The Best Workspaces Of 2012

E-commerce company Shopify gussies up its office digs with cardboard cutouts, a stand-up desk station, and a robot.
But even cooler is the fact that this robot is actually used to communicate with the other Shopify offices.

The Ikea Hacker

This desk, a good solution for smaller spaces, was created using two Ikea tables and a Rubbermaid shelf.

The Command Center

IBM engineer Daniel Heth Moran's workspace--which includes a two-fan system to keep things from overheating--is fit even for your coworker with two screens who isn't f*cking around.

Windows Or Mac OS? How About Both?

This home office fits four monitors and two keyboards into one compact space for the worker who needs both Windows and OS X.

The MacBook Air Desktop

Take a MacBook Air, add some Apple accessories and a stand that looks like the base of an iMac, and you have a streamlined workstation powerful enough to take on most things a desktop can handle.

The DIY Standing Desk

$15 of Ikea furniture will get you the goods to create your own portable standing desk.

The Retro Workspace

All you need to complete the retro look of this Ikea-hacked workstation is a Rubik's cube and a rotary dial phone (that's actually been converted into a computer handset).

The Reclining Workspace

Working doesn't mean you have to sacrifice comfort if you have the chops to affix your computer and a hand-crafted side table to your luxe leather recliner.

The Hideaway

This expansive workspace is tucked away behind a movable wall.

The Designer's Dream

This Parisian paradise is home to product designer Sebastien Schaeffer, who keeps a giant sketchboard and paint markers handy for when inspiration strikes.

The Mini Minimalist

Sometimes all you need to do a good day's work are the basics: a small table, desktop, and keyboard, and a ball you can stow under your desk when you're done.

The Pipe Dream

The pipes and pipefittings that make up this DIY desk allow for panels that can swing out for when you need extra space.

The Tech Editor

The Verge's editor, Joshua Topolsky, outfits his workstation with a tech journalist's staple: a vertical monitor that streams updates from TweetDeck.

The Tokyo Home Office

The wood floors, accents, panels, and furniture of this airy Tokyo home office make the desktop almost unnoticeable.

Living On The Grid

A graphic designer couple turned one wall of their home office into a life-size homage to the Grid System used by many designers.

The Unusually Well-Lit Underground Office

The lighting in this basement workstation creates the effect of a space that's as bright as an above-ground office.

Bedroom Business

This master bedroom has two double lives: one as a home office for two, and one as a space for guests.

The Lofted Office

This small but cozy lofted office floats in an upper corner of this home.

The Best Workspaces Of 2012

Get inspired by Lifehacker's list of the most curious and colorful desks, monitors arrays, spaces, and places where people get down to business.

Have you got a great workspace? Upload your photos to the comments section below!

Throughout the year, the folks at Lifehacker feature the coolest workspaces from all over the world, submitted by everyone from professional designers to journalists to photographers to DIY aficionados who've discovered a new, creative home-office hack. They've rounded up 20 of the year's most popular featured workspaces, including home offices hacked together with Ikea furniture, a DIY standing desk, and an office that attaches to a leather recliner. (Seriously.) Check out 18 sumptuous spaces above.

[Main Image: Flickr user Thomas Høyrup Christensen]

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  • N Knowlton

    Nothing inspirational here.  Your materials are usually inspiring and get me to think

  • Monique Valcour

    My French Riviera home workspaces: active (standing on a balance board), poolside writing space, home office view of the Mediterranean. (The photos seem to have disappeared)

  • Alana

    This is the least inspirational thing I have ever seen. Looks like a bunch of 20-somethings' bedrooms.

  • Monique Valcour

    Get ready to drool. In 2009, my husband and I moved from Boston to the French Riviera, where I'm a management professor and my husband is a solution architect. We both work in home offices and place a very high value on the aesthetics of our surroundings. Here is the view from my home office on the second floor, looking past an olive tree to the Mediterranean. The second photo is my outdoor writing space next to the pool. The third image shows me improvising an "active" workstation: I have raised my laptop by placing it on top of an inverted laundry basket and am trying to remain upright on a balance board while reading.

  • Millar + Associates

    Our office is located in a historic building owned by the National Trust.  Our suite is a 800 sq ft space with high ceilings and operable windows that look out over Massachusetts Ave NW.  Since we are a design firm, we had to hide our material library inside the secret closets.  The fireplace now hosts a bunch of carpet books.  

  • Millar + Associates

    Our office is in the National Trust building in DC, it's a one room office.  We are a design firm, so we have had to use the secret closets as a space for our material library.