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Ask HN: What does your home office look like?
119 points by vsergiu on Apr 26, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 157 comments
Please share some ideas regarding style and design and maybe post some pics.

I work from home full time, and live across the road from the English Channel (St Leonards On Sea), in a Victorian Maisonette. My office is on the 3rd floor with bay windows overlooking the sea.

The office room itself is largish, with 1.5 sofas, and a small table for tea. I have two desks - one sitting and one standing. My sitting desk is for writing code only. My standing desk is for everything else (meetings, email, etc.) My code-desk faces the sea so I can look out at the blue for inspiration if I need to. Above my standing desk is a whiteboard for notes/todo/etc. I have a small closet with a printer and supplies. I have to shield my workhorse machine from the sun sometimes so it does get too hot in the summer. In the English winter (10 months out of the year), it makes for a nice natural cooling system :)

-- EDIT -- here is a very poor quality photo: https://twitter.com/binarymax/status/460012757317074944/phot...

My envy knows no bounds.

Hastings isn't the best place to live...

This is exactly what I want to see every day when I go to work. You are a fortunate person.


I use an Ikea Gallant desk. My main computer (home built Linux system running Windows via VirtualBox) sits underneath, and a large-screen Asus monitor is on top, as does my laptop. I try to keep the physical desktop devoid of non-essential stuff, but this is a losing battle. I also have a video projector directed at the wall in front of me.

My office is full of books, plants, my LEGO projects, and other miscellaneous toys and distractions. The walls are decorated with classic covers from Byte Magazine

I have one window with three bird feeders to my right. I can also look into my backyard (through another room).

Here are some pictures:



Ha! We share quite a few lego models. I probably "invested" 2K on Legos so far but have recently slowed down purchases. Following instructions for building models seems to shut down a part of my brain and just destresses me. Not sure if I'm alone in that or not. Nice man cave though!

Most of my day is taken up with unstructured, creative efforts. I balance that out with Lego sets that allow me to get the desired result by simply following the instructions. I know exactly what you mean.

Combine the two, build a new IKEA desk every month ;)

There's something really great about the Gallant desks. Cheap, roomy, well built, no fuss. I have the version with T-Legs, but I can't honestly go back to other kinds of desks.

I personally only buy the frame, and build a table-top for it. You can get pre-glued boards like this, which are quite easy to finish: http://www.menards.com/main/building-materials/lumber-boards...

If you're worried about the wood getting damaged by repeated disassembly-reassembly cycles, you can use insert nuts to screw a machine bolt into: http://www.menards.com/main/tools-hardware/fasteners/nuts/mi...

The nice part is that an actual wood top not only looks and feels better, it's a bit cheaper than the particle board tops that IKEA makes.

Agreed - I have had one for years with adjustable T-Legs. Being over 6 foot, needed a desk I could get the height correct and they are perfect for that.

The table top is starting to get a little crappy with some of the finish bubbling off due to my constant resting of hands so will just need to purchase a new one at some point - but no real rush.

Very sturdy desk overall, it's small - but with monitor arms for 24 and 17 inch displays I have more than enough desk room for keyboard/mouse and notepad.

Totally agreed. I got myself a corner model and I love it. The cable organizer you can get with the desk works really well.

I thought I was the only person with the problem of buying to many books. I feel better now.

Is… that a betamax cassette on your desk?

Uh yeah! My wife and I were cleaning the garage and found this tape of our 1982 wedding. I need to convert it to something digital ASAP.

Jeff, do you work for Amazon from home?

Zura, I go in to the office twice a week on average. I try to pack those days with meetings and other things that are best done in person.

Very interesting. Is it something that allowed only for evangelists? (vs regular engineers).

A single Ikea desk, beside a window that has good blinds, on the 19th floor of a building with a view over North London.

Under the desk a UPS, NAS (18TB RAID6), the WiFi plus a single powerful workstation (16-core, 192GB RAM, SSD for main drive, 6TB RAID0 scratch disks).

On the desk some books, a bottle of single malt whisky, a playstation (dusty and not wired up) and a scanner. A single large monitor (high quality). A desk lamp with halogen bulb.

My home office is just a corner of a room, with all the tools I need nearby.

It is slightly messy, I tend to have mail opened on the desk, and small things around it.

It's comfortable, a place I enjoy being.

But it's also a work zone... my viewing of videos and entertainment is on a television purposefully not visible from the desk. Meaning I must leave the work environment to enjoy entertainment with others.

