What’s On My Desk: Michael Bruno of 1stdibs

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Photograph of Michael Bruno’s Desk at His Home Office
Photograph of Michael Bruno’s Desk at His Home Office

Ever wonder what the most powerful leaders, business execs and celebrities keep on their desks? Well, we’re about to tell you. Our biweekly “What’s on My Desk” feature will take a look inside the offices and at the desks of the world’s most influential power players.

Michael Bruno is the Founder and Chairman of 1stdibs, the world’s largest online luxury marketplace that carries the world’s most rare and desirable objects, including high-end antiques, estate jewelry, fine art, vintage couture and much more. With celebrity clientele that includes Tom Ford, Jennifer Aniston, Claire Danes and Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Bruno thinks, lives and breathes everything fabulous.

Often described as the eBay for luxury goods, 1stdibs is home to more than 1,700 of the world’s top dealers; 3,000 rare and beautiful objects catalogued each week; and more than 9,000 unique items sold each month. Celebrities and affluent consumers can buy and sell the finest one-of-a-kind and rare items. In fact, 1stDibs has many dealers in San Francisco in various categories; some SF notables include the John Berggruen GalleryEpoca, Hedge and Sarlo.

In addition to overseeing his ever-growing virtual marketplace, Bruno is also very involved in the San Francisco fall antiques show; he has been among lead sponsors for the preview party & fair for several years.

So how does Bruno keep this amazing online empire running so smoothly?  He lets Haute Living in on the most beautiful things he keeps on his desk (not to mention, the desk itself is fabulous).

1.  127-Year Old Trail Map:  One of my current obsessions is the mostly overgrown carriage trails that run through Tuxedo Park, NY, where I recently purchased a home built in 1899.  During our extensive renovations, I rummaged through the attic and stumbled upon a copy of a 127-year old trail map.  I decided to place it in the cusp of the plaster hand on my desk as a reminder.  When spring comes, I need to have the trails surveyed and cleared so our friends and neighbors can join us on hikes in the summer and cross country skiing next winter.

2. Wise Old Owl:  He is made of alabaster and staring at a pile of books. People who know me well, know that I love to talk. Yet, when I glance at the Owl, it’s my daily wake up call that true wisdom is often gained from listening and learning from others, and getting creative inspiration from a great book.

3. Bottle of Water: There will always be a bottle of pH balanced water on my desk. I drink at least two bottles a day, one glass at a time.  Doing Ashtanga yoga nearly every morning is an amazing work out. I leave the class dripping wet, and during the day, my body’s saying: time to re-hydrate.

4. Esquire’s Big Black Book:  A must have if you care about how you look. I find myself wearing a uniform of navy and white. So, to avoid being a creature of habit, I like to take a few queues from the editors at Esquire to mix things up.

5. iPhone and Wallet: if I don’t keep them in the same spot every day, I will lose them – a scary thought anywhere, but especially in a house that’s over 12,000 square feet.  From the moment I walk in the front door, I remove my wallet and power down the smart phone and put them both on my desk. With the phone in its place, I am free to dream up the kind of things that are worth writing down.

6. Brief case: A Brunello Cucinelli to be precise, and it’s all in there. Without it, my office would be a mess. It’s truly my mobile desk.

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