Type "minimalist desk setup" into YouTube and you'll find a treasure trove of videos dedicated to white, well-lit sit-stand desks, massive monitors, and mechanical keyboards.
I, myself, have tried to model my current home office setup after the kinds of workstations I've seen in my social media feeds. And while I do have a few items on my desk that could be considered "expensive," I'm a fan of simple things that don't cost a lot.
You don't need to spend a fortune to make your desk look like a million bucks. Here's how:
The Page Anchor is one of my favorite desk items. It's sleek, it's elegant, it's well made, and it does one thing very well: it holds your book open.
If you're someone who likes to place a book down on your desk and read while you're eating your morning cereal, or you have one propped up on a stand while you take notes, you might have trouble keeping it open.
New hardcovers and paperbacks with fresh spines tend not to open flat. They close on their own, making the Page Anchor a necessity. It's made of stainless steel with two prongs on the back that slide down into the rear of the book while the anchor in front holds down the two-page spread in front of you.
Like I said - simple.
The Page Anchor comes in gold, silver, rose gold, and black--and there's even a gift set with an array of colors to get you started.
This one is interesting, because I don't believe the majority of people who buy it will use it more than once, but that's ok. I'm a firm believer in having beautiful objects on your desk simply because they are beautiful.
The Hovel pencil plane by Makers Cabinet is a brass pencil sharpener modeled after a woodworker's plane. You simply line up the included razor blade with built-in magnets, screw the clamp in place, and you can start shaving down your pencils to a fine point.
There's a knack to it and it'll take some practice, but the results are truly unique. And after a while, it becomes kind of meditative, too. I also suggest springing the extra $15 for the walnut base, unless you want your desk to get scratched up by the razor's edge.
You can drop your keyboard and mouse into the middle of your desk, sure, but your optical mouse will need a mouse pad -- and who wants to use a boring, square, foam pad anymore?
Grovemade, makers of fine desk shelves and accessories, has a series of leather and wool desk mats in a variety of sizes and colors. My personal favorite is the merino wool felt desk pad.
I have the lighter version, which is a cheery gray, adorned only with a leather tag on the side that's been stamped with "Grovemade." The smaller pad, which sits on my desk each day, measures twenty-four point seven-five inches wide by eleven inches tall, and it's perfect for tenkeyless keyboards, like my Keychron K2 mechanical keyboard--with plenty of room on the side for your mouse.
At $50, the Grovemade wool desk pad is an inexpensive way to spruce up your boring desktop with a little bit of sophistication.
You don't need a fancy fountain pen to pull your workspace together. For fifty-five dollars, you can get yourself a stunning rollerball in the form of the Baronfig Squire.
Made of aerospace grade aluminum and perfectly balanced, the Squire provides a smooth writing experience, whether you're jotting down to-do lists, taking meeting notes, or writing the Great American Novel.
The Squire is available in five colors, including fig wine, charcoal, rose gold, blue slate, and blackout. There's also a precious metals collection available in Copper, Stainless Steel, and Brass for a little more.
Though the Squire is a nearly perfect pen, it's also cylindrical and can easily roll right off your desk. To avoid denting the aluminum, you might want to pick up a Baronfig Pen Stand.
It's made from the same material as the Squire and provides not only a perfect home for it when it's not in use, but it also acts as a display stand. Now, every time you reach for your pen, you can feel like King Arthur pulling Excalibur from the stone.
There's even a little sword on it, too.
It doesn't take much to create the kind of workspace you look forward to coming back to each day. For about $250, you can decorate your desk with objects that aren't just beautiful, but functional as well. Objects that wear over time and provide you with years of service. Objects that can be passed down to loved ones for generations.
Embrace the joy in simple things. Don't assume a high price tag means an equally high value. And on the flip side, don't disregard the perfect accoutrement simply because it costs less. The things we invite into our lives are valuable because of how they make us feel...and for a few hundred dollars, you can feel like a million bucks.