My personal journey into building my setup and tips on how to take your setup to the next level.
“How can I make my setup look better?” I get this question a lot. But, my setup didn’t always look the way it does not. I actually went through countless desks, tons of different cases, and a crazy amount of DIY mods to make it look the way it does now. What’s insane to think of, is I actually even had a 5k iMac because I thought it was ‘cool’. Spoiler alert; it wasn’t for me. Truthfully, I think the only thing that has made it from my original setups is my water bottle.
Where am I going with all this? Well, I want to stress that no matter what your setup looks like now, you can always find make new additions to it and really make it your own. With that being said, let’s get into the tips. Each part will contain two tips and things I’ve found worked for me over the years. I’ll try to go into as much detail as I can, but if you still have questions, leave a comment below or DM me on Instagram @alexotos.
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Psst. Don’t feel like reading? Listen to the podcast / voice over below!
Let me preface this section with saying that cables are not a bad thing. In fact, some cables look stunning when done right (i.e custom keyboard cables like the ones you can get from SpaceCables). However, ensuring routing of these cables are well done is another story. I use to be so bad at this part of the setup because you get new things and then you to rewire things and you just get lazy. I discovered it really didn’t have to be that difficult. Using self adhering straps and Velcro cable ties help, but pre-planning your cables is much more effective.
Tip: What do I mean by that? Well, believe it or not I don’t have many ties holding my cables together. What I did was installed / mounted my power bars to the underside of my desk. I’ve then routed all my PC tower cables down behind my desk and then back up into the power, wrapping them with two straps to hold their forms and then mounting them to the underside as well. Thus creating a flow of cables that “vanish” under my desk. The only visible cable under my desk is a single power cord going into the wall. I use the IKEA Signum to hold all my cables in place under my desk! It’s cheap and rocks.
You can always take this to the next level and route cables into the wall or into shelving, but that is a big project.
Tidiness is another big subject and this includes cables. Keeping your desk clean and clear is so important and it’s something most people forget about. I’m guilty of this, too. I get home from my day job, throw my wallet and keys on my desk and then next thing I know, everything suddenly appears.
The take away from this section is simple; plan ahead with cables and keep things organized. Don’t like the way it’s organized now, good! Before you tear it all apart, plan what you want to do with your cables and hide excess cables. Ordering cable ties off amazon is great, but not really an mean to an end.
I’ll admit, this parts title was tough. What I want to convey is don’t fall into the same trap I did years ago when I started my journey into my hobbies of tech. Buying individual parts because they look good may seem great in hindsight, but I’ve resold or regretted so many different items because they just didn’t fit anywhere.
Example: Colour matching is crazy important when buying new items. If you have something like a brown wood desk, which is a warmer colour, then you might not want to toss more warm colours on it. Something neutral like green or blacks really tend to bring out the desk and allow the monitors to not be out-shined. For example I use grey and black potted plants, which more of a de-saturated foliage look to allow the desk to pop. Even my AMP compliments my desk. You want to try not having one single item draw all the your attention.
This same ideology can be applied with parts in the tower or things like lighting, and at the same time you can break this rule if you are trying to have one item be your focal point. Just remember to not make EVERYTHING your focal point. I use to try to make everything pop on my desk and I learned it was just unsightly.
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