The must-have item these Kiwi creatives have on their desks

Article by Homes to Love

Setting up a desk that encourages productivity is paramount for these Kiwi creatives. They share how this one item helps them to juggle their unpredictable work schedules 

Mark Antonia

Husband-wife duo Mark Seeney and Antonia de Vere are the forces behind their eponymous business, Mark Antonia. Together, they create dried floral installations, scented products and interior objects. The nature of their work means that no two days are the same. “We’re involved in so many different projects, our days are often quite varied,” says Antonia. “In a nutshell, a normal day would be emails then, make, make, make!”

How would you describe your workspace?

Antonia: We have our main work and stock storage space and areas for our desks. My desk is cursed as I’m a Gemini, its either extremely messy or painfully tidy. Marks desk is organised, functional and makes sense far more than mine, but that’s just a typical Aries-Gemini combo. Perhaps that’s why we are a good team!

What do you use your HP Spectre x360 for the most?

Antonia: I use the HP Spectre x360 mostly for drawing and finding information, I love absorbing information. I love gadgets, honestly, the Spectre is that for me… I can easily do so much more, drawing my designs so effortlessly, listening to a podcast or book. I’m also a very visual person, I like to be able to see my research – images always speak more to me than words. With the HP Spectre x360, I can easily switch into tablet mode and flick though Pinterest etc.

Name an unusual item on your desk

Antonia: The most unusual thing on my desk changes daily but generally, it’s something pink. Or it’s a gadget, like my pen that’s also a bottle opener, a ruler, a stylus and screwdriver.

How does the HP Spectre x360 help with your day/business?

Mark: I’ve currently got two roles within the brand – interior/object design and management, and the Spectre is great for both. The x360 feature makes it super agile and I’m loving tailoring the unit physically to better suit each application. I can go from designing in tablet mode to working through some admin in laptop mode in a couple of seconds without having to compromise on whether to use a tablet for spreadsheet work or a laptop for concept sketch work, it’s a great time saver!

What’s one tip you have for being productive?

Antonia: Put your phone away and turn up some music.

Julia Atkinson

Creator and owner of design blog Studio Home, Julia Atkinson describes her job as a “pursuit of passions.” She works across home, design and beginner gardening writing, as well as running her online art gallery, Studio Home Art House. Her days include a “wobbly balance” between home-based self-employment and housework. But, the average day would probably include setting up a pop-up art show, emailing artists and customers, researching article content and writing features around “non-trend-based home decorating to share with my partners and audience.”

How would you describe your workspace?

A smallish room with a decorative mantelpiece, very lofty ceilings and shelving to the ceiling within our 1910 Christchurch villa. It’s on the shady side of the house so we painted it a warm pink and it’s loaded to the hilt with my sentimental treasures, photographs, books and art to offset the regular ‘officey’ tools.

Name an unusual item on your desk and why it’s there

My sister in law sent me a drink bottle inset with a chamber of crystals. The crystals affect the makeup of the water, transferring power to the drinker… I’m ALL for extra power!


Name 3 must-have items on your desk and why they are ‘must-haves’

My HP Spectre x360 laptop, my HP monitor and pen and paper. These are my most important workmates, without which I simply couldn’t convert my ideas into tangible business opportunities.

What do you use your HP Spectre x360 for the most?

Connection; emailing, social media, writing, research, photo editing and graphic design. These are all the things vital to my work-based wheels going around.

How does your workspace set up help your creativity?

As a long-term self-employed person (who prefers to work from home), I have worked for years from desks set up in living spaces. When we moved into our home 2.5 years ago it was an absolute thrill to be able to adopt a room to suit how I want to work and the environment I want to be in every day. As a very visual and sentimental type, I have always yearned for a small but “full” space to work from – surrounded by art, books and collected treasures. On a functional level having my desk and computer set up just the way I like it and with a sideways glance out the window to the Port Hills, means I have no barriers to what I can get done. Just me (and the vacuuming!).

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