I'm not fortunate enough to be able to create a study room that could be an office. Space is limited, but the ideal would be a comfortable library space, lit well enough (but not enough to harm the books), and quiet.

You need a NAS when you have 18TB in your main machine? How big is the NAS?

Corrected, the NAS is 18TB, in the workstation the disks are RAID0 for fast scratch (creating and destroying virtual machines).

Cool. How do you get to 18TB RAID6? 8 3TB drives? 11 2TB? What hardware/OS are you using for that?

8 x 3TB in one of these: http://www.qnap.com/uk/index.php?lang=en-uk&sn=5050&c=2485&s...

The NAS, whilst it is feature rich, I've disabled everything other then full-disk encryption. The only thing running on it is Squeezebox: http://oinkzwurgl.org/ssods_intro

Interesting, thanks. I originally got a 4 drive QNAP but it's way too limited in terms of CPU, it couldn't keep up with rsync+ssh transfers. I ended up replacing it with a HP microserver and am very happy with it. So far 4 drives in RAID6 have been enough but it would be nice to have versions with more drives. I guess I could fit a 5th drive in the optical drive slot.

Edit: I see that these Pro QNAP versions are actually high-specced and high-priced Intel machines. The HP microservers still hit a sweet spot of low price and ECC ram though. QNAP must be making a bundle by effectively differentiating themselves in their software. Nothing in the hardware seems to justify the pricing.

I'm on a N40L and found that FDE taxed the CPU too much underneath a RAID 6 array to be useful. I've heard that the more recent models are CPU upgradable to CPUs with AES-NI. What sort of FDE R/W speeds are you seeing?

I don't use encryption. I just checked my munin graphs and the CPU sits ~90% idle, and this is on a N36L, I guess the newer N56L would be better.

It seems the newer generation has moved to Intel but still without AES-NI:


It's not clear from what I've read if you can swap the processor out.

Why do you run FDE? How do you boot it?

I don't run FDE, because it's too slow to do so (by around 1 order of magnitude IIRC).

See http://b3n.org/installed-xeon-e3-1230v2-in-gen8-hp-microserv... for info on how to do the chip upgrades in the current model.

Looks straightforward. Why would you want FDE in this context?

wow, what do you need the 192GB of RAM for?

I suppose virtual machines. Tons of virtual machines.


Nah, those days are gone... I bought the machine when working on my MSc project as it worked out to be similar in price to renting AWS machines at the time for the duration of the project and work.

I needed 20+ virtual machines to be running, for a long period of time (3-6 months), gathering and processing data, to perform various experiments during the project.

The crux of it was that as AWS would cost me the same ballpark as 6 consumer desktops or 1 professional workstation, that I might as well buy and own the hardware.

Then the choice was between 6 consumer machines all using energy and producing noise + heat, or the 1 workstation (idling most of the time). I chose the workstation as it would be more flexible in the future (now).

The workstation has lasted years and is still a superb workhorse. I'd go this route again as it's proved great value for money and still has years in it.

It's an older HP Z800, runs Linux now but used to run Windows.


Some sort of RAMDisk is my guess.


That's my home office, I live on what used to be a working dock in the north of England but was filled in and used for housing so it has a nice feel, I love it because I'm 200ft from a massive river (great for thinking walks http://i.imgur.com/ibfcLn2.jpg, not so great when a massive storm surge nearly topped it in Dec heh - http://i.imgur.com/P2DRT0h.jpg).

I can't stand working in a mess, I have to tidy both offices before I can settle down to do any real work and I've found as I get older I need more quiet to work properly I don't seem to be able to tolerate distracts as well as I could, I'm lucky in that while I'm starting a business and money is tight the North East of England is very cheap to rent in so we still have a two bed with a spare bedroom for an office :).

http://i.imgur.com/yB0IN1e.jpg is my work office (which feels like home sometimes!) rented in an old Victorian building the council run, high ceilings and lots of space and light which is nice.

Nice setup, the monitors in vertical position are 19" or 21" inch?


They are Dell 2412M's.

I like the desk in the last photo, what kind is it?

It's a Herman Miller Eco-something or other.

I got it off freecycle for free, it's built like a battle ship chassis is heavy guage steel and underneath is covered with cable management, based on style and condition I'd say it's at least late 80's old maybe older.

When I finally have some money I'm going to get the chassis shot blasted and powder coated black and an identical top panel cut out of marine ply, I absolutely adore the aesthetics and comfort but it looks a tad tatty as is.

