Sonia Zjawinski and Bruce McMoran
Pacific Grove, CA
As a freelance writer I spend a lot of time at home. While I love, love, love being able to roll out of bed and "commute" to my office a few feet shuffles away, I learned early on that the key to being productive is creating a space just for work. I love the option of taking my laptop to the kitchen or the living room couch to work, but I've found that I get a lot more done if I have a dedicated space for my 9 to 5.
With that said, in my previous apartment I struggled to create that space. Living in a 305 square foot studio had its challenges, especially when it came to home offices. I ended up turning to my closet space to create a "room" to work in. It wasn't an ideal solution, so when my husband and I moved to a two bedroom (700+ square foot) home in January, I was ecstatic to finally have an entire room to dedicate to all things work.
Since my husband works from home three out of five days, we turned our second, larger, bedroom into a shared office space. In our previous apartment we didn't have many windows and the windows we did have looked out onto gritty Brooklyn. When I saw the beautiful windows in our new apartment (ironically, hard to photography) that now overlook a luscious Monterey garden, I knew I wanted to figure out a way in which I could daydream away from the computer monitor without having to get up. The solution was placing our desks perpendicular to the windows and back to back to each other. As a result, when Bruce and I get into long conversations about the day's news we pretend we're on a show called, "Between Two Screens." It's quite popular with our cats.
I'm the queen of tchotchkes, so my desk gets crowded easily with gadgets, magazines, and lots of little toys. Because of this, I need to make sure that the permanent fixtures -- computer, monitor, keyboard, etc -- have their place and that place uses up the smallest footprint. With that in mind I stand my MacBook, connected to a CinemaView 24 external monitor, vertically using an Ikea napkin holder.
My husband's BlueLounge desk
holds a power strip, in which all of his and my stuff is plugged into. The power strip is connected to an APC UPC (uninterruptible power supply). We get a lot of power outages out here, which can really mess up desktop computer like Bruce's iMac. The APC works as a backup battery so none of our gadgets suddenly turn off without properly being shut down.
My monitor sits atop a deep white tray that's been turned on its head. I snake most of my cables through the box's handles, hiding power bricks within the box. The cables then run from my desk into a small opening underneath Bruce's BlueLounge and to the power strip within.
Our space still needs a lot of work -- routers/modems and cables are my enemy -- but it's much better than cramming myself into a closet!