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May 28, 2014

Stay At Home Rosie

I’m still settling into my new life as a stay at home mom to a 77 year old man. It was a crazy weekend, with the road trip to pick him up Saturday, and another road trip to get him back here on Sunday after he took off while we slept. So we’ve been trying to keep everything calm this week. 
Mostly Bob has been watching TV, which frees me up to work on the computer. Blog posts, design work, and pinterest/ email/ photo/ computer organization has been thriving. But that all comes at a price, and in this case that is the wellbeing of my lower back, which has been not so happy since moving Bob’s bed in and setting up his room this weekend. 
Today I am dreaming of ways to change my desk and chair options to better support my back, and overall health. And here is what I have found out: I need a standing desk.
Well, pretty much everybody needs a standing desk. We all know this, but I am just going to reinforce the fact that sitting too much leads to all sorts of bad health: obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, etc. So if you have a job that requires you to be on a computer all day, you need to pursue other options. 
Let’s start with my current set up. I have a lovely home office/ studio that I set up last year in our back bedroom. The space is huge, and I have a good amount of storage space, I have a lovely large metal desk that I got for free and painted a lovely shade of mint green. But I never use this space. It makes me feel isolated from the rest of the house. Since setting up this space, I had been working out of the house some 49 hours a week. I didn’t have a lot of time to work on my own home projects anyway, and when I needed to do some freelance work, or write a blog post, I mostly did it after work. So the choice became to go work in the “office” or I could work at my little desk in the living room. So I always chose the latter. In my living room, I have a little sewing desk, it fit so perfectly behind our large sectional couch, that when I set up the bigger desk in the office, I wanted to keep the sewing desk where it was. And I still use it all the time. I sit on a chair from my kitchen table, and this allows me to strain my back every time I need to use my laptop. Yay! Not.
I should be specific and say that this is not a desk that I made to sew on, like all the cool sewing desks I see on Pinterest. This is a piece of furniture that belonged to Nick’s Grandma and has a sewing machine built into it, that folds down into the desk. Yes, there is a sewing machine in-between my knees and this blog post- right now.
So I went to the interwebs to see what I could find. And now I will share it all with you!

Here’s a great diagram of the standing desk I need. Table height at my elbow, and my laptop will need to be elevated so that it is the correct height for my head. I guess this means I will need a new keyboard. This budget friendly dream is getting spendy.

Thankfully, the standing desk itself doesn’t have to be spendy. There are some really good DIY versions floating around. These are my favorites.

VIA//Manuel Saez
If I were rich I would go for an ergonomic laptop workstation like this- The Daybed. But with a price tag of thousands of dollars, I think I will search out a more budget friendly dream.
VIA//A Beautiful Mess
 I love this desk, and I love that it is on the wall. It is also looks to be the least expensive pick of the litter. However, for my own purposes, it would not work for me to have a desk attached to the wall. So on to free standing units. 
VIA//Design Sponge
 This table is gorgeous! And super easy, it is simply a table top, and hairpin legs via But with a price of $49 per leg, this table is out of my budget as well.
VIA//Barrett Morgan Design
This desk is not only a standing desk, but also a drafting table. I love the dual purpose aspect of this desk, but having some experience with tables built using 4x4s, I know that they are sturdy, but also super heavy. While daily movability is not a requirement for me, I know that all furniture eventually gets moved.
VIA//Mint Design Blog

Last but not least is my fave- the sawhorse standing desk. I love how narrow is it, and it is just so basic. And I have been lusting after sawhorse desks for years. Now, I just need to figure out how to make the surface adjustable so that I could use it at an angle like a drafting table, and hook up a lightbox for all of my tracing needs. Done and done. Oh, and I probably need a 27 inch iMac for only $1,999. 
Finally I went on a search for tips on working at home. Real Simple has a list of 5 rules for working at home. They say in one sentence, keep your work area organized, schedule your day, stay off of Facebook, but connect with others during your breaks. Levo League has another good article with ideas on how to self-motivate, over-communicate what you are doing to your manager, and of course emphasizes the importance of exercise. Finally Kristin from Modish and Main wrote a great post about her rules for working at home, and these tips are the ones that resonate with me the most.

VIA//Modish and Main

Getting pretty is an interesting thought. I am not sure if I will do this everyday, or ever working from home. But I can tell you I haven’t work real pants since I quit my jobs, and it feels a little weird (currently wearing husband’s tee shirt and polka dot pajama pants). Even while working, at the farm, and at the home, I was missing the dressing up that I did while going to school. I just felt like I was more myself then, expressing more of my personal style. At my jobs since, I worked places where you really need to dress down for the jobs at hand. My dresses and boots are surely getting lonely in my closet. So, while I may not want to get pretty to hang at my house all day, I will certainly want to take advantage of all my time spent away from the house, if I ever get to do that again.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Jenni Bost

    I think I'd like both a standing and sitting desk… give me options! I do find working standing has been helpful for my back though.

    May 31, 2014 at 5:03 pm
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