Kathleen's Laser Cut Into Reality Desk

DeskTops - The Best of Readers' Desks

Name: Kathleen Rossi
Location: Southern Oregon

Designer Kathleen Rossi recently set out to embark on starting her own design company. But she has nothing but the fondest memories of working for her previous employer, partially because it was while working at the stationery and lifestyles product design studio she was able to turn a dream concept into a tangible reality: an ornate, laser cut desk made from a vintage find into a unique showstopper of a desk!

What do you like best about your workspace? I was so lucky! My workspace was created by Papaya!'s skilled craftsmen. We had moved to a new building two years ago, and had the opportunity to create our dream offices from a blank canvas. Gina Katkin, co- owner of Papaya!, and I went shopping at an antique street market together and found a re-purposed vintage table with a sheet metal top (the bottom had been stamped showing it had been made in a local prison, which made us laugh as we were trying to figure out how to fit it in the back of her van).

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When we got it back to the design studio, Gina suggested that we should re-move the legs and replace with cut-work similar to one I had been eyeing on a different piece of furniture. I put pen to paper and drew the silhouettes of birds and swirls, then afterwards streamlined the image in Photoshop. Papaya's team of carpenters made the magic happen with an overhead projector and a jigsaw. The desk turned into an amazing showpiece.

My other favorite add-ins were the oversized framed cork-board that enabled me to visually check out layouts off-screen, and the antique crystal chandelier that Gina had found in another antique store. Mid-day my office was always filled with rainbows from the crystals, I called it "the magic hour".

Any tips or advice about keeping your desk area and/or computer desktop uncluttered and a productive place to work? My best advice is to minimize the paper clutter. I had 3 cork boards in my office. One I'd pin all of the email project requests on, another for workflow calendars, and the oversized board for displaying printouts of product design I was working on. Clearing out the paper, as things were finished in the recycle bin.

If give the opportunity, what would you like to upgrade/replace/improve about where you work? Hardware, software, furnishings, lighting? Being a total music junkie, on the top of my wish list is a nice pair of Bose speakers.

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Tech Resource List:

  • 8-core Apple Mac Pro
  • 30" Apple Cinema Display monitor
  • Epson All-In-One RX 680 printer (great for color proofs)
  • Apple iPhone 4
  • Adobe Creative Suite 5
  • Wacom pen tablet

Furniture and Decorative Resource List:

  • Wall color: "Hibiscus" by Valspar (at Lowes)
  • Curtains: Anthropologie
  • Chairs: Vintage, upholstery of pillows were locally made at a little sewing shop
  • Desk: custom made by the skilled craftsmen of Papaya!
  • Corkboard: custom made (molding surround from Lowes)

(Photos: Kathleen Rossi)

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