Grovemade Products Review

I've been working from home for a little over a year now, so there have been a lot of changes in that time to my desk and how I work. This video is going to focus on my most recent desk upgrades from Grovemade.

Grovemade reached out to me to collaborate, and I've been a huge fan of their products for years, so I'm happy to check out more of their products. They did send me products for this video, but no money was exchanged and these words are all my own.

What caught my eye about Grovemade, was that you can tell their designers really pay attention to the details since their products are as aesthetic as they are functional. They look just as good sitting on your desk, as they function while you're using them.

I'll be going over a few different desk accessories - but first up, the desk pads.

Desk mats

I've purchased a lot of different desk pads over the years and have had varying results with quality and materials. The Grovemade desk mats are some of the best quality mats I've ever used. We're going to take a look at there natural leather and synthetic matte desk mats.

Leather Mats

After using these desk pads, the leather desk pads are my favorite to use.

The leather desk mats are so nice, I feel like I need to be using a desk mat for my desk mat.

The biggest positive in my opinion is that the look and texture of their leather desk pads. Grovemade uses vegetable-tanned leather, which means it's real leather that is soft to the touch and has slight imperfections from organically treated leather. When I first read that, I wondered if the leather's imperfections would make it difficult to write on or use with a mouse, but the desk pads are still smooth and don't snag your mouse or pen while writing on them.

They will have distinctive wear based on your usage with them. Since real leather ages and wears over time, the surface will change the more you use it. The desk pad may become lighter or darker in some areas, this is especially true with the tan leather more than the black leather. So if you're a person who doesn't like the idea of leather changing over time, the black pad has had a less noticeable change in color than the tan pad.

I think the aging of leather over time is a benefit to real leather, but this is subjective. If you like the same consistent and clean look to your setup, you might want to check out the wool or matte desk pads.

There are different sizes of desk mats available. I like the large and extra-large mats since I usually have a lot of things on my desk, I like that I can protect my desktop and also be able to lay my forearms down completely while I'm typing. The small and medium desk pads are only meant for your mouse and keyboard, this just comes down to how you'll be using your desk and your personal preference.

One thing I didn't consider at first when using the leather desk pads was the smell. The smell of these desk pads isn't overpowering, but you can get hints of leather while using these on your desk. I think this is a benefit, but obviously, this will come down to your lifestyle and what you prefer. I personally am not a vegan or vegetarian and love the smell of real leather so I think this is a benefit.

However, one thing to be aware of is that since these mats age, you'll want to be very diligent about using coasters for your drinks and not getting this desk mat wet. Water and leather don't mix well and if you want to preserve a leather desk mat, you're going to want to pick up some coasters. Grovemade sells coasters using all of their different materials and going back to that desk mat for your desk mat thing I said earlier.. that was kind of a joke, but it's serious for drinks and water. I picked up matte black coasters and the matte material has been holding up to drink rings really well. I've been able to wipe off this matte coaster after using it for a few weeks and it still looks brand new.

They also sell leather coasters to match your leather mats. Part of me wishes I would have got the leather coasters, but I thought the matte coasters would hold up better over time, and if you're looking at a black leather pad, the black matte coasters match well with being a similar shade of black so they don't look mix-matched on your desk.

Matte Desk Pads

Speaking of the matte material, the matte desk pads are much more rigid and durable than leather, but the leather desk pads are softer to the touch. The matte desk pads are somewhat soft with a little bit of cushion harder than the leather pads. They're made of oil, resin, and flour and are thicker than leather pads. The backing is also made of cork so they sit in one place on your desk nicely and also helps give it more cushion to the mat. Since they are made with synthetic materials they are more affordable but still high quality and feel premium.

Matte pads will not wear to the same extent as leather pads. There may be slight wear marks, but after using my blue matte pad for a week, the wear marks are not noticeable and I was even putting drinks on the side of the desk pad a few times out of habit. There are no visible drink rings or wear marks after a week of normal use.

Since the matte desk pads are made with natural synthetic materials, they are vegan-friendly. I understand that not everyone is a fan of real leather, so it's nice to know that they have options if the natural leather isn't what you like or part of your lifestyle.

While the leather desk pad is my favorite choice, I also understand it's much more expensive than the synthetic matte pad. Both of these desk mats feel very premium will last a long time. I think the decision between desk pads comes down to your personal preference of materials and price. Grovemade also has a wool desk pad that will not show signs of wear or fray, but you're not able to write on that desk pad and I like my desk mats to cover a large part of my desk, so that wasn't really an option for me but if either of these mats doesn't seem like a good fit for you, check out their wool mats.

