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The Find

Vintage Office Décor

by Karen Parr-Moody 21 Jan 2022

Banish the boredom of beige by peppering your office with vintage furniture and finds. Retro décor will inspire any worker bee to hit the keyboard even if it’s a Monday.

GasLamp and GasLamp Too feature hundreds of items that add pops of history to an office. You can top your desk with vintage teak organizers made in Denmark or use Victorian toast racks to organize mail and stationery. You can invest in a valuable antique desk to serve as your business’s nervous system. At GasLamp, vintage office décor abounds and astounds.


Danish sculptor and industrial designer Jens Quistgaard (1919 – 2008) was a key figure of the Danish Modern design movement. He spent a long career designing tableware, kitchenware and more. Quistgaard fashioned the first cutlery set to combine stainless steel and teak handles in the “Fjord” pattern made for Dansk in the 1950s. He also designed this rare desk set for Dansk in the 1970s ($369; Booth T-2012). Like all of Quistgaard’s industrial designs, this desk set is a meditation on the inherent beauty of wood and a testimony to elegant form. It includes letter trays, a box with two internal dividers, a tape dispenser and a lidded tray.


This spectacular fall-front desk, or secrétaire à abattant, sets a tone of serious business – and sumptuousness – in any office ($1,495; Booth T-101). A desktop panel opens out to a writing space and closes to a vertical position. Inside, pigeonholing creates discreet storage. This stunning antique is crafted from burl and walnut.


Every office needs a chic and comfy spot for guests to sit, and this midcentury Kroehler club chair fits that description ($849; Booth B-208). Jaclyn Kole, one of the best upholsterers in Nashville, completely rebuilt this blue chair by first installing an eight-way hand-tied spring foundation. Such work is highly tedious and requires strength (such foundations are the most expensive type for these reasons). This craftsmanship results in a comfortable, long-lasting chair. Kole customized this midcentury beauty with new foam and nubby upholstery.


This papier-mâché and black lacquer pen and ink stand dates to the late 1800s, hence the Napoleon III styling, and will infuse a desktop with elegance ($198; Booth T-284). Exceptionally beautiful, the stand features hand-painted flowers and mother-of-pearl inlay. The stand is fitted with two heavy glass-and-brass ink pots and a center compartment for extra nibs. This glamorous inkstand could be parlayed into a catchall tray if not used for its original purpose.


This “phone” is a vintage Jim Beam decanter, even if it outwardly resembles the “French phone” design that Bell introduced to Americans in 1928 ($48; Booth T-284). In the 1950s, the Jim Beam bourbon whisky distiller began producing figural decanters ranging from ducks to cars. This phone-shaped decanter was introduced in 1979 and belongs to a unique collector’s market that is still alive today.


This desk, constructed from aluminum shaped like an airplane wing, is not vintage but is stylish ($595; Gaslamp Too Booth T-717). Its polished aluminum and rivet trim infuses a modern office with the sleekness of airplane design. This shimmering desk would be the pièce de résistance in any office generally and would blend seamlessly with midcentury modern design particularly.

Whether your office announces your personality from the leopard-print carpet to the Murano chandelier or whispers your vibe like the chants of a faraway tribe, let it be every inch you. With vintage finds, it will be.
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