My Work From Home Desk Set Up And Mac Hack

In this post, I am sharing how I set up my desk for working from home. I also have a mac hack that will share how I transform my laptop into a desktop and save lots of money.

I won’t lie. I’m struggling to work from home. For years, I worked as part of a larger team. Working on my own has been challenging as I miss the social aspect of working within a team.

However, I have been trying to tweak my home office to feel more comfortable and productive. I am lucky to have a spare bedroom for my office, as I can close the door when I finish. However, the distractions in the house still seem to find me.

Working from home desk set up

My Work From Home Desk Set Up

A few years ago, I used scaffold boards to up-cycle a desk for myself. As I also do crafting, I needed a multifunctional desk. I need a desk that can be used for editing but can turn into a sewing/craft desk. 

I use the IKEA Finnvard table legs for the base of my work from home desk. Using some reclaimed scaffold boards, I created a tabletop. Also, you can raise the Ikea Finnvard table legs. So, you can transform it into a standing desk too. 

I will pop a video below showing how I created the desk. This YouTube video is older, and it was when I was using the box room for my office.

Work from home desk set up
Desk set up and Mac hack

My Mac Hack, How To Turn Your Laptop Into A Desktop

Now, some of you guys may already know this, but I didn’t! Also, it saved me a fortune on buying an iMac. iMacs are expensive! I toyed with the idea of buying one. However, I only needed a larger screen. 

So, I was delighted when I realised I only needed one HDMI cable and a monitor to create a desktop set up. It cost me around €350 to transform my DIY work from home desk set up. 

Here are the items I used for my hack:

My laptop is a 2015 MacBook pro, which is excellent for editing. If you need a fast machine for using Adobe projects, then I highly recommend it. I originally purchased mine back in 2017. Aside from one recent issue, (thanks to Mercury Retrograde) I haven’t had any issues with the MacBook.

If you have a newer MacBook or Ipad model, you will need an HDMI adapter. Like this one here. 

Hacking a MacBook into a desktop with a HDMI cable

My Tips For Minding Yourself When Working From Home

I am slowly getting into a routine of working from home. However, I have had more off days than I care to remember. Some days are better than others. I have had feelings of frustration to fatigue, and brain fog. One thing that has helped has been establishing a routine. I also try to be kinder to myself when I am having a down day. 

Create a schedule and try to stick to it. 

I break my day down into three main tasks. If I have more on my list, I find I get overwhelmed. Achieving my big three each day adds up, and by the end of the week, I have made it through most of my work.

Get Up & Move More

Pre Covid, I worked 9-hour shifts on my feet. So, going from being on my feet to stationary was a shock to my system. I found I was more sluggish when I wasn’t moving as much. I do twenty minutes of yoga in the morning to wake my body up with some movement. Then in the afternoon, I try to get out for an hours walk. 

Using a standing desk can also help with fatigue. I try and get up and move every half hour or so, even if it is to the kitchen to make tea. 

Create Boundaries By Saying No

Now is not the time for people-pleasing. We are in a pandemic, and we need to put our oxygen masks on first. Stick to office hours where you can. Set autoresponders on your inbox for out of hours emails. 

Click here if you want to read more about setting digital boundaries. 

Treat Yourself To A Dedicated Workspace

Are you tired of the kitchen table desk? I get it. We are not all lucky to have dedicated rooms for our home office. However, we can get smart with areas in the home and transform them into mini home offices. 

Treat yourself to a chair that supports your back. A wide desk that supports your wrists, arms and elbows to keep carpal tunnel at bay. Try my Mac hack above if you need a larger screen. 


Yep, if you are lucky enough to have some outdoor space, I highly recommend a bit of gardening. Gardening saved my sanity in 2020. I love taking a break and drinking tea in the garden, checking in each day to see what has grown. Spring is on the way, and brighter evenings are coming. 

Check out this post if you are a beginner gardener. 

Co-Working Space or Hot Desking

With restrictions still in place in Ireland, co-working and hot-desking office units are currently closed. However, this may be an option where you are. Hot desking is when desks are used by different people at different times, on an ad hoc basis. It can give you that social interaction that is missing from working from home. 

Co-Working and Hot-Desking both have their pro’s and cons. You can also use coffee shops to get some work done. (Whenever they have opened again).

Work from home desk set up
My Co Worker loves a stationary delivery
DIY Desk Mouse Mat, and Desk Shelf

Desk DIYs

If you want to see how I created a DIY desk shelf and transformed €1.50 placemats into mousepads, check out my video below. You can also get a glimpse of my desk set up and my mac hack in action. 

Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel and share this post if you found it helpful. Thanks for reading, Chat soon, Catherine. 

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  1. daintydressdiaries
    February 20, 2021 / 9:29 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this Jo, I love filling the bird feeders up and watching them flock to the window x

  2. Jo
    February 19, 2021 / 6:09 pm

    Hi Catherine! Big thumbs up for placing your desk in front of a window! My home desk sits in front of a window that looks out onto my deck to a stand of trees and a field beyond. While I’m on the computer, I love being able to watch a variety of birds come to the bird feeders on my deck. I have fresh water for them in the cups and saucers I made (easy DIY: glue the cups & saucers together, then attach to a metal pole and place in a large planter). I also keep a small pair of binoculars on my desk to watch the crazy antics of the squirrels in the trees. It’s so important to have that natural light as the weather and daylight changes. I truly think it’s helped to keep me sane during these crazy times! For people who don’t have a deck outside their window, may I suggest a hummingbird feeder that sticks to a window with suction cups? It won’t take long for the hummers to visit throughout the day!

    February 19, 2021 / 3:41 pm

    thanks for this link… I had never heard the term before but it is a great concept.

    February 19, 2021 / 2:50 pm

    I absolutely LOVE you mouse pad hack … what a great way to upcycle the pretty pink case you were not using! (And of course it had to be pink!). ANd so glad that Blondie got to benefit from the activity with a brand new box 🙂 Just curious, I have never heard the term “hot desking”; can you explain what that is?
    You’ve created a lovely place…. Inspiring me to fix up my WFH area.
    Thanks for a great post and video

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