Sharing All My Favorites for a “Spoil-You-Quickly” Home Office

Welcome to the 582nd Metamorphosis Monday!

Whenever I visit my son, daughter-in-love and grandsons, I’m usually here for a few weeks. Initially, I worked from my small travel laptop at their dining room table during my visits, but one day it dawned on me that I could fit a smallish desk into a corner of the guest room.

I purchased a large monitor thinking it would help take the place of the double monitors I use at home. This was definitely a better system than trying to see the little screen on my laptop.

Workstation and Desk Arrangement for Small Space

 

If you’ve been reading BNOTP for a while, you may remember my office setup back home. You can see the double monitors in this picture. The large, black monitor-looking thing is actually a TV which I should probably remove since I discontinued cable TV a couple of years back. The only reason I haven’t removed the TV is because it’s a “Smart” TV, so technically I’m supposed to be able to watch YouTube videos on it, but the few times I have, it was a pain to get it to work. Wonder if Smart TVs are more user-friendly these days?

My Home Office

 

With the schools closed and unsure how long my visit would be this time, I was dreading working for an undetermined amount of time on my travel laptop with just a single monitor. Double monitors spoil you very quickly!

The other problem I have working with this setup is that many of the photos I need for blog posts are on my large computer at home. Realizing I actually have enough space for a slightly larger desk here in the guest room, I decided to order a bigger one and recreate my setup at home.

Workstation and Desk Arrangement for Small Space

 

This was the desk I purchased. I really liked the design because it has a shelf designed to hold my CPU tower that I brought from home. I ordered this desk before I ever left home, but it took over a week to arrive. Apparently, everyone is trying to set up a home office these days for obvious reasons.

Great Desk for Home Office, Holds Double Monitors

 

I also purchased two monitors to recreate my setup at home. So far, the new desk is working out quite well! I’ve ordered a large mouse pad and it should be arriving this week. In case you or someone you know is trying to set up a home office right now, I thought I would share all the elements I purchased for this home-away-from-home office.

This desk was reasonably priced and very easy to set up. The only tricky part was the tray for the keyboard, but the manufacturer has a video online to help with that part. This desk is available for purchase here: Office Desk for Working at Home.

The monitors are slightly bigger than the ones I have at home. They are in a word: Awesome! I like them soooo much, I’ve already purchased another set for my office back home. I was afraid they would be out of stock or out of production by the time I returned home, so I went ahead and ordered them a few days ago. They are incredibly easy to adjust and have the best picture quality of any I’ve ever used. I absolutely love them! If you need a great monitor, you’ll find these available here: Monitors.

Desk, Chair Furniture for Home Office

 

I decided to duplicate the keyboard/mouse I use at home to make working here as seamless as possible. You’ll find the wireless, back-lit keyboard/mouse combo I use here: Keyboard & Mouse.

Desk for working at home during Coronavirus Pandemic

 

These are the speakers I purchased for my setup here. I’m very pleased with how they sound! You can see them tucked behind the monitors in the photo above. You’ll find them available here: Bose Speakers.

Bose Companion Speakers for Home Computer

 

At home, I have a little spinning caddy for holding pens, pencils, scissors, etc… I ordered this cutie a few days ago. It should arrive this week. You’ll find it available in several colors here: Pen/Pencil Caddy.

 

Pen, Pencil, Marker Holder Caddy for Desk

 

I use pencils a lot, especially for taking notes and writing in my desk agenda. I purchased a pencil sharpener for my desk. It’s visible there on the left side of my desk in the photo below.

Desk for Double Monitors

 

My oldest grandson gets the biggest kick out of sharpening his pencil each day before we start homeschooling. School is closed here indefinitely as I’m sure it is where you live. I’m very pleased with how this one works and how easy it is to empty. You’ll find it available here: Pencil Sharpener.

It’s these little things that I miss from home and duplicating them here has made such a difference!

 

These are my favorite pencils, they are all I use at home so I ordered some for here, too. You’ll find these here: World’s Best Pencil.

I’ve ordered this large 16 x 18-inch mouse pad since I love working on a big mouse pad at home. The one I use is the wrong shape to fit on my new desk, but this XL square one should work great. I love a big mouse pad because I never have to worry about pushing the mouse off of the pad. You’ll find it available here: XL Mouse Pad.

 

Extra Large Mouse Pad

 

This is the mouse pad I’m using until the big one arrives. Living in quarantine with two very active little boys, ages 3 and 6, I thought we could all use a few giggles. šŸ˜‰ I’m going to miss this mouse pad when my big one arrives. You’ll find it available here: Kitty Mouse Pad. 

