25 Of The Best Home & Office Mac Setups

25 Of The Best Home & Office Mac Setups

People who use PCs may or may not care about the design of their products. Mac users always care. Apple is known for the innovative design of everything it creates from the iPod to the ultra-thin Macbook Air. Not to be outdone by the creators of the products, Mac users challenge themselves to set up their equipment in creative, aesthetically pleasing ways. In other words, Mac users create home and office setups that reflect just how cool they are for using a Mac.

Form and Function

There are two kinds of Mac setups that you’ll typically be awed by. The first is the setup which is really complex. You look at it and you’re overwhelmed by just how much is there. The second, and more common, type of Mac setup is the minimalist setup. It’s got all of the necessary parts to run an awesome computer but it’s all streamlined and simplified so that you get a sleek, sophisticated design. By reducing the mess of the equipment, Mac users can be more efficient. An uncluttered desk leads to an uncluttered mind. This is zen minimalism for the 21st Century geek!

Ultimate Mac Setups

Here’s the best of the best of both types of fabulous Mac setups.

1 laptop, 2 monitors, 3 iPods

1 laptop, 2 monitors, 3 iPods: Here’s a nice clean set-up for the Apple fan who has to use it all. There’s an Apple Powerbook, an Apple 24″ iMac with an extra monitor, and 3 iPods (iPod, iPod photo and iPod Nano). You’ve also got all of the other extraneous necessities like a phone and an external hard drive.

Just the Necessities

Just the Necessities: When you’re working in a small office, you need a few things. An iMac with a second display screen, a Macbook to take your work home with you, an iPhone and a pad and paper. Oh, and a TV with a remote at your desk for those times when things get slow.

Narrow but Efficient

Narrow but Efficient: This is a really narrow desk but it holds a MacBook Pro Core Duo, a Mac Mini Core Duo, 2 23″ Apple Cinema Displays, an extra-large Dell Monitor, 2 gaming systems (PS2 and Xbox 360), 2 wireless keyboards and an iPod video.

Single Display Setups

These Mac setups all use just one computer but are nevertheless attention-getting in their stylish design.

Where to Put the Junk

Where to Put the Junk: The question most Mac users are seeking to answer is how to set up their desks in order to have everything they need without a big mess. This setup has the answer. It’s a single display setup for a 12″ iBook but the desk has also got room for games, speakers, cables, a printer, a lamp, a phone, a plant and even a junk drawer. Amazingly, it’s not a mess. It’s a case of ‘everything has its place’.

Setting the Mood

Setting the Mood: All you really need is a 30″ monitor, a couple of iPod accessories and some great mood lighting. You’ve got a relaxing atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re not even at work.

Look Up

Look Up!: The problem with most notebook displays is that the notebook sits flat on the desk and your neck is dying by the end of the day from always looking down at it. This setup resolves the problem by lifting the notebook up above eye level using the iCurve. There’s also room on the desk for an iPod.

On the Wall

On the Wall: When you’ve got too much stuff, adding a computer to your desktop can be trouble. Mount it to the wall instead.

Nothing but Air

Nothing but Air: A desk looks really uncluttered when it doesn’t require anything but a Macbook Air.

Notebook as Primary Computer

Notebook as Primary Computer: Just a Macbook Air on a desk is nice but if you’re using your notebook as a primary computer then you need a little bit more on the table. Here’s a look at organizing your work and leisure necessities around a single Macbook Pro notebook.

Add Apple Art

Add Apple Art: To really show off your commitment to Apple when you only have a single-display setup, you should add a nice little bit of Apple art to the area. This shows a simple mirror frame around the Apple logo.

Multi Display Setups

Many Mac users aren’t satisfied with the simple one-tool setup. They want their normal monitor, their Mac Mini and their notebook all set up in one place. Or they want three different large monitors displaying their different activities. That could lead to a mess but Mac users find unique ways to un-jumble the chaos and create great setups.

DJ Design

DJ Design: The DJ needs one more than just the Mac; he also needs music accessories. This one has got 2 versions of the Apple Powerbook (15″ and 17″) as well as an Evolution UC-33 Midi Controller, M-Audio’s Finger Trigger, the Firewire Audio Interface, speakers and some other extras.

Dorm Room

Dorm Room: This display would work great in a dorm room or small apartment where there’s not a lot of space for a multi-display setup. It’s a simple setup with a Macbook Dual 2 Core and a second Sony HX-73 monitor above it. There’s also room for the iPod Nano in its dock.

Setup for 2

Setup for 2: This allows people at two different desks in the room to get involved in the action. On one desk is the MacBook Pro Core Duo. On the other is a Dual Dell setup and room for an iPod.

