Downsizing and computers
August 18, 2018 9:08 PM   Subscribe

My husband and I'll have to downside to a 1-bedroom (500-700 square feet) if we want to buy within the urban core. We can probably do it with some vicious purging... but have no idea how to handle our two (mine, his) two-monitor desktop computer setups. We're really not into getting rid of them. Any thoughts on how to do this?

"Why not get rid of them?"
1) We both work in tech and take work home. Working on a one-monitor setup sucks.
2) I game (often), he games (less often), so I definitely want to keep my desktop.
3) We're both just used to two-monitor setups at this point. For everything. We could try switching to one ultra-high-res monitor for a similar effect.

Bonus problems: beds, sounds, and lights.
1) I wake up way, way earlier than him. 3+ hours earlier. We theoretically go to bed at the same time, but he might want to stay up later sometimes without keeping me up.
2) We both like to do noisy things on our computers, aaand...
3) I get headaches from extended headphone use.
4) Even with headphones, computers produce light that will keep the other person up.
posted by flibbertigibbet to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You don't mention anything about the floorplan, but maybe two corner desks pushed together if you're talking about saving space:

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     \          |          /
       \        |        /
         \      |      /
           \    |    /
             \  |  /
               \ /
Alternately, the standard desk top size is 30"x60", so sitting at opposite ends could give you both a 30"x30" square to play with, and you could get keyboard trays and other space-saving usability add-ons. Or you could take that desktop and sit on opposite sides and opposite ends:
|                 |
|                 |
|                 |
This is also assuming you already have single-pole clamp or drill monitor stands. If not, get a couple of those.
posted by rhizome at 9:24 PM on August 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

No mention of floorplan as we're thinking of moving sometime in the next year and only price-checking now (which is why we're pretty sure a one-bedroom is in our future). It's really an "is this insane to even consider?!" moment.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 9:38 PM on August 18, 2018

Keep both setups out of the bedroom. I'd get a computer desk armoire for each of you (you may even want to get them made custom to suit your specific needs and aesthetics.) That way, you can both have 2 monitors, but you can always close up the workspace so that it's not a constant focal point of the living space.
posted by quince at 9:45 PM on August 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

We simply turned our lounge room into a computer room. We spend more time on our computers than on our couch watching TV so it was an easy choice for us, we get a lot of second glances but of we want to watch a movie we can watch it on a laptop on the bed. Of course if you like to watch TV as well this might not work for you,. Just remember spaces don't have to be what they're supposed to be. Also look into wall mounted monitors, narrow desks & smaller office chairs than the big high back chairs most gamers I know (including me have) get a chair that can actually push under the desk to reduce visual clutter in a small space.
posted by wwax at 9:48 PM on August 18, 2018 [7 favorites]

I have a sub-500-sq-ft apartment. I could do this if I got rid of either my TV or two bookshelves. You'll probably have 3 usable walls in the living room, so that's two desks and a couch.

I agree that both desks should be in the living room. The problem then will be distracting noise while you're both working. No real way to deal with that besides headphones. Maybe have negotiated set gaming times, so the non-gaming person can plan to be doing something elsewhere?
posted by praemunire at 10:57 PM on August 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

I live in a ~700 sq. ft. 1br apartment with my SO's dual-monitor setup and my triple-monitor setup, with mine in the bedroom and theirs in the living room. It's certainly a consideration when looking at floorplans, but it's definitely doable. If you can downsize to smaller desks, possibly using monitor arms with VESA mounts instead of the built-in stands, this seems like something achievable.
posted by Aleyn at 2:23 AM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

Friends who lived in a 1 bed made a custom desk along one wall of the lounge - not that fancy, just mdf sheets on battens attached to the wall with legs, then wall mounted monitors. Built in storage is a much more efficient use of space than freestanding as well.
posted by JonB at 2:42 AM on August 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

OK, I feel better about this. This is doable. Thanks, guys.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 5:17 AM on August 19, 2018

Just want to put in a plug for your idea of "one ultra-high-res monitor". I switched to a single curved 3440x1440 monitor awhile back and like it way more than I ever did the dual monitors. It takes up less space, sure. But most importantly stuff just works better. There's no problem with having a window straddling two screens. There's no big dividing line in the middle of my vision. It's great.
posted by Nelson at 9:35 AM on August 19, 2018

Also while moving consider your ceiling height. Perhaps you find a place that means you sleep in a loft in the sitting-room and use the “bedroom” as a computer-den/library, etc
posted by Iteki at 7:27 PM on August 19, 2018

Get some noise-canceling headphones that are also comfortable and keep the volume dialed down. You could even get the non-electronic version that drummers wear, although they are a bit heavy.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:13 AM on August 20, 2018

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