Furniture fit for a writer

In most areas, I’m a thrifty guy. For example, I drive a Saturn rather than, say, a BMW, and I like to keep a car for 10 years before trading it in. My house is almost paid for, and I have no plans to buy a bigger or better one.

But there’s one area where I unapologetically splurge: office furniture, which might also be called “writing furniture.” I figure that if I spend 8+ hours a day sitting in my office but only 40 minutes a day sitting in my car, it makes more sense to splurge on my office furniture than it does to splurge on a car. If that idea makes sense to you, and if you haven’t spent enough care and dollars on your office furniture, then I have a couple of recommendations.

For your chair, it’s hard to go wrong with this classic: the Aeron by Herman Miller. I bought mine several years ago, and have never regretted the purchase. This chair adjusts more ways than any other chair I’ve ever seen. The mesh seat and back keep you cool and comfortable year-round. If you buy one, I recommend that you spring for the optional PostureFit lumbar support. And because you’re sitting in this chair 8 hours a day, treat yourself to the leather armrests.  They’re a bit pricey, but considering the amount of time your elbows will rest on these things, you’ll get your money’s worth. (If you already own an Aeron, think about retro-fitting it with the PostureFit and the leather armrests.)

For your computer, I recommend a Biomorph desk. These things are to computer desks what the Aeron is to office chairs: they adjust more ways than any other furniture I’ve ever seen. I have the Biomorph Personal desk. Years ago I saw one in Playboy magazine, and knew I had to have it. As you can see in the picture, it’s a split level desk: one level for your keyboard, the other for your monitor. Both levels are height-adjustable. The keyboard level is big enough for my phone, my coffee cup, and any book, paper, or transcript I may be working from. The monitor level is big enough for my CPU, a little CD rack, a little stereo, a plant, a few books that I like to keep within arm’s reach, and a Dictaphone (rarely used).

Years ago, when I worked with cheap furniture, I often got severe neck aches. Since I got this stuff, my work posture is greatly improved, because instead of me adjusting to the furniture, the furniture adjusts to me. Result: no more neck aches — another thing that makes this expensive furniture worth the money.