The Top 40 Desk Setup Ideas
Working from home presents a whole host of unique benefits and challenges. As a result, your home office setup can make or break your workday productive (and overall mood!).
If you’re toughing it out by working at your kitchen counter or coffee table, it’s time for a change. Check out these desk setup ideas and discover how to design the best at-home workspace for you and your needs.
1. Black Desk Setup Ideas
The old adage is true: Black goes with everything. From furniture to gadgets, and even the color of your walls, a black home office design is simple and timeless.
Pair black technology with silver or white accessories. Or go with an all-black desk setup for a super sleek and stylish work space. For a masculine aesthetic, incorporate elements of leather or natural wood in your desk design.
Emphasize your black desk setup with a grayscale computer background or screensaver. You can also use your monochromatic desk design to make a colorful screensaver and LEDs seem more vibrant.
2. Cool Desk Setup Ideas
For a cool desk setup, begin with the desk itself. Opt for a natural wood grain or glass desktop to add classy intrigue to the space. Stick with decor that’s functional over just aesthetically pleasing. Unique speakers or light fixtures are an excellent place to start.
Stylish furniture and decor aside, organization is the key to making your desk setup look cool, calm, and collected. Hang floating shelves above your computer to hold decor and office supplies. Add a desktop shelf for even more storage within reach of your workspace.
Remember to look at the big picture. An uber-cool desk design won’t mean much if the rest of the room doesn’t match. Pay attention to the details surrounding your desk space, from your office chair to the room’s light fixtures.
3. Gaming Desk Setup Ideas
Computer gaming has come a long way in just a few years. So have the computers themselves. Even if no one sees your gaming setup but yourself, it deserves to look as good as the games it runs.
Designing an aesthetically pleasing gaming setup will make your desk look great even when you don’t have time to game. Plus, there’s nothing like a perfectly curated atmosphere to help immerse yourself in a favorite game.
If the modern, futuristic aesthetic isn’t your style, don’t fret. Introduce organic elements like natural wood or potted plants to counteract the tech-focused look of your gaming computer setup. The resulting contrast will be quite poetic.
4. Home Office Desk Setup Ideas
Comfort is just as important as functionality. If your work desk is too short, add a desktop shelf to elevate your computer to eye level.
Ensure there’s plenty of storage space within reach. A basic filing cabinet will get the job done in a pinch.
You can get surprisingly far designing a home office setup on a tight budget. But the one place you shouldn’t skimp is your desk chair. Invest in a stylish, ergonomic chair that goes with your existing decor. Or consider switching to a standing desk if sitting too much is a concern.
5. iMac Desk Setup Ideas
Apple has spent decades crafting its brand aesthetic. One of the main reasons consumers choose an iMac over a PC is because of the company’s knack for design.
The simple, straightforward look of the iMac lineup lends itself to all kinds of decor trends. You can emphasize its clean lines with modern decor. Or use it as the centerpiece of a contemporary, maximalist home office setup.
If you have several Apple products, design a desk layout that works with rather than against your collection. Use a stand to prop up your iPhone or iPad as a second monitor. Do away with unnecessary chargers and instead consolidate everything you can into a central hub.
6. Laptop Desk Setup Ideas
Working from home and on-the-go can look very similar, especially if you do most of your work on a laptop. But that doesn’t mean you need a dedicated home office any less than someone with a full-size machine.
A laptop stand is the best way to raise your laptop to a more comfortable level. Use a separate keyboard to transform your Macbook or Windows laptop into a makeshift home computer. You can also pair your laptop with a PC or iMac for use as a second monitor.
Using a Macbook or other laptop as your primary computer can open up a ton of usable workspace. Give your desk space multiple purposes from the start. When your laptop isn’t taking center stage, your office desk could double as a writing desk, vanity, or mini art studio.
7. LED Desk Setup Ideas
Custom PCs are incredibly popular right now, especially in the world of gaming. One of the biggest trends in PC-building is the use of colored LEDs within the actual computer hardware.
You can mount LED strips around the edge of your monitor or underneath your keyboard to match the built-in lighting of your computer’s hardware. For a more subtle take on this trend, hide LED lights behind your desk for a soft, ambient glow.
LED wall art looks great at night and during the day. If you’re particularly tech-savvy, consider rigging up your LEDs to respond to music coming from your computer speakers.
8. Minimalist Desk Setup Ideas
Minimalist design is all about keeping your office space simple and clean. Choose a color scheme containing just one or two shades — neutrals are best. If you want to add character to your minimalist desk setup, go with a unique desk lamp or computer screensaver.
Prioritize function and organization, and give every item left out a “home.” For example, invest in a magnetic charging stand for your smartphone, rather than letting it sit on your desk. Ample storage built into your desk or elsewhere in the room will prevent clutter from building up.
Minimalist design can feel cold and sterile. But you can counteract this feeling by using natural materials in your decor. Wood grain furniture, leather, and potted plants are all great materials that will warm up a minimalist workspace.
