Monochrome palettes are quite popular, and with just cause: they're soothing, easy on the eyes and easy to coordinate with — you try finding a computer tower that matches your magenta curtains. Today's featured workspace is an airy and monochromatic oasis.
Lifehacker reader ediblestarfish redid their office after years — how many years? read on to find out — and they couldn't be happier. Check out the gallery below and make sure to pay attention to the copious notes accompanying each photo. If you have a question about anything in the office you'll likely find the answer there.
Finally got around to remodeling this room after mulling over it for nearly 7 years.
Room is some sort of hack between an office and a den. Not the most efficient place to work, but I don't mind being here for long hours which offsets it. I do most of my work at the office (most isn't possible to take home), so there's not much need to have a ton of work space here.
Didn't really want to go for all the Ikea stuff at first, but after some back and forth comparisons, found that Ikea offered better fitting solutions than many other items I had been considering. Does not compare well to the solid wood furniture of the bedroom adjacent, but is still perfectly adequate in terms of durability and aesthetics.
The drapes add a soft, organic, sculptural element that provides diffuse lighting—I didn't actually plan that. Just sort of turned out better than I expected.
Went undecided on wall colour. Figured the floor colour and oak grain were overpowering enough that more colour would be too much. I eventually went with a light grey/dark grey combo. White as an accent and trim colour.
Picture at back adds some much needed life. Still plenty of empty wall space for future pictures.
The colour of the wall is darker shade on this side, which really brings the focus back to the monitor. Reduces the visibility of the separating wall by making it appear like a picture frame.
This workspace is built around the sound system and the low height desk optimised for the keyboard—not handwriting (26" top height) that were a must for me. I'm not very tall and most desks are too high if I set the chair to the height that lets me keep my feet on the floor to reduce back strain.
I've worked hard to reduce as much as I can to a paperless office, which is the only way I can get away with such a small surface. There's not much stuff here because... well I don't have much stuff. I'm very adamant about purging stuff I don't use since it gets in the way.
Cheap monitor mount from Monoprice frees up more space. Unfortunately the tilt function on the mount is severely taxed and not realistically adjustable after it is set. Free to move about horizontally though. I never intend to move it, so it's a minor complaint.
Of course, often times I don't work and just listen to music and/or game. :3
I find it somewhat comical that Ikea makes one of the better adjustable height desks. Saw a few other office solutions, but they were bulky, expensive and ugly. I did have to spray paint the underside of the desk; it was unfinished and created a strange reflection off the chrome.
Ikea lamp screams Ikea, but my other choice, a Noguchi lamp cost so much more, it wasn't really justifiable. Spent enough on accessories already.
Steel Case Think chair, simple, easy, pretty comfy. Replaced a Herman Miller Reaction which I was very unhappy with. Had a cushion that wore out far faster than its price would indicate, and back support that was non-existent for a person of my height.
The wiring is bundled and organised but still sticks out. Personally, I don't mind it that much, but some people would probably go nuts.
I made little effort in organising the wires here; kind of prefer it that way for modularity. The battery backup unit for the computer is poking out just behind the CD changer in the lower-centre part of the image. There is almost 10" of space between the table and the wall.
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1's. One of the better speakers in their price range. I'd love to rave about them here, but there's plenty of reviews out there if you're interested.
They are on 32-inch stands that I painted with a hammered dark bronze effect. It's not visible, but they are also tilted up a bit to reduce sound reflections from the desk that can make music sound a bit off-key, and to aim the tweeters a bit over my ears to optimise the listening position.
Can see the shrink wrapped banana plugs and the 12-gauge landscaping electrical wire I used. I'm not one of those that thinks there is anything significant to gain with expensive, unscientifically advertised 'audiophile' cabling.
Headphones are a must at late hours. A Peachtree Nova integrated amplifier/DAC drives the sound for the headphones and speakers. Coaxial digital output off the computer's Asus Xonar D2. Supposedly has lower latency than an optical connection which requires more signal conversion.
The headphone stand is a paper towel roll holder I found at Ace Hardware and painted semi-gloss black. The cans are an old AKG K240S pair which I'm quite happy with, despite their middle of the pack ranking.
Computer is as silent as I could get it with low speed fans, low wattage CPU, and a SSD being nearly impossible to hear a few feet away. However a Geforce GTX 260 fan inside is quite noticeable. Hope someone makes a gaming worthy low noise card in the future. The passive cooled ones I've tried before just didn't last.
Computer support equipment like the cable modem, router, NAS, printer, are in the closet since I very rarely need to access them. Same with paper files and misc supplies.
Closer up. Can see the awful textured walls. Was about to smooth it all out, but then thought about all the sanding dust I've experienced before when re-plastering. Just too much hassle.
Rythmik F12SE servo sub. One of the best I've ever heard short of the Velodyne servo models. Very clean and tight sound; got rid of that thick sounding bass I had from a HSU STF-1. Haven't figured out how to use the parametric EQ correctly yet. Not even sure my SPL meter is as accurate enough to make the measurements at frequencies this low.
CD changer I salvaged off our old HT system used as a stopgap solution while I hunt for a different solution that does not require the computer (and the noise that it produces).
Dark furniture requires dark chocolate.
DYI low profile valance. Primed, pre-made trim, and some microfibre suede I sewed and hot-glued. Sewing the 74-inch strip of fabric precisely without much experience turned out to be more difficult and time consuming than I thought.
Attached to wall with 8 of those 3M picture frame hanging Velcro things. They didn't all adhere, (the trim board is slightly concave) so I may re-attach it with another method. However, the mounts still stick quite strongly — pull them off the wrong way and the wall plaster gives away before the adhesive does.
I usually like it dim at night. If it's too bright, have trouble sleeping later. Don't usually use the halogen on the left simultaneously; just used for this picture.
Lamp in the right side was originally a bit too bright, so It's using 2 out of the 3 sockets fitted with 40W equivalent CFLs. The paper shade greatly aids in masking the CFL spectrum signature, which often bothers me. With the newest generation of CFLs, it's fairly difficult to tell it's not using incandescent bubs.
Normal application of the halogen desk lamp. It's on a dimmer behind the shelf to reduce output to the low levels I want.
The Logitech Illuminated Keyboard shows up in this shot. It negates the need for a lamp on the desk at low light levels.
You can see the sound card off the computer lighting up the wall with rainbows sans unicorns on the right. I'd prefer to do without the disco show, but haven't figured out a solution.
Black, White, and Gray: A Monochromatic Office Makeover [Lifehacker Workspace Show and Tell Pool]