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4 Essential Furniture Pieces for Your Studio Workspace

Julian Mitchell

Tour through the building blocks of your personal studio and increase your workflow and comfort level with these furniture choices.

You spend far too many hours in there, so why not make your creative studio space work with you, not against you. No, we’re not going all Feng Shui on you, but not all furniture is alike.

We’ve selected some options for your work space designed to make your creative life even more enjoyable.


1. Stand-up Desk

Designer Sketching
Try a desk that gives you the option to stand. Image via Chaosamran_Studio.

In an unfortunate quote back in 2015, Apple’s Tim Cook said that “sitting is the new cancer.” He was talking about how the Apple Watch reminded him to stand up occasionally. However, there’s a better way to remind you not to sit for too long—take away the chair.

Tim must have deliberated over using that PR quote, but it seems that it’s stuck and struck a chord. If you’re looking for a new desk, you should include sit/stand-up variants as part of your search.

SKARSTA – IKEA $269

SKARSTA Desk
IKEA has quite a few attractive, budget-friendly desk options. Image via IKEA.

We start at the budget end and that means IKEA. Although they have announced price increases, you can still see the SKARSTA as a bargain.

This is a sit/stand desk in white or beige with a metal crank to raise it between 70-120cm. It takes about eighty turns to get to the highest setting, which seems a bit excessive. The crank can be positioned on either side for you lefties. The desk area is 160x80cm.

By 2030, IKEA wants all the materials in their products to be recycled or renewable, so SKARSTA is made from particle and fiberboard with honeycomb paper filling (100% recycled paper, of course). There’s a ten year warrantee, but read the small print for what that covers.

RODULF – IKEA $329

RODULF Desk
The RODULF allows you to electronically adjust from standing to sitting. Image via IKEA.

But, if you’re undecided about whether your back or feet can commit to a stand up desk, there’s the RODULF desk. This desk features an electronic motor to change the height so you can return to a seat without too much embarrassment by physically cranking it in front of your peers. You can adjust the height electronically from 70 to 117 cm.

The desk is slightly smaller than SKARSTA at 140x80cm, but other than that and the motor, it’s basically the same product. You’ll find a cable management net under the table top.

We couldn’t find details of the speed of the motor or the sound level of the noise it makes, or even the maximum weight limit for the load—there’s plenty on sustainability though.

SmartDesk Core – Autonomous $499 (Pricier Options Are Available)

Autonomous SmartDesk Core Bamboo
The Autonomous SmartDesk Core Bamboo option is $200 more than the basic white desk. Image via Autonomous.
The Stress Me Not Desk
The Stress Me Not (dark) option. Image via Autonomous.

The Stress Me Not (dark) option is $799. Other choices include The Happy Desk, Koi Pond, Games United, and The Warrior. All $300 more than the basic Matte White or Black. There are some $599 options, as well.

Move away from the people’s champion of IKEA and you start climbing up the price ladder, yet your choices open up. Autonomous makes their SmartDesk Core and their Pro—both sit/stand desks. These are made of MDF and steel frames with a rise of 122cm from around 74cm.

The Core comes in two sizes with the XL at 170x76cm and the Classic at 135×73.6cm. The XL basic spec comes in at $799. Autonomous claims that the lifting weight is around 116 kilos or 256lbs, which is a lot. They also give their dual motor lift some programmable presets, great for hot “desking.”

But, like IKEA, these desks are self assembly. There’s a thirty day trial period, so if you can’t live with your SmartDesk, just ship it back. Motor speed is 2.3”/sec, but be careful as there’s no collision warning system—perhaps a warning only for the holiday party hijinks.

SmartDesk Pro has a few differences including height to 132cm (52″). You get an upgraded electric dual motor, which is 20dB quieter. There’s load capacity up to 140 Kg (310lbs), natural wood tops, classic finishes, and a seven year warranty—the Core product only has five years (only one year for the top).

The Sway Desk – Ergonofis (Cherry Wood) $1,166

The Sway Desk
The Sway desk with a white base. Image via Ergonofis.

Ergonofis is a Canadian company and they love their solid wood desks—cherry wood, maple, white oak, birch, and walnut. Their Sway desk is a handmade sit/stand product for people who want that natural feeling to their workspace.

It comes in three sizes with mix and match choices for frame sizes. The biggest desk is 76×182.8cm (30”x72”), and you get a ten year guarantee and no argument.

The Sway Desk
Easy to adjust and reportedly quiet. Image via Ergonofis.

The dual motors will raise your desk from 23″ to 49″ at a rate of 1.5″ a second at less than 40dB. There’s an inlay screen with two preset heights (see above), both with one-touch operation. And, this time, you have an anti-collision system with a huge slab of wood—seems like a good idea. Lifting capacity is a huge 300lbs.

Above the Sway in the product line is the Alive desk. This is a statement desk for CEOs as it has thicker wood with “Alive” edges following the natural curve of the wood.

Below Sway is the Shift Desk with a 7/8” thick, soft touch laminate and antimicrobial surface protection. Motors are the same as the other makes, so this desk is the one to go for at around $822. It seems much more modern than solid wood, which just feels old and done.

Flow Board: Sit/Stand Desk Accessory – $99

Flow Board
Place under your desk and keep moving those legs while you work. Image via Autonomous.

No, not the hoverboard from Back to the Future, but a device for those who work at sit/stand desks. The Flow Board promises to exercise muscle groups that lie dormant if you simply stand, and apparently extends your standing ability by 30%.

Autonomous even goes so far as to say that the Flow Board “improves circulation and reduces the risks of blood clots and deep vein thrombosis.” Details that probably need checking before parting with your $99.


