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Total office renovation

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  #1  
Old 05-04-2008, 06:18 AM
marliz marliz is offline
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Total office renovation

I have no idea which forum this belongs in, but saw a post on lighting so am hoping this is OK.

I have a 13 X 13 room to renovate into an office. I'm planning on a U shaped work area so hopefully (this time) all cables will reach the computer. I would love suggestions as to how to organize my vast clutter of cords so they are still able to be easily plugged in and pulled out.

The south wall has a large window and I will be looking for shades that stop glare yet (hopefully) still allow me a view. Any suggestions here? My work area will be against the wall to the left of the window wall.

My main questions are wall color and lighting. I've read a medium dark gray wall color is best. For someone who suffers from winter depression, that doesn't sound great. What about gray behind the monitors and a neutral white or light gray for the rest? Obviously yellow (my favorite) wouldn't be the best :-(

I now have a ceiling fixture in the center, with three bulbs. Since I'm doing a total remodle, would it be better to have strip lighting behind the two monitors? Or some kind of soft bulb fixture (like solux) in the center of the ceiling?

My carpet is going to be torn out and a solid floor put in so I can more easily move around on my chair. (I am mildly handicapped) I've decided a laminate with some cushion underneath would be best. They have some that look like tile. One that I like is a mixed beige and gray texture look. Hopefully I don't need a gray floor?

I want to do this right. Not only will it be costly, Retouching and creative work (I'm still learning) is my main outlet now. Hopfully I can find lighting that is easy on my eyes (and not depressing) and allow accuracy in color work.

Thank you so much for any advice. I'm excited about the new office. Right now I'm holed up in a mole sized hole and can't wait to change.

Peggy
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2008, 07:18 AM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Re: Total office renovation

Hi, Peggy! Welcome to RetouchPRO!!

What a wonderful opportunity, to customize your computer and working area! I designed my home office when I built my home and have never looked back.

Storage!!! You can never have enough. I built in 6 file drawers complete with hanging file folder sliders under the desk top. That left just enough room for shallow drawers (above each stack of two file drawers) for small items like pens, flash card reader, etc. To the right of my CPU are two book cases built desktop to ceiling with _adjustable_ shelves for printers, books, CD storage, fax machine etc. To the left of my work station I built a small shelf unit (agian adjustable shelves) for the phone, pencil sharpner, scotch tape, phone books etc. (This stack unit is only 12 inches wide and as tall as the space allowed under the cabinet storage over the left leg of my work area. Under the cabinets I have built in pigeon hole storage for sorting mail (every one in the family has a "mailbox" to keep message, car keys or whatever) and strip lighting is built under the cabinets too. Don't forget the often wasted space under the desk. I have shallow shelves there to hold paper reams, and other stationery items.

Colors: I went with a soft rose (about PMS 684) for walls and accented with terracotta and taupe. It's been 25 years and I'm still happy with the color choice.

Floors: I started with vinyl linoleum, but the wheels on my office chair chewed it up and stretched it. I had it all ripped up and went with large 17" tile.

Electrical: Lots and lots of 4-6 plug outlets!!! I put an outlet in the phone stack unit too. I had the electrician put everything from my office outlets on surge protected circuit breakers. I live in Florida and thunderstorms and lightning strikes are common. I had holes drilled in the desktop in strategic and discrete locations to pass wires to the CPU on the floor. I have a small closet behind the right leg of my work station and we drilled a good size hole under the desk to pass networking wires to the router that is in the closet.

Hope this gives you some ideas.
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Old 05-04-2008, 06:42 PM
marliz marliz is offline
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Re: Total office renovation

Swampy, thank you so much for the suggestions. It's been a hard day. My internet went down last night but my husband fixed it this morning by hooking it to a different splitter. Since this is Sunday, nothing is open and I want to start yesterday!

I do want a stack of "flat files" and lots of workspace with knee room because I like to do some sketching etc outside of photoshop.

You don't have some pictures of your setup you could up load, do you? Do you not find the rose influences the photoshop colors? I read so often that walls should be neutral grey (yuk). I was hoping I could use an eggshell white and it wouldn't make too much difference.

My husband is ready to paint, but we need the electrical work done first. I hadn't heard of surge protected cirucit breakers. I use two APC battery backup units (one is left from the time I had two computers and monitors. Now I use my small Macbook to run my scanner and free my Mac Pro for work. And I still use one of the APC units for some peripherals: scanner, laser, large epson pro printer, speakers, modem, router, phone etc. I need to place my cpu where all these cables reach it, but the two APC units at least give me some leeway with power connections. The mass of cords is another story. Ideally the CPU would be in the middle, so I have to figure out how to do that and have one desk/table to keep the two monitors side by side.

I need my computer and power units where I can easily reach them. I tend to switch comonents in the computer occasionally and use several external drives for backup so they need easy access also. (nothing paranoid about me!) I find it difficult to get down to the floor and up again so all this has to be on the desktop and accessible. I have two wall closets in the room with the doors removed and shelves added so the storage situation isn't bad.

Did you start by looking at a showroom with office desks etc set up? I was hoping to find one we could drive to (in the city that is about an hour away). Another thing I am looking for is some kind of photoshop, digital darkroom group around here. It would be so nice to connect with others in person. So far no luck.

Do you have an overhead light (middle of the room?) Or do you depend on local lighting?

