Not too long ago, some of our writers from around the world shared what their workstations looked like, and many of them were surprisingly beautiful. Do you work from home? Have you grown bored of your mundane home office? We’ve got the cure for you.
In addition to our tips for designing an awesome workstation, you can fully transform your workspace with just a bit of lumber and a lot of elbow grease. Woodworking isn’t as difficult as you might think it is, plus you can’t beat the deep satisfaction of using furniture that you built with your own hands.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or a woodworking veteran, we’ve got project ideas that will prove useful to you and your home office.
Have you ever dealt with an overheating laptop? It’s not a pleasant experience when your computer is so hot to the touch that you can’t even rest your palms on it.
The main reason why laptops overheat is internal dust buildup. Though dust buildup is an expected issue for any device that requires air to circulate through it, dust can build up faster than normal if you place it on carpet or the floor.
The best way to minimize the issue? Elevate your laptop and keep it on a hard, flat surface. A laptop desk is the ideal solution since it’s lightweight and portable just like the laptop itself.
It doesn’t take much to build one for yourself and the results are well worth the effort.
Here at MakeUseOf, we’re huge proponents of the standing desk. Many of our writers suffer from issues that stem from sitting all day long that could have been avoided with something as easy as periodic standing.
Don’t put it off. Switch to a standing desk as soon as you can and stave off long-term pain and suffering. Neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, leg pain — you don’t want to deal with any of that.
Fortunately, you can build a standing desk for about $50 using nothing but items purchased from IKEA. In the DIY furniture world this is called “hacking”, which might sound silly but actually works pretty well. There’s an entire community dedicated to IKEA hacks, so check them out if this interests you.
Once built, consider these standing desk accessories that’ll make your new workflow easier to handle.
No home office is complete without a bit of shelf space. Shelves are a common recommendation in the realm of DIY woodworking, but the interesting ones can be a bit tricky to put together.
This particular type of shelf comes from Lowe’s and delicately walks the line that sits between simple, functional, modern, and aesthetically pleasing. What I like best about it, though, is that it’s completely modular.
For a bit of cash, some know-how, and a few hours of your time, you can build these modular stacking shelves that are essentially individual boxes and boards that can be mixed and matched together to form an infinite number of shelf combinations.
These days, you can pick up a new computer desk for less than a hundred bucks at places like IKEA and it will actually last you a few years or longer if you take care of it well. In other words, you probably won’t save much time or money by building one yourself.
However, if you want to build one for that wonderful feeling of self-satisfaction — or simply to challenge yourself — then this ergonomic computer desk will make for a great project.
It’s built using high-quality wood for the desktops and a series of metal pipes and flanges for support. The design is primarily about ergonomics and comfort, but also has an underside shelf for extra space.
As the author admits, it is not cheap or fast to make. If you’d rather build an ergonomic desk for less money, you could try the author’s previous version instead which comes in at a total cost of about $350.
Forget IKEA. Forget bookshelves that you can pick up and move at your leisure. Want to tackle something more involved, something that requires more commitment on your part thanks to its permanence? Try building a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf.
This project from Family Handyman teaches you how to build a bookshelf inspired by the Greek Revival architectural style of the early 1800s in America. It looks fantastic but whether or not you agree will obviously depend on your personal tastes.
Despite the ornate appearance, the actual building process is easier than it looks — even when you consider the built-in side-rolling ladder. Per the instructions, if you’ve ever hung a door or trimmed a room with new molding, you’ll be fine.
It’s a pricey undertaking, though, so be prepared to spend a few hundred dollars (at least) and invest several days’ worth of time from start to finish.
I don’t know about you but I like to keep my home office as clean as possible (doing so helps keep my mind clean too), which means taking off my shoes as soon as I enter. And rather than tossing those shoes aside haphazardly, I find it best to keep them organized.
While a shoe organizer doesn’t need to be more involved than a simple mat designated for such a purpose, building one from scratch is a great way to practice your woodworking.
This particular guide comes from Family Handyman, one of the best resources for DIY home projects. It’s quick to build, easy to customize or extend, and extremely cheap.
Lowe’s is one of the premier home improvement stores throughout North America, yet even if you live elsewhere and never purchase a thing from them, you can still benefit from their online collection of project ideas and guides.
This memo board looks deceptively simple but will teach you some important skills when working with wood. Though the materials are cheap and the difficulty easy, it’ll take a few hours of your time.
Once finished, you’ll have a wall-mounted board that’s divided between a metallic half (mainly for magnets) and a pegboard half (for hanging supplies). Useful for any creative’s home office.
If you rely on word of mouth and networking for success in your field, do not underestimate the value of a business card. Some may think they’re no longer relevant and opt for virtual business cards instead, but that’d be a mistake.
There are so many services out there that print business cards for cheap that the cost is pretty much negligible.
But once you have business cards, it’s also important to keep them in top condition. Nothing says “unprofessional” like a business card that’s warped, creased, or torn. These business card holders are an easy, cheap, and classy way to stop worrying about that.
Minwax is a company that makes products for finishing and staining wood, but they also have a lot of free articles on their site that teach the history and basics of woodworking. For absolute beginners, it’s a great place for a first stop.
As your first woodworking project, why not try a whittled peg rack? It’s extremely basic — simple pieces of wood stuck into a bigger block of wood — but extremely functional. Use it to hang clothing, keys, or whatever else comes to mind.
This particular guide is a PDF download, but there are a lot of great tips in that PDF for newbies. Highly recommended – and be sure to check out all their woodworking projects if a peg rack doesn’t inspire you.
Where to Learn DIY Skills
Are you in doubt of your woodworking skills? Bolster your knowledge with these woodworking YouTube channels where you can watch and learn from folks who know their way around saws and hammers.
Still itching to expand your skills? Check out these general DIY YouTube channels that cover everything from personal craft projects to home maintenance and beyond.
Do you have any other ideas for home office woodworking projects? What would you like to see built and taught? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Image Credits: Modern Wood Office Via Shutterstock