Take 5: Gradient Ceramics, a Salt Sphere, Designer Sit/Stand Desk + More

Twice a month we’re inviting one of the Design Milk team members to share five personal favorites – an opportunity for each of us to reveal the sort of designs we use and appreciate in our own lives from a more personal perspective. Editor-in-Chief Caroline Williamson returns this week for our Take 5 series.

06.27.23 | By
Take 5: Gradient Ceramics, a Salt Sphere, Designer Sit/Stand Desk + More

1. LEGO PAC-MAN Arcade

Perhaps I’m dating myself but when I was really little, I loved playing PAC-MAN at arcades and pizza joints. The game made me equal parts anxious watching the determined ghosts edging towards my chomping mouth and calm as I methodically guided the yellow icon through the halls of the maze. I couldn’t wait to start a new game when the ghosts got me. And since I’m also an AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGOs), per my sister, it seems only natural to join two of my childhood favorites into one nostalgic gem. I’m still baffled by the type of person who can visualize how to assemble tiny bricks together to create an actual design. They’re toys but they’re architectural toys that come together piece by piece much like any type of design would. LEGO designers do not get enough credit but they have my complete respect!

angled above view of array of ceramic tableware with gradient colors

2. Gradient Ceramic Tableware by Grace of Glaze

I’ve recently come across the porcelain tableware of Simone Doesburg, aka @graceofglaze on Instagram. Doesburg hand makes each piece in her studio in Ultrecht, The Netherlands. The colors and gradient glazes are stunning and have me re-thinking my bland white plates completely. The color pairings are so unique and unexpected but work delightfully well, like Blue + Berry, Purple + Marigold, Soft Pink + Lime, etc. Whether a full set or a few pieces, her work would make for a very aesthetically pleasing table setting.

angled view of modern home office with minimalist desk with brown leather rolling chair

3. Leatherwrap Sit-to-Stand Desk by BassamFellows for Geiger

The longer I’ve worked from home since the pandemic began, the more I’ve realized just how bad my home office setup is. I have an old IKEA desk paired with a great task chair I love, but when you are required to sit at your desk for 10+ hours per day, no chair is 100%. Since sit/stand desks have been introduced I haven’t been that excited to add one to my own space as they’ve always looked like they should be in a corporate setup, not my actual living room. And if I’m going to have to look at it all the time, I want it to look good as well. When this Geiger desk popped on my radar, I had to do a deep dive because I could not believe that it was capable of rising mechanically. There are no visible cables, motors, or buttons to tip anyone off to its capabilities and that’s what I love. I’m also in love with the simplicity of the design and just how beautiful it is, which is no surprise since BassamFellows designed it. At $4,995 for the displayed setup (with 2 drawers), it’s a bit outside of my budget but a girl can dream.

flat display of two-tone ballpoint pens and cases

4. Caran d’Ache x Paul Smith Limited Edition Two-Ton 849 Ballpoint Pens

Now on their 4th collaboration, the Swiss brand Caran d’Ache and Paul Smith recently released six new two-tone 849 ball point pens in new color combinations that will make you want to pick up a pen again. As someone who has spent a lifetime on the hunt for the perfect pen, I can attest to the quality of Caran d’Ache’s writing instruments. Throw in the iconic British designer Sir Paul Smith and it’s a solid collaboration. I haven’t tried this particular pen style – they’re more of an investment piece or great gift idea – but they’d look great on any desk and no doubt make writing longhand that much more desirable. With these new color combinations, it’s very tempting to splurge.

down angled view of maple salt sphere on counter

5. The Salt Sphere by Material

Lately, I’ve been on the hunt for a salt cellar, something that I can keep out on the counter and grab when I want a pinch of salt or pepper instead of a shake or grind. I saw a photo of it and immediately began to hunt down who made it as I loved the simplicity of it as well as its sculptural appearance. The fluted base seems perfect for pepper, while the magnetic swivel top closes to hold the salt within its perfect sphere. It comes in Walnut but I’m really loving the Maple as it matches my cabinets. They’re $50 which I think is well worth the price considering how beautiful it is as an object.

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Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.