Design a Stand-Up Desk for Your Home Office or Studio

A stand-up desk in an art-filled corner is a welcoming space for writing, invoicing and surfing the net. (photos by Bob Farley)

My back aches from slumping over too much while cutting out and pinning fabric on the floor and from sitting and sewing at the machines all day in the sewing shack. I found the only way to counter some of the pain is to work from tall cutting tables and to use a stand-up desk while writing, invoicing and working at the computer. It sure feels better to stand up and work out some of the kinks I put in my back from some of my most tedious fabric jobs.

I do a lot of cutting and pinning on the floor. I love my work but my back does not.

If you are like me, and you are prone to sit with bad posture, even if you use a stool at the stand-up desk, for some reason, a tall desk encourages better posture. I promise, it works!

If you don’t have the skills or tools to make a custom stand-up desk, design one to fit your needs, and have someone else make it. That is what I did. I got my husband to help measure the height as I held out my hands as though I was typing on a keyboard, and I planned the other features around that measurement. I knew that I would be sitting on a stool some of the time, so I wanted a flip-down shelf for a keyboard rest. The flip-down shelf allowed for a hidden storage compartment.

A stand-up desk, even if you pull up a barstool, helps to maintain good posture while working.

I also knew I would need two shelves below. One shelf is for the modem and CD burner, and the other shelf holds various odds and ends. Of course I had to paint the legs a fun and funky color, but I wanted the top to be made of recycled and stained wood. It was easy to find the right people to make it. I just visited my favorite antique store, Stray Cats Home Decor, and asked if they could handle the job. Chances are, you have a trusted resource in your neck of the woods too.

Have you tried a stand-up desk at your home or office? What did you think?

For an upcycled desk option, see the photo gallery below.

5 Responses

  1. very nice post brother, hopefully it's news can be received by many people.



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  2. George says:

    Every word in this piece of work is very clear and your passion for this topic shines. Please continue your work in this area and I hope to see more from you in the future.

  3. Stephanie Phillips says:

    Love this! Thank you! My father invented his own standing desk for ipads, tablets and smart phones, out of his desire to stand. Check it out at

  4. Carol Lovell-Saas says:

    You are so very clever, Michelle! I think sitting for more than 20 minutes at a time is terrible for a lot of health reasons, some of which aren't even yet known. This is such a helpful article!

    • Michelle Reynolds says:

      Thanks, Carol. Hanging upside down from my yoga swing helps a lot too!


About Michelle Reynolds 


I’m a slipcover maker who refuses to fill the trash with the cutaway bits of designer fabrics, so I strive to make use of every scrap. I live with my ...

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