Cords, cords and more cords…

So I bought a large black and white standing desk and assembled it myself with 2 screwdrivers and a drill (the instructions did NOT recommend this as a thing – I had to find out when there were no pre-drilled holes in the desk top). And I love it. I stand most of the day now, and if I get a little tired I walk away and come back to it in the standing position. It’s fantastic. This desk is very large because I have three screens (2 monitors and a laptop, plus assorted portables when needed), and I needed to ensure the desk wouldn’t sag over time, as they tend to do when made of veneer and chipboard. The Rapid Span 1800mm desk (made in China) came with a modesty panel as standard – this helps to stabilise the desk in the standing position – and a metal u-beam that screws to the underside of the desk. Even better is that I can see outside to my garden now, and I love it!

The worst part about this new desk are all the cords. It’s nearly impossible to hide them, and if people tell you they can hide them they lie. My monitors each require 2 cords (1 power cord, 1 connector cable). My computer requires 1 power cord, 1 mouse cord and a keyboard cord, plus the AV cord that goes from my trusty 10-year-old Harmon Kardon woofer and tweeters. Ask me why I don’t just get wireless everything: go on. Well, until mouses (mice?) and keyboards are fully rechargeable I’m not going buying ones where I have to replace the batteries every week. There is one brand I think that sell USB rechargeable mouses and keyboards but they are super exxie and I’m just not going there yet. And yes, I DO have a wireless Bluetooth speaker in the room, but I prefer to use the Harmon Kardon – it’s not obsolete! Plus there’s the desk-lamp cord, three power boards (for all the power cords!), my USB phone charger, the Bluetooth speaker charger and the air-diffuser. And the printer power cord. And the desk cords. Basically, it’s just really cord-hungry, this room. Some folks have suggested buying a cord tidy, but actually all the cords and cables go in different directions and then hang off the desk – it’s quite hard to manage them overall, so I just don’t.

I’m a musician in a former life and I still have an electric keyboard, microphone stand, mic, music stand plus 2 speakers on one side of the room, and when I’m doing any work here I have to acknowledge that the cables and cords have always been a part of my working life. What should change now that I do research and stand at a desk all day?! I do dream of a cord-free study that looks pretty, but that’s not reality. In reality, there’s not enough storage in here, I’ve had to turn one of my IKEA bookcases awkwardly sideways to make it fit, and when not in use the desk chair basically gets in the way. But it’s my work room and I love it.

My studio room will look something like this…

home-office and bookcase

I found this picture of my (mythical) studio space. It’s not quite perfect, but it does give you an idea of what I’m hoping to achieve. My studio room will be 5.3m long by 3.5m wide. On the far end (pictured) you will find a bookcase with built in desk and maybe some built in filing cabinets too. It will look a lot like the picture except with those added extras. On the window side (pictured) there will be under-window bookcases, probably the cheap Ikea white Kallax ones, because we already have 3 of those, and they are perfect for holding magazine folders and coloured boxes. They look like this and go vertically or horizontally, and at 147 cm long, 77 cm high and only 39 cm deep are a bit of a space saver.


bookcases expedit

We may even put a long white laminate bench over the top of them to style that section, and perhaps another bank or two of drawers.

I will definitely have a Persian rug on the floor, but the size I want will be quite expensive (even at auction), so I’ll have to make do with a cheaper Indian one for a bit. The windows will be casement, not sash, in keeping with the rest of the house, but I quite like sash windows, so we’ll see about that – we may end up with double glazed white aluminium ones, which actually look fine.  The ceiling will look exactly as you see it. It will be a skillion ceiling, and I’ll have LED downlights, which will save on power. While I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE solid timber floors (none of that click-flooring nonsense), we probably can’t afford it, so I’ll have vinyl timber-look tiles instead – they look and feel better than expected and are a cheap alternative to my preferred choice, plus they help keep noise down.

vinyl flooring

We already have an attractive sofa-bed from Freedom in a neutral brown-grey:

Freedom Sofa-BedPumice-1

It will be easy to decorate this sofa as it looks great with most colours from beige, grey tones to warm reds, bright yellows, greens and blues. I’ll just need to decide how to decorate the room, given that I’m going with neutral bright white on the walls. It will sit on the wall opposite the windows (not shown) and be a good place for students to dump their stuff. I also already have some attractive lamps from Ikea, which are the cheap versions of the expensive designer brushed metal ones cashing in on the steam punk thang:

Floor lamp Ikea


As for cushions, well, I have them all. Lots and lots just waiting to be re-purposed to my new room, in all colours and designs from Marimekko to young-designer-market made. I also have lots of wall art needing new homes. Some of my wall art is quite dramatic and features Melbourne icons:



As you can see, lots of white, black and red, which, although perfect in a work office, might be a little dramatic and cold in a home office. Last year I decorated my DH’s work office in similar colours, with a deep grey feature wall and lovely soft lamps. We shopped at Dare Gallery (side table and dining chairs), Freedom (lamps and occasional chairs), Matt Blatt (table and coffee table), Far Pavilions (shelving unit) and The Desk Place (desk) for furniture items. The room looks amazing, and we bought quite beautiful Aboriginal art for that dark space, but this home office will be lighter, so I can’t really keep art on the wall where it might fade in the sunlight. There will be some natural wood features in an occasional chair and free-standing mirror, too. I do like my brown furniture even though it’s completely out of fashion.

The front of the room will have its own entryway with a “cricket bat” front door, with casement windows on each side of the door, looking out onto a small porch landing and the front yard. I have no pictures of this – it only works in my head. But I can dream!