My wife and I run what I would categorize as a micro-saas business and we both work at home. She works part time at a standup desk that I made from furniture parts, and she also uses a drafting style chair that I made from parts purchased on the internet. LOL @ her clocks, looks like one needs a battery. To her left is a small white board.

My desk is also somewhat home made and doubles as my hobby project studio for song writing and recording. Behind my chair (not visible in the pic.) are a 10" sub woofer and a larger white board. I have a tiny bike mirror over my right monitor to avoid a bad shock when someone stops by my desk while I'm deep in a project. The tiny red button on the left corner of my desk is to engage/disengage the sub woofer. Most days my dog sleeps on the rug by my chair and amazingly I have never rolled over him.

My desk: http://i.imgur.com/OfYjTgX.jpg Her desk: http://i.imgur.com/vI4GR7H.jpg

You guys both work at home and you are still married? Congrats. That usually strains a lot of relationships.

Thanks, we have been working together for 17 years now and it's great. We limit work hours to weekdays 9-5.

Does your monitor on the left ever rattle from music? Just that slight amount of difference in height would drive me up a wall. You both have nice setups though!

That desk speaker is technically 50 hz and higher. I have not seen the monitor ever move. I try to keep levels low at close proximity. I also use Bose noise cancelling headphones most of the day. The left monitor height diff did annoy me at first. I adjusted the Win 7 monitor position setting to account for it, as well as the Everest background that spans the three monitors.

That chair you build is sweet, I'm looking for something like that for my standing desk. Do you happen to have a list of parts for it?

Since this is HN, could you please share some info about your saas?

We prefer to keep a low profile, but can say that our core product is a vertically targeted CMS that evolved out of a few years of custom projects and consulting.

pretty nice setup you both have

Thanks, it's a work in progress that I enjoy iterating on.

Our house is part of an old 12th century church. The part of the house that runs into this church is my home office. We work here with 2 (sometimes 3) people.

The view is amazing, but I've crammed it with cheap functional desks and chairs and shelfes/tables. The walls are painted a nice purple, but the rest is all about "while we're not making a bunch of money, we can't have nice things".

Do mind that our equipment ( Computers, screens, (3D-)printers etc) is all up to date, no savings there, obviously.

I work from home full time and live on a Pier in the Hudson River right across NYC. My home office has a large solid wood workbench and a Herman Miller Aeron chair. There’s an iPad mounted on the wall running Status Board app showing some vital stats.

All work is done on my 27” iMac, while watching the curious life of liveaboards in the marina outside and looking at the Manhattan skyline…




(Sorry for the poor pics, had to shoot against the sunlight coming in)

I like your desk, it looks like something I've had in my head for a while done using retired scaffolding boards :).

I also live on a river though my view is not as good as yours I do love been able to take a walk when I need to think.

I bought that table in 1996 at Pottery Barn. It was ca. $800 then, but worth every penny. It’s nice and large and easy to move since the tabletop can simply be lifted off the wrought iron stands. Once a year I treat the wood with orange oil which makes it look like new.

Likewise, whenever I have (code)writers block I go or bike along the Hudson waterfront here. Love it.

What is the ipad on the wall doing?

Running https://panic.com/statusboard/ and showing emails and Google Analytics data. Instant, always on, very convenient.

What's the speaker/soundbar you have there?

Xtreme Mac Tango Bar: http://www.xtrememac.com/en-US/products/audio/Tango-TRX/tang...

It's OK if you use it with an addtl. subwoofer.

Nice location.

I don't have an office, even though I work from home.

I alternate between:

1. An amazing café on the beach - warm, sunny, coffee (and beer!) on tap 2. The garden - if it's the right time of year, Wifi is lacking so tend to stay more focussed 3. Barstool in Kitchen/Stood up working 4. Dining room table - white wall behind, good for video calls 5. Lounge 6. Trains

I'm fortunate enough to be able to work with just a laptop, no large screens/mice/speakers/headphones/paper etc needed, so I don't feel that I'm without stuff if I'm not at a desk.

Curious what you do? I do web development & programming and feel that when using a laptop my productivity can nosedive unless I have a full size keyboard.

The same - web dev. I have an rMBP so can bump the res up quite significantly if needed. I'm not sure if this keyboard would be what you'd class as full size - it doesn't have a numpad of course, but that's OK - I type less numbers than you'd expect really!

Different strokes and all that but I have a reasonably big desktop setup (4 large monitors, multiple machines, etc.) but my main keyboard is an Apple Bluetooth one which feels no bigger than the one on my MacBook Pro.. :-)

I tried those for a couple of days, I must be use to very cumbersome keyboards because I felt myself pushing it all over the desk with my heavy strokes.

