The New Desk

Got home from my LA travels this week to discover the new desk had arrived and been set up in the office:

Those of you with memory will note the desk is considerably smaller than my previous work desk, and intentionally so: Having a massive L-shaped desk proved conducive to gathering clutter, something I’m hoping to avoid from here on out. The new desk has room for a monitor, a keyboard and a couple of other things, and that’s pretty much it. I also commissioned a matching filing cabinet, which you also see here. I suspect I may shuffle a few things around, but by and large, this is what it will look like moving forward.

Still awaiting arrival: The new bookshelves, and when they arrive, additional furniture and wall hangings, at which point the office will be officially complete. But now that the desk is in I can start working in the office again, which is a nice feeling after a couple of months of exile. It’s good to be home, basically.

35 thoughts on “The New Desk

  1. You’re a brave, brave man to work at so small a desk. I have one big enough to lie down on and I couldn’t live without it. When I had a cat, it was her favorite nap spot.

    I hope you can make space for the cats!

  2. Poor Kyle Cassidy. Now he’ll have to come back and visit again, now that you’ve gone and obsoleted his work.

    Nice desk though. I hope you enjoy the Zen rock garden feel of the clean desk for some weeks to come.

  3. Now that you’re back from exile (huzzah)…these bookshelves of which you speak. Are they a custom job as well? And will there be photos?

    I ask on account of I’m trying to decide how to do bookshelves for my office and and i find that when I ask people for ideas on bookshelves they tend to furrow an eyebrow and say something declarative like “well, bookshelves” and then frown again implying a “?”.

    I find this to be remarkably unhelpful in finding something interesting to do.

    It’s an open question to anyone currently, or previously, geeking out on bookshelves.

  4. I hate to be a spoil sport but it won’t last. I thought I could down size and the papers would disappear. Nope. I just ended up using the floor, dragging in t.v. trays and various other surfaces to put my stuff on. *sigh* I hope it works for you.

    BTW, home probably just feels good.

  5. You’ll be putting one of those plastic mats under your chair, yeah? You’ll ruin the floor in no time if you don’t. I speak from experience.

  6. Very minimal and very warm. I like it.
    Uhm, where do the cats sit? I would need the extra surface to push them onto when they feel the need to be on the keyboard, laptop, paper I am reading, etc.

  7. I’m a neat desk fanatic, probably from years of having very tiny workspaces often overstuffed with necessary storage and equipment and other people’s projects. Keeping everything minimalist and efficient was a survival technique, a preservation of sanity. So, I understand the lure of the small desk.

    However, I dream one day of having a capacious desktop to strew and litter and lounge upon. It will have to be some manner of addition to the antique (and very small) secretary I have, but I’m looking forward to the challenge of keeping a lot of desk real estate as tidy as I did all my efficiency workspaces.

  8. There’s always the floor around you.

    I like the desk. Looks really good with the floor and the paint. Can’t wait to see it all finished. Yay for being able to work in your office too.

  9. I like it. Very classy. Since I generally have to try to fit my library in a very cramped space (hurrah for college living options!) a corner desk might actually be a really good option.

  10. Does the chair extend higher, or do you type with the keyboard in your lap? The desk just looks too high to be able to type comfortably.

  11. Came here to say what M.K. Hobson said @5. You spent good money on that floor. Protect it!

  12. Minimal and nice, I’ll picture you there while reading your books from now on ;o) I myself prefer a somewhat larger table…I’m prone to collecting clutter and I have given up thinking that with less space I’ll collect less things, they simply are piled up in other places

  13. That is a small desk. In my little flat I have a small computer stand, but I still manage to accumulate clutter around my monitor. Sigh – one day I’ll learn how to be clutter free.

    #3 Other Bill – on the bookshelf front, I have discovered that the width of the bookshelves is very important. I like narrow bookshelves, so that books don’t disappear towards the back of the shelf, and so that I don’t hide books by putting my clutter in front of them. Ideally shelf spacing has to fit hardbacks on the lower shelves, and then should be smaller higher up for paperbacks.

  14. The danger of going minimalist in a previously maximalist office is that other members of the household will try to claim the leftover space. You need to get those bookshelves in quickly – and maybe a sofa for the pets.

  15. I like it! Can I ask where you got it from? I’ll be moving into a new house in less than a month and I’m looking to re-desk my home office as well.

  16. Wow, do you really like to work with your nose in a corner of the room like that? I’d get claustrophobic in a setup like that…

  17. It screams ‘focused’, but I can’t help to wonder do you revise on screen? You don’t have any deskspace on which to spread out manuscript pages for revision…

  18. Very nice, John. Looks like it may be quarter-sawn oak. Looks like a cozy workspace and I understand your need to keep the clutter away. My computer work area is about the same size, though I had an old accountant’s desk in addition, which does collect clutter along with cat hair, books…

  19. I would think 2 monitors would be more productive. you can run word in the two page format and do one page in each window so it is larger.

    I am a programmer and I find 2 monitors greatly increases productivity. i am really not sure that the work style of a programmer is much different than a writer (yes the skillset is different, but how we work and organize is similiar).

  20. You definitely earn a place on the diminutive desk list, John. However, not at the top. (Or would that be bottom?)

    Among big-time writers, smallest desk I’ve seen is the homemade affair at Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts. Louisa May Alcott wrote LITTLE WOMEN on it, among other things. Best photo I can find is here, though you have to scroll down a bit:

    http://tinyurl.com/3ynr3of

    At least she had good light …

  21. Either I’m colour blind, your camera flash is different or is the wall a different colour??

    Wasn’t it brown and mint green?
    Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    Love the desk. It’s so awesome when you can get customer furniture and support local economy.

  22. So I did a comparison check with earlier desk picture and new desk and I think I know what the advantage of the smaller desk actually is.

    More floor space for the stacks of books. The old desk just took up to much “symetrical book stacking” room. 8D

  23. I envy your fancy desk setup but I do not envy the lack of desk space. Good luck in your endeavors with less desk. :P

    Do like the window nearby. I have to keep my window shades down – crazy barking dog goes crazy and barks. ;)

  24. I like very much. Beautiful finish. I’d feel very mentally cozy in a space like that.

    My SO is currently building a huge desk for me, with lots of slots, shelves and cupboards. Can’t wait – I’ll be able to stack my CDs and papers a lot less precariously.

    Nice comfy looking chair too.

    Always feels good to have a nice writing space.

  25. I’ll bet that I could have that desk piled a foot deep on both sides plus an inch under the keyboard in a week …

  26. “It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.” – Stephen King, On Writing

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