How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable

Looking for some easy ways to make your desk more comfortable? These easy tips will help you create a workspace you’ll want to work in.

How to make your desk more comfortable | Looking for some easy ways to make your desk more comfortable? Click here to find some tips that will have you working comfortably in no time.
How to make your desk more comfortable

If you’ve been following along with me lately, you know that I have been trying to get the work area of my home office organized (if you missed them, you can find my fabric organizing projects here)…doing all the things that I didn’t have time to do when I made over the room as part of the One Room Challenge back in the spring.

For me, organizing one part of a room often leads to side projects (while I’m there I figure I should tackle any other things in the room that are bothering me)…and this room is no different.  There were a few other things in the room that needed to be re-arranged or re-organized and I was planning on getting all of that done this week.  And then I started on the first change, which seemed like a very small, easy thing to do so I thought it would be a quick thing to check off the list.

But it didn’t quite turn out that way…read on to find out how organizing my office turned into a mini den makeover (yes, a completely different room!), and the lessons I learned on how to make your desk more comfortable.

How Office Organizing Turned Into A Den Makeover

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The gold chair in the office | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
The gold chair in the office

So…the easy thing I was going to check off my list?  I needed to swap out the chair I was using for desk chair.  This large antique chair is actually comfortable to sit in, but when you sit at a desk for more than 8 hours a day like I do, you really need a proper, ergonomic desk chair.  I kind of knew when I bought it, that this beautiful gold-painted antique Bergère chair wasn’t going to cut it as a “sit at the computer for most of the day chair”.  But I loved it, so I bought it any way.

The work table and chair | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
The work table and chair

That is part of the reason why I had also purchased this very nice desk chair when I was re-doing the room.  I originally placed it at the work table rather than my desk, but thought I might have to swap the two.    So this was my easy fix…just swap the chairs.  Desk chair in office problem was solved!  And if that was the end of the story, this would be a very short post!

As you might have guessed, however, this caused another problem.  I am often doing rather messy things at my work table, like gluing and painting.  And I am not the world’s neatest glue-r (is that a word?) and painter. In other words, it is likely at some point that glue or paint will end up on the chair.  And I don’t really want to take a chance of messing up the velvet upholstery on my rather expensive antique chair.

Home office makeover chair | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
Home office makeover chair

I really don’t have the room (or the need) for another sitting chair in my office (although I did try!)…so what to do with the chair?  And that’s where the den / library mini makeover comes in.

The Problem With The Den

The desk | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
The desk

You may remember back at the beginning of the year I did a makeover of my den / library (if you missed it, you can see it here).  I painted the whole room black, installed faux-tin ceiling tiles, added gold wallpaper panels, a gold DIY ceiling medallion, installed a wall of books and bought a new desk.

This room was supposed to be where I went to surf the net, watch TV and read when I wasn’t working in my home office.

The bookshelves in the den | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
The bookshelves in the den

The problem is that even though I loved everything in that room, the only time I ever went in there was to find a book or pick up something I had printed.  I’m a big believer in using every room in the house (if you’re paying for it to be there, then you might as well use it!)  So I know if I’m not using a room, there’s a problem with it.  Either it doesn’t function well or it feels uncomfortable.

The black sofa is not very comfortable | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
The black sofa is not very comfortable

In this case, it was a bit of both.  The sofa that I had in the room wasn’t very comfortable, the room felt too crowded, and the TV was too high for comfortable viewing.  All of that meant, there wasn’t any reason for me to choose to be in this room over some other room in the house.  So this room didn’t get used.

Bringing in the gold chair was just the excuse I needed to fix those issues and turn this back into a functional space…and learn some lessons on how to make your desk more comfortable…

Lesson 1: A Desk Needs a Comfortable Chair

A comfortable chair is a must
A comfortable chair is a must

This may seem really obvious, but in order to be functional a desk needs a comfortable chair (not a sofa).  Although my gold chair wasn’t suitable for all-day desk seating, it works quite well for the shorter periods of time that I normally spend sitting at my library desk.  (As I said above, for a work-from-home desk you really need an ergonomic office chair that reclines and can be adjusted for height.)

A big part of the problem with my library was caused by trying to use a sofa as the seating for the desk.  In order to leave enough room in front of the sofa to sit down, the desk is too far away to comfortably reach a keyboard or mouse.  If you pull the desk in closer, it makes for a really tight squeeze trying to get into the sofa.  Either way, it doesn’t really work.