Student here, so I guess my office is less mission-critical than others.

I took an old door, nailed an edge around it, and varnished it. Got two trusses from Ikea for pretty cheap (~$30 each), and two "night stands" that work really well as shelves.

I have an absurd amount of desk space and I find it great for working. My desk is messy, but I'll get a picture up in a sec.

Edit: Heres that photo http://i.imgur.com/eAY7xZC.jpg

Door/desks are some of the best. My old desk in High School was a door and some concrete blocks. All the cords ran through the hole the handle was supposed to occupy.

I actually really wanted to do that, but I got the door before it had the handle hole cut through it (there's a place not far from me that sells unused things like that). There's still time, I suppose.

A need a dining room table for a new apartment, a door table would be perfect, but where does one go looking for abandoned old doors like that?

I was lucky enough to know someone with this particular door, but it isn't uncommon for there to be a construction materials recycling sort of place. The prices are usually very cheap. Good example here:


Its a great idea to use an Apple keyboard... for taking a picture of your workspace. Then back to the real keyboard.

More seriously, I really wish any USB keyboard could be "converted" into a Apple Bluetooth keyboard (as far as the Mac knows) - they have great connectivity, battery life.

I had the Apple Bluetooth, then went with the Apple wired to get a full size experience. I'm now using the Logitech wireless, which is full size, and solar powered. At first I didn't like that it's not the "Apple" feel, but now, I like it better I think. (not Bluetooth, but the adapter is tiny, especially if you're using Thunderbolt display or another docking situation with USB ports, since it's never in your laptop)

I jump back and forth between an Apple chicklet keyboard and a Das Keyboard with the brown switches, and I can never decide which I like more. I love the feel of the mechanical keyboard, but the Apple one has such a short throw that I can almost forgive the mushiness. I also think the Das Keyboard has too much bezel which makes it take more room on my desk than I'd like. But then I long for that nice click and satisfying feel, and go back.

You might like the Microsoft Sculpt. Similar feel to the mbp kb, but ergonomic.

For the ultimate keyboard experience, get a mechanical keyboard.


I'm using both mechanical and MacBook built-in, and I'm not sure if I like mechanical better.

It's kinda cool to type on it, but the keys are just so huge, it feels like I'm using a typewriter. Using the Apple keyboard is the opposite, it's like I'm just slightly brushing the surface.

If you're pressing the keys on a mechanical keyboard all the way down, then you're not using it correctly. One big advantage of (most) mechanical keyboards is that there's a clear tactile and/or audible indication of actuation, at which point you can release the key.

Ha, that's actually a great tip. I think I was just too used to regular keyboard, where you have to press until the key touches the bottom -- but with mechanical keyboard it's enough to press until I can feel the feedback.

I takes some getting used to, I have to consciously try to press the keys lightly, but it kinda feels nice! I'm definitely enjoying my mechanical keyboard much more this way.

Also, 10 keys typing is a must with a mechanical keyboard.

Yep, that's what I'm talking about. A Filco with the electronics of those apple keyboards.

Nothing special about my current home office (which consists of a desk in my bedroom), but back when I lived in Brooklyn, I had a makeshift standing desk with a nice view of Manhattan.


Incredible view for sure. I find that I'm most productive when I can see lots going on around me.

Really lovely view!

Feeling vertigo!

Please don't be offended, I'm a hacker/geek too but I've generally found designers to have much more aesthetically pleasing home offices.

Not that they write better code, they're just prettier :D


I don't think it's too controversial to think that people who work with aesthetics have more aesthetically-pleasing workplaces.

We moved to the mountains in Central Arizona about 14 years ago and my wife helped setup my home office: large book cases, a huge teak desk, and an ergonomic chair. I have a view of the red rocks/mountains, which is nice.

So, I have a nice home office but I don't much use it because I prefer working in different places around our house and outside, weather and available shade permitting. I use my office mainly when I need to plug my laptop into a large monitor. Otherwise I like to use a light weight lap desk and roam. About once a month I will work out of a coffee shop.

Sounds beautiful. Love that area. How's the community? Is it totally isolated, or do you know some people nearby, etc?

We live in a small town, lots of friends and things to do. Flaggstaff and Cottonwood are in the area for major shopping. We moved from the beach in California and I substitute kayaking for the ocean. Shoot me an email if you are in the area.

Here's where the magic happens:



Edit: I do a few days a week from home, with a fair amount of video conferencing. White board is critical to get me out of my chair to draw out what's in my head.

