If a guy could dream up his ultimate office, I bet items like a pool table, pinball machine, motorcyle, bourbon, cigars, priceless art and leather chairs would all make the list...yet seem impossibly unlikely to all be gathered in one room. Unless you're Mark Sage, owner of Love Train Antiques and co-owner of Bobo Intriguing Objects.
Mark's impressive 1200 square feet office is a sight to behold. It's the kind of office that makes you question the direction of your life. Mark travels the world 8 days a month acquiring unique items for his company to sell to retailers or to find inspiration for Bobo's own line of home decor items. I love his collection of vibrant Vespas which sit below a Todd Murphy original. This art installation is a collection of real eggs that are as small as a hummingbird's to as large as an ostrich's.
When you first walk into Mark's office, you'll notice a large table for meetings and creative endeavors. The prints along the back wall are the legacy of famed Argentinian blacksmith, Jose Thenee, which Mark acquired. They are drawings for projects Jose was commissioned to work on, in either metal or iron. Many of these original drawings can now be bought through Restoration Hardware.
For over 14 years, Mark has amassed quite the collection of original goods. As he shared with me, "I've spent my life in flea markets around the world. Various items inspire me, packaging inspires me. If the item is cool, i'll bring it home and put it in my office." It's the kind of office you can stay in for hours and gradually annoy Mark, asking "What's this?" ... "Oh, and what about this, where'd you get that?"
Mark's employees know that his morning routine begins first and foremost with a cup of coffee and a game of pinball. "Before that happens," says Mark, "they know not to talk to me."
These wine sphere chandeliers are from the Bobo line and one of their top sellers. Great lighting is everywhere inside Bobo...
As I travel with just my Canon SLR camera and a tripod, I had trouble doing this office justice. I needed professional lighting and a wider lens... but hopefully you get a sense of how cool, inviting and interesting it all is. Although I did not capture a great shot of it, you'll notice there's a tall statue atop Mark's desk. It's a life sized wooden carving of St. Jude which he bought from a small church in Belgium. It's his favorite of all the items he has collected over the years.
Mark has a strong love for music and books and you'll see evidence of this throughout his office. You'll also find some liquor on hand as well as a side table that has been overtaken with lighters and ashtrays and other intriguing smoking items. As he shared, "First you buy one, which turns into five, then hundreds..." His collection is vast, ranging from over 30 different countries.
I liked this black and white print as soon as I saw it. When I asked Mark about the guy with the stash and sash, he replied that the photograph is of a circus strongman and that he bought it from a little antique shop in Austin, Texas. He divulges that he has a thing for carnival and circus paraphernalia, adding "Maybe I have gypsy blood in me."
I don't know much about motorcyles, but I know this is a nice one. It's a 1958 Norton. Mark was digging through a barn of antiques in Rosario, Argentina and found this bike under a blanket. It was in perfect condition so he bought it and drove it around Argentina for three days.
Mark brought the bike back to the States and propped it up right next to his desk. Every time he looks at it, he remembers the freedom and fun of riding around the culturally rich country of Argentina... Just a man and his bike. Can't beat that.
Photos and Content: Sweet Peach