25 most popular workspaces of 2009

1 Before and After: Barren Attic to Programmer's Paradise

Mitch was tired of traveling for work. After logging over 80,000 miles flying between Boston and San Jose, Calif., he hung up his frequent flyer wings and built an amazing home office.

After making do over the years with offices that were never just right for his needs, Mitch decided to remodel his attic into a workspace that fit. The entire room was taken down to the studs, as seen in the picture, and then rebuilt complete with new wiring, proper insulation, and a fine attention to detail. The new office has a server closet, spacious desks to house the six (not kidding) monitors Mitch uses for development.

2 Floating Monitors and Hidden Peripherals

Monitors that seem to float in the air on a cloud of ambient lighting, cords hidden behind faux walls, and peripherals hidden in hollowed out shelves.

3 Office on the Forest's Edge

Office is glass on three sides with a cantilevered deck that looks over the densely forested shores of Chuckanut Bay.

4 Building The Ultimate Dorm Desk

When you're a DIYer with a desire to build an epic desk for your dorm room, it helps to have access to good tools and materials.

5 The Trap Door Desk

How do you maintain a completely uncluttered workspace, but also keep access to basic tools and peripherals? You build,Roitsch did, a desk with a large storage compartment in the middle.

He had the good fortune to find an old clerical desk with a sturdy frame he could work from. Using that frame, he constructed a new shell around it to include a hinged compartment in the center of the desk. He can set his MacBook on top while keeping accessories, wires, and desk odds and ends.

6 The Computer Cabinet Office

If you want to pack a lot of computers and screen real estate into a small space while keeping the noise and heat under control, you might want to take a few notes from this workspace.

Steve Price had a two-fold problem. His previous desk was short on space for all his monitors and the noise and heat generated by having all his computers under the desk was unpleasant. By taking advantage of an alcove in his computer room he was able to cut down on the heat and noise substantially.

He built a custom cabinet to fit into the alcove and hold his computers, some peripherals, and tools. The entire affair is cooled with large-diameter cooling fans and the heat is exhausted right out the window.

7 The Well-Planned Dorm Room

Just because you're in college doesn't mean that your room has to be a cluttered mess of schoolwork, piled with unwashed clothes, and overseen by John Belushi posters.

Aaron Francis' room organized and pleasingly laid out.He used a screen printing technique we shared to screen print the pictures above his desk and scattered throughout the room. The stand beside his reading chair is made from recycled magazines.

His bedroom makes excellent use of space by putting the desk directly under the bed. One of the things that makes the traditional lofted bed stand out is a combination of two neat features. The underside of the bed is strung with 12v LED puck lights to provide a clean and even lighting over his workspace. The Macbook on his desk is linked to a secondary monitor mounted to the wall above so he can watch Hulu and movies in bed. He controls the setup by using an Air Mouse while in bed.

8 Custom Wire Management for Multi-Monitor Bliss

Brian Connolly was tired of cramped desks and messy wiring, so he built his own desk and wire management system to have the spacious and tidy spread he desired.
Connolly put a good deal of planning into his setup before he dropped the hardware on it. The desk is constructed of a piece of wood custom-cut to size, floated above the tops of the two file cabinets with rubber spacers to keep the desk surface from sliding and scratching up the cabinets. Brian attached pieces of pine to the backs of the file cabinets to act as sliding tracks for two sheets of peg board.

Brian mounted all of his loose cables and adapters on the boards to keep them off the ground and out of site. The peg board combined with a wire baker's rack next to his desk ensure that all his wiring and peripherals stay neatly stashed off his floor and desktop.

A pan of my work space from Brian Connolly on Vimeo.

9 The Mac-tacular Lair

What do you get when you combine tons of shiny tech toys and a consistent eye for design? Judging by the hundreds of comments and questions about it, the envy of quite a few folks.
Office that is not only visually appealing but packed with enough shiny tech toys to cover all sorts of work and play.

10 Unidentified Floating Desk

Wanted to get monitor off desk, but didn't want to waste money on an expensive mounting arm. With the addition of some lumber and LEDs, problem solved!

11 The Innovative Office

If you're an architect, it would naturally follow that your home office would be both a functional workspace and an expression of your talent. This home office certainly delivers on both counts.
Jeremy Levine has a spacious and well lit office that will likely be the envy of cubicle-dweller and telecommuter alike. Jeremy's office features a vaulted ceiling with exposed recycled wood beams and a combines clerestory and transom windows to bring in a huge amount of natural light and create an expansive work environment. Adjacent to his office is a home office for his wife, each office opens into a garden space.

12 The Hidden Cable Workspace

An uncluttered workspace with well-managed cables definitely doesn't happen by accident.Workspace showcases the kind of clutter-free work environment you can have with careful planning and execution.

13 The Triple-Monitor Haven

Who doesn't want a few more pixels of screen real estate? Workspace sports triple 26" monitors and has more than enough space to go around.

Combine dark colors, ample desk space, and a 78" arch of viewing pleasure, and you've got a workspace dear to many a geek's heart. Throw in a few toys like an Ambient Orb and a break now and then to play some video games on a nearly wraparound display and the deal is sealed.

14 Handcrafted and Free Floating: The Wraparound Workspace

One of the best ways to cut down on cable clutter is to get all your equipment and cables right off the floor, so cables can never drape across the floor in the first place. Louis' workspace uses a system of shelves to keep everything in a position where the cords travel the shortest distance possible. His computer and accompanying gear, save for the printer, are on a shelf right below his floating desk and directly beside the outlet they pull power from. In most places the cables have to travel mere inches to get where they are going and can stay tucked out of site easily.