I just recently (i.e., last week) finally splurged and bought a motorised sit/stand desk. I've been wanting one for some time as I work from home full time and want to stand for part of the day.

Here is the new setup (in standing position): http://imgur.com/cgRoSUu

I just bought the frame and reused the desktop from my old desk. I was tired of using plastic boxes and phone books as monitor stands, and couldn't find good stands that had the height I wanted, so made my own using some wall-mount monitor/tv brackets: http://imgur.com/YwyRwVl

The window on the right looks out on the cat-run in the back yard (when the curtain isn't drawn) and that's a hermit crab tank on the left (which is currently unpopulated until I automate the humidity controls.)

Speakers and lots of kids photos are on a shelf that is currently behind the monitors, but can be seen when sitting. My back is to the door, so there is also a little rear-view mirror glued to that shelf to make it harder for the kids to sneak up on me. (Tying bells to collars worked okay with the cats, but not so well with the children for some reason which is strange as the cats are much more cunning.)

Here's part of my current home office: http://imgur.com/ERUHALo

* Motorized adjustable standing desk from the Ikea (Linak legs; whole thing was under €600), in standing mode. Yes, fixed standing desks are not going to work, you need to be able to alternate between standing and sitting throughout the day.

* On the left, Synology DS213j, TP-Link TD-W8970 ADSL2+ Modem router and Meissner 750VA UPS to keep my internet connection going during Eskom (South African electricity supplier) power outages / load shedding (tested, works a treat! with laptops charged, I can continue accessing internet for a few hours of no power. Telkom exchanges have their own power supplies)

* Cheap laptop with IPS display (see http://wp.me/p1dVx9-6k ) connected to Samsung external LCD. You're seeing Emacs on the left with Zenburn theme, and Intellij IDEA 13 on the right with Darcula IDE + Solarized Dark editor themes, everything still on Ubuntu 12.04.

* My corner is indeed quite cluttered, but comfortable to work in. :)

I recently set up a new home office: http://i.imgur.com/mSTllTC.jpg

it's nice to finally have a decent space to work in. Having a comfortable spot that I enjoy being in has definitely improved my productivity.

My goal is to eventually work from home.. maybe 2014 will be my year :)

I like the idea of a fish bowl on the desk! Where did you get that one from?

It's actually just a big vase :)

I have a pretty horrible office room (1BR condo with the living room/kitchen combination turned into basically an office with a couple desks), but what I do like is my desk itself -- it's one of the IKEA glass-top galants, and I have 2 dual-monitor ergotron arms with 3 x 24" U2410 dell monitors and a laptop stand for a mac. I have a PC (win7 or ubuntu, dual boot) with lots of RAM, SSD, etc.) connected to all 3 monitors, but one of the monitors switches with the macbook pro 17" left on the desk, and another is used for any "guest" system I'm working on via vga, dp, or hdmi. I have 2 keyboards always on the desk and sometimes a third.

When I move, I might switch to retina displays on arms for my primary systems, but 32 is more tempting than 24. Standard-definition displays still work great as big consoles, too.

My wife and I share a room on the brightest corner of our house. It's mainly furnished with Ikea, which is cheap, functional and has a clean style that is well suited for an office environment. I have a workstation with a couple of 24" monitors mounted to the wall. I was concerned that the desk wouldn't be large enough, but having the monitors off the desk surface frees up more than enough space for me. My mechanical keyboard makes typing at my desk a bit more fun. And I can take my laptop over to a surprisingly comfortable chair in the corner of the room when I get tired of sitting at my desk.

We also have a puppy that likes hanging out in the room and is a great source of distraction.


I cycle between working in my basement "office", my living room with a convertible standing desk, and when the weather is permitting, out on the back yard semi-patio-thing.

Relevant pictures:




This one is my favorite of this thread by far!


I'm lucky to work from home full time. My wife does a bunch of drug research when she get's home so it's nice to be in the same room. We are in the process of moving so here is a photograph from our listing: http://i.imgur.com/aziRyhv.jpg

The desk was custom built for the office so not sure if we will take it with us. I love wood working and would love even more to create this myself someday, but my skills aren't there yet :)

WOW, that is a really nice desk!

The most notable not work related items in my office: a guitar, a Cromemco Z-2D computer, a writing desk that I inherited from my grandmother, an old square milk churn, a rusty leg vice that was my grandfathers and a Vroling wood-burning stove ( http://www.vroling.nl/afbeeldingen/vroling%20kachel.jpg , but mine is nicer).

