But an ordinary table is not “ergonomic” enough for drawing as I used to spend (and I still spend sometimes) more than 8 hours drawing and painting.
I started to have severe back and neck pain, so I decided to improve my “room studio”.
So I bought a lamp and a drafting tabletop, and that did a great job until I started to work until late at night.
Back then, I was sharing my room with my sister, who is a sleepyhead. You can imagine how “happy” she was to have the lights turned on until 2 am HA! So I was constantly switching between my room and the living room.
Finally, in 2020 I moved to a new apartment, and a home studio with plenty of natural light was my nr.1 prerogative. I didn’t even care about the rest of the house LOL.
Me and my husband invested some money into good furniture to set up my home studio that could help me improve my posture
I’m still testing some stuff, and I think that everyone is different. Something that works for me might not work for you, but in my experience, these are the things you should look for when you are furnishing your studio.
By the way, if you are still wondering whether you need a studio or not check my blog about the pros and cons of a home studio.
There are different types of tables, but in my opinion, you should buy a table which height can be adjusted.
For example, I got the Thyge table from Ikea which legs can be adjusted to be 60 cm up to 90 cm.
I bought this one as it was adjustable but still “cheap”, but if I really had the money, I would have bought the Bekant table from Ikea which is electric.
In the Thyge table you have to take off everything from the table and then screw/unscrew each leg to the desired height. For the Bekant table, you just have to push a button.
In this case, the legs can be extended up to 125 cm which allows you to work in a standing position if you want to.
For a while, I was considering to buy a drafting table (the ones that architects once used). The cheap models allow you to lift the tabletop up to 45°, which is not enough to prevent slouching.
You can find some vintage drafting tables on eBay for a good price, but I preferred another option.
Drafting tables have a huge surface, and my studio is so small that I couldn’t buy it.
Also, I don’t always use my table at 90°. When I paint, I need the tabletop to be at a lower angle so that the watercolour doesn’t bleed.
So I asked a friend of mine to make a portable drafting table with a lightbox in it.
It’s big enough to hold an A2 sheet of paper and can be moved around when I don’t need it.
In any case, look for a table with a soft opaque colour so that it doesn’t reflect light. This will help your eyesight.
A good chair is essential for a healthy body. Or may I say that no-chair is essential for a healthy body?
The best way to be seated is the way people from India sit. In Yoga it’s called Malasana and it’s a low squat position.
This pose helps improve circulation, alleviates bloating and prevents slouching.
I came to this conclusion after several “ergonomic” chairs and also the Swedish Varier chair.
That chair costed me 400€, and it’s not that bad, but it’s not even miraculous as they say (at least not for me).
Sitting on our own legs is cheaper, and also you don’t need to spend money on a particular table.
But what happens when you have already spent money on a good table or the light in your studio is not good enough to draw sitting on a floor? Or maybe you have your clients coming to your place and you don’t want them to see you sitting on the floor?
I recently found the “My soul seat” on Google. This particular chair allows you to sit in many different positions like cross-legged or in a low squat position.
The bad news is that it costs too much, so I made my own “soul seat” chair out of an old office chair.
2022 Update: I still haven’t finished to set up my home studio. I have added a library for my books and another lamp. My version of the Soul Seat chair was not comfortable for me. Maybe the original one is comfortable but mine was too hard for long sitting hours. Now I’ve purchased a gaming chair (the ones that Playstation players use). Let’s see how that works for me. Keep you posted.
First of all, try to have as much natural light as possible. Also, try to set your table so that the light from the windows comes in from the opposite side of your main hand. For example, if you draw with the right hand, set your table so that the light from the window comes from the left side. In that way, you won’t have annoying shadows while drawing and painting. Avoid having the window in front of you or on the back as it drains your eyesight.
Besides natural light, buy yourself 1 or 2 lamps.
I have bought my second lamp last month. Now I can snap the perfect Instagram picture even at 2 am.
Buy a neutral light lamp (not too warm nor too cold). Something between 4000K and 5000K is perfect.
Cold light makes your pictures too blue while warm light makes your picture look too yellow.
Also, look for a swing arm lamp so that you can change the angle to whatever you are comfortable in that moment.
Besides the typical shelves and drawers that anyone has in a studio, there are 2 things I really like as I find them to be very useful:
To help you find all these stuff I’ve created a list on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk
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How to Set Up a Home Studio
November 4, 2020
Thank you so much Sandy. Needed that. My neck, shoulders, and back pain was so bad that I had to get physiotherapy. I think stretching exercises also help a lot. I try to do those everyday. I like your input on the table and chairs. I am still trying to organize my studio. Another thing that helps is using those gel cushions to sit on as well as foot rest. My feet tend to swell if I sit for too long. My son bought this gel footrest for me that I am using now.
Very informative. Would love more info and a photo of how you modded your office chair to become a my soul chair.
Thank you Sandy! Very good tips
Thanks Sandy – some useful information here.