My Desk Setup – Where do you sit?

After seeing a few different places where people posted their desk setups (FPN and I figured I would share mine with you. I’ve made several changes to my desk since filming this, and they have worked out really, really well. Check the video below to see the old setup.

Desks don’t have to be crazy-expensive to get the job done or look nice (in my opinion). I sourced the desk from Ikea, and everything came out to well under $100, which certainly isn’t bad considering the amount of desk space I have.

Enjoy the tour, and feel free to post your desks in the comments, I would love to see them!


If you’ve watched the video, you can see that quite a few things have changed. I added a shelf for ink / skulls / Star Wars stuff above the desk which has come in wildly handy. Having all of that stuff off of the desk adds so much more room on my main surface. I now also run my Macbook Pro in clamshell mode, keeping it closed with the video and audio going out to the new 23″ ASUS IPS monitor. The monitor is on an articulated mount that can swing out into the middle of the desk if need be. I have the audio running out of my monitor into a Denon amplifier and two Paradigm Atom v.4s that get the job done.


I added another section to the desk, from Ikea that matches the exisiting desk for around $30. I used to have a giant old red chair that, but that thing got in the way (don’t worry, it’s in storage). The extra table gives me a place to keep more stuff, but not clutter up my main area. It’s nice to have somewhere to be able to put stuff that I’m working on, but don’t want in my face. You can also kind of see my little stationery cabinet underneath the desk.


I need a proper chair. Also, Darth Vader is full of pens and pencils. The clock is very old, very heavy, and unfortunately very broken.


A sweeping shot of where I spend too much time. I’m pretty psyched that it only took me three full months to hang up my 2013 calendar.


The second add-on table is great, but it can collect junk pretty quickly. My extreme surgical cleanliness kind of went out the window when I got my dog, but I try to keep things as un-cluttered as possible.


The fun part. This is where about 75% of my fountain pen stuff lives. I keep most of my inks on the shelf, and some more in the back of that fake writing slope. I say fake, because when it opens, it does not provide a flat surface to write on. It’s more or less a decorative piece that I custom cut some foam for to securely hold some pens. The pen cup is a bit full, and nothing more valuable than a Safari goes in there. All pen cup overflow is transferred to the Darth Vader bank based on usage.

April2013DeskSetup7After living with it for a while,  I think I’m going to cut some new foam. I don’t think I need quite as much space in between pens and I could definitely fit a few more in there with some tighter tolerances. To think, my girlfriend was going to throw this thing out. Keep in mind, I have two four-pen holders that are also both full, and an entire draw full of ink samples, pens I don’t use often, and pen boxes.

Thanks for reading, hopefully you have a bit more insight about me and where 90% of the work that goes into this website happens. If no insight was gained, at least you got to see a whole bunch of pens. I plan on doing a post about pen storage in the future, so look out for that one as well.

Please feel free to leave pictures of your workspace in the comments, I would love to see them!

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13 thoughts on “My Desk Setup – Where do you sit?

  1. Your space looks very cozy and comfortable. I love Ikea desks and hope to convert my craft room space with them someday.

  2. Ed, that’s a really polished video – great job! I particularly like the shot of the scattered pens. It looked sort of random but with enough order to be visually very appealing. What kind of foam did you use for the pen insert and where did you get it? I’ve been thinking of doing something similar with a desk organizer I have but neither my hardware store nor the local craft shop had anything like what I was hoping to find. What is the stuff even called?

    1. Thank you for the kind words!

      Unfortunately, I have no idea what kind of foam it is that I used. I got it from my job, it was from one of the cases that was used to transport surge protectors to trade shows.

      Good news though, I have looked for more of it online and came up with a few things. I eventually want to customize a Pelican Case as a mobile pen case, and they come lined with “pick n pluck” foam that’s divided into 1/2″ cubes that I believe would work quite well for that purpose. I have no experience ordering from them, but you can try here:|1027047|pick%20n%20pluck%20foam||S|e|12733986973&gclid=CJLouJW_w7YCFYYw4AodKBQAZw

      Also, here’s another site worth checking out:

      You can try searching for “foam inserts for cases” on Google, and a lot of useful stuff comes up. I’m sure you can find something to fit your needs between those two sites. Thank you for reading, and good luck with your project! I would love to see how it turns out.

      If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask!

  3. hi Ed,
    Just a trivial bit of constructive criticism I hope you don’t take offense – I’ve taken to storing only completely cleaned/flushed pens flat, while I keep my inked pens upright after a couple decades of bad experience of not doing that.

    One of the items I’ve been lusting after recently are the John Holland reproduction hardwood pen display cabinets commissioned by Howard Edelstein from PA-Amish carpenters – sold by Edelstein directly or from RichardBinder. These display the fountain-pens IMO perfectly – tilted back but upright in order to prevent ink hardening at the nib nib when stored flat like what you’re doing in your drawers.

    1. Thanks for your input, no offense taken!

      I’m not overly worried about the pens drying out, I try to rotate what I use every day so nothing is sitting for an extended period of time with ink in it. Of course your few decades experience is much more than my few years! If and when I recut the foam insert, I may try to add a bit of an incline to keep the ink at the bottom of the pen.

      Those pen cases look both great and functional, if only I had a spare $400 lying around.

  4. I had grey wall, I loved grey walls. Now I don’t have grey walls, I WANT grey walls. 16% grey, camera auto white balance loves it…

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