The DREAM Home Office Transformation & Desk Setup 2024

7 min read

The humble home office has become a sanctuary within our homes: it’s where we take remote meetings, create plans for the future, and even build our careers.  

Recently, I transformed an empty room in the house into my new home office.

It was a really fun experience over the last two months that involved redesigning the plain white room into something a lot more cozy and functional.

Hey friends, Andrew here – hope you’re well.

I am excited to share the entire process with you and of course, show you the new desk setup and everything that powers my day-to-day work to hopefully inspire you or give you ideas to make the most out of your own home office.  

Oak Aesthetic & Slat Panels

Let’s rewind it a bit because a lot has happened since my last desk setup article.

We’ve moved out of our original studio after a couple of years in there and until I find a new dedicated studio, which probably won’t be for a while,  I’ll be working from home in the meantime, so this was a great chance to design a home office exactly how I want it to be.

The very first thing I wanted to introduce to the plain white room is some warmer tones and I think an oak wood theme would suit the room well. I’ve always loved the wood slat aesthetic and they should be a great, simple way to instantly add warm tones to a cold room.   

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The panels are from Wood Veneer Hub and they also double as acoustic dampening panels, perfect for a home office. They come as extra long planks, which need to be cut to size and so after a quick vacuum, clean, and measure – it was time to install the panels. 

There are a few ways to install them but I went with the simple screw-in option with white countersunk timber screws. The tricky part was making cut-outs for the light switch and electrical outlets and this required a jigsaw cutter and some precise measurements.

So after a couple of days of measuring, cutting, and installing them – I like how the slat panels instantly give the room warmth and texture to elevate the space! 

Office Storage & Curtains

Next, I don’t particularly want to be staring at myself all day while I work, so I replaced the mirrors with white melamine push doors and reworked the interior for office storage to make use of the limited space. 

I’m really happy with the result and it looks a lot more modern, cozy, and nicely matches the oak slat panels.

Plus the extra storage with the dividers will come in handy for all the tech and camera equipment that I use and give some order to the chaos of my workday.

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I’ve organized the office storage in a way where I can easily access my most used items like cameras and audio equipment while lesser-used items are stored higher up to make use of the vertical storage.

Then the final DIY touch I’ve added is sheer curtains, I’ve always loved sheer curtains and think they’re such an elegant and simple lift to a space. 

They allow sunlight in while making the space a lot more interesting to look at and complement the push doors and slat panels. I also added smart blinds behind the sheers. so they roll up and down during the morning and sunset and they’ve been a game-changer.

Desk Setup

Now, the desk I’ve moved in is the same one I’ve been using for three years, and the light hevea wood of the tabletop is a great match for that light mode aesthetic, I think the hevea wood of the desk looks super clean against the oak slat panels!

And now that the wardrobe is done, I’ve clicked in the final slat panel and thankfully measuring twice paid off: it fits perfectly! 

Moving on now that the foundation is done, I’ve built out the empty desk, starting with desk lights. 

I love adding strip lights to the back of a desk and the one I’m using Philips Hue strip. I find that a strip light on the back of a desk adds visual depth away from the wall, and after turning it on I love how the light refracts off the slats at night for a moody ambiance. Seriously, if your current desk faces a wall – try adding a strip light to the backside of your desk, it makes a difference.  

Plus, being able to change and automate different colors for different moods and times of the day is always a bonus!

Now that we have a desk to work with, I’m going to start this desk setup with none other than Grovemade. They’re still my favorite desk essentials.

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After an obligatory wipe down of the desk, I’m adding Grovemade’s iconic desk shelf: it functionally adds a layer of height to a flat desk and it is the solid maple wood variant: one of my favorites! 

The matching desk trays make the setup a modular dream, I’m adding three different-sized desk trays and they’ll house my daily items, stuff like pencils, pens, SD cards, and trusty microfiber cloths. The cork aesthetic blends right into the home office and has such a nice sculpted finish. 

And let’s not put the extra space to waste: I’ll usually place books, AirPods, and my laptop here for quick access. 

