Office Space (Remodeling our home office)

Ahh, the office.

When Christy and I relocated to the Austin area (from frigid Rochester, MN), we technically became remote employees (our teams still centralized in Minnesota).

During the transition we both worked a lot from our offices on the Austin campus, but after about year of getting settled in we started to realize actually driving to the office wasn’t necessary.  Neither of us had coworkers in our buildings, and we were working on laptops.  So we gradually started working more and more from our home until eventually it became the norm.

There were quite a few deficiencies at home though, and we decided to address them by making a more formal and functional office space for the both of us.

When we first moved in, we just had a single small desk that we tried to fit all our equipment and things onto…

Obviously, not an optimal solution for two people working 8+ hours a day.  We put the old office set on craigslist and started our wish list…

1.  Desk big enough for both of us to work on.  More room to write notes, look through papers, etc.

2. Getting 2 office chairs.  We really just had one, and it wasn’t the most ergonomic and definitely not the most sexy.  It’d be nice to have something to support us full time.

3. Someway to hide all the clutter.  Working for a tech company and being gadget geeks, we have a lot of equipment and you can see in the picture above, it all was just kind of haphazardly setup.  Let’s get this area organized.

4. Some art and decorations.  An office shouldn’t be all business, it should be relaxing and inviting.

5. Phone and Bluetooth Headset.  A phone was a necessity for me because I have a lot of calls and Christy doesn’t want to be subject to hearing all my coworkers for most of the day on speakerphone.  So we needed to get a phone solution and bluetooth headset so I can call in my calls and not drive her crazy.

We then took one of our famous trips to IKEA and put together a solution to address all our needs with a mix of cabinets, desks, and some good ol’ hackery.

Shopping List

1. Vika Viene Table Top (for Christy, a cool desk that opens and closes so all the work clutter is out of sight when not in use.)

2. Vika Amon Table top (long one for my side of the desk + a shorter one for Christy’s side – which we had to cut to size so that both our sides matched up in length.)

3. Vika Kaj Adjustable Legs

4. Aspvik Cabinet with sliding doors (to house all the electronics)

5. West Elm Shelves

First step, moving everything out of the office…

Now to get rid of the dreary green walls with a fresh coat of white paint….

When that venture was done and dry, we began the assembly…

After getting to that stage, realized we had to come up with a cable management solution (IKEA never considers this it seems).  We didn’t just want them going over the top of the desks.

So we came up with a genius idea of raising the adjustable legs a bit and putting a little invention (made of 4 felt pads each sandwiched between two rubber desk feet) along the printer stand and where the desks rest. The effect is a cool “floating” desk and also our cables run under the table instead of over it!

The next task were the shelves. The drywall anchors that were included in the kit were no good, so the shelves would not hang level. A trip to Lowe’s for some more heavy duty anchors solved the issue and once we put some display items on them (including west elm storage boxes we spray painted yellow) our vision started really coming together…


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