Humorous Cat Mouse Pad

 

At home, I do a ton of Google searches each day. I have a microphone plugged into one of the many USB ports on the back of my computer so all I have to do is bring up Google and speak my search terms. I’ve really missed that when working away from home, so I purchased a mic for here, too. This is the one I use both here and at home. It’s inexpensive and works great.

 

Microphone for home computer, Google Searches

 

At home I have it set up out of sight behind the monitors on my deep desk. Here I have it laying on my desk without the stand attached. This is another “spoils-you-quickly” thing. I love not having to type when doing a Google search! I know that sounds silly but you can do multiple searches so quickly when you can just speak the terms, no worrying about spelling or anything.

You’ll find the microphone I use here: Microphone. To use it, I just plugged it into a USB port and it was up and running. It has spoiled me for Google searches and for dictating emails into Gmail.

 

I gave my previous desk and chair to my daughter-in-law since she’s now working from home. This was the chair I purchased for my new desk setup. It’s not bad, but I wish it had more padding in the seat and the back.

Desk, Chair Furniture for Home Office

 

This is exactly the kind of desk chair I prefer (leather/no arms) and I would pay 4X what this one cost for one just like it with a bit more padding in the seat and the back, if I could only find it. You’ll find this one available here: Leather Office Chair.

 

Armless Leather Office Chair

 

To make up for the lack of padding in the back, I purchased a back cushion. It’s awesome and I can definitely recommend it! It will also work in a car since it attaches with a long strap. You’ll find it available here: Supportive Back Cushion for an Office Chair.

 

Ignore the maze of cords behind my desk and check out the footrest I’m using. I’ve thought about buying one of these for ages but could never find one I liked. This one is great and just what I wanted!

Best Foot Rest for Under Desk

 

Here’s how it looks when you’re using it. It swivels so you can adjust it however you wish. If you’re short like me and have trouble sometimes with your feet reaching the floor when working at your desk, you’ll find this one available here: Under Desk Foot Rest.

 

I only need it at my desk here if I’m using my keyboard on the main part of the desk (instead of on the keyboard tray) and have to raise my chair up. I think I’ll take the footrest back with me when I return home. It will come in handy there, too.

 

Trying to duplicate my favorite items for my little desk space here, I purchased a pop-up Post-it dispenser like I use at home. (It’s available here: Post-It, Pop-up Note Dispenser.) It should arrive this week.

Post-it Pop-up Notes Dispenser

 

These are my favorite post-it notes for the dispenser because they are lined. Love that! You’ll find these here: Post-it Notes.

 

Recently, my ancient calculator at home died and this was the one I purchased to replace it. I purchased it again for my desk here. If you need a calculator, you’ll find it available here: Calculator.

 

 

I’m quite happy with this little office setup. The things that have made the biggest difference are the incredibly beautiful monitors, the Bose speakers and of course, the larger desk. The chair is fine as long as I have the new supportive pillow in place.

I hope this post is helpful for anyone who may be needing to set up a home office during this “work-from-home” period or even for a more permanent basis. We are all going to get through this difficult time and there will be stories to be told for years to come.

Desk, Chair Furniture for Home Office

 

I’m looking forward to hot summer days real soon! Cheers! šŸ™‚

Humorous Cat Mouse Pad

 

Looking forward to all the wonderful Before and Afters linked for this week’s Met Monday!

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Comments

  1. Susan Woodrow says

    Do you have any ideas on how to hide all the unsightly wires behind the desk? They really spoil the look.

    • You don’t notice them when the chair is sitting there, you only notice them when you pull the chair out and away from the desk so they don’t really bother me. I have them gathered together with a twist tie. There’s really no way to hide them since they run to the monitors, speakers and other devices. If I think of a way, I will let you know, but I really don’t notice them since the chair is always sitting in front of the desk.

    • It should be easy to construct some sort of removable panel. My own computer desk has a panel that comes within inches of the floor, so almost all the wires and contraptions are hidden and yet everything is accessible, because of the positioning of the desk.

  2. Franki Parde says

    Carry on!!! franki

  3. Good job getting organized there. I need to get one of those pencil sharpeners for my husband. He needed a sharp pencil the other day while working on the taxes and the only thing I could find were the crayon and colored pencil sharpeners I had for my great grandgirls. Do you think that footrest would work on the passenger side in a pickup? We have a new Ford four door truck and my husband wants to use it for travel instead of my Explorer. When I sit too long on the passenger side my legs hurt. I’m 5’2″ with short legs. If I could push that foot rest forward and out of the way when getting in and out it looks like it might work. No hurry, but when you have time let me know what you think.
    Keep having fun with those grandsons!

