I have been looking for some times now to get rid of the bulky all-in-one computer/working desk from my home office. Over the years I found that it provide a working surface area quite small for all the extra hidden doors for the computer tower, CDs/DVDs, drawers and so on. Furthermore, the interesting ones get expensive very quickly.
Conducting a search via Google does gives interesting starting points.
I quickly got interested by simple designs made of a single, large wooden table top. This gives an effective work space that is sizeable. Further, in today digital world, things like the Wi-Fi box and printers do not need to be right by the computer. My basement has suspended panel ceiling, this also means that I can get Cat5e cables anywhere in the house easily. In fact, I have been streaming family photos and videos to my PS3 for many years now.
I finally settle upon a trestle design for the table legs and a a 61″ x 29.5″ (by 1 ” thick) table top both from IKEA. Wood was my material of choice to start with: noble, warn and durable surfaces. I simply protected the surface with a clear varnish. The photograph below give an idea of the final product a settle upon. It gives a very large work surface. The trestles can hold various components. My Drobo backup solution fits under, the iMac 27″ over in the corner.
All cables, except the single power cord for the outlet hidden under the desk and the internet cable, are organized under the desk. As can be seen, I simply use medium size binder clip for quick cable arrangements, an idea found browsing the net. Cables can be removed and put back in the clip as easily as documents!
I also bought the IKEA cable outlet kit, which contains the necessary drilling tool and made three opening for cables at each end of the desk (one is right behind the computer) and one in the middle. Inserting the pass-through cable holder make a very nice finish. For the one in the middle, it is hidden by the rocks I brought back from Étretat, Northern France (see picture below).
I also borrowed kitchen organizing tools from IKEA (love the practical side of the Sweden company), namely the magnetic rails for holding cables and containers for clips and others. The containers of course are also magnetize and fits (rather strongly actually) on the rail.
The home printer, Wi-Fi router and so on sit opposite to the desk.
According to this study, we scientists, do work way to much. So why not make your environment an interesting one (for you) !