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Nov 29

How does your working environment look?

2004 at 02.26 am posted by Veerle Pieters

I’ve been toying around with the idea of writing an article about this for a while now. You see, for me it’s important to have a cosy office. It affects my creative mind and can’t stand the thought of getting a design job done in an office that gives you a rather depressing or a cold unpleasant feeling.

As you'll notice from these pictures, colors are a big deal to me. I like vibrant colors because they cheer me up. Just like with a certain music I love, they give me the right mood and ideal atmosphere to trigger my creative juices. It also reflects a bit of your personality I guess.

my office

You might have noticed the rather strange looking but so indispensable ergonomic chairs Thatsit™ Balans® from STOKKE. We bought these a few years ago and they were the best investment ever. We never have a sore neck or back since then. You can set them in different modes, the 'relax' mode where you lean back and the mode where you lean forward. STOKKE is a Norwegian brand that uses trendy smart designs with ergonomics in mind. At first it took some time to getting used to, since it's a kind of weird way when you go sit down. You need to fold your legs in a angle to get between the seat and the knee support. But once you get the hang of it, it's even easy to move around. And when you site down and you want to lean back your mind always thinks you're about the fall backwards, but that's easily solved after a few times.

STOKKE has been renamed VARIÉR and you can find more about the Thatsit™ Balans® chair at this url. The the US distributor is Design for comfort.

Talking about ergonomics, you might have noticed the black wrist-pad. After Ergonomics called us to test it for free for a few weeks, we decided to buy 2 of them. If you think about the time you spend daily behind a computer, it isn't such a bad idea to invest in things like that.

Another thing that is very important for me is order and tidiness ;-) I hate a cluttered desktop on my Mac with folders and documents spread all over, the same for the office. I like to keep things clean and in order, so I can find my stuff easy and fast. This is rather important to me and in fact necessary, you got to be good organized. in my (humble) opinion, it reflects also how you run your business. Of course everybody has his/her strange or less 'productive' habits, we're all human so we can't do it all prefect. Mine is for instance is that I sometimes have trouble concentrating, I get easily distracted or forget things ... thank God for those alerts in my Mac or mobile phone ;-). Another one is doing two things at the same time ... although people say women are good at that, well, I assure you I'm not (but wish I was).

And just because of curiosity, and totally inspired by Cameron Moll, I wonder how your desktop or work space looks like. Feel free to show us a picture by doing the following:

  • 1. take a picture (hope a lot of you have a digital camera at hand)
  • 2. crop/resize the picture to 420px wide by 315px (prefered height) and save it as jpeg
  • 3. upload the image to your own server
  • 4. post a comment by using the pMachine image tag and the full URL path to your image, for example:

pMachine image tag

Thank you for your contribution and for pleasing my curiosity ;-)




permalink this comment Hayo Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 03.08 am

Thanks for a reason to clean my desk!



permalink this comment Pieter Jelle Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 03.10 am

Veerle, I hope you don’t mind me placing 2 photos, i couldn’t capture it all in one photo. As you can see, I’ve got one of these Stokke chairs as well.

This is my studio in Leuven, where all my work gets done:

office picture

office picture



permalink this comment jens persson Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 06.30 am

Minor nitpick: Stokke is a Norwegian brand (not Swedish), good to sit in anyway. I sit in a DUO balans ® all day long and never have any problems with my back.



permalink this comment Veerle Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 06.39 am

Hi jens, oops sorry for my mistake, I’ll adjust this immediately :-S

Thanks for the picts so far ;-)



permalink this comment ziepe Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 07.08 am

Here you are…





permalink this comment Dave Marks Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 07.12 am

Its a bit of a shambles at the moment, as is still on one side of my bedroom. But am suppossed to be moving soon into a bigger place with a seperate office, where i’ll build a new more practical desk.

You have really inspiried me Veerle to do a good paint job when i finally move… Nice office! I love seeing how others work - it sometime suprises me how little space some people work in!




permalink this comment mathew Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 07.13 am

reminds me of a project i started a while ago called the true desktop collection. i asked people from all over to submit their workspaces for others to see. it was great. i’m not sure what happened to it tho. maybe a search for true desktop collection would come up with something?



permalink this comment Dave Marks Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 09.38 am

I thought I’d share this aswell - this is the view from my window which you can see from my last pic (fistral beach, newquay) - this is what inspires me… I love it when its real rough outside, windy and raining, sea crashing all over the place.




permalink this comment Dustin Diaz Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 10.07 am

i’m surrounded by posters of my favorite bands…and a css quick reference guide…and i’m still waiting for my mozilla poster to show up in the mail (it’s been 3 weeks!).

