Basement RGB Setup in Ontario, Canada

“Ensure that your setup is functional and works for you before worrying about how it looks”

Trish Ramos
Design SetupIKEA SetupDesk ToursRGB Setup

Name: Conor Butkovic

Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Occupation: Graphic Designer

Room size: ~18,6 m² (200 ft²)

Cost of the setup: ~$8,8K (includes everything)

Social media: Instagram

Hey, Conor! Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m a recent college graduate who studied graphic design. Currently, I’m available for both freelance and in-house work.

To be honest, it was somewhat of an accident that I became a designer. After high school, I struggled to figure out what I wanted to do, and “graphic design” just stood out to me.

In the end, I’m thrilled I chose this career path because it surrounds me with creativity and technology.

Out of these two passions, I started an Instagram account dedicated to my desk setup and technology. I’ve been posting tech-related content every day since January 2021.

In the absence of natural light, Conor brightened up his basement with wall panels, light bars and lamps
In the absence of natural light, Conor brightened up his basement with wall panels, light bars and lamps. Strategically placed sources of light made the room less dark and dingy

When I moved into my parents’ house basement, I realised I needed a proper desk setup that would’ve served me through the last year of school and my early career.

As soon as I finished the first version of this setup, I posted a story on Instagram. After receiving tons of positive feedback from my friends, I decided to share the photo on my feed.

From there on, I started to grow my Instagram page and take its content seriously.

Can you describe your home setup?

Item Model
Monitor LG 32UN880-B
Mouse Logitech MX Master 3S
Keyboard Apple Magic Keyboard, Keychron K3
Headphones Sony
Speakers Kanto YU6
Tablet iPad Pro
Light panels Nanoleaf

My workstation is in my bedroom. And the bedroom is located in the basement of my parents’ house.

The reason I chose this area for my WFH setup is that it is the farthest from my bed and couch. That makes it easier to separate work and relaxation.

IKEA desk setup with a minimal vibe
Conor purchased his desk from IKEA. “It‘s a classic YouTube-style setup with ALEX drawer units and a LINNMON tabletop cut to 150×75 cm”

The main challenge I faced was balancing study hours with time for content creation.

It turned out to be a lot more work than I anticipated. However, even though it felt like a full-time job, I’m glad I didn’t give up.

The key features of my setup are the LG 32″ UltraFine monitor, the Kanto YU6 speakers, and the light panels from Nanoleaf. These three items stand out the most to my guests and followers. I get lots of questions about them!

Together, they make a dream team. LG UltraFine monitors are among the best in their price range, Kanto YU 6 studio speakers deliver fantastic sound quality, and Nanoleaf panels add a sleek final touch to my setup.

Home office plants
House plants help to bring life and personality into any space, making a dark room feel brighter and airer

I wish I had more natural light in my space.

I only have a tiny window in my basement room that lets the light in. In my experience, white lighting is the best way to overcome this issue.

I filled my space with pot lights, as well as lamps, wall panels, and light bars to ensure a bright atmosphere.

All of my light fixtures are compatible with HomeKit [Smart-home software framework by Apple], so I can turn my space into a truly smart room.

Often, Conor uses his iPad Pro as a laptop replacement
Often, Conor uses an iPad Pro as a laptop replacement. “I always swap my laptop for the iPad when I travel or while on the go”

Currently, I’m using my laptop, while meekly waiting to upgrade the setup with a Silicon Mac Pro.

Another aspect of my space I’d like to improve is giving it a more “studio” feel to help juggle all my responsibilities.

Working from my bedroom presents quite a few challenges when I need to focus on one particular task. Since my room is full of distractions, I would enjoy expanding it so I can separate work from play.

7 Tips for Creating a Bedroom Home Office
Here’s what you can do to separate work from snoozing.

What’s your favourite item on your desk?

Right there on my desk, I have a little pirate ship that I like.

This is a replica of the Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean. I bought this ship at Disney World when I was a kid since I was a huge fan of the film franchise.

The Black Pearl ship from the Pirates of the Caribbean film series
Black Pearl’s black hull and sails easily distinguish it from other ships in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. Captained by Captain Jack Sparrow, she is said to be “nigh uncatchable”

What does your typical day look like?

A typical day begins around 6 am.

Listening to a podcast while walking my dog always starts it off. My favourite show at the moment is AppStories, a tech-related podcast run by social media creators.

Then, I make my first coffee of the day. I try to stay away from my phone as much as possible.

Conor enjoys his coffee at his maker station at home
“There’s no better combo than coffee and technology,” says Conor

Having said that, I do enjoy checking Instagram every morning to stay connected with fellow creators.

When I am not busy with client jobs, I work on my Instagram page. Rather than plan this content thoroughly, I tend to post spontaneously.

When an idea pops into my head, I jot it down to try later.

Priority is usually sorted by the due date and project size. If the task is small, I try to get it done right away and leave the larger ones for the afternoon.

On average, I spend around eight hours a day at my setup. When I want to switch things up, I go outside or swing by a coffee shop.

Conor is planning on building another maker station right behind his current setup
Conor is planning on building another maker station right behind his current setup. “That will be my future project,” he says

It’s been a year and a half since I started working from home.

One day, I will go to an office to see how it feels.

But for now, I want to make sure my work area is the best it can be for my health and productivity.

How to tackle your WFH routine
35 simple hacks that actually work

Your tips for working from home?

You should ensure that your setup is functional and works for you before worrying about how it looks.

What might work for others may not work for you, and that’s perfectly fine.

It is important to have a well-balanced daily routine if you want to maintain a strict yet healthy discipline.

Music or background noise that keeps distractions to a minimum can also help boost productivity. At least, it does work for me!

We’re a reader-supported publication. This article might contain affiliate links. It means we may receive a commission if you click a link and buy a product that our maker has recommended. The interview was done independently.

Design SetupIKEA SetupDesk ToursRGB Setup