A modern workspace with a large monitor displaying the text “MAKE THE LOGO BIGGER!”, flanked by speakers

Minimal Bedroom Desk Setup of a Content Creator in Dubai

“I created this workspace to be productive, and at the same time, my wife and I wanted it to look very minimal and cosy at night”

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Editorial Team
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Name: Tony Sam Noel

Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Occupation: Photographer & Multimedia Designer

Room size: 20,5 m² (221 ft²)

Cost of setup: ~$6,2K

Social media: Behance, Instagram, Twitter

Hello! Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

My background of interest is in many fields. I’m more of a generalist, I would say.

I studied graphic designing and animation in college.

An ergonomic office chair facing a desk with a laptop, a monitor displaying the word “hello” in colourful script, speakers, a camera, and various desk accessories against a window with sheer curtains

Thirteen years back, I started my career as a Game Graphics Artist (3D) and was also into digital painting, which was a turning point in my life and that’s how I learned about Photoshop and retouching.

Ten years ago, my dad gifted me a Canon 600D — it introduced me to photography.

I was very into photography and later picked up videography as well. I did a few short films back then.

After that, I switched my career to graphic designing and photography has always been a part of it.

A close-up of a desk with a Nikon FM2 camera, a tablet displaying a book, a white mug on a coaster, and part of a monitor stand and speaker in the background

My interests are complementary to each other and they have helped me to get to where I am now.

I use colour harmony and contrast techniques from graphic designing in photography, and composition techniques from photography in videography.

I learned Adobe After Effects for animation and motion graphics while I was working on videography projects.

A portrait of Tony Sam Noel, a multimedia designer from Dubai, in his home office

I’ve learned a lot about the creative field, worked as a Creative Lead and now work as a Photographer in the Higher Education industry.

I also produce videos and content for a YouTube channel run by my friend.

I follow Automotive Photography as I am into automotives (it’s a big thing here in UAE as well).

Take us through your setup

Item Model
Monitor BenQ PD3220U
Monitor mount NB North Bayou Dual Monitor Arm
Computer Mac Mini M1 2020
Mac Mini hub Satechi USB C Hub – Space Gray
Laptop Apple MacBook Pro 16″ M2 Pro
Laptop stand Smilee Vertical Laptop Holder Metal
Speakers PreSonus Eris 3.5BT
Audio interface Arturia MiniFuse 2 White
Headphones Audio-Technica ATH-M20X
Keyboard Apple Magic Keyboard with Touch ID
Mouse Apple Magic Mouse
Desk mat NOSKIN Large Felt Desk Pad – 36x12″
Chair SIHOO M18
Desk Navodesk Motorised Standing Desk

I created this workspace to be productive, and at the same time, my wife and I wanted it to look very minimal and cosy at night.

It took us a long time to create this space.

The main challenge was the maximum utilisation of space while keeping it very minimal with the devices I use.

A contemporary desk setup featuring a large monitor with an abstract swirl screensaver, flanked by speakers, with a laptop, headphones, a vintage camera, and a framed diagram of a smartphone on the wall above

My wife and I live in a single-bedroom apartment in Dubai. When we were hunting for apartments, the main criterion was natural light.

The apartment’s one side is all glass, connecting the living room, bedroom, and kitchen.

I wanted to accommodate this workspace near my bed.

A bedroom with a bed in the foreground covered with a checkered duvet, looking towards a desk with an ergonomic chair and a monitor displaying “hello”, speakers, a laptop, and a framed picture on the wall

Another struggle was choosing the perfect monitor.

I wanted a 32″ monitor for many reasons: it offers more screen space to edit videos, making the timeline more visible and working with multiple windows open is better in this dimension.

A close-up view of a modern desk with a wooden monitor stand holding an audio interface, next to a laptop, with a part of the keyboard and mouse in the foreground, and a monitor with colourful text in the background

Content consumption is better, providing an immersive visual experience.

This setup is also future-proof, considering that back in the day, 17″ CRT monitors were considered huge.