I’ll get in a pic as soon as I can.



permalink this comment Colin D. Devroe Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 10.46 am

I’ve since changed this around quite a bit, and will take pictures as soon as I can.


You can see a larger version on Flickr where it’s been posted to the Desknotes group.



permalink this comment Kim Siever Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 11.37 am

My office is too small to get my whole workstation in one shot.



The first shot shows my dual-monitor IBM ThinkCentre. In my books, one can find Ben Forta’s ColdFusion MX Web Application Construction kit, as well as Dan Cederholm’s Web Standards Solutions. Sometime this week, I should be receiving an actionscripting book and Defensive Design for the Web from 37 Signals.

In the second photo, you can see my HP Scanjet and my iMac. Currently, I just use the iMac for testing.

Please excuse the poor quality. The digicam we have here is crap. So is the lighting. But at least the server is gone now, so it is much quieter.



permalink this comment senobiah Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 11.46 am

Those are quit nice interesting workspaces. My desk really looks quit stressful, but my inspiration is based mostly on music. Depending my mood that differs the genre. I usually listen to trance/electro, which has more depth in creativity with sounds. The other is (in combination with music) nice high quality graphics or photographs.



permalink this comment John B Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 11.56 am

I’d post mine but I’d hate to depress anybody (read: Dilbertesque, gray cubeville). Although I do have a few colorful toys around to break up the monotony.



permalink this comment e-man Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 12.51 pm

I have those very same chairs and they literally rock, they are a godsend for anyone who has to spend hours at a desk ;-)



permalink this comment Gilbert Lee Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 01.07 pm

We looked at a Stokke high chair for my daughter over the weekend. A bit expensive for a small child’s chair but my wife wants it. On the Christmas list.

Here’s my desk:




permalink this comment Christopher Ellison Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 01.14 pm

I know, I know… Look at all those wires! :)




permalink this comment Merg Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 02.43 pm

My wife and I have the same desk with the same eMac model. My desk was best lit. :-)




permalink this comment steve Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 02.55 pm

Not sure if I got the img bit right, so if there’s no photo, never mind, it’s not as nice as the ones above!!!





permalink this comment Jochem Donkers Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 02.56 pm

Veerle I love your working place! Scandinavian design is great! They really keep the looks in mind, but don’t forget the ergonomics. My parents are great Stokke fans as well. Anyway, unfortunately I am not too often behind my desk but often on the road.

But just across the bridge, in Malmo Sweden, is a manufacturer for backpacks located. An essential for those often on the road! Oh yeah, also a nice place to glue one of the stickers you get with your Powerbook.

More information about those backpacks at:




permalink this comment Jeff Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 08.39 pm

Sadly, I run windows. I’ve got no choice. This is although a somewhat old picture. I’ve cleaned it up somewhat since then.  The laptop also is broken now.


Btw, in Firefox/win all your form fields are about 2 1/2 times their correct width. What’s up with that?



permalink this comment Kim Siever Mon Nov 29, 2004 at 09.17 pm

The form fields are fine in my Firefox/Win.



permalink this comment Jared Romanowich Tue Nov 30, 2004 at 12.27 am

Veerle, I love your space. It’s like the perfect office; a blend of funky colors modeled from the Mozilla Firefox brand. :)

This would be everything I’d want.

Awesome. :) Totally motivating.





permalink this comment Dustin Diaz Tue Nov 30, 2004 at 01.03 am

My work space


Check out those retro stripes



permalink this comment Veerle Tue Nov 30, 2004 at 01.54 am

@Jeff: Btw, in Firefox/win all your form fields are about 2 1/2 times their correct width. What’s up with that?

If I remember correctly I know what’s up with that, you have been changing fonts in Firefox from the default setting. If you are messing around in there I can’t fix things (experiment at your own risk ;-). If you leave everything like it is it works just fine in Firefox.



permalink this comment Mearso Tue Nov 30, 2004 at 03.10 am

Messy room in my house that we call the bunker, on account of it being set into the garden.

