City Pulse

By Charu Suri

Ever wonder why they call it ‘office cube’? It’s because they think you’re square. Dull, boring and quite happy with four metal walls decorated with some gray or green linoleum-like fabric. Have you every met a New Yorker happy to step into his cubicle?

If I were staring at a wall studded with push pins artfully arranged to resemble starry night, I’d probably start reaching for the Prozac bottle too. Come on, let’s face it: you’re married to your work. Which means you’re probably married to your old, coffee-stained keyboard, push pins, stapler, and metal cabinets with manila folders.

I think the life of Saving Private Ryan was a lot more colorful, folks.

So, let’s fix ‘er up, shall we? Here are some of our picks from NYC stories to lighten your “home” up.


A cheerful lamp
Get a really elegant lamp like the Etruscan lamp from Anthropologie or Barley Twist Lamp from Pottery Barn to dress up your cube. That little investment can translate ‘dungeon-ville’ to ‘glamor-ville’ in seconds, plus make your colleagues super jealous.

(Pottery Barn has three store locations in New York. Visit

5 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10003


Cool Stationery
Check out quintessentially New York’s La Brea, which houses tons of gifts, home décor and stationery fit for your glam cube (visit for locations). Or try monogramming your initials on some hefty stock from Kate’s Paperie which will make you look like a CEO even if you get no work done.


Winning wallpaper
Read your HR manual. There’s nothing there about not putting pretty wallpaper to cover up the hideous architect’s designs. Ever seen The Count of Monte Cristo? Remember those dull, grey bricks nearly drove him insane while he was trapped in the tower? You can do better than that.

Check out wallpaper from this darling little store we found on Orchard Street called Sheila’s Decorating. Her motto, “not just wallpaper” gives you an idea of what she has in store.

68 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002
Phone: 212 777 3767

Originally published January 2007
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