The first time I saw the series Da Vincis Demons and how Leonardo created all of his masterpieces in his own private workshop, I just knew that I needed to have my own version of that setup and implement those home office ideas instantly.
The workshop was his place of creating masterpieces and improving his mastery skills to the fullest. Woodworking tools, stone carving tools, painting accessories, books, etc…
So I figured, well if DaVinci had a workshop where he could work alone and create masterpieces why not do something similar?
What’s The Purpose Of This Particular Setup?
One of the many things I wanted in life (and still want) was to:
- Advance in my career and build my own businesses.
- Evolve physically and mentally and be a happier, more confident man that can tackle any fear.
My “Workshop Conditions” Then
Before I moved into my place I lived with my parents and before that with roommates at college. It was then when I was still living with my folks that I figured what I wanted to do in life. But I had some issues with my current living conditions (don’t get me wrong, I had everything I needed and I’m grateful for living with such beautiful and loving people but I just wanted more like a grown-up).
The Issues I Encountered:
- I didn’t have the nerves to actually go to a gym (the actual walking or traveling there was a waste of time in my mind).
- I hated going to an office to work – not because of the people but because of the actual going to the office from 9-5.
- I wanted to have a sense of control and flexibility over what I do during the day and set my own working/relaxing/workout hours
- I looked for efficiency in everything I did.
- Exercise whenever I felt I needed to exercise and start exercising in less than 5 minutes’ time.
- Meditate whenever I felt the need to meditate alone.
The Solution Was To Build Out My Own Workshop
A place where I can exercise whenever I want, work whenever I want, chill whenever I want. Complete control and flexibility at the same time.
Right now it has a bedroom for sleeping, a workshop for workshoping, a kitchen, and a bathroom.
What Are The Benefits Of Having Such A Workshop?
- Peace and quiet. If you need to be alone that’s where you go and contemplate the problems you have in life (or just be alone).
- Working out benefits – you save a ton of cash by not going to the gym. What you have to do is invest in a 60$ boxing bag, 50$ for the rubber tatami, 100$ for a used static bike, and about 70$ on a weight, boxing gloves, and some additional exercise equipment such as the jumping rope.
- Your own office. No need to TRAVEL to an actual office to work.
- Underwear boss. You can stay in your boxers and still close deals all day long.
- Balance. It’s the place where you go to recuperate and gather your strengths after dealing with the outside world.
The list goes on and on.
But you do need to have a lot of willpower and strength to do everything on your own. I get why people go to the gym. One reason being is because of the peer support they get when inside and helps them exercise more easily. It’s much more difficult to work out alone.
The same thing happens with working. Having a team around you is definitely easier than working alone.
But if you have the willpower to work alone, nothing is unachievable.
The following is a list of things that every workshop needs to be functional and offer the optimal working place/workout place/relaxation place. DaVinci probably didn’t have most of them but, in his time, he had things of equal importance and use. Do you have any other ideas? Feel free to share some in the comments!
One word that can explain what the whiteboard offers is – freedom. Freedom to express any thoughts, ideas, processes, pictures, scribbles in any way you want, and with any color you wish.
You could do this on your laptop as well but you’d mostly be confined within the borders of your keyboard. Of course, there are tools and applications that can simulate the freedom that a whiteboard offers, such as mind mapping tools, or productivity tools.
But a whiteboard allows your ideas to flow freely in any form and size without having you to switch between different online tools. Want some extra motivation? Jot down some inspirational quotes in bold letters and have them meet you every morning when you enter your workshop. DaVinci had his canvases, we can have our whiteboard.
You don’t need to look swole to be healthy. You don’t need 10 different sets of barbells with 50 barbell weights.
You already have all the weight you need and it’s on you. What you need is just a set of weight-free exercises that you can combine and create a daily routine with and a version of the gym setting.