I wish I wasn’t as interior design challenged as some of your other contributors!




permalink this comment Tanvir Tue Nov 30, 2004 at 03.11 am

what’s the ScreenSaver on the 2nd pics.
plz give me the name of that.

i’m a windows user.  and where can i get that for Windows??



permalink this comment shawn Tue Nov 30, 2004 at 03.58 am

I was looking through these and really surprised to see the lack of “creative spaces”. I was about to post something to that effect, when I realized it’s only fair that I post a pic of my current space. I’m only on a 6 month contract right now, so I don’t have too much freedom to play with (i.e. no painting), so I’ve done what I can. Two walls are filled with black and white posters and photos (including the eiffel tower photo that I rasterbated) and the other two walls are the “colour” walls. I also have a window right next to me, so during the day I have an amazing picture of the beauty of creation that I’m surrounded by - essential to creativity, in my opinion. Btw, I love your workspace, veerle - great colors and a nice atmosphere - sure wish we could get those chairs here in North America!





permalink this comment Veerle Tue Nov 30, 2004 at 06.06 am

@Dave Marks: Your view is spectacular, I can imagine if a storm or blue skies hit the area it must be tempting to look outside instead of working ;-)

@Jared Romanowich and Jochem Donkers: Thanks for the compliments :-)

@e-man: Those chairs are top! I can’t miss them anymore!

@Tanvir: That’s the default Apple screensaver in Mac OS X, so sorry not available on Windows :-(

@shawn: Even for a limited budget your workspace looks great and cozy. You’ve done a great job. About those chairs I think Stokke is available in North America too. Here is the link to the dealer in the US.

@Fellow designers: Keep them coming I would LOVE to see your workspace as well :-)



permalink this comment Elin Tue Nov 30, 2004 at 07.43 am

Interesting! Speaking of Scandinavian design - I live in the north of Sweden and are fortunate to have really nice premises where I work - with airy, light design. We need the light here because of the dark winter (you can almost see the snow outside in the window to the left). And - that’s an Ikea stool in the front! 


The empty chair is mine!



permalink this comment espen Tue Nov 30, 2004 at 07.54 am

When I’m not getting square-eyed staring at my monitor or playing with HeMan and Sceletor, I’m daydreaming looking out the roof window…





permalink this comment Rohit Tue Nov 30, 2004 at 10.00 am

We have the same mouse. ;)



permalink this comment ranvier Tue Nov 30, 2004 at 10.00 am

@espen: Whoa, That’s certainly a cool place to do your work indeed. But isn’t it very hot during the day if the sun is directly above? ;)



permalink this comment Stephane Tue Nov 30, 2004 at 10.01 am

This is my desk at home (where I am right now). It’s a little messy and unfortunatly it’s with my old iMac, I’m still waiting for my new iMac G5. It’s coming from shanghai and is suppose to be here next monday, can’t wait.

Consolation, you can see my new iPod photo… sweet :-)


p.s. I do love my kitchy-head bopping little toys.



permalink this comment Dustin Diaz Tue Nov 30, 2004 at 10.29 am

I think I’ve won the most dull, yet at the same time: the most comfortable work space :)



permalink this comment shawn Tue Nov 30, 2004 at 11.26 am

Actually, you can get that screensaver for Windows. It’s called Flurry and available here:



permalink this comment k_Aleksz Tue Nov 30, 2004 at 12.42 pm

Really nice workspace!  Your colors cheer me up too.  Nice pictures, Good taste.



permalink this comment Tanvir Wed Dec 1, 2004 at 12.39 am

@Shawn »  thank u very much.
happy discovering….



permalink this comment achim Wed Dec 1, 2004 at 02.07 am

Great pics!

Check out sexonthedesk (which doesn’t contains smut)—there you find plenty of workspace pics



permalink this comment Andy J Wed Dec 1, 2004 at 08.15 am

No i’ve realise i probably work in of the smallest spaces.




permalink this comment Hoss Wed Dec 1, 2004 at 10.10 am

Back in Leuven… Rather small, could use some cleaning.


