The DREAM Desk Setup for Work & Play (Makeover & Tour 2023)

9 min read

I love my current desk setup for work, but I’ve always dreamt of having a gaming desk setup.

Over the last month, I’ve been working on turning this random area in the studio into something a little more special.

I’m super happy with how this setup turned out: it’s a space to wind down, take a break, and get some headshots in before getting back to work. I think it looks incredible at night in the dark with the ambient smart lighting and decor, it’s a little gaming haven. 

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But this setup isn’t just for gaming, it doubles up as a multipurpose creative station for when other people in the growing team come over to this studio, they’re able to work on this new desk. 

After a lot of planning, building, and even mistakes, I’m excited to share the entire build from start to finish, the accessories, and tips and tricks with you. I hope this article gives you some inspiration and ideas for your own gaming setup or home office.

Cleaning & Planning

As always, the first thing to do is to declutter and clean this space up. I removed the random furniture and even though the space is really small, there’s still a lot we can do and I personally think it’s always about making the most of what you have. 

The next thing I did was jump on Pinterest and create a quick mood board of desk setups I love and very quickly I noticed that in many gaming setups, I saw a Secretlab chair and desk. I was super excited to try out their stuff – I’ve heard a lot of good things and I was blown away by the quality of the gear.

Secretlab Magnus Pro 

After bringing in all the heaviest stuff, it’s time to unbox the Secretlab Magnus Pro first, which is the sit-stand desk I used at the heart of this setup. This is the standard size Magnus at 1.5M long. 

One of the things I realized when unboxing this is how crazy good everything is packaged, like everything is organized and labeled to perfection which makes the building process a lot easier. As you know, building a new desk setup is time-consuming and takes a lot of effort. Even the supplied tool kit is aesthetic and the tools themselves are of great quality. Things like this go a long way when buying an expensive desk. 

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Something else I appreciate with this new setup is the integrated power supply and cables. The power outlet is uniquely integrated into the legs of the desk, which I just attached to the pre-built power supply underneath the desk. 

This is a big difference from the other sit-stand desks I’ve built – they’re a pain when it comes to cable management and even with a lot of work, you can still see cables running down my sit-stand desk to this day. 

I flipped this desk over and put on some finishing touches. The cable management cover for the back end of the desk and it’ll help make the mess of cables disappear later.

Pulling the protective cover off, you will be able to see how slim this desk is, and the sit-stand controls with preset buttons and a really useful locking button to prevent accidental height adjustments.

Accessories & PC 

What happens when you get a full metal desk, and Secretlab accessories that are all magnetic? You do end up with the most convenient setup and accessories that can be changed around by just snapping stuff on and off.

Even the perfectly sized desk mat is magnetized, so it snaps into place – it’s kind of satisfying!

Next up is mounting the PC itself. I used the PC mount to help save precious desk space by hooking up the PC to this mount underneath the desk. This way it sort of just floats there and the airflow intake for the PC fans is optimal. I know you guys called me out for leaving this PC on the carpet floor, and I heard you, so now it’s floating! 

The workhorse powering gaming setup is built with an ASUS 6900XT GPU, AMD Ryzen 7 5800X, and a couple of 2TB M.2 SSDs. The Define 7 Dark Tempered case really goes well with the blackout desk. It’s quite the weapon and powerful enough to run almost all games maxed out and for Premiere Pro workflows.

The headphone hanger magnetically snaps almost anywhere on the front or side of the desk. It’s pretty sweet to be able to change its placement around unlike my other desk where once it’s stuck there, it’s stuck there. This is where my Razer Barracuda headset will live. 

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Right now, the desk looks plain, so I added some smart lights to this setup. I have the diffused light strip made by both Nanoleaf and Secretlab – technically, it’s supposed to go into the crevice of the cable management bar, but I like my smart lights behind the desk to reflect on the wall so I switched it there. 

As for the monitor, I used the Gigabyte M32UC I’ve come to love for gaming and I’m hooking it up on the Magnus monitor arm for a clutter-free and minimal-looking space. I personally like when a monitor looks like it just hovers in your field of view.

The 32” monitor is also slightly curved for an immersive experience and pair it up with the fact that it supports 4K and up to 160Hz refresh rate via DisplayPort 1.4, and you’ve got the perfect gaming display for smaller spaces.

For cable management, I used the included magnetic leg covers to hide the remaining cable. For the monitor arm, I snapped on magnetic buttons to keep cables in place – there’s also a cover for the monitor arm I didn’t use. This desk makes cable management way too easy. 

I hooked the cables to the 8 port / 4 USB powerboard I got off Amazon. I placed it into the concealed cable management bar and closed the lid, and it is useful! 

The desk itself is finally coming together.

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To help hide the remaining cables in the wall socket, I added a pot plant. I think adding some greenery into a space, even a gaming setup, helps relax the space and makes it that much more cozy. 

Desk Gear

The foundation is complete. Let’s move on to the desk itself and the gear I’ve set up, which I’m sure is the part most of you love!

For a gaming setup, the peripherals are really important to stay competitive when gaming online. I’ve got the Razer DeathAdder V3 and the Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro keyboard.