Writing

One of my favorite new desk accessories is the brass pen and note pad though. I take many notes, and I'm a big fan of note cards and note pads for quick lists and sketches. This notepad is by far the nicest notepad I've ever written on and the best-looking pen and notepad combination I've ever seen.

Notepad

The notepads come in black, brass, and silver. To fit the look of my desk I went with the brass and walnut notepad, pen, and stand. The notepads are a perfect example of how well designed and good-looking their products are. I love the simplicity with the only binding of the notecards being the bar at the top to keep them in place. The notecards aren't bound together in any way, so you can take them off the pad and rearrange or get rid of one notecard without ripping it out of the pad. The notepad backing itself is made of solid brass and is extremely heavy so it will not budge while writing on it. It weighs just over 3 pounds and has stayed in place while I've been writing on it. The included paper is dot grid paper, and I don't think there are any other paper styles that are available for this just yet. Dot grid paper is my favorite for lists and sketching but I'd be interested to see if they have lined paper and other styles in the future.

I'm a big fan of using notecards for taking quick notes so I like the longer form factor of the notepad. One of the reasons I like using notecards instead of a bound notebook is you can rearrange, and remove one note at a time without ripping pages out like a bound book.

Since the unique bar design of this notepad is made by Grovemade, you'll can get additional notepad refills from Grovemade and if you're more of a sticky note type of person, they also sell a sticky note stand in black, silver, and brass as well.

Pen

For writing, the Brass pen and stand are a perfect match for this notepad. The pen and stand is machined from a piece of brass, but they also have aluminum and titanium versions of the pen and stand as well.

It's hard to describe how writing with this pen feels. The pen itself weighs more than a typical pen, but it's not too heavy to write with for long periods of time. It's very smooth to write with and the ink is Schmidt roller black ink. I didn't know what that was and had to look that up, but it writes really well, and if you're into pens that may mean more to you than it does to me. All I know is that the pen writes really well and the stand is a great way to keep a pen always accessible on your desk for when you want to write something down quickly. While the pen weighs a reasonable amount, the stand is really heavy. It's nice that the stand is so heavy though, so you can place the pen upright and the pen will not fall over or tip over from the base falling over.

Now onto some smaller desk accessories that I thought would just look cool on my desk, the first up is the pencil cup. I have a ton of pens, scissors, and xacto blades around my office and thought the walnut pen cup would be a cool way to keep these organized. Of course, when I bought this, there were only walnut or maple versions available with a stainless steel divider, but I just checked their website and there is a walnut and brass version available. So looking back I would have got that one, but regardless, the pen cup is pretty simple and straightforward. It's made of a block of walnut or maple with cork on the bottom and on the inside bottom of the cup. These are nice things to have that will compliment your setup if you already have a few other walnut or maple things on your desk. I already had a walnut wrist rest for my keyboard, so I leaned into the walnut accents pretty hard.

While I'm trying really hard to be more of a minimalist, I just have too much stuff and I would love if the pen cups were slightly larger in diameter. I have a ton of blades, sharpies, scissors, and pencils that I keep spread out on my other desk to fit into this cup. I realize I should probably put them in a drawer at this point and embrace the minimal life, but that's pretty tough. I've been enjoying keeping the pen on the stand so I don't have so many pens floating around though.

Planter

One of the final desk accessories I have is the small planter in walnut. And just like the pen cup, when I ordered the planter, there was no brass and walnut option - so I have the stainless steel and walnut option. If I could do it again, I would have purchased the brass option to better fit the other brass things I have so if you're going with these brass accessories, you'll have the option to better match your setup. Also, like the pen cup, I wish the planter was a slightly wider diameter. I was putting a succulent in the small planter and it was a pretty tight fit. It looks good once it's in there, but it was a pretty tight fit to plant it at first.

Grovemade really focuses on making a few great products, and it seems like they are always making new products, like the additional colors of their planters and cups. I like how they pay attention to the details and use quality materials that will last a long time. Their products tend to cost more than other office products, but that's mostly because the materials and craftsmanship that goes into their products are much higher than your typical office accessories. I know this may be a different video if you've stuck around my channel for video reviews and tips, but I spend a lot of time at my desk and have started putting more thought into my desk setup.

I've been working from home for a little over a year now, and after I'm done working I typically work on everything that is involved with these YouTube videos and other websites. It's safe to say that I spend a lot of time at a computer. I've put a lot of time and effort into my studio and have enjoyed using Grovemade's products in my day-to-day work.

About Keith Knittel

I'm a designer from Cleveland, Ohio and love to shoot photos & videos. I made my first website in 2004 to show friends photos & videos (before YouTube/Flickr/Instagram were things) and have been shooting and designing ever since! I have a deep passion for making and helping others create.

View my full About Me

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