    • Thanks, Mary! It may work. I’m not sure how easily it will slide since it has pads on the bottom that are supposed to keep it from sliding out from under your feet. If you just pushed it out of the way, I think it would work fine once you were seated in the truck. It pivots, which is nice, so you can pivot it however you need for it to be once seated.

  4. Donna Nance says

    Nice setup! The Urban Farmer has the same back pillow and loves it.

    • I really love it! They designed it to perfectly fit the human back, or at least, that’s how it feels. About time someone made a great back pillow!

  5. Ahhhh, I should have known. You are the one that turned me on to my new style of phone case. (Feb. Favorites) I am on my second one. They are fun enough and budget friendly enough, that I can change them seasonally. I mean, what do we use more in our lives now. I use the wristlet type that actually has wallet slots, so I can attach a key to the clip and I am good to go.
    Peace,
    Lin

    • Lin, so funny you should mention that. I’ve used hand-sanitizer on mine so much, I noticed it was starting to wear off the color on the edges. I have another one at home (bought two since they were so inexpensive and I liked it so much) and I’m thinking about going ahead and ordering another one now. Glad you like it so much…love mine, too!

  6. Well, Susan. You are certainly doing your part to keep the economy going. Glad you were able to get a set up you like. šŸ™‚

    And on that note, I’d just like to encourage those who are able to continue supporting your local businesses. So many can not sustain a long period of closure. Buy gift certificates now and use them later! That can help people hold on. And consider doing your years worth of birthday shopping and Christmas shopping, now. You will help businesses so much and you’ll be so organized and ahead of the game you’ll be floating on air.

    Also, if you can, help a neighbor. Even small kindnesses are so appreciated and cherished.

    Susan, your blog is always a cheerful bright spot in our days. Please keep posting. I’m sure you and Nancy and Chip have been up to some funny antics you could share. And we all love the funny stories and pictures about the boys. It’s so nice to get your mind of the ‘sky is falling’ news from the media and just enjoy life. Thanks for always being there to bring us joy.

    • All the stores are closed here except those that are absolutely necessary like grocery stores, gas stations, etc… First all the restaurants closed a week or so ago and effective midnight tonight, everyone is required to work from home unless it’s a job that’s critical (like grocery store workers, pharmacy employees, etc… and fits in the category of those who are allowed to leave home.
      So none of the small businesses are open. Amazon is a blessing right now…don’t know how I would have done this without it.

      Thanks, Pam…appreciate that!

      • That’s so sad. I wonder if the small stores that have had to close have websites. It seems that every business, even small ones, have websites these days, lol. If so, people might check to see if their website offers a way to purchase gift cards for later use. Just a way to help them through this rough period.

        I remember the governor of Ohio saying a week or so ago that they had 100,000 cases of the virus in the state. I remember checking the John’s Hopkins website that day and it was reporting 127,000 world wide, so the governor’s statement seemed extreme. I certainly hope that was not the case! My goodness, no wonder everything would be closed!

        So glad you are able to weather this storm with your family. Like you said, there will be stories to tell for years to come. šŸ™‚

  7. Susan, thanks so much for posting this! I’ve been looking for an office chair with good padding and no arms. I gotta give this one a try. I also need the foot rest, the mic and the two monitors!!

    • It sits very well with the back cushion in place and actually, I’ve gotten pretty used to it without it. Hope you like it, Cristina!

  8. I have read your blog for years. This is my first time leave a comment.
    Really curious about what kind of work you do. It must be something outstanding for all this double office set up. Hope you will share with us.
    Thank you for your super great blog. No one has anything close to it.

  9. Thanks for the great ideas Susan – so many people have to work from home now! For anyone who doesn’t like the look of all those cords, there are several options available on Amazon. Search for “cord hider.”

    I love your new setup – hope you have a great time using it! And as always – and especially now – thanks for sharing and for hosting this excellent party!

  10. Check out SplashTop for the ability to connect to your computer at home from your new remote office. I have 4 computers connected. Works great!

  11. Susan – love your set up!! I’ve wanted to have something like this for digital scrapbooking – I wondered if you can have more than one window open on each monitor (e.g. video & PDF manual open on one and Photoshop open on the other) – and how many USB ports you need to run a set-up like this – Can you set it up with a laptop or would it only work with a tower? What brand and model computer are you using now and what OS do you have? Do you need 2 mice you switch between monitors? Love your blog and appreciate your research and finding the best-of-the-best for us!