15 The Quad Monitor Alcove

We're fairly certain that such high tech offerings have never been housed in such a soothingly rustic alcove. Multiple monitors, lots of computing power, and a flexible ergonomic desk make for quite a workspace.
From the custom ergonomic chair to the tilting work surface of the ergonomic desk, the workspace is geared for long term comfort.

In addition to comfort the setup certainly doesn't want for power—or a thirst for electricity for that matter—the 30" monitors are hooked up to his 8 core Mac Pro. The 52" HDTV is in turn hooked up to an Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and a Mac Mini.

16 The Serene Workspace

This workspace has quite a spread of features: triple monitors, a wall mounted HDTV, ample desk space, and soothing lighting to boot.
The current incarnation is a pleasing multi-monitor setup with plenty of space to work. Thanks to a wall mount for the TV and a repurposed glass table top turned monitor shelf the common desktop fixtures like monitor stands, phones, and pencil cups have been lifted off the desk freeing up more space. Scoot the keyboard and mouse under the monitor shelf and you've got a wide open space to work in.

17 Before and After: The Wire Loom Workspace

A tangle of wires under a glass desk is an eyesore times two. Since you can't escape it when you're sitting at the desk by pretending its not there, you've got to do something about it.

18 The Attic Playground

Most people think of attics as a place to stash boxes of Christmas ornaments and dusty boxes of mementos. Follow this workspace, and the attic becomes a place for 8-core workstations and Rock Band sessions.

Is a workspace that has plenty of personality—tartan carpet anyone?—and lots of space for work and play. On one end of the room is a MacPro 2009 with 8 cores, hooked up to dual 24" displays and a Wacom Intuos tablet. On the other end of the room is a couch, 1080 HDTV with surround sound, and a Rock Band station complete with drum set.

19 The Floating Shelves and Hidden Cables Workspace

This workspace is a great example of how, with some careful shopping and thoughtful layout, you can create an uncluttered and tidy workspace without a huge budget.
Using a series of simple plastic clips,made a very tidy wire management system with minimal materials and footprint.

20 Before and After: The Loft Workstation

It's bad enough having a super messy workspace, but when your workspace is lofted above the rest of your living space and all your cable clutter and your ugly desk become an eyesore something must be done.
Workspace was in an area of the loft that was itself elevated above the rest of the space.Have a messy workspace with some out of control cables but the entire workspace was even uglier when viewed from below in the living space.

Rather than enclose the space and hide the cable clutter, which would decrease the openness of the loft, build an awesome workstation from scratch that maintains the airiness of the loft while hiding nearly all the cables. Besides the visible, but neatly displayed, cord for the monitors all the other cables are routed in a single bundle up behind the monitors on the wall and across the room tucked into the lip of one of the support beams. The cables go into a closet at the back of the office where the computers themselves are stored.

All you see sitting at the desk is the monitors mounted to the backstop, the open desk, and the keyboard tray. It's definitely as "cordless" as a workspace that relies on actual cords can be.

21 The Mac Lover's Bedroom

Putting your workspace in your bedroom is a gamble. Do it poorly and you invite a clutter magnet into your sleeping space. Do it well, and you can put your bedroom's extra space to stylish, productive use.
This featured workspace pulls off the office-as-bedroom tact without introducing clutter or bulk into the bedroom. Tucked neatly in the corner and with dual monitors to boot,can get work done in style in his bedroom office.

22 Before and After: The Benefits of Basic Tidying and Cable Management

Not every workplace makeover needs to involve a spending spree at Ikea and more LEDs than a flight control panel.
It doesn't float, spin, flash, or appear to contain glowing alien spore, but today's featured workspace gets the job done in a very practical and tidy way.
Dani Cela just needed to tame the mess of cables at his feet and tidy up. He attached a cable basket like the one Adam used to tidy his cables under his desk. The small space under the left-hand side proved to be perfect for a shallow recycling bin, further cutting down on the things around his feet and legs. After the tidying and cable re-routing, Dani's left with a functional workspace with all his essentials at hand.

23 White Space and LEDs

This featured workspace is an example of how you don't have to spend a fortune to have a fun and functional workspace with a solid dose of style. Obviously Apple products don't come cheap, so we'll discount the presence of a gorgeous and pricey Apple screen as part of the total cost of the space. The rest of the space is composed of simple and inexpensive items, like $89 IKEA Vika Gruvan desktop and a comically large clothespin for temporally stashing important papers.

24 Land of the Colorful Cubes

Cubes are the antithesis of individuality. Tiny, colorless combs in the hive of industry, right? Not if you work at The Balcom Agency in Fort Worth, Texas.

25 The Media Mecca

What do you do when you and your roommate are media-loving computer geeks? Why, turn your mutual living room into a mecca of computing and media magic, of course!

Aaron and his roommate planned out their living room to serve as both a home office and an entertainment hub

Makes perfect sense, and why wouldn't you combine your resources when it results in this much awesomeness? Their living room is arranged so that each of their desks is on each side of the main space with theater seating in the middle. The computers and media devices are all wired with a HDMI switch to their triple screen set up: two 46" 1080 flat screens on custom stands he and his roommate built and a 1080 projector for their monstrous projection screen. Aaron notes they generally limit the projector to movie watching to keep the cost of replacement bulbs down.


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