Early last summer, after twelve years as a freelancer, I got myself a desk in a shared office in Paris!
I had been thinking about it for a while: working from home wasn’t quite working for me anymore, the space I often borrowed at Maxence’s offices was getting filled, and I was drinking entirely too much coffee at my local (beloved) coffee shop.
As soon as I decided that’s what I wanted, it was all very flow-y. I did a search on this specialized website, looking for coworking space in my own neighborhood. I knew I had found The One as soon as I saw the photos. I arranged to meet the woman who owns the office that very day, we clicked, the desk was perfect for me…
…I “moved in” a couple of days later.
And this is now where I spend most of my days — when I’m not leading private food tours (get in touch if you’re interested!) or developing and shooting recipes — and I could not be happier or more productive.
Part of my bliss in moving in was personalizing my space with a few items, which I wanted to share with you today. I hope it serves as inspiration for next time you have a new office, giving you ideas of things to bring to make your days more comfortable and your work space more “you”.
These are the things I brought to my Paris office:
• My notebooks, which I take home and back every morning and every night. The black one is my soft-cover weekly planner; the pink one is for my daily affirmations; the blue one is my dotted notebook that I use for bullet journaling and task management.
• My favorite kind of pen, the triplus fineliner in black.
• The feathered camembert box that Milan made me for Mother’s Day, to keep paper clips.
• A selection of teas, caffeinated and non-caffeinated, loose-leaf and bagged.
• A ball infuser, for loose-leaf teas.
• A favorite tea cup, purchased in London some thirteen years ago, that has the word “fresh” embossed on the side.
• A mini-board from Earlywood on which to place my cup, to avoid staining the desk.
• My favorite kind of pen in 10 brilliant colors, for lettering and bullet journaling.
• The pencil holder is my late grandmother’s vintage measuring glass, graduated all around the rim for cacao, sugar, tapioca, starch, rice, semolina, and flour.
• A roll of Japanese masking tape of which I bought a ridiculous amount in Tokyo seven years ago (still working through my supply).
• Various postcards and photos dear to my heart, taped to the wall behind me with said masking tape.
• A pink drinking glass with a lid (to avoid spills) and a metal straw, which I got for helping crowdfund The Ocean Cleanup.
• A wide and shallow bowl from Broste Copenhagen, for plating my desk salads.
• A napkin — actually a Japanese furoshiki.
A whole lotta books! Part of the thrill of having office space is that it comes with bookshelves! Empty bookshelves! For all my cookbooks!
Pictured here, books written by friends:
• Do One Thing Every Day That Inspires You
• The New Paris
• À La Table d’une famille chinoise (in French, recipes from a Chinese family in France)
• Fourche & Fourchette (in French, about field-to-table eating in France)
• Classic German Baking
• Syndrôme de l’intestin irritable (in French, a naturopathic approach to IBS)
• Inside Chef’s Fridges, Europe
• Le Grand Manuel du cuisinier (in French, a visual reference book of classic French recipes)
• A big wraparound scarf from Karl Marc John, for when it gets chilly.
• A pair of flip-flops to change into if I’m wearing heels.
• Some basic toiletries: my favorite hand moisturizer, from my friend who grows bulbine in South Africa; tissues; a toothbrush and my go-to organic toothpaste.
What Did You Bring To Your Office?
What about you? What have you stashed away in your desk to make you feel at home and comfortable? And if you’re a freelancer, have you taken the plunge and found office space to get your work done?