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How my home office has changed one year later. The things I’ve kept, and the things I’ve swapped out.

At the start of the pandemic, my workplace announced that we were moving into a ‘digital by default’ state. In-person offices were now a thing of the past. Moving forward we all were working from home – forever. When we bought our new house I made the conscious decision to make sure my day job and my passion projects were separated while still in the same room.

My 2022 home studio setup My 2022 home studio setup

Here we are just over one year later, and a lot of the decisions actually held up but there have also been a variety of changes worth documenting.

“I made the decision to paint the one wall behind my music desk black, so the atmosphere of one side of the office is entirely different from the other side.”

This is still very much true, the black wall on the studio side is here to stay, and a lot of the studio is still the same. The one major adjustment I made was changing my monitor stand to a shelf so I have a bit more organization. I also bought an M1 Mac Mini for development. If you’ve ever used Xcode for iOS development, you’ll know that it takes up a lot of space. Having both music production and development on my laptop was taking up too much space. The new shelf allowed me to seamlessly store the computer, external drives, and have room for some knick-knacks. I also transitioned back to using the space grey Apple Magic Keyboard and Trackpad.

My Shopify workstation My Shopify workstation

Moving on to my day job workspace, my original plan was to keep it minimal and distraction-free.

“The wall is white, and the surrounding area is very plain. It was designed so that the minimal workspace was free of distractions and clutter.”

Unfortunately, while the thought still applies to keeping it minimal, the blank walls ended up being uninspiring and cold. I still use the same IKEA sit/stand base, but I switched the rounded edges and pine coloured top for a sharp-edged white top from Structube.

I put up some acoustic panels to help with dampening the reverb in the space and put up some posters that either I created or that inspire me. I switched my display setup from the display + laptop combo into a single Apple Display. I saw it pop up on our internal classifieds and immediately reached out to get it. Consolidating to a single display helped me spend less time being distracted with Slack conversations and notifications seeing as it wasn’t always open on the side.

I built a website for one of our recent marketing initiatives, Shopify Magazine, and as a thank you the team sent me a new laptop holder from Grovemade. The subtle touch of wood on the all-white desktop is a nice touch. I use the Apple Magic Keyboard and mouse atop a tan leather desk mat. I still had a problem with my face being dark during meetings because of the backlighting from the windows on the side of my office, so I picked up a new desk lamp that fits the aesthetic perfectly. I put in a Philips Hue bulb so that it’s controlled with the rest of the office lighting.

Closeup of my lamp and wall art Closeup of my lamp and wall art

I ended up getting rid of my old shelving unit and replacing it with a corner display rack, and a sideboard with drawers and cabinets. There are things that I want to show off, and lots of cables, books, and knick-knacks that I want to keep out of sight. The sideboard also opened the opportunity for more display items like a desk lamp, Nest Mini, and some notebooks.

“We’ll be moving the living room loveseat into my office once our couch is delivered, and I have plans to set up a pegboard wall for all my gear and tools, to replace my shelving unit.”

We ended up moving the loveseat to Dani’s office and instead, put together a little vignette of a nice lounge chair and a side table. Above the sideboard, I opted to build a large 46” wide by 36” tall whiteboard instead of putting up a pegboard wall. It’s really helpful to draw out solutions to any problems I need to get out of my head. It was pretty easy to put together just by using whiteboard paint and some trim for the edges.

A chair and side table sit side by side in front of a white wall with a flag that says 'Make Commerce Better For Everyone' Photograph of my whiteboard with a wireframe sketch on the board

Wide photograph of my office facing the studio Wide photograph of my office facing my workspace

Overall, the changes have made this space much more comfortable and creative. Like I said in the previous article, design is an iterative process and you learn so much about the space by using it day-to-day. I’m excited to see where I take it in the future.