MacSparky's New Home Office


I agree re orientation of my desk. I have it set so I can hold a conversation with someone in the doorway without having to turn around or stop what I’m doing.


I’m not @MacSparky, but I had my desk facing the door for a couple of years but then I found it was floating in the middle of the office and occupied, like, ALL the space. And it made it harder to look out the windows. So now I have the desk facing the wall, with windows slightly to my left and to my right when I sit at my desk. The office door is behind me to the left.

We have a little pond in the backyard; I can shift my eyes left as I’m staring at my display and then I’m looking at the pond.


How about using your carpenter skills and convert the closet to a recording desk with shelves?



Sound Dampening — Honeycomb blinds had a positive impact impact on reverb/boom in my home/studio. I could use a Blue Yeti microphone (very lively I hear everthing microphone ).

When I seriously tuned rooms for listening to music. I built wood frames and did fabric stretches. Then I filled the cavities with acoustic foam panels.

Go to a store that specializes in decorative fabric. You can use the colors in the fabric to aid in choosing floor colors and paint selection.

I also used a sound meter to help with placement of panels and microphones.

I’m not as fussy these days either in equipment selection or smoothing out room response. It was fun. So were my Cary amps … Other interests now dominate.


This is awesome! It’s so fun when you start designing your space.

For your video set up, I’d highly recommend a shotgun mic like the AT8035.

You will also want to think about soundproofing the room. I’ve found that using moving blankets works really well.

I actually help set up live streaming studios so if you want to dive in more just let me know. Excited to hear about the new video projects!


Seems like heard/read Alex Lindsay say they paint their office/studio walls with 18% gray. It’s a neutral color and it allows them to set their camera white balance by pointing at any wall. :slight_smile:


Check out Benjamin More “Big Bend Beige” its a very nice warm grey.

Also known as Desert Light 1004. This color is part of America’s Colors. A concise collection of soft neutrals features a snapshot in color of America’s most popular, well-traveled regions. Geographically inspired with tones that are welcoming, America’s Colors’ palette of 42 subtle colors delivers a collection ranging from the pale gray tones of our beautiful coastlines to the rich, clay earth tones of the Southwest desert.


Not crazy about the stone wall. First - won’t it affect acoustics when recording? Second - you’ll get tired of looking at it, and it will be too difficult to remove. Paint is a better option. :blush:


Architect here, all of the following “FWIW.” In listening to the podcast I loved hearing your enthusiasm about doing this design and ordering this space – it’s fun and certainly thinking through possibilities is the best part of my job.

So I want to echo a few other comments.
• l also love cork. I’m not sure dark or light matters that much; dark is much more forgiving of dirt. A darker color also will work well with a grayish wall, whereas natural beige cork color wants a more blue gray wall contrast. Don’t forget to think of what white to paint the trim (probably not white-white)
• also not crazy about the applied stone wall. I think it’s not going to look “real,” and therefore bug you after while, and as a solution to video backgrounds it seems pretty heavy handed. Finally, shoji screen panels with wood trim in a “stone wall”? Forget that historically such a combo has never happened outside of a strip mall sushi joint; it’s (aesthetically) too much.

Perhaps you might think about getting rid of the doors entirely, and having a large “barn door” that slides in front of your closet, but also works as a neutral video background? I think even just the shojis (without other distractions) might be too much as a background.

I want to say that I pricked my ears up at your mention of an “analog” desk. This idea of two desks is pretty great – and I get that part of the reason is that you want to use a beautiful inherited piece of furniture. So for me, how you order this space should be informed by your strongest idea: that is, by how you move between digital and analog. Without being too esoteric maybe that’s an unexplored angle to help figure out this layout.

My general critique of your plan would echo the shoji/trim/ashlar wall confusion. There’s /too much/ going on in this little space. For example, the bookcase blocking the bathroom door has a too-tight threshold to it, meaning you just have a bookcase filled with things you can’t get to easily. The analog desk feels 'floating" on the one hand, but also crowded by the entry door swing … it doesn’t feel like an a place to “be analog” or whatever reflective/contemplative use you have planned for it.

So I would edit. I would not buy the home depot tool cart, which is yet another disparate item in this small room (shoji/trim/ashlar, tool chest, antique desk, standup desk … no paint color or rug is going to “tie all of these together!”) I would think about whether the standing desk, when raised, will block and therefore feel a bit dumb against the window (or even hit the sill, if its protruding) – and probably move it to where the bookcase is (figuring out some kind of temporary wall pin up space to cover the unused bathroom threshold). I would move the bookcase to be by the window, on the same wall as the desk. I would put the analog desk where the tool cart was going to be. If you don’t like the barn door idea, then shoji’s next to the analog desk seems a better material juxtaposition.

Finally I’d think about some wall-mounted shelves, one or two. Plants. And also shelving for the closet interior: jam it full of all the tech stuff you don’t want to see but love … the printer, the backups, the synology, the future synology, the stuff that was going to go in the tool cart, etc. And if you go with shojis, make sure they don’t, in their semi-transparency, “reveal” the mess they’re supposed to hide.


I know you have it all worked out. But have you thought of swapping the positions of the digital and analog desks? That way no glare on your monitor and natural light for when you want to read/write.

I like your screens, but absolutely not the stone cladding… A simple paper screen agains a light wall would look best I think.

Also I was listening to the last episode, enjoyed your excitement re the new room, but when you mentioned the tool chest you lost me I’m afraid :slight_smile:

Anyhow, your room, your choice!


Watching this closely, as I’m moving full time into a new home office in September. I already have a desk and some odds and sods - but essentially, its a blank canvas. Really exciting, if a little daunting. I guess I could easily spend lots of money to make it look worse!


My son goes to college in 2019 and my daughter goes to college in 2020.
Soon…my office…sooooon…


Still waiting for an update, dear @MacSparky :smile:


Okay gang … thanks for all of the advice. July was nuts between a few trips … moving my daughter out (sob) … and getting this office set up. I’m not done yet but I will be soon. I’ll take proper pictures and do a post at MacSparky when it’s all done but here it is as I sit here today getting some work done.

I hear you all on furniture placement and too much stuff in here but I think it will work. The tool chest will be very helpful once video starts rolling. The Shoji screen is in the closet and is only coming out when I shoot video. I like having easy access to the shelving in the day-to-day stuff.

So here it is … in progress …


@MacSparky Finally! :wink:

Well done on getting it all done! Looks very homely - here’s wishing you many happy and productive hours in there!


Looks Good @MacSparky - but I think the Saxes should come out of the closet :slight_smile:


I have to wonder why the author of Paperless needs a tool box for the office :slight_smile:
Also, I see a few nice waterfeld bags tucked away there.


Looks great. How much stuff do you have taped underneath the tabletop?



Lots of tiny bits of hear in there. Also … really useful for when recording video.


I’m planning on shooting video tomorrow. I’ll take some pictures then and share those. Also, the underside of the desk!