Home Office 2.1

November 13, 2015 life 4 min read

I’ve worked from home in some form since 2005. My home office is generally reserved for productive activities, which makes it a space that I go when I need to focus. I decided to give it a little makeover last year to make it a place that is a little more inspiring.

Panoramic view of my office

The coffee table started it all.

I came across a wooden shipping crate last year while looking for some scrap lumber for another project. I decided a shipping crate was an apt material for the furniture that I use to ship software.

The raw materials for the coffee table

Not sure how well it would work out in practice, I decided to build a coffee table first.

The finished coffee table

When I can’t concentrate or am working on a hard problem, changing location helps me make the mental shift. I wanted some comfortable chairs to lounge in whenever I needed a change of scenery. I founds some slightly modern looking chairs to pull together the rustic palette furniture with the bright green walls and electronics.

Seating area

The chairs also serve as a good place to sit and jam on the guitar or mandolin.

The standing desk.

I’ve had various iterations of a homemade standup desk for the past several years. For my new office, I decided to build a new desk out of pallets. I was on the lookout for businesses getting rid of pallets as I drove around town. Within a few days I had more than enough to build it.

Pickup load of pallets

Protip: Breaking down old pallets is incredibly boring. Buy a good audiobook to keep you entertained.

Assembled desktop

I assembled the desktop out of boards from various pallets to give it some good variance, and then aged all the wood using science (tea, steel wool, and vinegar).

Finished desk

I am pretty happy with how it turned out. I don’t love the legs, but they are replaceable whenever I come up with a better design.

A day at the chalkboard wall.

I spend all day on a computer, typically doing things that are not terribly creative. I’m not a designer, but I’ve always appreciated good design and enjoyed the process of designing. So, I decided to make one wall of my office a chalkboard to give myself a creative outlet.

Not all who wander are lost

My nieces enjoy the chalkboard wall when they visit, but my work buddy pictured above is not impressed. The design is stolen from this beautiful dribbble design.

Here’s a time-lapse of my first day at the chalkboard:

Protip: If you’re going to turn a wall into a chalkboard, run a sander over it first. My wall had a slight texture to it, which makes it a little difficult to draw on with chalk.

Wall map

I’ve had the privilege to travel to some cool places. I’ve always wanted a wall map to put pins on the significant places. has nice ones in various sizes.

Wall map

That’s all for now

I’m still on the lookout for a stool to go with the standing desk. I’m looking at the HAG Capisco chair. Hit me up on twitter if you have any questions or suggestions.

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avatar of Brandon Keepers I am Brandon Keepers, and I work at GitHub on making Open Source more approachable, effective, and ubiquitous. I tend to think like an engineer, work like an artist, dream like an astronaut, love like a human, and sleep like a baby.