Dark Wall WFH Setup in San Diego, US

“My setup is minimal yet functional”

Trish Ramos
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Name: Lizz Dimaano

Location: San Diego, California, United States

Occupation: Lawyer

Room size: 28 m² (301 ft²)

Cost of the setup: ~$1,2K (not including the 16″ MacBook Pro and a few gifted items)

Social media: Instagram, YouTube

Hey, Lizz! Tell us a bit about yourself

Hello! My name is Lizz, I’m a lawyer by day and a content creator by night.

I currently live in San Diego, California with my partner and two cats. I am a newly admitted lawyer practising employment and personal injury law.

Due to the pandemic, I started my career as an attorney working from home. So when I began to plan my work from home setup, I knew it was important to create a productive space I would look forward to being in every day.

Luckily, I have been a fan of all-things tech since I was a kid, so creating a WFH island was an exciting task for me.

The black wall is a prominent feature of Lizz's room
The black wall is a prominent feature of Lizz's room — it makes her setup pop out. Depending on the mood, Lizz uses her laptop as a second monitor or just the Samsung monitor on its own

Besides working from home, I enjoy riding my bike to the beach, attending spin classes, and discovering new music. If I’m not working or working out, I’m probably scrolling through Spotify to find some new tunes.

I am also a huge fan of all things Apple. Surprising, right? I have always enjoyed watching Apple’s keynote events where they announce new products. There’s just something special about watching the event and being excited to see new technology!

Since I am still a fairly new content creator, I have been focused on my Instagram page. However, I hope to focus on a YouTube channel in the future.

If you’re reading this and have any good tips for an aspiring YouTube creator, please reach out to me! I’m always happy to meet new people and get new ideas or tips for content creation.

Can you describe your home setup?

Item Model
Monitor Samsung 28″ UR55
Monitor light bar BenQ
Monitor mount VIVO Desk Mount
Laptop MacBook Pro
Mouse Logitech MX Anywhere, Apple Magic Trackpad
Keyboard Apple Magic Keyboard
Headphones Apple AirPods Pro
Charging dock Apple MagSafe Charger, Balolo Mag Puck
Desk Autonomous Standing Desk

My WFH setup is minimal yet functional.

Like I previously mentioned, when the pandemic hit, I was forced to start my career working from home. I spent hours researching how to create a good workspace.

Even after all of my research, the only thing that helped to create my perfect workspace was trial and error.

During the first few months of creating my workspace, I constantly rearranged things.

Even today, I still find myself rearranging the position of my monitor or laptop.

The main thing I struggled with when designing my setup was lighting. Although my room gets some natural light, my desk always seemed to feel dark. Even with a floor lamp illuminating the room, it just wasn’t enough light to work properly.

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To solve this problem, I got the BenQ ScreenBar plus.

At first, I was sceptical about the screen bar as I didn’t think it’d make much of a difference. Boy, was I wrong! The screen bar solved my lighting problems and helped reduce my eye strain immediately.

Lizz works from eight to ten hours a day, so good lighting is critical to her productivity. She can easily change the brightness and colour temperature at any time using the desktop dial.
Lizz works from eight to ten hours a day, so good lighting is critical to her productivity. She can easily change the brightness and colour temperature at any time using the desktop dial. “I am so grateful to have added the screen bar to my setup”

Another interesting thing about my setup is that I used to have two 28″ monitors side by side.

I thought having two large monitors would help with my productivity, but instead, it just gave me neck problems.

As much as I enjoyed having the screen space with the two monitors, I couldn’t handle the constant neck pain that resulted from looking back and forth. Now, I'm just using my MacBook Pro screen as a second monitor for my less important apps while working.

My desk is from Autonomous and it is an automated standing desk.

It has four programmable settings so I can easily adjust from the sitting to the standing position without having to calculate the settings each time.

What I love most about the standing desk is that I am able to work while standing which helps my back and keeps me from sitting all day long.

Since I work from home over 40 hours a week, sitting all day can make me feel lazy.

Changing up how I work by simply standing has also helped my productivity.

Overall, my setup has worked well for me, but I am always looking to improve. I think the next thing I’ll add is an ergonomic mouse. Although I love the gestures on the Magic Trackpad, my carpal tunnel syndrome has been acting up.

I definitely think adding a better mouse will help with my productivity and save my wrists!

What’s your favourite item on your desk?

My favourite item on my desk is the Grovemade desk shelf. Not only is it beautiful, but it is also super functional.