And then there are the boxes in the corner, because we only moved here 3 years ago. Oops.

When I was having some renovations done a while back, I had a desk built into a spare bedroom (that I was already using as a dedicated office). Basically, its' about 10' long and wraps around one of the corners. The corner is where my 2 monitors live as well as an articulated keyboard tray with a mechanical switch keyboard and mouse + trackpad. And an old Aeron chair (which HM replaced at no charge about 7 years into its warranty when a part broke!).

One of the nice things about this arrangement is that the corner is really deep. At one time this let me use a big CRT. Now it just lets me shove lots of USB drives and so forth out of the way. I have a few computers but I really only use my Mac Mini most of the time.

Most of the remaining wall area is file cabinets and bookcases. Truth be told a lot of the paper volume in the office is essentially "legacy" paper though I have cleared a fair bit of that over the years. If I were starting today, I'd probably make more of an effort to have as much digitized as possible. As it is, a lot of the older material just isn't worth the effort.

I used to do most of my computer work in my office. Truth be told these days, I often just work on my laptop in some other room. Not sure why I changed but I find I like moving around unless I'm doing some task that's a lot better on my desktop setup.


Mine is in one of the smaller rooms of my house that I work out of once in a while. I belive the table top is the Ikea Gerton (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50106773/) that I bought a few years ago. Such a simple desk and loads of room. Pretty heavy too.

What's the make and model on your chair? Nice setup

It's a Herman Miller Embody. Very expensive, but my fiancee got a great discount through work. Great investment if you sit all day.


Plenty of color options. We were told the white back wasn't possible for some reason, but somehow the woman we worked with managed to sneak it in. Very happy when it was delivered!

I don't have one really. I have a T400 thinkpad and work wherever I feel comfortable. I avoid a specific place to work as I find that terribly demotivating.

My living room consists of my desk, TV and a small sofa. The desk is positioned in the middle of the room, so I can see the TV. It's a terrible setup for entertaining guests but it's nirvana for working from home. I'd hate to be cramped up in a small office or next to my bed. Being able to watch TV while I work allows me to be able to work for 12+ hours with no problem. And I really like the extra space.

https://whatimg.com/i/Rk8suJ.jpg https://whatimg.com/i/mISJVr.jpg https://whatimg.com/i/rdhPMY.jpg - this picture gives a better overall view.

Gallant corner desks - I've updated, since, to an iMac and Thunderbolt Display. I want to go to a more simpler set up with a better quality desk. Galant desks are nice, but I'm really wanting something with more texture, sturdier.

Take the time and invest in cable management. It makes everything so much better. On the other side of my office, what works awesome is an Ikea Expedit turned on its side - http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/images/products/expedit-shelving-u... - fits my two printers, Airport and a little rock fountain just perfectly. I've worked at home for coming up on seven years now.

Spare bedroom my wife and I both use. We each bought two cheap IKEA desks (they look like Galants, but with T-Legs, very basic) -- one desk for our computers and monitors and such (sooo much space) and another for other sundry. I have a 4 color laser all-in-one and the guts of a MAME machine I'm working on on my second disk, my wife has mostly paperwork spread out. A pair of comfortable, relatively cheap ($200) chairs from Costco. That's about it, when it's organized better than it is right now, it's semi-minimal with tons of surface space to work off of. Right now I have too many old computers in there I need to dispose of or do something with and lots of other junk I need to organize. I keep my photography equipment in there as well and we're preparing for an overseas trip so all that junk is in there as well.

I try not to keep lots of books or anything in there. I have a separate library room for books and various curio (the actual home office designed for the home, but is just a hair too small for my current setup plus my wife's plus my books).

In the middle of a move (out of a rental into a place we are buying) so no pics but I work full time remote from the bitterroot mountains of Montana.

I use a costco wire shelving unit + a couple of boards as a standing desk with a monoprice 27" ips monitor and a macbook pro. I have one shelf set up to keep the monitor and macbook at eye height and another lower one with boards for keyboards and mouse plus a drafting chair for when I want to sit. Also there is one shelf on top and another a couple of inches bellow the keyboard shelf for stability and storage and the whole thing needs to be against a wall to work well.

It works pretty well but I find myself missing a sitting desk for days when i'm too exhausted (from climbing and skiing mountains) to stand all day. Not sure if I will purchase an adjustable or just set up two works stations once we've moved. Either an arm to move my main monitor or a second monoprice is cheaper then any adjustable desk i've seen.