Go Vertical

Go Vertical: Who ever said that you needed to keep your Apple Cinema display in landscape mode? By turning it to the vertical position, you can easily have three huge display monitors on a small trendy desk.

Menage a Trois

Menage a Trois: You’ve got your basic desk with a Macbook Pro, one 17″ Dell display, and one 20″ Apple Cinema display. It’s romance waiting to happen.

Angle It

Angle It: Usually when you see a dual 30″ display, you see them side by side in one long continuous mess of information. This setup angles them in like a book so you can focus better on what’s going on. There’s also the Macbook Pro to keep you occupied.

Big, Bigger, Biggest

Big, Bigger, Biggest: The 17″ Mac notebook wasn’t enough. The 23″ notebook wasn’t enough. And why have only one 30″ LCD screen when you could have three?


Plasma!: The Mac Mini is a nice little tool to help you show off the images on your two fifty inch plasma television screens.

Office Setups

Great Mac setups aren’t just something that wacky freelancers do at home. There are some amazingly impressive office designs out there as well. Typically, these are of the super-streamlined variety which leads to a more efficient, productive work force. (Or at least to the ability of everyone in the office to see when their co-workers are gaming instead of working.)

Mac Row

Mac Row: This is a setup at the Baltic Contemporary Art Centre, a visual art museum in England. Back-to-back iMacs on a narrow table with stools to use them make up an efficient little set-up in a small space for the visitors here to use.

Who Needs a Window?

Who Needs a Window?: There’s no need for an office with a view when you’ve got the light from three different displays at your little desk. This one has a MacBook Pro, a 17″ iMac and a separate 17″ Dell display.

Late Night at the Office

Late Night at the Office: All you really need is a Macbook and some takeout.

Everything In Its Place

Everything In Its Place: It looks like there might be a lot of important stuff in this office but it’s all out of the way where you can’t see it. You can sure see that Mac, though!

It's all in Black and White

It’s all in Black and White: One of the best ways to create a clean look with your Mac setup is to stick with a black/white/grey color scheme. That’s what’s been done here where we’ve got an iBook and dual 20″ Apple Cinema displays.

Two Tone

Two Tone: This corner office space serves to inspire creativity while also encouraging productivity. It’s simple and efficient with everything you need to for the work side of your brain to get the job done (including a Macbook, a Tibook and a 20″ Apple Cinema display). There’s also color on one of the walls and some art posters hanging for the creative side of the brain.

15, 20, 30

15, 20, 30: Some things need to be viewed on a thirty inch screen. Others are fine on the 15″ notebook. For those in between, there’s always the 20″ display. This desk is your answer to every problem.

The person who relies on Mac for both personal and professional use has a few basic goals in mind for his setup. He wants to include as many gadgets and display options as possible so that he can engage in multi-tasking. He also wants to reduce the clutter as much as possible in order to make that multi-tasking efficient and free from distraction. And he wants to show others how good he is at both of these tasks.

About the author:

Tom is a huge tech and gadget geek with a broad range of interests including travel, art and design. Much of his time is spent blogging on CreativeCloud but he also enjoys writing for other blogs in the design niche.

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  • User Gravatar Curvball
    April 27th, 2008 at 10:37 am

    Thanks for sharing these awesome setups, gives me some good ideas for tweaking both my home office and my day job work space.
    Here is a quick snap shot of my home setup:
    <img src=””/>
    …I know, I need to get something sorted;)

  • User Gravatar airfang
    April 27th, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    Narrow but Efficient: the description for this one is missing the Wii 😀

  • User Gravatar Alex!
    April 29th, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    This is the 26th!!

    eh eh .. It’s my iMac!

  • User Gravatar Pyretic
    April 29th, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    How does one get the cinema display in vertical mode, is this a feature of newer models or a custom mod ?

  • User Gravatar Patrick Stein
    April 30th, 2008 at 7:59 am

    Most of them could have more real screen estate with <a href=””>ScreenRecycler</a> !

    All their macbooks would another aditional monitor 🙂

  • User Gravatar Vic Lagunes
    October 17th, 2009 at 6:45 am

    Thanks….now…can you help us gather best practices -cool- enterprise setups? Wouldn´t that be cool?

    We know that Apple has grown, and keeps growing in the enterprise market, yet one of the biggest challenges has been to enable and deploy enterprise grade environments that will be both efficient and secure.

    Can we do this using and ALL Apple solution? If so…lets share these experiences!


  • User Gravatar Jake
    July 27th, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Its hard to keep up to date with Apple because of them keep launching new product. Thanks for the write up!

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