The Work Space

Sitting at a desk on a regular basis necessitates you have a good desk. Not to mention a good chair and a good work space. Needless to say my solutions to these problems were found by trial and error.

While my original work space was as clean as it could be, it still wasn’t quite there if you know what I mean. If you don’t then here – have a look.

The Old Setup

The Old Office Setup

  • Uncomfortable desk: Those little wood blocks under the desk were my attempt at getting it to a proper height. At first the thing was way too tall, so I lopped a few inches off the legs. Then it was too short so I had to prop it back up a bit. Ug.
  • Carpeted floor
  • Not my favorite color of paint. We were going for something modern and ended up with something bland.
  • Not the best arrangement for my stuff. I hated how busy that wall was.

This was a nice office, but I never really felt good about working in there. So finally a few weeks ago my office got a massive overhaul: new desk, new paint, new floor and new layout.

Having an organized, clean and well arranged office has done wonders for clearing my mind and boosting my morale while working.

The New Setup

The New Office Setup. Woo Hoo!

The New Office Setup. Woo Hoo!

  • Out with the old desk, in with a new one from IKEA. This desk fit’s perfectly in the corner so I can see out the window when I want. It holds my monitor and keyboard with room to spare on the left hand side for my laptop or papers for writing and doing sketches.
  • Pulled up the carpet to get to the hard wood floors. This makes the room louder, but much easier to roll my chair on and improves the overall feel of the room as a place for working and being creative.
  • New paint job. Something that would still keep the room feeling ‘big’ but also a warm color to make the hard-wood floor, the dark desk and dark shelves really pop. I was so excited to get the shelves and desk up that I forgot to finish the ceiling trim.
  • De-cluttered quite a bit. The printers and filing cabinets are now in the closet where I keep only books, hardware and other materials that I use on a regular basis. Everything else was put into a tub and went downstairs in storage.
  • The little leather rolling chair in the corner is perfect for consultations with my wife, and letting a guest use the laptop. I’ve also keep the latest version of Print Magazine on that end-table for quality reading and perusing.


One of the main goals when re-modeling my office was to get a better use of light.

I wanted to take advantage of the natural light from my window without getting a glare on my screen. But I also wanted to have the blinds shut and have some warm light on the desk when working or writing at night.

Putting the desk in the corner solved the natural light issue, and getting the Pixar style lamp solved the second. That lamp is not only perfectly suited for the versatility of my desk, but it matches the aluminum casing on my Apple products. Brilliant!


Virtually every Mac owner I know will attest that being clutter free is their preference. (Though not always a reality.)

Tidy Cables

The first thing I tackled was all the cables. I fixed a powerstrip to the underside of my desk, and run all the cabling along there to keep it off the floor and out of sight.

Not just the cables need to be cleaned up though. If I don’t have a place for everything that comes in and out of my office I have a hard time concentrating. So yes, my desk really is that clean. And no, I didn’t stage these shots. (Well sort-of. I did take off the bowl of Candy Corn I have sitting next to my monitor at the moment.)

In the three weeks that I’ve been working in my new office there has been one primary impact the new layout and organization has had on me: The ability to be done for the day without feeling the urge to go do “just one more thing”. Knowing that loose ends are tied up, I can relax and spend my evening with my family. Where by “loose ends” I mean “miscellaneous clutter that has no home”.

And for those interested, I posted more images of my office on Flickr.

The Work Space