Even as studios and offices open up, everyone’s slowly realising that these make-shift, work-from-home workspaces aren’t quite as temporary as we first thought. So whether you’re back at your desk, a full-time homebody or planning to walk/cycle/non-peak travel between the two, it’s unquestionably time for a refresh.
Apple iPad Pro
The iPad aimed squarely at creatives features an all-screen design and Face ID. Powered by an A12X Bionic chip with a neural engine, it has 8-cores, up to 1TB of storage and is up to 90 per cent faster than the old model. You can hook the Pro up to external 5K displays via USB-C, and that port also means it doubles as a power bank for smaller devices. Done with work? The four-speaker audio with woofer and tweeter pairs will see you right for watching What Did Jack Do? in your downtime.
Genusee Cookies n’Cream Glasses
This stylish eyewear is made in Flint, Michigan from post-consumer recycled plastic (rPET) single-use water bottles. It’s inspired by a water-supply crisis in 2014 which saw 20 million plastic bottles used each day in the city. Each pair bought means 15 bottles get re-used, and thanks to a closed-loop approach to production, the company will even buy them back from you with credit towards another pair. Genusee will then either recycle the materials back into the supply chain, refurbish and re-sell at a discount, or donate to charity.
Price: $99 | Genusee
Specifically designed for creative types, the Osuzu is an innovative backpack that opens out and lies flat, exposing a multitude of compartments, loops, straps, Velcro bits and clips, to keep your gear well organised and easy to access. Given it is made from heavy-duty Cordura with military issue MOLLE webbing, and can expand from 20 to 40 litres in volume, it’s a surprisingly elegant design. And with a hidden laptop sleeve and compression straps for carrying clothes, it doesn’t have to be stuffed full of paint brushes and oils to be practical.
Price: $349 | Osuza
SanDisk iXpand wireless charger
This sleek white wireless charger not only imparts power quickly at 10W but also simultaneously backs up all of your photos and videos at optimum resolution as the phone is placed on the mat. The iXpand can handle multiple back-up profiles which means different users can store media in separate personal folders. On top of that, the high-efficiency power plug with six-foot cable gives you fast, convenient charging.
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2
The original Wonderboom was so good many would have forgiven UE for leaving well alone. The Wonderboom 2, however, though almost identical, boasts a couple of key upgrades: it has about one third more battery life (13 versus 10 hours) and with a IP67 rating is now not only water but dust resistant, too. (The speaker can be submerged in up to 1 metre of water for 30 minutes.) This small, powerful and colourful wireless speaker can also now stereo pair with another Wonderbooom 2 at the studio or in the park.
Copic Original Marker Pen set of 72
A legendary choice in illustrator circles, these refillable markers from Japan should not be confused with common or garden felt-tips. Being alcohol-based means the ink stays wet and workable longer than with regular markers, making blending and detail work smoother; and with a fine bullet point at one end and angled chisel nib at the other, they’re supremely flexible.
Price: £411 | Copic
Designed by Arik Levy (and originally released in 2010), the ABS plastic Toolbox remains the most practical and stylish of carryalls, offering grab-and-go convenience with eight practical compartments and a choice of seven on-trend colourways.
Form3 3D Printer
A typical 3D printer squirts out molten plastic through a hot nozzle – but the Form3 uses an ultraviolet light source to cure liquid resin into a solid. Known as stereolithography printing, the results are exceptionally crisp and clean, ideal for prototyping and small-scale production runs. Choose from a range of one-litre resin cartridges, including flexible, translucent, rigid and even dental-specific (designed for production of dentures). It’s all controlled using intuitive 3D-design software and WiFi connectivity for convenience.
Price: From £2,900 | Formlabs
IKEA Bekant desk
Hemingway wrote A Moveable Feast at a makeshift stand-up desk at his home in Havana, Cuba; and while we can’t promise this simple motorised sit-stand design will elevate your prose, switching desk heights will counter a sedentary lifestyle and reduce your chances of heart disease. The Bekant desk adjusts from 65cm to 125cm, which should be fine for anyone up to 6ft 2in, while the neat net underneath the tabletop helps minimise cable clutter.
Price: £425 | IKEA
Zenith 590 Mix Stapler
First invented and patented in 1990 by Giorgio Balma and pre-dating Paul Smith’s colourful homeware creations, this is the last stapler you’ll ever need to buy. The corrosion resistant enameled metal body comes with a lifetime guarantee and the 6mm long staples can fix up to 30 sheets of paper in one squeeze, and its made in a factory with a water reclamation plant that keeps local waterways uncontaminated and ph balanced.
Price: $38 | Best Made
It’s time to stop clogging the keyboard with lunch crumbs and invest in this multi-functional modular lunch box that opens out to create a picnic blanket for your desk. All based around square, microwaveable containers that are 16.5cm wide by 5cm tall, each container has movable dividers, there’s a separate option for a drink, and plenty of space for condiment containers and cutlery. The clincher? There’s even a phone stand so you can watch something while you eat.
Price: From £64 | Indiegogo
Apple iMac Pro
The only real choice for professional design and video processing, Apple’s fastest-ever Mac can be spec-d with an 8-, 10-, 14- or 18-core Xeon Processor and up to 128GB of RAM, at speeds of up to 4.5GHz – all tucked into a stunning dark space-grey aluminium casing. The Radeon Vega graphics card can drive 44 million pixels at once, which, combined with the 27-inch Retina 5K 5120×2880 P3 display, means you can edit and create in pixel perfect conditions at lightening speeds.
Joining Sonos, Hay and Tom Dixon on the roster, Ikea has turned to Teenage Engineering to develop a playful collection of speakers, lights and accessories that can be bolted together, accessorised and even hacked using a host of 3D-printable stands and mounts (so fire up the Form3). Leading the pack is a simple, all-black Bluetooth speaker (£65) that can be wirelessly paired with up to eight others around the house, and battery powered. Add a subwoofer (£129) for some extra thump, then maybe an LED spotlight (£25) for mood, and bolt on bright red or yellow accessories to make it your own.
Price: From £15 | IKEA
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