John Dickerson

John Dickerson is a CBS senior national correspondent and Chief Political Analyst. He is also a Contributing Writer to The Atlantic and is co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest.

A Room of One’s Own

Who out there has a brilliant design eye? I love my small office in the attic of our new house.

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But I feel like it either needs a dash of color or something to improve the slanted part of the ceiling above the monitor. I also love single-use forms and structures, like the broken coffee cup I use for my pencils. I feel like single-use shelves might be in order.




I’ve always loved multi-compartmented desks like the Mummenthaler & Meier Multicomparetment Deskwith all of its compartments and slots for things that go exactly where they are supposed to go.  Which of you geniuses out there has an idea for how I should complete the space above my monitors? Or any other thoughts for that matter.

9 thoughts on “A Room of One’s Own”

  1. What if you were to mount the pin board to the slant wall and use the flat wall for shelving? Works as a space saver, though you would literally have to-do lists looming above you.

  2. Sweet room. I wish I could see other half of room. First get a much smaller lamp. Hang coat and cap downstairs. Do you need structure they are hanging on. Typewriter lovely and sentimental. Your parents? Time to put elsewhere? Good luck.

  3. Personalize the space above the monitors with picture collage of either important people, times, places, things in your life. I’m concerned about the brightness coming in the room from the window, so monitor your eye strain/headaches. Especially if you paint the wall above the monitor a darker color. Also, desk with keyboard and chair are one ergonomic and chair and typewriter are another. Watch out for carpel tunnel. Also, what are you doing for atmosphere—sounds/beats? Streaming music or talk radio or podcasts if you’re using computer you could Mount speakers above the monitors too. Dorm size frig, coffee pot so you don’t have to travel down to the kitchen if you’re on a creative roll. Also, are you able to extend the desk space to the left? I see lots of written notes on the board looks a little cramped. Thanks for allowing me to comment.Best of luck!

  4. Claudia Anderson

    A custom-built unit with both shelves and shadow box cubbies, narrow depth at the bottom growing wider as it goes up the slant. The shelves would serve storage, the cubbies could be used to display small art and awards. The art would add the color you seek, the awards remind you of past success, something most writers need. Maybe even a couple of drawers at the top for things that need to be kept, but not displayed.
    That chair could be changed out for one with more support for your back too.
    Reconsider the need for that many monitors too, the new systems allow for more than one display at a time.

  5. I would move your cork board behind your monitors in the middle space and then add a colorful wallpaper border around it. Put the cubbies where the cork board is now. Mynpersonal opinion is that is you put cubbies where the fun wall curve is you will loose the character of the space entirely. Also, if those yellow pieces of paper are important, why not make them easier to see?

  6. I really like the way you have it now. To me it looks like you.
    But if you’re an organized person a smaller version of the desk you pictured above. I have no idea where to look for one.
    A nice warm beige would be nice on the walls and nice art work to add color.

  7. John,
    Faced the exact same dilemma with my home office when COVID began. I’m still active duty but fortunate enough to be serving in a place where we can telework. What I’ve found is warmer darker colors help put us at ease and better able to focus. My office is a darker brown. I would also recommend a stand up-sit down desk. My energy and focus was helped tremendously when I worked standing up; conversely it was also nice to have the option to sit occasionally as well. Varidesk has some great products to adapt your current desk or consider a range of electric stand-up-sit-down desks on the market. You can easily acquire some wall hung shelves to scratch the itch of having each file in their proper place as well. Last thing I would say is anything t that further automates your experience is helpful. I have a wireless charging dock for the phone that also displays it well. Wearing AirPods and voice answering calls further smoothed out the experience. Best of luck!

  8. I don’t have any great suggestions on decor or furniture. However, as someone who works a lot with the written word, I recommend that you consider two 27″ or 30″ vertical monitors. Most modern monitors can rotate this way. [Though one of your monitors looks curved which may not be able to be vertical] Most material we deal with on our PCs (web pages, documents, spreadsheets) scroll vertically and waste less space on a vertical monitor. If you’re using a PC, the system can easily adapt to the vertical orientation. I think that’s true of Macs too. I’ve worked with a pair of vertical monitors at home and at work for over 25 years and when folks visit my home or work they are often interested in how well this plan works.

    Thanks for all your hard work on podcasts. Really appreciate all of that.

  9. That is a perfect retreat/hole/corner ! How’s the network there? I think the angle wall needs a graphic of some sort, whimsy, surreal, fantasy, Escher?! A corner can work well for monitor spread. Worked with an agent that rotated one monitor 90 degrees to keep more apps open and visible.

    best wishes
    Earl Kirkman

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