Also a comfortable chair usually with a cat curled up in it, view of the mountains and a closet full of climbing and skiing gear.

A custom made desk by the window with an obscured Indian Ocean view (Mombasa). Three monitors on the desk. Under the desk a build server and what was my main computer stacked one over the other. I work from home, and all this is just at the corner of what is supposed to be a bedroom. Nice curtains to have just enough light in the room and a nasty array of various cables all over the place.

I live in an apartment, first floor. I Work from home full time in Bolivia. I accommodate a room with two desks, most of the time I use both and in occasions I share one.

I don't like to have anything else in the room, when I want to rest I just get out of my desk, for a coffe, a nap or answer my cellphone.

No TV in my apartment.


I did a blog post a few years back with a compilation of pictures of offices of independent programmers: http://successfulsoftware.net/2009/07/27/where-i-program/

Check out the 'breaking bad' style office.

My (hopefully!) temporary setup consists of a table over the freezer in the corner of the kitchen. Flanked by enormo-pepper grinder and box-radio. On the plus side, I'm never far away from snacks...


I work from my apartment in the Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood in Montreal. It's a small prewar apartment, and the living room has its original stucco walls.

I work sometimes from my desk, sometimes from a standing standing at the other side of the room by the window, and sometimes from neighborhood cafes.

I posted pictures of my setup to /r/minimalism a while ago. Note that I have since failed to keep up this system perfectly, but often my desk does look like this. Seeing what I posted has inspired me to deal with loose paper better, which is my main cause of clutter.


Nice! I was living in the plateau not too long ago also. But recently moved a little further out to southwest area. Rent is ridiculously cheap here compared to Toronto. I've seen rent go as low as $350 all inclusive for a private apartment. That's nuts.

Same story, work from home. Equip: 15"MacBook retina i7 ssd, 2x cinema displays (older 24"), Logitech mouse, ikea adjustable desk, adjustable chair. iOS developer.


Hi Graeme, we're in Le Plateau too, moved here from SF (previously Berlin and Sydney).

We have a nice office on Blvd Saint Laurent looking directly out onto Mont Royal: high ceilings, 11 inch MBAs, 27in screens, Ikea trestle tables, etc. It's not a home office per se, but home for us nonetheless.

You should drop by if you ever walk past. We're just above Code Black Coffee.

Oh cool, I actually spotted your office on a late night walk home a few weeks ago. I'll drop by when I'm in the area during the day.

I am currently having a very simple one. But I admired this one https://www.flickr.com/photos/paladin27/3217388885/ a lot. Will soon make out something like it.

I work from home part time (living in a small apartment) and built a standing desk out of a shelf, a piece of wood and a black glass plate. I specifically designed it as small and simple as possible so my work space has no physical distractions and there is no space left for piling paperwork.

I also created a physical Kanban board to manage day-to-day tasks, it's right next to the standing desk and I enjoy its omnipresence because I can always see the big picture of my work. (also the mere exposure effect kicks in :) )

Here's a picture, it's small, it's simple, I love it: http://www.patrick-wied.at/misc/img/standing_table.jpg

Funnily enough, MKBHD recently did a long video showing a variety of his viewers setups recently. I've linked to the unique setups section as these are possibly more interesting (there are quite a lot) http://youtu.be/pmnLca3FneU?t=1h53m23s

also worth checking out lifehacker which features a lot of setups too:



I work from home as a freelancer.

I use a flat desk, which I extended on both sides so its more wide. Under left side of it is chassis & UPS, under right are routers and subwoofer. On far left side on the desk you can see laptop, and on right one various stuff that form one mess :) Also there is a white light lamp that forms nice soft backlight in the background (it's not that strong as it is in picture). This summer I plan to move, so I plan to get a new setup, a better desk and a better cable management.


I live full-time in an Airstream travel trailer with my wife.

This is my corner.. http://www.watsonswander.com/assets/2014/02/TAW55485.jpg

Love it! What a simple life. I tried to convince my wife to live on a boat but it was a no go with a new baby.

After kids ate up our spare bedrooms, my home office is a desk in the corner of the master bedroom with my MacBook Pro. I mounted a monitor on the wall with a swivel arm to clear a little desk space. A few hard drives for backups in the corner. Too much clutter on the top of the desk.

I often work from a chair in the living room or the dining room table as well. Or I go out to libraries, a hackerspace, McDonalds, sports bar, Barnes and Noble, etc. to work.

I do have a low-power, mini server stack out in the family room, next to the big TV. A Raspberry Pi, two Pogoplugs, a DDWRT router, a pile of hard drives.