2. All Hail the Chair

Now that we’ve agreed that you don’t need chairs anymore, here are our entries for best chairs.

MOLTE – IKEA $14.99

MOLTE Chair
The easily adjustable chair is the perfect partner to your stand-up desk. Image via IKEA.

So, if you’re waiting for the Ergo chairs, don’t worry, they’re coming. In the meantime, we’ve found the perfect chair for the chair-less office. The MOLTE looks like a bar stool, but is the ideal partner for sit/stand desks.

Let’s face it, we’ve all tried to stand up while we work. Tim Cook must know what he’s talking about when he says sitting down is dangerous, right?! It’s a cool idea, but takes time to get used to. So, why not use a cheap chair that can be your respite while you assimilate to standing.

The MOLTE doesn’t swivel but goes up and down from 28″ to 51″, stopping at five heights along the way. It supports your lumbar and itself with a big steel plate. You have to physically take out a steel pin to change the height.

When you finish work, slide the chair down to its lowest height and hide it under your desk where nobody can see it. You could still keep your “best stander in the office” title.

ErgoChair Pro+ – Autonomous from $699.00

Ergo Chair
It doesn’t just look snappy, it breathes and moves for your comfort. Image via Autonomous.

If you like the look of the Autonomous Ergo chair, you’re not alone. This chair has a huge rating on search engines because it’s an aspirational piece of furniture. But, what’s the big deal about Autonomous Ergo?

The draw of Ergo is the way it allows you to move within the chair. Like an exoskeleton, it lets you extend, twist, lean, and stretch. In other words, it has a fantastic support system.

The back of the chair is frameless, but replaced with webbing (woven from thermoplastic elastomer strands) that thickens for areas like the lumbar. It’ll flex enough to support your spine swivels.

You have up to 25˚ of backwards lean and you can lock that down to 11 different positions. Height adjustment is from 17-21″ with armrest height from 7-11″, and the load capacity is 300lbs.

Autonomous gives you a five year warranty, but if you don’t like your Ergo, return it for free in thirty days.

Aeron Ergo Chair/Stool: Herman Miller $1,595

Aeron Chair
Simply put, this chair adjusts with your body. Image via HermanMiller.

Has there ever been a more inviting office chair? The Aeron Stool stamps the ideal posture for its design—chest open, shoulders back, pelvis tilted slightly forward. The Stool originates from the famous Aeron Ergo Chair, but it looks better with its circular pedestal-like foot rest.

You can option anything from quiet-roll casters to pivot arms and bar height. Pellicle material allows body heat to pass through the seat and backrest, and eight latitudinal zones of varying tension provide custom back and seat support.

Find one online and dream of a chair you’ll never leave.


3. The Question of Storage

The minimalist might say that storage is essentially flawed as you just end up finding things to put in it. So, you’ve got to find storage that follows two masters—repository and platform.

If you’re a YouTube creator, you’ll understand what I mean. They often use their storage as set backdrops, so it’s got to look good, as well as filling a storage role.

KALLAX – IKEA $119 ($193 with Inserts)

Wall Organizer
Get organized! Image via IKEA.

I know at least one camera-orientated YouTuber who uses KALLAX to store all his cameras and show them off at the same time—genius move.

This arrangement of KALLAX measures 147cm (57″) square and is 39cm (15″) deep. If you’re going KALLAX, go big! (You actually can go bigger with five squares down and across).

Being IKEA, we’re back to particleboard, fiberboard, acrylic paint, and 100% recycled honeycomb structure paper filling. But, form and function is KALLAX’s calling card, all you have to do is put it together and attach it to the wall. Best of luck.

Husky Tools Heavy-Duty Workbench – Amazon $1,918

Husky Workbench
Everybody needs a workbench and this one is for you. Image via Amazon.

Why would we put a work bench in the storage section for our office? First, take off and discard the pegboard and shelf. Now, you have a beautifully made cache for your A/V gear.

This Husky unit is over-engineered for a simple tool bench and looks cool in a post-industrial kind of way—this is Batman’s storage bench.

For starters, it has a 2200lb. load capacity, it’s made of 19 gauge steel, and the workbench is 24″ deep. The 1.2″ thick, solid wood top is coated with polyurethane, and you can charge your gear with the built-in, six outlet, two USB power center.

There are different sizes of lockable drawers and cupboards. There’s even a side shelf for bottle and can storage, and it all moves on industrial-grade, polypropylene casters (four locking and two non-locking).

But, the best feature—and why it makes our list—is the soft-close, 100lb rated ball bearing drawer slides. They’re like the kind of drawers you’d have in your kitchen. There’s also no self assembly as the unit is packaged and delivered on a wooden palette. All you have to do is put on the casters.

Just be careful where you put it as it’s extremely heavy—400+lbs.


4. Art—Not Just for Art’s Sake

Do you need acoustic panels or bass traps or any audio diffusion products? The answer is probably yes. How about acoustic paneling as art from around $70 per square at 100mm thick. We just thought these would put the final touch to your studio and serve a purpose at the same time.

100mm Acoustic Art Panels – GIK Acoustics (Around $70 Per Tile)

Art Panels
Cool art panels. Image via GIK Acoustics.

GIK Acoustics make some amazing panels for all kinds of audio nasties. These art panels will manage muddy low end sounds and high end harshness you might have in your recording room. They also make portable isolation booths and portable vocal isolation booths (see below).

Isolation Booth
GIK Acoustics’ portable isolation booth. Image via GIK Acoustics.

A few more suggestions for you:

Cover image via Chaosamran_Studio.