I love that it frees up space on my desk and allows me to store my essential work items on the sides and underneath the shelf.

I first discovered Grovemade when I started looking for desk setup inspiration on Instagram. For months, I scrolled through various desk setups and products to start creating my personal setup.

Every time I saw the desk shelf, I fell more and more in love with it.

Functional and beautiful desk shelf
Lizz admits that the desk shelf turned out to be pretty pricey for her. However, she chose to treat herself no matter the cost and invested an additional $220 in her setup

The Grovemade desk shelf did not disappoint! When I unpackaged the product I was so happy to see the amazing quality of the wood.

I also loved how it freed up space on my desk. I can now put items underneath the shelf and in the little compartments on the side.

The added wood hue also pairs perfectly with my white desk and adds a pop of colour, especially when I bring in some plants.

A little plant can liven up your space and provide a comforting sense of calm
A little plant can liven up your space and provide a comforting sense of calm

The wooden keyboard tray is also from Grovemade.

It is a nice accessory that elevates the magic keyboard and eases the strain on my wrists while I'm typing. I also really like that the wood matches perfectly with my desk shelf.

I love my Grovemade desk mat made out of merino wool! It is so soft and, most importantly, it prevents my desk from being scratched.

Because of the wool material, my wrists and arms don't get as sweaty after a long day of work.

The little diamond thing in the desk tray is a small paper clip. Lizz says it's a cute accessory she has in case she needs to bundle some paperwork together.
The little diamond thing in the desk tray is a small paper clip. Lizz says it's a cute accessory she has in case she needs to bundle some paperwork together. “I sometimes use the paperclip for my journal too”

What does your typical day look like?

I start my morning with a cup of coffee and breakfast, specifically some scrambled eggs and a hashbrown from Trader Joe’s.

It has been my routine for over a year now and it helps get my day started on a positive note.

After my breakfast, I get ready and travel to the opposite side of my apartment to start work.

I usually work about 8-10 hours per day and I like to take a mid-morning and mid-afternoon coffee break around 10 am and 2 pm. By those times, I am in need of a brain break and mood boost.

Dark wall home office in San Diego, US
Since the pandemic, Lizz has been working from home, so travelling to the office has never been easier for her

I generally do not switch workspaces throughout the day. I like to keep my work and rest spaces separate so I can fully relax in the latter.

Since I spend a large chunk of the day working, I tend to use my standing desk to get some standing time in. This has helped ease my back pain as well as altered my perspective. I definitely like having a standing desk to change things up!

After work, I usually go to a spin class to decompress. Sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to work out after a long day of work, but I love spin classes, so I make the time to go. Plus, the only bad workout is the one you didn’t do!

When it comes to prioritising my day job and content creation, I usually try to plan and create content on the weekends

After a long day of work, I am typically not inspired to create content. However, on days when I am feeling inspired, I do try to take advantage of this inspiration and natural lighting in my apartment. So I sometimes take a few photos during my lunch break to capture shots with natural light.

I have been working from home for the past year and I am honestly not sure when I’ll go back to the office.

Part of me craves more human interaction and wants to go back into the office. However, the other part of me would rather stay working from home because I invested so much time, energy, and money into creating this perfect workspace.

No matter what happens, I know I’ll always have my personal workspace. If I need to create a new workspace in the future, I’ll be excited to start the creative process all over again!

Your tips for working from home?

I would highly recommend creating a workspace that is separate from your rest/relax space.

However, if your WFH setup is in your bedroom, try to carve out a specific place in the room that is away from your bed. This will allow you to differentiate between “work mode” and “relaxation mode”.

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I also recommend keeping to-do lists. Sometimes working from home can be distracting. This might be because of the other people living in your home or maybe your pets or neighbours.

Distractions can lead to less productivity, so I find that creating daily to-do lists helps me stay on track. Also, handwriting my to-lists and keeping them visible while I work constantly reminds me of what needs to be done for the day.

My last tip is to remember to get up, stand and stretch every hour or so. We often get so caught up in the work that we forget to get up and move.

I am definitely guilty of being glued to my chair when I am working. Thankfully, I have my Apple Watch to remind me to stand every hour.

If you don’t have something to remind you to get up and stand throughout the day, try writing it on your to-do list.

It’s good to get your eyes off the screen and focus on something else for a few minutes.

I have found that getting up to stretch even just for a minute, helps boost my mood and productivity.

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