The DeathAdder V3 Mouse is an absolute beast when it comes to a precision gaming mouse with 30,000 DPI and the DeathStalker V2 Pro is also super responsive for gaming. You can’t go wrong with these as a gaming pair and I think they look so clean in the black and white aesthetic in this gaming setup.

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I’ve also got a PS5 controller in my arms to reach for sessions on F1 or Forza Horizon – it obviously loads more fun playing on the controller for these games than a keyboard and mouse, but I should probably eventually invest in a gaming steering wheel.

For immersive sound, I’ve set up the trusty Audioengine A2+ speakers in black to compliment the blackout aesthetic. I’ve been using these desktop speakers for years and have yet to find one that looks and sounds better. 

Pro tip, get stands for your desktop speakers to angle up, because, for the A2+ speakers, highs are noticeably muted because the tweeters on your desk fire towards your chest, not your ears. 

I also have easy access to the Razer Barracuda headphones, which will be great for when I need accurate 3D audio for FPS games like Counter Strike and listening to footsteps.

I want this desk setup also to be an editing station for others who come into the studio. I got this Thunderbolt dock to add more ports on the desk for convenience, which will be really important when we dump files from our SD cards or even if I just want to charge the mouse or keyboard, I can do that right from the Thunderbolt dock. You can never have enough ports and connectivity in a setup.

One of my favorite parts of this setup is this incredible 3D wood panel art made by hand. I think it’s made of separate cubes of oak wood, so it’s actually really heavy and I’ve hooked them up with 3M Claw hangers, which are so easy to install, and a single hook can hold up to 40 pounds. 

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The cubes of oak wood diffuse the lighting really nicely, give the wall some interesting texture, and look incredible at night when gaming. It makes the perfect centerpiece in an otherwise empty-looking wall. 

Finally, I’ll add in a couple more smart lights to lift the gamer vibe of this space with Govee’s Glide Wall Lights shaped around the wood panel art. This should bring out the oak cubes that much more and frame this space nicely. I really enjoy being able to set the lighting color, brightness, and preset to suit the mood and weather outside. With the lights off and lights on, I think this space is looking incredible.

Grovemade Gear

To give this setup that extra layer of structure it’s currently missing, I’ll break it down the middle and add some much-needed organization to this desk with one of my favorite desk accessory brands: Grovemade. 

This package is their new small desk shelf in matte black, and the extra small size of this shelf should fit in perfectly with the Magnus desk. 

Aesthetically, the matte black style is also a perfect companion to the dark desk tone. 

Attaching this shelf together was easy enough being made of quality power coated fiberboard and ebonized cork with sumi ink. 

I’ve also got new small and medium-sized desk trays in dark cork which will neatly hold some useful things when I’m working on this desk. 

I love the fact that Grovemade finally made new tray sizes so we can make full use of the shelf space and they fit perfectly.

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You know I love Grovemade and it continues to be a staple of my setups – they’re pricey, but to be fair, I’ve owned my pieces for years now, and most of them look good as new, in big part thanks to the build and quality material used like hand-sculpted cork and Japanese calligraphy ink to give it that beautifully dark hue and long life resistance. 

If you’re a fan of Grovemade too, you’re in luck – I’ll drop a sitewide 10% discount code (“AEZ10”).

Final Touches

For the finishing touches and to make this desk setup that much more cozy and aesthetic, I moved the PS5 controller to the left and added a bonsai tree that I feel is right at home on this desk. 

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Something I almost always have on a desk that I’ve got to add is a desk lightbar, this is an affordable one for like $49 bucks on Ergotune. It helps reduce eyestrain from the monitor and creates a really nice warm atmosphere when it lights up the desk at night. 

Titan Evo Chair 

Of course, we can’t forget about the thing we used to sit on: a chair! This is ‘the’ gaming chair, I’m sure most of you know it: Secretlab’s Titan Evo Chair.

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It uses a hybrid leatherette blend, and the stitchwork is pretty incredible: this is my first time sitting on one, and it fits me like a glove and feels like sitting on a Recaro racing seat but makes it comfortable. 

There are tons of adjustments available to fit exactly how I want it to. 4-way lumbar support, plenty of side support, and a full-length backrest for your head too. It works well as both a gaming chair and for general work use. 

The coolest part, though? Pull the lever, and boom, it becomes a lie-flat bed with an insane 165 degrees of recline. Gotta make sure your butt and back are as comfortable as they can be. 


I’m really happy with how this setup turned out, being able to carve out this small space and transform it into an area where I can unwind and comfortably get some gaming hours in because we should all work hard but also play hard.

Using it at night has been a blast; it looks amazing with the smart lights and has a great vibe while looking pretty minimal and modern, in my opinion.

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This desk setup also serves as a productive editing station for the growing team, which is a huge plus!

I’ve had the Magnus desk for a few weeks now and I’m still blown away by how practical it is: cable management has never been easier, and the fact that I can just flip up the cable management cover and add in new devices without going under the desk is underrated. The magnetic ecosystem of the desk is also a nice touch.

Anyway, there’s a ton of stuff I shared here, so I’ve linked to everything in the article for your convenience if you want to get some of it for yourself. But I’m also looking to expand this setup further, so please watch out for updates.

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