They say the pen is mightier than the sword, so keeping yourself armed with the right the right tools for the job is pretty important.
Whether you’re a creative that works from home or you’re simply a sucker for updating your space with design details, the right desk accessories can turn even the most arduous of admin tasks into a pleasing experience.
And just because they’re practical, it doesn’t mean they can’t be stylish too.
The dream desk space must be inspiring, comforting and productive – and London’s design-led stationery shops have it all when it comes to investing in the right kit for your office space.
Our edit of shops covers independent spaces with beautifully curated displays to department stores that stock the best in global stationery design.
Because, although your school days may be over, nothing feels more like the start of September than updating the contents of your pencil case.
This north London shop is a Millennial dream, with branded pencils that say things like, “=’for passive aggressive notes’ and ‘super busy and important’. They also have a number of notebooks and pencil cases that you can personalise.
London Graphic Centre
This Covent Garden institution is the perfect place to pick up a tool kit for any aspiring artist – or to just get some quirky new stationery for your office. You can find every colour of pen and notebook over their two floors along with canvases and more.
Present & Correct
This east London shop prides itself on selling ‘office sundries for the modern workspace’, with a focus on vintage office objects which are inspired by homework, the post office and school. There are 1970s Airmail note sets, swingline staplers and Bauhaus stamp sets as well as hipster-friendly gradient notebooks, graphic desk calendars and perforated desk trays. Basically, everything you might need for an Instagram-friendly workspace.
Choosing & Keeping
On your next visit to Columbia Road flower market, pop into Choosing and Keeping, a lovely little stationery shop tucked away on the historic east London street. There’s every type of stylishly designed office equipment you might require – from paperclips and erasers to paperweights and ceramic desk objects. It also has a very well-stocked online store if you can’t face the idea of battling with Saturday shoppers.
Founded in 2002, ‘label of the moment’ Hay specialises in stationery and furniture that celebrates Danish design from its peak era during the 1950s and 60s. Their Gold Phi scissors have gathered something of a cult status, but there are other tools to achieve a simple and minimalist desk at their beautiful mini market in Selfridges. Look out for concrete desk tidys, wooden cube rulers and ceramic trays for laying out your gold bullet pens. If you can’t make it to their flagship London store, COS are now stocking classic pieces by the brand.
House of Hackney
Husband-and-wife team Javvy M Royle and Frieda Gormley have branched out from textiles, applying their uber cool floral prints to a range of home accessories. If you’ve already covered your sofa and walls with their exotic palmeral print – or you can’t quite afford to just yet – pick up their pocket-pleasing notebook and pencil case version.
Search & Rescue
You’ll have to control the urge to max out your credit card at this Church Street shop, which sells nick nacks to the stylish folk of ‘Dalst-Newington’. As well as notebooks and pens, there are the most glorious-smelling sandalwood desktop candles and toiletries from Korres and Lucky Tiger to keep your hands well moisturised.
As well as notebooks in its eponymous prints, Liberty stocks some fantastic global stationery designers. Kate Spade makes another appearance here, as well as Nineteen’s marble-print paper products and Tom Pigeon’s geometrical designs. Look out for octagons wooden desk tidys – practical and stylish.
The highbrow magazine which briefs on culture, current affairs, business and design is now letting its readers buy a slice of its high-end global lifestyle. Its first shop in Marylebone stocks all the tools a modern man might need to arm himself with – a cashmere scarf, a Porter manbag and various pieces of stylish stationery for the discerning businessman.
Labour And Wait
This Redchurch Street shop might look like one of the capital’s centuries-old boozers from the outside, but step inside and you’ll find one of the most carefully curated spaces in London. As well as hardware and clothing, this quaint shop sells a number of timeless stationery pieces for everyday life – many of which you probably used as a kid. There are school exercise books, mechanical pencils and school slate sets as well as wooden clipboards, clothbound notebooks and PVC glue.
Based in Angel, this shop and studio sells its own range of personalised stationery as well as pieces from various designers. You’ll find a contemporary letterpress from San Francisco, fun gift wrapping accessories made in Brooklyn, ‘objets’ from fashion house Maison Margiela, neon Japanese iPad covers and Kate Spade stationery. They also offer modern calligraphy services for wedding invites, as well as their very own modern calligraphy workshop.
Londoners who want a slice of the Scandi lifestyle should head to Skandium. As well as minimal furniture, the design emporium also sells a number of pretty stationery pieces from Issey Miyake, Hay and Skultuna. The Dania Letter Tray from Skagerak doesn’t come cheap at £99, but for anyone who’s despaired over council tax bills and bank letters cluttering up your space, it will be a worthwhile investment.
Smythson of Bond Street
This luxury leather brand has been going 125 years, so it knows a thing or two about quality design. Its personalised stationery, printed with your own monogram on the envelopes and paper, is a little indulgence every person who still practices letter writing should treat themselves to. Elsewhere, there are portable leather diaries in eye-popping colours (great if you find yourself constantly losing yours in your bag), calf leather notebooks and investment fountain pens.
Mount Street Printers
This independent customised stationery shop on fashionable Mount Street claims to offer the fastest stationery turnaround in the time. There’s a small selection of ready-made paper products to buy in-store, or you could pay a bit extra for their in house design service, offering everything from dye-stamping to engraving. A bonus for brides looking to have the best wedding invites in Mayfair – its in-house artists can create original illustrations inspired by you and your betrothed.