Monday, February 21, 2011

DIY Desk

When John and I got married, we brought together two people's worth of stuff. Two CD collections, two sets of towels, two dressers, two desks. Sometimes two is better than one, but sometimes two is just too much.  Take, for instance, our office. Yes, it was nice to have two desks with which to house our two computers, two filing cabinets, and two sets of desk accessories, not to mention two people who wanted to be at the desk at the same time. However, two desks also meant less room, double the messiness when desks were unorganized, and mega mismatched furniture.

John's desk was messy, bulky, 80's style, messy, bulky, messy...I didn't like his desk very much.

My desk was more elegant with curvy legs and cream paint - much like this desk without the top drawers or mirror. Unfortunately, it was teeny with no storage.

So, when we moved to North Carolina, we knew we wanted to streamline our office furniture and create an office with room to hang out, play music, and enjoy.  Our number one criteria in a desk was that it be large enough hat we could both sit at it on our computers at the same time.  With John going to graduate school, we knew he'd need a desk conducive to spreading out and doing homework, but I also wanted a space that was my own and separate from his messiness (see above picture of his desk to understand why).  Our second criteria was that it not cost us an arm and a leg.

Quickly after beginning our search for the perfect desk, we realized that our two criteria left us with basically no options. The desks we could afford were too small, the desks that were large enough were too expensive. We spent a lot of time looking at Ikea, but even the Besta Burs desk was more than we were willing to spend at $249.

Around the same time we were dealing with our desk dilemma, the writers at were also struggling with the same situation.  It seemed our criteria were identical, as was our budget. So, we stole their idea of converting a door into a desk.  Looking back at how they ended up constructing their desk, their dimensions were different and we went about constructing the desk in different ways, but the ideas were the same and the outcome pretty identical.

spotted at Young House Love

We bought a $17 plain interior door from Home Depot as well as $15 worth of pine studs to serve as legs and reinforcement. I wish we had taken pictures of our progress but alas, we did not. I will say that John did a great job ensuring our desk would be strong and stable. 

After a coat of primer and paint, this is what our desk looked like

John inserted two wooden braces under the table to reinforce the desk and make sure it could hold the weight of whatever we wanted to place on our desk.

 The rails, in addition to being pretty, serve as extra reinforcement. Believe me, this desk is ready for a weight lifting competition. 

In college I had a shelf I used for my monitor. We spray painted it white to match the desk so that we would have a place to put our printer and other things. With the lack of drawers, we've had to think about how to organize the desk and make use of every bit of space.

Our desk turned out as sturdy as John hoped and as pretty as I hoped. Not only do we have much more room in our office, the room looks more put together without the mumble and jumble of mismatched furniture. We're most proud of the price tag of this desk. Total, including wood and paint, we spent $35.

Next on my to do list is to wrangle those cords together...they drive me crazy!


Anonymous said...

It looks professionally made! Good luck with the cords.

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Roxana said...

How long is your desk?

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AnnabelleL said...

does your desk shake? I have tried something similar but I'm at the stage of completing the frame and it does budge a bit

Anonymous said...

Did you use nails or glue?

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