Sorry if I've deluged you with questions. Thank you so much for the response, It was encouaging to read that you managed to find a set up you are happy with,
Peggy
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  #4  
Old 05-04-2008, 07:30 PM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Re: Total office renovation

Peggy...

My desk is such a disaster area right now, I'd be embarrassed to post a photo... I've got two huge prepress jobs going with stuff all over the place. LOL

I don't find the rose color distracting at all. I lived with gray at Ft. Knox back in my Army wife days and hated it. It was so depressing in the winter time! I have "local" lighting. My main light source is the lake side windows behind me and a goose neck lamp in the desk area. It's not "professional" lighting at all, but does not seem to interfere with my prepress for magazine quality work flow.

I have an APC battery backup system too, but rely on it primarily to provide enough power to save all work and shut down. The surge protectors at the circuit box have been tripped twice in 25 years and both were probably caused by lightening strikes in the trees next to my house. I just feel "safer" with commercial grade surge protection.

I designed my work center myself using 10 grid graph paper! I "reverse engineered" all the specs and dimensions by designing my storage around my equipment. Okay, the laser printer is 20.75" wide so lets make this bookshelf stack 24" _interior_ wide. (The extra space is great for storing a 3 Ring binder on one side of the printer and my Wacom vertically on the other) Then I gave my "draft" to a cabinet maker and told him that all the shelf widths etc. had to be built using my "interior" sizes. I left it to him to add the 1/2" verticals or what ever was required. Since all the shelving is adjustable with book case strips, through the years I've readjusted them to meet a new printer's height, or fax machine and paper bail.

I can't get down on the floor either, so I have all my stuff plugged into two daisy chained master switches. External hard drives, scanner, second printer etc. on the second switch which stays off till I need something.

Have fun with your renovations!
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  #5  
Old 05-04-2008, 09:49 PM
Jerryb Jerryb is offline
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Re: Total office renovation

Hi,
I think swampy just about says it all but here my 2 cents worth....
1. would stay with the light colors it, it give a room a feeling of being more spacious... that feeling of spacyness is nice...

2. white i stay away from... to boring, too sterile and during winter find it depressing.
3. greys... i worked for years in grey rooms and i hated it!!!! make you irratible.
4. yellow i think can be great for ketchines and dinning rooms but for a office just too much......
5. I find the pastel blues,, cool,, tranquel effects, soothing, enhanse concentration... i never got tired of that color.... although dark blue too much....
6. strong pinks.... that drains your energy... that why they use pink in jail holding rooms... it it drains there more excitable "customers" of engery.. i am not kidding... it really works!! smiling!
7. greens.. possible certain shades of green might work... but i do know i hate pea green... hated that color with a passion..... always reminded me of some one sick!!
8 reds can be very energetic...... and i think it depends on the person on how much red they can stand for a long time...

put in a lot of years in enclosed spaces... the navy tried a lot of different colors and the blues beat out the greys and greens ... the blues worked best for our work environment....

well that my 2 cents worth....

Quote:
Originally Posted by marliz View Post
I have no idea which forum this belongs in, but saw a post on lighting so am hoping this is OK.

I have a 13 X 13 room to renovate into an office. I'm planning on a U shaped work area so hopefully (this time) all cables will reach the computer. I would love suggestions as to how to organize my vast clutter of cords so they are still able to be easily plugged in and pulled out.

The south wall has a large window and I will be looking for shades that stop glare yet (hopefully) still allow me a view. Any suggestions here? My work area will be against the wall to the left of the window wall.

My main questions are wall color and lighting. I've read a medium dark gray wall color is best. For someone who suffers from winter depression, that doesn't sound great. What about gray behind the monitors and a neutral white or light gray for the rest? Obviously yellow (my favorite) wouldn't be the best :-(

I now have a ceiling fixture in the center, with three bulbs. Since I'm doing a total remodle, would it be better to have strip lighting behind the two monitors? Or some kind of soft bulb fixture (like solux) in the center of the ceiling?

My carpet is going to be torn out and a solid floor put in so I can more easily move around on my chair. (I am mildly handicapped) I've decided a laminate with some cushion underneath would be best. They have some that look like tile. One that I like is a mixed beige and gray texture look. Hopefully I don't need a gray floor?

I want to do this right. Not only will it be costly, Retouching and creative work (I'm still learning) is my main outlet now. Hopfully I can find lighting that is easy on my eyes (and not depressing) and allow accuracy in color work.

Thank you so much for any advice. I'm excited about the new office. Right now I'm holed up in a mole sized hole and can't wait to change.

Peggy
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  #6  
Old 05-05-2008, 10:22 PM
marliz marliz is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 22
Re: Total office renovation

Just got back online. I used to plan things with graph paper, but my eyes aren't what they used to be. Tried setting up a 13X15 size graph page in Photoshop (office size with closets, feet translated to inches) but didn't have much luck. Then I found a piece of foam core board and started marking it off with a ruler, thinking I could plan something out on that. Trouble is my brain is napping on me. Will leave it until tomorrow and scout the net for gadgets like keyboard drawers and cord organizers.

Thank you so much for the color suggestions. I'm not a pro and restful colors are more important than perfect. Anyhow, the work I do is for my family and a few friends and sometimes myself, so it's not like anyone can complain about the price!

I've got a LOT of photos to retouch, and some things I want to play with. Would like so much to get settled and have time to participate in some of the board challenges. Can't wait until this office thing is settled.

Peggy
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