Darn, missed this thread yesterday. Here is mine. It's gone through some changes...it's never perfect.


Like this: http://youtu.be/GAJSnJE8Fu4 :) full of junk and clutter. It is not a good example to follow

I use either my coffee or dining table, both made of solid oak. If neither are available, I use the floor. Being a big music fan, I often drag a pair of portable speakers and a broken ipod around (currently hardcore, breakcore and Scott Joplin).

Although I use a laptop, I stick to a mouse, touchpads drive me up the wall. Generally speaking, I prefer my hardware ugly and robust, as opposed to sleek and fragile.

Converted day 6'x6' walk in closet into my office.. Hung a 40" on the center of the wall, with 20" panel.. Kneeling chair, and storage for books and stuff around the top.. http://imgur.com/PgLEaO3

I thought it would feel cramped at first, but it doesn't.. Allows me much greater focus, and everything is in arms reach.

Equipment. Equipment everywhere. You can't go wrong with scopes, frequency generators, logic analyzers, power supplies, and good ol' t-slot. This isn't quite my entire office but this should give you an idea:


It's only slightly less insane than my work office.

If you need an idea, pls take a look here : http://desk.cmiscm.com/

Thanks for the link to desk photos.

But, sorry to say so, that's one of the worst websites I have seen in 2014 - a slow flash page with long animations, annoying sounds effects and bad UX (even for year 2011).

Photo: http://bryan.cx/ptRk/3k1S0VoL

I usually try to keep my office pretty simple and clean. White parsons desks, aeron chair, cinema display and retina MBP.

I also have two Lifx bulbs in the lamps that I'm hoping to use for visual notifications when they open their API.

The API, providing iOS, Android and Ruby bindings, was released a few weeks ago:

I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Desk: two sawhorses tables, + view on the left, + view on the right. Shared via G+ because we hipsters love dead technologies ;)


Like this: http://jseliger.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/the-geekdesk-writin... . The most notable part is the sit-stand desk. It would be very hard to go back to sitting desks only.

I have a standing desk (adjustable but not automatic to sitting desk) but I'm on and off of it. My work setup anywhere is pretty much just my laptop majority of the time regardless of where I'm using it.

I've created a standing desk by using wallshelves.


Zenbook, cottage veranda or garden, between two rivers 15km from Prague (1h on bike) ... just now, many birds are singing here from March to July

Desk, chair, laptop. That's really it for me and I find it's all I need. Although I am interested in trying a standing desk.

A 1.25m tall chest of drawers full of clothes and stuff doubles as a standing desk, so my inventory is "laptop" :)

I think I might try out this option next time I happen to drop by IKEA. http://iamnotaprogrammer.com/Ikea-Standing-desk-for-22-dolla...

Anyone tried deskless workstations (sitting on floor)?

I work from home full time, and worked almost exclusively from my sofa for about six months thanks to moving/space considerations. I don't recommend typing a lot in any environment where you don't have arm or elbow support, it's painful.

Quick way to get back problems

Like Tony Stark's basement.

I moved out of the US a year ago to travel around the world but never left the first city I visited in asia. I work from home. My split level condo is on the 40th floor with a view of the sunset, ocean, and the city skyline. My office moves from living room to bedroom depending on houseguests. I have 2 27" apple cinema displays; each on its own aidata laptop desk that can be raised so I can stand or sit. I have a chair that can recline from sitting position to laying flat. I have a vibrating exercise machine that I stand on when I'm tired of sitting. I have a surround system and a projector so I can watch hd movies across from where I work. The projector screen is about 8 feet wide (I wish I had the space to project a larger image). The projector is hooked up to a macbook pro with a 4TB disk with about 1200 movies.

Despite all that, I think the best part is that my gf (who is half my age) hangs out on the couch next to me.

> Despite all that, I think the best part is that my gf (who is half my age) hangs out on the couch next to me.


Nah, just your typical LBH.

Just giving you a hard time. I'm in the same boat ;)

Question: How does your office look like [Microsoft's] Answer: Because we [employed the same interior decorator].

Question: How does your office look? Answer: It looks nice.

Question: What does your office look like? Answer: It uses XYZ colour scheme and has lots of tables and chairs.

Question: What does your [ideal] office look like? Answer: I wish it had....

[For background: I am not big into being pedantic about 'correct' grammar, but areas where small mistakes do create hours worth of confusion, sometimes magnitudes of effect more (particularly within global collaborative environments).]

Looks like most other people in this thread got the picture. This is overly pedantic.

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