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Tess Guinery's Desk

Somewhere on the always sunny beaches of Gold Coast, Australia, designer Tess Guinery and her husband Caleb (a stunt-man) built a beautiful desk for their home office.

Let’s take a look.

Who are you and what do you do for a living?

Hi, My name is Tess and I’m a Graphic Designer + Visual Communicator and dabble in Styling/Social Media Content. I’m a firm believer that there is beauty in just about anything. Creativity is without boundaries and my passion is exploring the freedom of visual design, putting my hands to all things creative. I love the vulnerability of dreaming big within a strategy to achieve the unexpected and expand the vision of what is possible. Growing up as a dancer and designer, I found my Prince Charming before trading the calm coastal town of Mollymook for a slightly quicker pace on Sydney’s Northern beaches and now reside on the Gold Coast where the pace is perfect in it’s balanced busy/chill motion where the sun always shines. This move was preemptive of the life our little family is now leading – one full of wonder, adventure and crazy, untapped opportunities. I believe that the way we begin our day determines the kind of day we will have, and that our creativity is explored through our daily processes – starting with the small things, evolving into greater things. The making of the bed, the morning coffee ritual, the daily newspaper – there is beauty in the routine. I love my life and I love what I get to call “work”. Whether it be branding, styling, digital, print, production or concepts – the creative process and all its elements fascinate me.

Can you tell me something about your desk setup?

Desk Sketch by Tess Guinery

1 week into my husbands apprenticeship I was enthusiastic and asked “Can you build me this?”. A silly sketch left on the kitchen bench was taken and brought to life, all behind my back - what a trickster! So, it’s 3 months into his apprenticeship (him being my husband Caleb) I’ve had a shocking and long day at work and I come home to Caleb standing at the end of the drive way looking all coy and cute – “I have something to show you” he says. He leads me down the driveway and through the front door of our little 1 bedroom studio apartment, what I walk into literally has me lost for words – There she is in all her glory – that silly little sketch looking all perfect and real! For weeks on end he’d been working back late creating this sketch and bringing it to life. It had everything I had so amateurly drawn – down lights and all! I was more taken back by the craftsman ship, leading me to learn something new about the man I had married 2 years earlier. Always wanted a man that could make stuff! Still to date, my favourite piece of furniture, I’m forever grateful for the space that has been a catylyst to many creative brain waves and has seen me through many late night design sessions. A blessed space indeed.


  • Ply wood + clear polyurethane
  • MDF + white polyurethane spray

Is there anything you would like to improve on this setup?

I love it just as it is!

Do you switch workspaces during your day? If yes, what’s the reason behind it?

I work from home, from this desk space but sometimes I find myself set up on the dining room when I’m working on more tactile projects that involved paint or pencils, I also like to change scenery. Sometimes the sound of household noise helps me work better and sometimes I like silence, depends what I’m feeling that day.

Can you tell us something about the items on your desk?

I’m a bit of a change-the-furniture-around person, so often you’ll see new and exciting things on the desk. One thing that always remains is a little horse ornament that I found in a thrift store when we first moved to Sydney. It’s tail is missing and I just love it!

What are you doing to stay focused?

I allow myself to wander… sometimes it takes me a series of distractions to get to the end result, I think distraction actually leads me to focus in an ironic way.

Is there something on your desk which helps you stay focused? What is it?

My plants, greenery is something that keeps me inspired!

What was your latest self improvement experiment?

Lately I have been connecting with lots of new people, we are still quite new to the Gold Coast, so putting myself out there to meet new people has definitely been way out of my comfort zone and in the process of being un-comfy I feel I have grown as a person.

Where do you see yourself and your desk in the next 5 years?

In our family beach shack, it will most likely be collecting some serious dust with possibly an extension of new family members aka babies whilst I focus on family and give design some rest for a time. My headspace is currently in a new place, I’m shifting a few priorities. I love design, my desk and love my job, but it’s not paramount to my world.

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by Daniel Puglisi