with mail, PR packages, and the occasional clothes rack jammed in there somewhere.
I remember having a framed Juergen Teller photograph of Sofia Coppola grace my desk as desperate decoration, but I think later on it got obscured by a calendar, sadly.
When I was editor at Scout, I opted for a decidedly Spartan setup, with almost nothing there except for a computer. I figured it helped clear my mind in the midst of the whirlwind of things happening in those frenetic days.
Having to stay home during the state-sanctioned quarantine, I find myself glued to my home office desk longer than I ever had to in a while.
I’m sure it might be a similar case for some of you, so I guess it makes sense that our desktops undergo some sprucing up, if only to cheer ourselves in these bleak times.
Alexa Chung just posted a photo of her work station, a quaint wooden writing table facing a window. In the height of summer it looks like a cozy autumnal scene, an amalgam of pumpkin colors to soothe the eyes.
I also think about photographer Mark Lebon’s Instagram account, which is basically a loving ode to a table. The number of times it has been photographed rivals the myriad photos of the Queen.
Lebon’s egg-shaped table has been the longstanding blank canvas for a variation of tablescapes, which usually feature fresh flowers, a collection of stones, or the afternoon’s snack.
While writing the Danielle Steel story the other day, I also stumbled on a photo of the bestselling author’s fire-engine-red table.
Is this jolt of incandescent scarlet the secret to her raging productivity? I am reminded of the indefatigable Diana Vreeland’s all-red room, and I’m convinced this must be the case precisely.