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Name: Mike Overton
Location: Woking, United Kingdom
Occupation: Digital Designer
Room size: 11 m² (118 ft²)
Cost of setup: ~£7K ($9K)
Hello! Tell us a bit about yourself
Hey there, I’m Mike!
I’ve been around the block in the digital design world for more than ten years.
Right now, I’m doing my thing at a Foresight Sports Europe — a Golf Technology Company, focusing on Web/Wordpress and Digital Design.
Before this gig, I did some time at iStore, an Apple Premium Reseller. I started as a store manager and then shifted gears into the marketing team, where I honed my skills in web and digital design.
Oh, and on the side, I run my own design and branding agency called Overton Design.
Early last year, I got into recreating some awesome Star Trek interfaces.
That caught the eye of Dave Blass, the production designer for Star Trek Picard, and Andrew Jarvis, the lead FUI Designer of the show.
Now, I’m regularly creating and sharing LCARS wallpapers every week, and I handle custom design work too. You can see it all on my website.
After a few months of doing these wallpapers, Seosamah Hurley & Sean Ferrick from the CloneStar Podcast noticed my work and asked me to join in.
It’s expanded into a full rebrand, and now I handle all the graphics, video production, and even host the podcast!
It’s a total dream gig for me.
Take us through your setup
|Amazon Basics Monitor Arm
|MacBook Pro M1 Max 32GB, 1TB SSD
|Edifier Luna, 2× HomePods
|Logitech MX Master 3
|Secretlab TITAN Evo XL
|DeltaHub Felt Mat
|DeltaHub Carpio 2.0
|iPhone 13 Pro
|Synology NAS, 2× 16TB IronWolf Pro Drives
|Hisense 43-inch 4K & Apple TV 4K
My desk setup has been evolving for about five years now.
But things have come a long way since then.
When COVID-19 hit, I went from working full-time in central London to remote work at iStore.
Living in a cramped one-bed flat with my partner on furlough was tough.
He’d be gaming and watching TV on the sofa while I struggled to work at my tiny desk in the living room corner.
We realised we needed more space, so we moved to a two-bed flat in 2021, especially since my current job is remote.
I’m a huge Apple and Star Trek fan, and most of my gear was in storage due to the small space.
So, when we moved, I revamped the setup to make it comfy for my eight-hour workdays.
We repurposed our living room furniture for the office, cutting costs.
Everything’s smart in my place, from lighting to heating, and we use HomePods as voice assistants.
I upgraded my desk setup, connecting extra LINNMON desks for a two-meter long workspace.
Recently, I switched to a kitchen worktop, which has been working fine.
For video calls and podcasts, I needed a reliable webcam, so I repurpose my old iPhone 13 Pro with a MagSafe mount.
There’s also a Fifine A8 Microphone for podcast recordings, though I might upgrade it and add an arm in the future.
As for decor, my shelves proudly display my Eaglemoss starships collection, while my custom-designed Star Trek Badge collection hangs on the wall.
I’ve got a prized signed U.S.S. Enterprise D bridge print from Dave Blass.
It’s signed by legendary graphic designer Mike Okuda & Denise Okuda, starship designers Doug Drexler & John Eaves, as well as Dave Blass and others, and I’m aiming to collect more signatures on it.
Lighting matters, especially since my office ceiling light is terrible.
So, I’ve decked out my space with Nanoleaf Essentials bulbs and strips for better illumination and setting the right mood during video recordings.
Luckily, I’m quite fortunate to have a large window that welcomes plenty of natural light into my space.
Plus, the way my flat is oriented prevents any direct sunlight from streaming in.
I really wish I could alter the flooring because I’m not a fan of the carpet, but since I’m renting the flat, that’s not an option for me.
My main headache has been finding a chair that’s comfy, sturdy, and easy on the eyes.
I’ve gone through three chairs since 2021.
The first was a cheap IKEA office chair — comfortable at first, but it became so uncomfortable after nearly a year that I ended up using cushions.
Then, I tried this super cool minimal chair from Argos (a UK home store chain), which was awesome, but sadly, it broke after just eight months.