A chair that can be pushed all the way in saves space | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
A chair that can be pushed all the way in saves space

Because you can pull a chair out and position it where you need it easily, a chair really is necessary for comfortable desk seating.  (And to be specific, it needs to be a move-able chair, not a large club chair.)  It’s helpful if it can also be pushed all the way in when it’s not in use (an extra space-saving bonus).

Lesson 2: A Desk Needs a View

Try not to have the desk face a wall | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
Try not to have the desk face a wall

Okay…the original view from my desk wasn’t that bad.  It was looking out through the door of the room (rather than at a wall).  And I could see out the window if I turned my head.

So, originally, I didn’t change the position of the desk because of the view.  I changed it because I wanted to add another function to the room (to make sure I had a reason to go in there!).  I wanted to be able to exercise, which means having enough open floor space to lie down on a mat.  Not happening with the desk in the middle of the floor!

A bird at the birdbath
A bird at the birdbath

That’s how the desk ended up facing the window.  Now that it’s there, I can’t imagine it being any other way.  I love being able to look up and see the birds at my bird bath in the front yard.

There is enough room behind the chair to exercise | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
There is enough room behind the chair to exercise

And when the chair is pushed in, there is enough room behind it to exercise.

Lesson 3: A Wall Hides the Cords

The laptop cords are mostly hidden behind the desk | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
The laptop cords are mostly hidden behind the desk

Another bonus of having the desk against the wall where the window is?  All of the cords from the computer can be hidden behind the desk…something that is very difficult to do when the desk is in the middle of the room.

Lesson 4: Cut The Screen Reflection

The computer screen facing away from the window reduces glare
The computer screen facing away from the window reduces glare

Yet another benefit of facing the desk towards the window…the computer screen is facing away from the window, which means no annoying light reflection to make it hard to read.

Blinds help to control how much light comes in | How To Make Your Desk More Comfortable
Blinds help to control how much light comes in

Blinds also help with this.  My window faces East and gets a lot of sun in the morning…adjusting the blinds lets me block some of the light without blocking all of the view.

Lesson 5: Get The Right Height For the Keyboard and Mouse

Putting the keyboard and mouse in the drawers keeps them at a comfortable height | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
Putting the keyboard and mouse in the drawers keeps them at a comfortable height

To really be comfortable, the keyboard and mouse need to be at the right height.  Everyone is a little different in what they consider to be comfortable, but for me typing at desk level is a little too high.

Luckily this desk has 2 drawers on the front of it.  By using a wireless mouse and keyboard placed in the drawer, I was able to get just the right height for me.

The drawers are perfect for storing a laptop and remotes | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
The drawers are perfect for storing a laptop and remotes

The extra space in the drawer is just big enough to fit the laptop when it’s not in use.

Lesson 6: A Desk Needs A Lamp

A lamp on the desk is convenient | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
A lamp on the desk is convenient

While this room has a fair amount of light in it, a lamp on the desk is very convenient.  If it starts to get dark, you can just flip the switch without having to get up.  To me, making things easier also makes working there more comfortable.

Since I still have a landline, having a phone on the desk falls into the same category.  It’s just easier not to have to get up to answer it.

Lesson 7:  Make the Space Yours

The den after the mini makeover | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
The den after the mini makeover

Making the room in general feel comfortable makes the work area also feel comfortable. Fortunately, I had already done a lot of these steps in the original makeover.  I obviously kept the paint color, the wall panels, the ceiling and the book cases.

I swapped out the uncomfortable sofa for a smaller love seat that is much easier to sit on!

Using a bar cart as an end table makes it easy to get at the books | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
Bar cart as end table

Using a mirrored bar cart on wheels as the end table makes it easier to get at the books on those bottom shelves.

The rug and sofia in the den | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
The rug and sofa in the den

I added a rug that I already owned which fits perfectly in the room.

A large vase with flowers adds color in the corner (even if they are fake) | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
A large vase with flowers

Some faux flowers in a blue and white vase add a little color to the color.  I know most people would prefer to have a live plant…but since I can’t seem to keep house plants alive, decent quality faux flowers are my compromise.

The corner by the door is pretty much the same | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
The corner by the door is pretty much the same

This leopard print chair was already in the room, and provides extra seating.

A black TV stand helps to camouflage the electronics | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
A black TV stand helps to camouflage the electronics

Finally I installed a black TV stand that puts the TV at the perfect height for watching exercise tapes, and blends in so well with the wall, you don’t notice all of the cords.  Also, because it is on the same wall as the door to the room, you don’t see it until you turn around to sit on the couch…so it doesn’t interfere too much with the look of the room.

The den after the mini makeover | How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable
The den after the mini makeover

Now I am hoping I love the room so much that it will make me want to do those exercises!!

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