  12. Susan – love your set up!! I’ve wanted to have something like this for digital scrapbooking – I wondered if you can have more than one window open on each monitor (e.g. video & PDF manual open on one and Photoshop open on the other) – and how many USB ports you need to run a set-up like this – Can you set it up with a laptop or would it only work with a tower? What brand and model computer are you using now and what OS do you have? Do you need 2 mice you switch between monitors? Love your blog and appreciate your research and finding the best-of-the-best for us!

    • I’m not the most technical person in the world when setting up a computer but they make it so easy these days for folks like me. lol I sometimes have my blog pulled up on the left monitor and on the right monitor I’ll open two windows and reduced them down inside, dragging the edges to the side I want. I’ll have my photos for the post open in one of those screens and a YouTube video playing in the other as I edit the photos and load them to my post. I think there’s a way to do it where it will automatically create two windows on a screen/monitor but I’m not sure how to do that, so I just do it by opening two windows, minimizing them and sizing them manually to the size I want them.
      I think you can do it with any computer. When I was using my laptop, I used an adapter to broadcast the image to a big monitor. My dil is using a cable to do the same thing with her laptop so she can use the large monitor I was using. Windows 7, Windows 10, etc… are all designed to automatically detect when you are using two monitors, so I bet it would work on a laptop with Windows just fine. I’m sure Apple’s IOS is designed to do that, too.

      I had my computer custom built by Vision Computers in Atlanta back around 2010 and I’ve had them upgrade it twice over the years. I didn’t want to use a laptop for working at home, but I do use one when I travel.

      No, when you have your mouse pointer on the left screen, as you scroll across to the right screen, it moves seamlessly right on over to the screen on the right, just as if they are joined to each other. It’s awesome! If you ever use two monitors, you will NEVER go back to one! I use them continuously all day as I work, love having them so much. I work sooo much faster with two monitors than I do with one.

      Regarding how many USB ports you need, the monitors don’t plug into USB ports on my computer. They connect via cables to the back of my computer. If you’re using a laptop, you would have to use USB ports. I’m just not sure exactly how you set up two monitors with a laptop, I’ve only connected one to my laptop before using an adapter. I know some folks use both their laptop screen and an external monitor to get two monitors. Any computer store will be able tell you exactly what you need to set it up and what cables you’ll need. Also, you can search for that topic on YouTube and I bet there are a bunch of videos explaining how to do it for your exact situation.

  13. What a remote setup! Are you doing any of the home schooling? Like art projects or geography/travel etc?

    • We are. Nancy and I both work with the oldest each day. He’s six so we can handle it. Glad he’s not in middle or high school! lol Mostly, it’s just writing sentences, going over his site words, reading, a little math and other fun learning projects. We are making it work with both our schedules. Mine is more flexible than her’s. Dad is still going to work each day because he’s in one of the fields that is considered necessary (attorney) and allowed to work from an office, but all the other office personnel are working from home.

  14. Geez, you could run Wall Street from that set-up. Iā€™m seriously impressed!

  15. Bobbi Duncan says

    Your Ohio office set-up will surely make life easier for you. I like your spinning pen caddy better than mine–mine doesn’t have completely divided sections so things fall all over each other. I originally purchased it for remote controls, but have added pens and scissors to the mix, so yours would work far better. I love gadgets that make life easier! So glad your with family during this COVID-19 pandemic! Hugs!

  16. Thank you so much for hosting!

  17. Thanks so much for hosting each week especially in these trying times!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!
    Hugs.
    Deb

  18. Cyndi Raines says

    Love that you are settling in to your Ohio abode. I’m sure the family is so glad you are all together. Thanks for keeping the post going, it makes things feel more normal. One day at time.

  19. Great set up, you and your family are so lucky you can be together right now and that you can help with the homeschooling!

  20. Looks good! I use a bungee chair for painting and computer work.

  21. Thanks for the great office ideas! I’m a teacher working from home now. I’m usually on my feet all day in the classroom. After 10 days of sitting in front of my laptop almost constantly, I can hardly walk. My back is a wreck. I have short legs, too! I’ve ordered the footrest and the back support. I can hardly wait for some relief!

    • Hope they help, Gay…and your back is much better real soon! Thankfully Amazon seems to be more caught up with shipping and things are arriving faster.

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