Rachel's Student Rental Workspace

DeskTops – The Best of Readers' Desks

Name: Rachel Atwood
Location: Los Angeles, California
Size: 90 square feet

Being relatively young and a student, my only means of work have been in whatever place I’ve called my bedroom at the time. I’ve gone from my childhood bedroom to a 700 square foot studio apartment, and then into my dad’s rented house upon graduating from FIDM. I’ve made a lot of cutbacks, and I’m constantly evaluating what I really need and ways to organize the things I do.

My/our style: Cozy but functional. I love colour and try to complement it with the entirety of the room, but there is no overall theme or style.

The inspiration for my home office/home theater: I try to give everything I buy a DIY personal touch. I love Ikea for storage solutions, but my heart has always belonged to the vintage pieces that have been passed through my family or found in thrift stores. I wanted to have some place that I could work comfortably but still have as a professional space.

Favorite element in your space: The shelves above the desk. They’re a recent addition and they let me show off some of the things I hold dear: books, a Lomography Fisheye 2, and a few personal affects. My corkboard above my bed is also a nice collection of mementos.

What friends say about my space: It feels like “me.”

Area where there is room for improvement/future projects: The tabletop is in sore need of sanding and a sealant, maybe even a fresh paintjob. (It was originally our spare kitchen table we used to store the extra appliances.) I am also constantly trying to go through my things and sort out what I don’t need or use. I’m something of a packrat and clutter can build up easily.

Proudest DIY (do it yourself) project: Tech: Building my boyfriend’s PC from scratch. Overall: My upholstered Ikea Fjellse bedframe with added headboard. My dad helped me shape the particleboard the way I wanted and added it to the bedframe, and I did all of the upholstering.

Best advice about organizing or incorporating tech into the home: Make everything deliberate. Incorporating your tech in your home is akin to good design: either stick to the rules or blow them out of the water. You can pull off anything with confidence.

Home Tech Hardware:

  • 17” iMac
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard
  • Razer Deathadder Mac Gaming Mouse
  • Canon Rebel XSi
  • Wacom Bamboo Fun
  • HP Mini 110 by Studio Tord Boontje
  • iHome iP41 alarm clock
  • Western Digital 1.5TB External
  • Nook WiFi+3G
  • iPhone 4
  • Flip Mino HD

Accessories: Valve “GlaDos” mouse pad, recycled magazine bowls, Target Room Essentials desk organizer, Office Depot pencil cup, a plush toy here and there, Ikea table runner, and conversation shaped sticky-notes.

Furniture: IKEA

(Photos: Rachel Atwood)