A neatly organised desk space with a central monitor displaying a multicoloured “hello”, speakers on each side, a laptop, camera, and audio equipment, with a framed smartphone schematic on the wall

Now, I feel a 32″ monitor is big enough to cater to my needs without causing eye fatigue.

A good colour-calibrated 4K display is more than enough for my usage.

I use an Apple Mac Mini M1, so the challenge was to get the beautiful retina look.

 A close-up of a desk showing the underside of a wooden monitor stand with a laptop dock underneath and various cables plugged into it, including a prominent red one

Getting a Pro Display XDR was way out of my budget.

It took me more than a year and a half of research and waiting to get a monitor for my desk setup.

Finally I went with a BenQ PD3220U which is a colour-calibrated display made for Mac.

An inviting bedroom home office setup with a desk chair turned towards a desk

The next struggle was to find a good audio setup.

I’ve always had an interest in listening to high-quality music and playing the piano.

For the audio setup, I went with an Arturia MiniFuse 2 audio interface, which also has two mic inputs (in case I want to do podcasts for YouTube later), and for the speakers, I went with PreSonus Eris 3.5BT Studio Monitors.

For some people, these speakers are not enough.

But for this space, setup, and the kind of work I do, it’s more than enough.

The speakers are really good; also, I can upgrade it with a subwoofer if required.

A focused view of a modern black speaker on a desk, with a blurred laptop, monitor stand, and other office equipment in the background

I use Apple Music for music streaming, and I love this audio setup for the lossless audio experience.

I’d like to mention that before I made any purchase, I created several mockups of the setup in various display orientations in Photoshop and decided what is best suited for me.

A mock-up of the minimalist desk setup with a BenQ monitor displaying a colourful abstract image, speakers on either side, and an audio interface, with a white tabletop and black legs on an isolated white background

Another struggle was cable management.

I wanted to make sure that all the cables are hidden when I use the desk.

6 Easy Steps to Hide Cables Under Your Desk
Unlock the ultimate cable management tips to streamline and declutter your desk setup.

Speaking about cable management, the monitor arm is a dual arm mount.

I only use one arm to keep the space clean because I thought about using a dual monitor setup and felt like it will mess up the whole minimal setup.

My main solution for cable management to be minimal and not visible was ‘cable ties’ that I got from Amazon.

It has a very simple and effective mechanism.

They came with adhesive back mounts to keep them in place. I got them in black colour so they blend with the black cables.

I had to be very careful about not tightening the cables too much.

14 Ways to Hide Cables in Your Home Office
Keep your home office clean and organised with these cable management tips.

I love the amount of light in the room.

It feels so unreal when I work in this space, listening to lo-fi music.

I see a few places for improvement. The place really misses some greenery and a desk buddy.

 A close-up view of a desk’s edge showing the control panel with height indicators of an adjustable standing desk

And the next upgrade might be adding a few plants, maybe another monitor for a dual monitor setup, a subwoofer for the speaker.

Or I might enjoy the same space as it is for some time.

A framed schematic diagram of an iPhone 4s, displaying its disassembled parts, mounted on a white wall

What’s your favourite item on your desk?

My favourite is the monitor, BenQ PD3220U.

There’s a long story behind getting this monitor.

It took me more than a year and a half of research and watching reviews to get this monitor.

Endless research was behind this.

If money weren’t an issue, I would’ve gotten an Apple Pro Display XDR.

So the story starts with me using my first early 2015 MacBook Pro 13″ and trying to edit 4K videos for YouTube in 2020.

Then I decided to build a PC, but prices were way out of my budget, and I was casually looking at Apple devices and found the Mac Mini with M1 chip was a great option and great for the price.

A close-up of the top of a black ergonomic office chair with a blurred background featuring a monitor with colourful text

I bought it, and I had a 24-inch Full HD monitor, and it was really challenging to work on videos using this monitor.

Then I started searching about monitors for Mac.

It was difficult to find one with good specs. MacOS scaling was my biggest issue, and so was brightness.

Also, a colour calibrated monitor was so important as I do graphic designing and photo editing.