On a sidenote: You might be able to see I’m working on a sort “developing a hand prosthesis” project for school.



permalink this comment rob-ot Wed Dec 1, 2004 at 12.19 pm

@ Dave Marks
Man, you have a million$ vieuw !!



permalink this comment Kim Siever Wed Dec 1, 2004 at 12.51 pm

This post and Cameron’s post inspired me to make my own grab confab. Instead of asking for screenshots of workplace photos, it asks for mug shots.

Thanks, Veerle for the inspiration.



permalink this comment Max Timchenko Wed Dec 1, 2004 at 01.15 pm

Fear my collection of construction equipment 1:43 scale models! :-) Also used as video editing machine, thus the VCR, digital tuner and the TV above.




permalink this comment Matt D Wed Dec 1, 2004 at 01.27 pm

Hey guys, im 15 and this is my working area!




permalink this comment Roger Wed Dec 1, 2004 at 01.58 pm

I love to see all those beautiful and creative workspaces !! High Ikea factor in those images , seems that the Scandinavians did their marketing right ! Just try to imagine the number of cables ( don’t even mention the length of them all together )  just to attach us ‘creatives’ to our favorite job / hobby .
Wireless has a future!
..: perhaps the time has come that manufacturors start listening how to “clean connect” from ‘you’ to ‘net’ :.. wouldn’t that be cool?

innovate & create!  fellow artists



permalink this comment Jeff Croft Wed Dec 1, 2004 at 03.05 pm

This is actually my old townhome in Topeka, KS. I’ve recently moved to Manhattan, KS and haven’t gotten everything set up in my new place yet.




permalink this comment Mario De Zutter Wed Dec 1, 2004 at 03.14 pm

Oh i have lucky today, because my girlfriend has cleaned.




permalink this comment Martin Vollrathson Wed Dec 1, 2004 at 03.16 pm

A comfortable mess.




permalink this comment Brent O'Connor Wed Dec 1, 2004 at 03.29 pm

It works.




permalink this comment Veerle Wed Dec 1, 2004 at 04.02 pm

Hi all, this is interesting to see all this ;-) Thanks for taking time to post here.

@achim, thx for the fun link.

@Andy J, indeed how do you manage that? Hope you use this place only a few hours a day.

@Roger, didn’t you forget something here? Just lurking is not an option :-D And yes you are so right I would love a wireless office. I love just do go with my PowerBook anywhere in the house just to do some work or check my mail or surf around a bit, that is so cool what a comfort and liberty ;-)

@Mat D wow impressive for your age :-D I love your cabinets with the lights, very cool ;-)

@Jeff Croft I love the color of your wall, it suits your desktop very well. Looks like a “yummy” one too ;-)

@Brent what an analysis! And wow what a jungle of wires there… but at my place it is too… it’s just not visible in my picture :-)



permalink this comment Philip Fierlinger Wed Dec 1, 2004 at 06.11 pm

You might like this site…



permalink this comment Humberto Oliveira Thu Dec 2, 2004 at 06.07 am

Very interesting collection of workspaces. I’m creating a brand new workspace at my home and I will use these pictures to give me ideas.
The only problem is that I can not find a table that meets my needs and budget. Have you guys ever assembled your own tables or furniture? How was the experience like?



permalink this comment Roger Thu Dec 2, 2004 at 06.39 am

I thought I could escape…but that was beyond Veerle’s persuasive powers :-D




permalink this comment Mario Thu Dec 2, 2004 at 07.38 am

Everyone’s work area looks great, wished mine did. Veerle , I was wondering if you could e-mail the desktop image that you’re using on your Studio Display ? .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 



permalink this comment Veerle Thu Dec 2, 2004 at 09.28 am

That’s a desktop I created myself. But since you like it so much you can download it here. It is one that is actually not finished yes, I am actually still working on this to be honest. But I thought I try it out and see how long I like it ;-)



permalink this comment dom Thu Dec 2, 2004 at 01.08 pm

Hi there,

As I am in the process of setting up camp back in London I am on the hunt for making my home office spaace friendly.

My only problem with your chair recommendation would be its’ 581 pound price tag. Not sure I can justify that level of comfort.