9. Computer Monitor Ideas
In today’s tech-centric culture, your computer monitor is like a gateway to the outside world. But it can also be the star of your home office decor. Whether you’re working with a Macbook Pro or a top-of-the-line ultra-wide monitor, be sure to use your computer screen to its full potential.
Choosing a gorgeous, high-definition photo or piece of art as your desktop background is just as effective as hanging a framed painting on your office wall.
Keep the space around your monitor clear of crowded computer accessories and office supplies. Install a slim LED lamp overhead to prevent eye strain without interfering with your monitor.
10. Simple Desk Setup Ideas
You don’t need to have some grand design vision to achieve the perfect desk setup. Instead, a simple work space is often ideal for both looks and productivity.
Keep your desk surface clean and organized. If your home office is in a living room or other multi-purpose space, it will quickly attract clutter. Invest in a desk organizer to ensure your setup stays neat and tidy.
Just because your home office setup is simple doesn’t mean it needs to be boring. Select and stick to a singular theme in your decor. Try to opt for decorative versions of functional items — speakers, light fixtures, etc. — rather than decor that is purely ornamental. Less truly is more!
11. Small Desk Setup Ideas
Turning a small space into a home office is a challenge many have had to face. While you could use your kitchen table as a temporary desk, a real workspace will do wonders for your productivity and work-life balance.
A corner desk is one of the best ways to conserve square footage in a dual-purpose room. Hang a floating shelf over your desk to supplement the available storage. Choose an ergonomic office chair that still fits snugly underneath your desktop.
Look for clever ways to move your office tasks and supplies to the digital realm to save space. For example, you can eliminate the need for a standalone clock by installing a clock face screensaver on your desktop computer.
12. Studio Desk Setup Ideas
Traditional office work isn’t the only profession that relies on an effective home desk setup. You’ll also find many home offices devoted to game design, photography, music, voice acting, online streaming, and other art forms.
No matter what your studio is used for, it likely revolves around a computer monitor. Pick a desk with a slide-out shelf to hold your keyboard, soundboard, or other equipment.
Long hours at a desk doing anything can be hard on the body. Invest in a standing desk to make your workdays more comfortable and gentler on your joints.
13. Two-Person Desk Setup Ideas
Sharing an office space is never easy. This is especially true when you live with your office mate. Dividing your desk setup evenly and clearly could be one of the best things you do for both of your work lives.
Symmetrical design is often the most aesthetically pleasing, but it’s not a necessity. Mix-and-match your desk accessory collection for a relaxed, eccentric look. As long as you have a cohesive color palette, using two different chair styles or lamps won’t hurt your office design.
Along with dividing your work surface, be sure to provide ample storage for each person. Use separate filing cabinets or labeled desk drawers to keep documents and work supplies neatly organized.
14. Work Desk Setup Ideas
Home office setup ideas aren’t hard to come by. Finding inspiration that meets both your stylistic and physical needs, however, is another matter.
Allow plenty of space on your work surface to comfortably hold all of your gadgets. Stacking monitors vertically can help conserve desk space. If you plan to use a laptop or tablet as a secondary monitor, keep a charging cable ready and easily accessible.
Wall-mounted monitors are extremely space-efficient and can create a more ergonomic desk setup by preventing neck strain. Opt for an adjustable standing desk to minimize poor posture and back pain caused by sitting in an office chair.
15. Desktop Desk Setup Ideas
Whether used for school, work, gaming, or pure leisure, your computer desktop is just as much part of your home office decor as any other item. If you have multiple monitors, install coordinating desktop backgrounds.
Of course, your computer is made up of more than just a few monitors. Express your personal style with a custom-designed mechanical keyboard. Complement any LED accents built into your PC with matching lights elsewhere on your desk and throughout the room.
Set up speakers and other peripherals symmetrically around your computer monitor. Designate specific spots for your must-have computer accessories for an organized appearance. Ditch the standard mouse pad for a full-size desk pad that matches your home office color scheme.
Desk Setup FAQs
Good cable management is often the difference between stylish and subpar home office design. Install a wall-mounted channel or wrap wires to keep them organized and out of sight when running between your desk and surge protector.
If there’s a large space between your computer desk and the nearest outlet, arrange furniture and decor to hide the cords from sight. Use adhesive or magnetic cable clips to keep small charging cords from slipping behind your desk when not in use.
Home desks offer storage, a generous work area, and are compatible with most office chairs. But there’s no reason you can’t use another piece of furniture in place of a normal desk.
Tables work well as temporary or minimalist desks but offer no additional storage. Vanities can be repurposed as computer desks and offer just as much built-in storage.
You can also DIY a simple desk with a set of filing cabinets or crates and a flat desktop. As long as your makeshift desk is the right height, really any design will do.
Screensavers originally existed to prevent damage to older computer screens. Modern laptops and desktop monitors use newer technology that doesn’t require a screensaver.
Today, screensavers are largely a stylistic choice. They can also aid in privacy, especially if you occasionally take your laptop to a public office or place like a coffee shop.