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What Do You Look For In a Perfect Desk?

By Will Smith

I'm designing a new desk for my office at home, and I'm trying to figure out what to include. I'd love to hear what you think.

Last Friday, we announced that we're going to start building some larger projects, on video. The first of those videos should start going up in June, and for one of my projects, I'm going to build my own desk. I've done a few basic designs and I think I have a pretty good idea of what I want--lots of storage, a big surface suitable for working on small projects, good cable management, and articulated booms for my two monitors.

I've already decided on materials--I'm going to use 3/4-inch cabinetry plywood, suitable for staining--but I'm still working on the actual design. I know I want to include a cubby under the desk to hold my PC tower, as well as a shelf or two under the desktop to hold game consoles, networking gear, USB hubs, and the like. I want to include paths for cables, so I can hide as many wires as possible. I'm going to build a square steel tube frame to mount a pair of articulated boom arms on. And, I'm pretty sure I want the mouse and keyboard to rest on the desk's surface, not on a slide out keyboard/mouse tray. If I get really fancy, I may rout out a space to make my favorite mousepad, the aluminum SteelSeries SX, sit flush with the surface of the desk.

What am I forgetting? I know I need more storage--instead of trying to build drawers, I'm thinking I should put a few small cubbies under the desk and use inexpensive bins to keep them tidy. How am I going to break this thing down so I can move it in and out of my office when I move? Should I build a small footrest into the desk for ergonomics? What would you want in a 100% custom workstation?