A modern desk setup with a monitor displaying the word “hello” in rainbow colours, studio monitors on each side, a laptop on a stand, audio equipment, a white mug, and a camera, with a framed iPhone schematic on the wall

I always wanted to get a 32″ display to be future-proof.

I finally thought about getting a 27″ display because they had a lot of good options. I even decided to go with the Apple Studio Display 27″.

I didn’t want a speaker and camera in a monitor, so I couldn’t find anything that matched my requirement.

Later I found that BenQ makes great monitors for creators and photographers.

A close-up of the back of a BenQ monitor

The monitor I got was made in 2018, so the technology behind it felt old.

But they’ve updated it with a colour mode just for MacBooks, the M-Book mode.

I waited for months just to see if they would release an updated version, but it didn’t happen.

Finally, I went with this monitor.

I’m so happy that I got it.

Incredible display with amazing clarity and a colour calibrated display just for Macs and works flawlessly.

The monitor comes with something they call Hotkey Puck.

A close-up view of a wooden monitor stand with a black dial controller for a monitor

It’s an ice hockey puck-shaped device with buttons to change colour modes and with a dial to adjust the brightness.

The main selling point for me is that the monitor has even bezels throughout.

It cost me around $1K, and there was a sale on Amazon.

A well-equipped workspace featuring a monitor with an abstract design on the screen, studio monitors, a laptop on a wooden stand, audio equipment, a camera, headphones, and an ergonomic chair in the foreground, all against a backdrop of a light-coloured wall with sheer curtains and a framed picture

What apps or tools do you use to get things done?

Most of the time, I use Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects, and Lightroom.

A close-up of a computer monitor displaying the Photoshop 2024 interface

I use Adobe Illustrator to create vector designs and digital/print collaterals.

Photoshop for retouching, editing, and resizing images.

Premiere to create and edit videos.

A focused view of a closed MacBook on a stand on a desk, with a blurred foreground showing part of a keyboard and a speaker in the background, all in a bright office setting with a window on the left side

After Effects for creating motion graphics within the videos and creating animations for social media accounts.

Lightroom for most of my photography edits and organising.

Other than my work software, my favourite is Apple Music for the pure Lossless audio support for a great audio experience.

What books, blogs, or podcasts recently caught your attention?

I’m not a book person.

I’m more of a visual guy, and I love to see drawings or photographs.

A vintage Nikon FM2 camera placed on a desk next to a white mug on a coaster

I follow a lot of creative professionals on social media for inspiration and to stay updated on the creative space.

Also, I regularly go through a handful of blogs and websites based on tech and creativity.

Below are a few creators I get inspired by:

Any tips for other makers who want to improve their workspaces?

Invest in devices one by one, based on your priorities, instead of buying everything at once.

Also, try to make the setup design minimal and timeless, as a cluttered space might interfere with your workflow.

Always follow a colour scheme to improve the home office setup.

A desktop workspace featuring a monitor with the word “Hello” on the screen, a wooden monitor stand with a black dial, an audio interface, and a speaker, with a keyboard and mouse in the foreground

I believe a colour scheme, especially those of neutral and pastel shades, are easy on the eyes and won’t be a distraction while working.

This is very important to me to avoid a chaotic workspace and helps me concentrate.

This is as effective as keeping the workspace clean and tidy.

Not to forget, making mock-ups always helps before buying anything.

What does your typical day look like?

I usually start my day around 7 am.

My wife and I love brewing our own coffee right from grinding the beans, and this is one of the first things I do.

Not sure if it’s a good thing to do, but I also check Twitter at this time, the first app I open as that’s the source of the latest info on almost everything.

On weekdays, I mostly work on various photography and creative projects. On weekends, I work on my YouTube channel content.

When I am not working, I play games on my Xbox, watch movies, go on road trips, camping, off-roading in the desert.

Your tips for working from home?

Planning your day is the key.

It’s helpful to plan everything you want to accomplish during the day by breaking it down into blocks of work with enough breaks in between so that you won’t feel exhausted.

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.

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