What I did was just set up a tatami floor with 15, 1 square meter tiles (cost about 50$), where I could simulate a mini gym (do pushups, and weight-free exercises), a boxing bag that kickstarts your cardio and metabolism, one static circular bike for a 1-hour cardio every day, and some elastic ropes to help me exercise with my own weight. Programs are easy to find online regardless of whether you’re a beginner or have been going to the gym for a while. My program usually consists of:
- Monday – One-hour cardio + 5 calisthenics/free weight exercises (20 repetitions each)
- Tuesday – One-hour cardio + 30-minute boxing routines
- Wednesday – 15 km run outside and 200 pushups
- Thursday – Same as Tuesday
- Friday – Same as Monday
- Saturday – meat/cheat/rest day
- Sunday – same as Wednesday
I change the exercise bi-monthly because they get boring after a while and results tend to increase when you change the type of exercise.
Two Work Desks
The benefits of having a desk where you can stand and work are huge. This article by ergo experts explains in detail what the benefits are – one of the most important is of course the health benefits.
The reason I mentioned two desks is that I like to keep things simple when it comes to important things such as a work desk where I spend some of my time working and making money. Having a desk that would be a sit and stand at the same time defeats that purpose and that’s why I have two – one is a custom made sit desk, and one is DIY stand desk made of a piece of plank I found in the basement and a synthesizer stand that I bought for 15$.
This one is a no brainer. The one reason I like an espresso machine in my home office is because of the smell that fills the whole apartment in the morning. Man does that feel good (besides giving you a good jolt of course).
Here are some really cool machines you can buy – but if you’re feeling a bit stingy like I am, I’d go to a local flea market (or Buvlyak as they call them here in the Balkans) and get one that seems to not be working because of malfunction, get it to an electrician and have him repair it (the beauty of the flea market Buvljak is that people usually sell stuff there because two wires got disconnected and think it’s unsalvageable – luckily, there are a ton of electricians here that would repair anything for ridiculously low prices – repaired mine for 10 bucks and works as good as a brand new one).
A Chair Fit For Directors
When you sit on it, you’d have to feel like saying “Engage” and get into warp speed! We all fancy a different type of chair.
Some like it hi-tech like this thing here, someone likes are simple like this chair from Ikea. Whichever it is, it has to be comfortable, support the back, and make you feel like you are running the Enterprise (or at least some sort of an online enterprise). DaVinci didn’t use a chair but he didn’t work on a laptop so…
Oh and get some Earl Gray Tea, please!
Plants & Incense
Work and no chill is not a good thing particularly when you are stuck on a project for 12 hours in your office. One of the ways to be chill and still work efficiently is to modify your environment and let it exude peace-fullness and to do it just introduce nature and scents.
There are numerous benefits of having indoor plants and one of them is making yourself feel as if in nature (plus taking care of them gets you in touch with your inner human). Get a ficus, or orchids and spread them around the office.
Don’t forget about the incense – light a stick, put a bathrobe on, and contemplate about life while looking through the window.
Home Office Ideas: The Basic Necessities
Besides the stuff that I mentioned above, you also need some basics figured out and luckily there are a ton of resources online to help you with that.
Here’s just a shortlist of some of the best resources that I found and used for myself. I tried to choose stuff that wouldn’t overlap but there might be two or three that do (goes to show how important these things are for your workshop)
So basically that’s it. I ain’t no Davinci, but I managed to recreate his workshop seen from my own perspective and fit for my own needs.
Like the idea of having your own workshop? Feel free to share some advice on how you’d go about building it.
In case you’re not feeling the Vinci way (pun intended) check out these articles on how to create the best home office and remote work environment:
- 9 Home Remote Designs
- 5 Minimalist Home Offices
- Home Office Organizational Tips
- Home Office Productivity Tips
- How To Make Your Office Feel Like Davincis Workshop
- Remote Tools To Help You Run Your Team
Justin is one of those directors that speaks and acts as a true westerner.
If you got the feeling this article seems as if you’ve seen it somewhere else before, that’s because Justin’s voice is so ingrained in the western culture of writing articles that you might have as well read something he wrote.
When he is not writing about home improvement, cars, personal style, and how to behave in front of people, he does other stuff such as being a gentleman, rejecting tons of women (he’s into character), reading Carl Jung, and playing his harmonica.