So, I splurged on a Secretlab chair since they’re highly praised and many folks I know swear by them.
What’s your favourite item on your desk?
My favourite item on my desk is my custom Star Trek Combadge.
It’s a one-to-one prop replica but on the rear it has my name and registration number on.
It’s a one of a kind and was gifted to me by a close friend for my 30th Birthday.
Other than that it’s my MacBook Pro as without it I wouldn’t be able to work.
What apps or tools do you use to get things done?
I’ve got a bunch of tools I use every day, so it’s tough to pick just one. But here are a couple I’m really into:
I’m not big on Adobe, so instead, I roll with the Affinity Suite.
Work covers Adobe, so I end up using it for certain things.
Elementor is my go-to WordPress builder. I use it religiously for all my website building — it’s crazy versatile.
Oh, and Setapp? It’s been my ride-or-die since day one!
I rely on it for all sorts of Mac apps.
Craft Docs and Bartender are just a couple of the super useful ones in there. Trust me, it’s a game-changer!
What books, blogs, or podcasts recently caught your attention?
At the moment, I’m listening to a couple of really cool podcasts.
I’m also listening to my dear friend Sean Ferrick on the TrekCulture Podcast which is a great laugh and if you’re a Trekkie it’s worth a listen.
Any tips for other makers who want to improve their workspaces?
Don’t do it all at once! Building a setup is expensive.
Take your time as things are always changing.
Get the basics done first, set some targets on what you want to add then save and buy them.
What does your typical day look like?
On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I’m up at 5:30 am, hitting the pool for a 2km swim before diving into work.
I kick off my workday around 9 am, spending the first half-hour sorting through emails, planning my day, and catching up on pending tasks from the day before.
Asana is our go-to task manager at work, so I make sure to update it and review any feedback.
As we are a small team we all manage our own time and tasks so rather than a stand up or catch up each day, we may have random video calls throughout the day.
Around 11 am, I usually take a 10 to 15-minute breather, zoning out to a YouTube video to refresh my mind.
Lunchtime rolls around at 1 pm, and the best part of working from home is the freedom to have whatever I’m in the mood for — be it a sandwich, salad or something hot.
Another short break hits around 3 pm. I wrap up the workday by 5:30 pm.
Depending on what’s up with the podcast or freelance work, I might continue working into the evening or call it a day and unwind.
I usually stick to working at my desk because I find it helps me stay focused and maintain a boundary between work and personal life.
However, every now and then, I switch things up and head to Starbucks in the afternoon for a change of scenery.
I’m big on music and a huge fan of film scores, so that’s usually what I’ve got playing in the background while I work.
On weekends, my main agenda is to unwind and relax.
I prioritise chilling out and taking a break from the usual work routine.
However, if there are pending podcast projects or client work that requires attention or if there’s something exciting brewing, I wouldn’t mind putting in a bit of time to keep things moving forward.
So, while relaxation is the primary goal, I’m open to diving into these projects if the need arises.
Your tips for working from home?
Having a dedicated spot just for work, away from your home setup, can seriously boost how much you get done.
If you’re lucky enough to have a separate room or even just a corner for work stuff, it helps draw a line between your job and chilling out.
This split makes it easier to switch into work mode and back again, making you more focused and efficient.
You gotta set up your workspace in a way that suits you best.
Making it a place you actually like being in can pump up your energy for work.
Whether it’s tweaking the decorations, adjusting the lighting, or just arranging things the way you prefer, making it your own is super important.
If you’re not feeling comfy in your workspace, it can totally mess with your motivation and how much you get done.
Music is a total game-changer when you’re working.
It sets a good vibe and can keep you pumped. If you can swing it, investing in some top-notch speakers or headphones can make your work hours a whole lot better.
Keeping your workspace clean is a big deal.
A clutter-free desk doesn’t just look nice — it keeps your mind clear too.
It cuts down on distractions and helps you concentrate on what you’re doing.
Plus, having things organised makes it smoother to find stuff and keeps you from stressing out over a messy space.
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.