Meanwhile, my phone lives on the Grovemade MagSafe stand also made from solid oak and I love how it looks in horizontal Standby mode, which I find genuinely useful. What would otherwise be a blank lock screen, transforms into an interactive window of widgets and a beautiful desk-side clock on the stand.

The final Grovemade item that I’ll add is a quality desk pad – it is Grovemade’s unique matte desk pad in light grey and I’ve yet to find a better desk pad than this, I sort of feel like my desk is naked without a desk.

Functionally it’s great too: it’s able to slip right underneath the desk shelf when I’m not using it or when I need more room on my desk if I’m drawing or writing for example.

And that’s probably the biggest reason why I love Grovemade’s modular ecosystem of products so much – it creates beautiful visual borders on your desk and neatly orders the desk to avoid that clutter.

Here’s a 10% off code (AEZ10), if you want any of these Grovemade items to add to your own setup!

Essentials

 At the focal point of the desk is the monitor.

The Apple’s Pro XDR Display is a stunning 6K display. Its design, brightness, and color accuracy are unmatched. 

I’ve been doing some design and photography work both for fun and for work on this display and it’s just a treat to use every day. 

Even though the $1000 stand is one of the most overpriced purchases, it sits underneath the shelf and I think it looks like it’s always meant to be in this setup! 

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For a personal touch, I’ve created a set of 8K wallpapers that I think look incredible on this display. It makes for a nice pop of color and I use a free app called Umbra so this app automatically changes to a dark mode wallpaper in the evening and a light mode during the day. If you’d like to grab these wallpapers yourself, I’ve linked it above and it’s a great way to support me if you’d like to! 

The main workhorse I use is the Mac Studio but I also do work on a PC: I mainly use the Mac for everyday tasks and video editing and the PC for more graphically intensive tasks and gaming.

For sound, I still use the Audio Engine A5+ Speakers that are like 5 years old now but I just haven’t found the need to upgrade these yet. They sound and look great, and chances are you’ve probably seen them in half the desk setups out there! 

I’ve gone through lots of keyboards and mice and the combo I’ve settled on is the MX Keys Mechanical Mini with the MX Master 3S at the moment: love these two together functionally and aesthetically. Also, the triple setup with the trackpad is still clutch. 

Desk Accessories & Extras 

So that’s the desk essentials. But now it’s time to spruce up the desk: and here are my current favorite desk accessories!

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 I was recently gifted a Hinoki diffuser, and a few drops of essential oil absorb into the Japanese cypress wood for a pleasant fragrance that lingers for the day – the scent I’m using is Hokkaido Hakka and I wish you could smell it.

Scent is often overlooked but a nice-smelling room brings peace and calm while working and I love how the diffuser keeps in line with the wood theme of the setup. 

Herman Miller Aeron Chair

To work comfortably, I’ve invested in Herman Miller’s Aeron chair in white – it’s still the best office chair I’ve ever sat on and the reason I’m able to work for long stretches without discomfort.

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I think the Aeron chair is one of those buy-it-for-life purchases, I can’t see myself switching this out any time soon if ever.

And with space next to the desk, so I also added a fiddle leaf fig plant to bring in a touch of nature and calmness, even though it’s a fake plant.

Armchair Corner

So across the room, it was still looking pretty empty so there’s space to set up a breakaway corner – a spot away from the desk to read, take a call, and things like that. So I furnished the empty walls with two framed prints and I think it adds character to the all-oak look in the room.

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These beautiful shots are from the talented Aaron Brimhall and I love the timeless design of the Porsche 911 RS – a car I think most of us will never be able to afford but hey, it’s always nice to dream and admire from afar. 

The armchair I brought in to sit right under the frames, has a nice curved design with full oak legs and I love that the tan leather blends well with the sheer curtains and it’s a nice simple corner to relax from away from all the tech.

Conclusion

And well, this is my new home office.

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Like many, I’ve realized that the environment we work in has a big impact on how productive I am. 

So I’m pretty stoked with how the home office has turned out: from a very simple and plain room to a welcoming and warm space that makes work that much more enjoyable.

I’ve been working here for a couple of weeks now and this has to be my favorite desk setup I’ve created so far…at least until the next one.

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