Anyone else have more affordable options?



permalink this comment ati Fri Dec 3, 2004 at 03.59 am

my brand new used eMac at it’s place




permalink this comment senobiah Fri Dec 3, 2004 at 06.37 am

Veerle, Thanks for the desktop :)

My screen looks very cool now.



permalink this comment frank Fri Dec 3, 2004 at 11.53 am
works as trackback



permalink this comment Roberlan Borges Sat Dec 4, 2004 at 08.17 pm

Hello from Brazil! :-)
Here are some pictures of my messy desktop.





permalink this comment Pete Wilcox Sat Dec 4, 2004 at 08.36 pm

Nothing terribly fancy but it works well enough for me. All Ikea furniture and accessories (I used to work at an Ikea in Philadelphia many moons great-great Swedish grandfather would of been proud of me) EXCEPT for the newspaper tube I use as a trash can, seat cushion, alligator clip picture holder and filing cabinet.




permalink this comment Joshua Lane Sun Dec 5, 2004 at 12.23 am

Here’s my workspace… you’ll notice the brand new iBook to the left wonderful.




permalink this comment Stephane Sun Dec 5, 2004 at 09.59 pm

A couple of days ago, I sent this picture of my desktop desktop.jpg.

Santa-clauss came a little early, this is how it looks now imac.jpg.

It’s already not as clean but I’ll try to keep it open space.



permalink this comment Mario Mon Dec 6, 2004 at 03.00 pm

Thanks for the desktop Veerle :)



permalink this comment Jonathan M. Hollin Thu Dec 9, 2004 at 08.24 pm

Great thread. Some of you guys have incredible workspaces, I’m jealous as hell! :-(

Anyway, here’s mine:




permalink this comment Peteris Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 07.35 am

Have to say that no one beats Veerle this far :) . Beauty, both the workplace and the presentation of it! And the chairs…

The rest of us should do better. After all, design is pretty much about style and presentation, isn’t it?



permalink this comment markie Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 02.22 pm

Well… I made 2 pictures of my surroundings…


This is my desk where I work on ‘privately’, I’m not self-employed (yet) and also have a boss ;-)


...and when I turn 180 degrees, it’s this. It’s my livingroom also and a part-time cinema :-) (notice the black Mac SE in the back? ;-))



permalink this comment David Stutler Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 11.36 am

Here is my current setup.  It includes my trusty 12” Powerbook ( the best machine I’ve ever owned ) - the wonderful 20” Aluminum Cinema display, Treo 600, iPod mini, Lacie Backup HD, Digidesign mBox (for recording projects), and Yamaha Studio Monitors.  iTunes never sounded so good.


This is my pseudo bookshelf.  CSS Design books, Flash, etc.



permalink this comment Jimmy Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 05.14 am

very impressive.
I would like to rearrage my guest room into my working place with my new iMac G5 if I have extra time…

My test drive



permalink this comment karel Sat Jan 8, 2005 at 07.22 pm

Here’s my desk :-)


Karel :-)



permalink this comment Andrew Thu Jan 13, 2005 at 04.38 pm

Plain and simple :)


Veerle, just found your blog - love the chairs!
Hope you don’t mind two images of my little mac.




permalink this comment Veerle Fri Jan 14, 2005 at 04.24 am

@Andrew: I don’t mind at all ;-)



permalink this comment matthew Tue Jan 25, 2005 at 11.58 pm

The PC that wishes it was a MAC, and the PDA that wishes it was a laptop.




permalink this comment Stephen Wed Feb 9, 2005 at 09.58 am




permalink this comment Taco Meeuwsen Tue Jul 19, 2005 at 04.21 am

Desktop-picture: kayaking on the NorthSea for strong seabass. Note my bonsai of a Dutch Elm (40 years old) forefront in de garden. 60 more bonsai of West-European decidious trees spread all over the garden. Lot of work pruning and caring for them.




permalink this comment Daniele Florio Tue Jul 19, 2005 at 02.46 pm

I’ve seen some great worspaces here!
Mine is still under construction, I would like to make some changes in the next months.

Anyway here you can see how it looks now.

And, last thing, Veerle your setup is beautiful! :)



permalink this comment maher Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 01.29 am

very nice



permalink this comment Kathleen Sun Jun 4, 2006 at 11.16 am

I found your blog via a Google search (for ‘illustration desktop background’ and duly grabbed the floramagic desktop).

I love the STOKKE chairs - particularly ‘Peel’.

Anyways, it’s great to find someone else who thinks that working environment is so important.


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