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designing a better workspace

by Grace Bonney

Building a home office can be a tough task if you’re working in a small space. You want to create something that has enough room to be functional, but that isn’t so spread out that you encroach on your living space. So today Kate rounded up some of her favorite office organization, accessories and furniture to help you craft a better home office. I’m still working on mine and that minimalist wooden desk below is calling my name. I love when office spaces move away from sleek metal and embrace natural materials. Click here to check out Kate’s full product roundup at MyLifeScoop. xo, grace

We recently finished tagging a ton of office posts on D*S if you need more inspiration: great offices and a huge group of office decor and organization shopping guides.

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  • i love all of this, especially the white table and the whale! Cute.. Just what I need to make my office a place I really want to be in and work! :)

    – took me a minute to realise I was actually on Design Sponge! Cool new look :)

  • this is perfect timing since i just got my new desk…. i was wondering if you could recommend any placed to get cool (not ugly) mouse pads? my white lacquer desk is not friends with my optical mouse. thanks!

  • I understand that the main objective is to find objects that are first and foremost “smartly designed”. However, I will not purchase an item rated 3 out of 5 stars on amazon.com just because it’s stylish to have around (I’m referring to the external hard drive). Next time, we’d appreciate introductions to more reliable and functional items, not just the good-looking ones.

    • susan

      i hate to be the bearer of bad news, but amazon ratings aren’t always accurate. i’ve purchased things that were way better and worse than their ratings, so it’s often tough to use that as the gold standard of ratings. we recommend things we believe to be quality products, regardless of anonymous amazon ratings.


  • I love the wood/black metal legged desk above and covet the whale pencil holder. The west elm pratt collection was beautiful and I see the file storage shown above. My thoughts on that piece were that it would also make a nice end table or nightstand, perfect for double duty in a small space.

    After 40+ years of life, I finally have a home writing/working space to call my own. I couldn’t be more pleased with the way it came out. I stayed away from a desk that could only be well… a desk. Finally selected a vintage black stained maple desk with a green granite inlay on the top, legs and trim are curved and very hollywood regency in shape. I used a low long media center to hold my printer/scanner and supplies. Because its low, has very little impact to the room since my office is also in my master bedroom, our eye barely registers these items when you enter the room. I also tried to streamline my tech as much as possible, went with the HP Envy printer/scanner and as much wireless via bluetooth items as possible. For accessories, no plastic pencil holders from office max, instead I used vases, tealight holders and crystal bowls with covers. The last touch was to put up art that served as inspiration or had meaning to my writing goals.

  • Jaine, seejanework.com has nice leather mousepads in bright colors. I have the same difficulty with my optical mouse.

    I’m seriously considering switching to an apple magic trackpad. Its a small rectangle angled piece with a flat surface. You use your finger to move your mouse cursor around and then tap to click. No more mouse (or mousepad!) needed.

  • Susan, I don’t think it is realistic to expect a design blog to perform the necessary research and testing that would be needed to only post reliable tech products. I don’t expect design focused sites to present me with information that would be provided by a consumer reports site or an information technology writer. We are stil responsible to do our own due diligence when shopping for an item, we shouldn’t expect a blog writer to tell us what to buy.

    I see the point of this post was to present the readers with concepts for designing an office space. With the hard drive presented, it gave us, the readers the idea to incorporate natural materials into our space and purchasing tech items with a streamlined appearance. The value that can be gained from the post is to plant an idea in our minds that we can run with when we do our own shopping. There are other bamboo accessories available (I use a monitor stand made out of bamboo) and there are other steamlined, nicely designed hard drives (I like Lacie and also adore my time capsule for backups).

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