Minimal Desk Setup 2020
April 21, 2020
Update: Check out my updated Desk and Office Tour post for 2022!
Sharing all sources for my office desk setup below! I went for a moody, minimal, and industrial feel for this office space.
- Desk chair: Herman Miller Embody
- My Herman Miller Embody Review
- Color: Black
- Upholstery: Rhythm Fabric
- Caster: 2.5-inch Hard Floor or Carpet Caster
- Monitor: BenQ 32″ 4k Monitor (newer model linked)
- Desk Mount: VIVO Monitor Desk Mount
- Speakers: Wavecrest Bookshelf Speakers
These are currently sold out, but here are some of the other speakers I found during my research that are similarly priced:
- Subwoofer: Klipsch 10″ Subwoofer (newer model linked)
- Speaker Amplifier: SMSL Amplifier
- Speakers: Wavecrest Bookshelf Speakers
- Mouse: Logitech MX Master 2S
- Light Panels: Nanoleaf LED Panels
- Oversized Mouse Pad:
- Wireless Charger: Ratel Wireless Charger
- Webcam: Logitech Webcam
- Foot Rest: ErgoFoam Adjustable Foot Rest
- Accent Wall Color: Peppercorn by Sherwin Williams in matte finish
SHOP DESK SETUP
Herman Miller Embody Chair
Update: Here’s my review of the Herman Miller Embody after 3 years of use.
It’s been a little over a year since replacing my Ikea Markus chair with the Herman Miller Embody. I was spending more time at my desk and was starting to get lower back pain after sitting for a few hours. At first, it was hard to justify spending so much for an office chair, but I can now be at my desk the majority of the day and not experience any back pain. Definitely worth it in my opinion!
One minor complaint is that the butt pad is a bit too firm since it doesn’t have a traditional foam pad.
I highly recommend spending a little more on an office chair especially if you’re at your desk most of the day.
The Ikea Tabletop and legs are very budget friendly for a solid wood, no frills desk. The table top comes unfinished, but can be stained and sealed after light sanding. I was really happy with the color of Honey and the look of the Semigloss Finish. I thought about doing a gloss finish, but the fingerprints would have driven me crazy.
Monitor and Mount
The BenQ BL3201PH has been great for coding, photo editing, and the occasional gaming. In my opinion 32″ is the perfect size for a 4K monitor. It’s large enough to use at native 4K without everything looking really small. I’d recommend the newer model if you’re looking for a 32″ 4K monitor.
Overall I’ve been happy with the VIVO Monitor Mount. The mount is very strong and theres a good amount of adjustability. There isn’t a gas spring or anything fancy for on the fly movements, but I never move my monitor anyway so I was able to save a bit of money here.
I adjusted the location of the mount a few times, moving it further to the right. This allowed for more usable space under the monitor.
My audio setup is a little overkill for the office’s size as it’s the same speaker and sub that we use for our large TV in the living room. But because I’m almost always listening to music at my desk, I was okay with spending a little more on the audio setup.
The SMSL Amplifier is powerful enough to drive the speakers and sub and has quite a few nice features. Bluetooth has been handy when I need to switch back and forth between my desktop and work MacBook Pro. My only gripes with the amp is that the volume dial feels a little cheap and it does not handle multiple Bluetooth connections.
To be honest it was the look of the Wavecrest Bookshelf Speakers that helped me pick which speakers to get. I wanted to get a set that was monochrome and preferably all black. They of course needed to sound good, but because I wasn’t able to compare a bunch of different models in person, I went with the recommendations of a few speaker review sites. I’m not an audiophile, but the sound quality of these have blown me away. They lacked a bit of bass but after adding the subwoofer, I’ve been really happy with the sound.
Unfortunately, the speakers are now sold out, and I’m not sure if the company will be making more.
The Klipsch Subwoofer is definitely overkill for the office as the gain is only turned up about 1/10 of the way. I did research for our home entertainment subwoofer and landed on this Klipsch. So I thought I’d just have 2 matching sets of speakers and subs.
Peripherals & Extras
I’ve been using MX Masters for years now. Love the comfortable form factor and the thumb button for MacOS trackpad gestures. I moved my first generation MX master to my work place and replaced it with the MX Master 2S. Not a huge functional improvement, but the battery does last a lot longer.
This was my first fully custom keyboard that I built. I wanted a minimal looking board so the KBDfans Tofu was the perfect option. For the PCB I wanted to have individual key RGB backlight which the Zeal60 has built in to the PCB. I tried a friend’s board with zeal switches and loved the smoothness and minimal keycap wobble. Zealios 67g was a nice upgrade from the other Cherry MX boards. Finally I bought the GMK Honeywell keycaps secondhand from my friend who got me into mechanical keyboards. I plan to do a detailed post on this board so stay tuned!
The Logitech C270 is a basic 720p webcam with a built in mic. Picture quality is not the sharpest but it’s good enough for my daily conference calls and no one has complained yet about my audio.
It’s unfortunate that the Pixel 3XL only supports fast charging on a few wireless chargers. I didn’t want to spend that much for a charger that didn’t match the desk setup. The Ratel wireless charger matched the aesthetic and will still slowly charge my phone. But since I’m at my desk for most of the day I really don’t need wireless quick charging.
This ErgoFoam Foot Rest is the latest addition to the setup. The footrest allows me to be in a more ergonomic seating position.