Studio progress: The desk is done!

We’re nearing the finish line with our office renovation, and we finally made it past the biggest hurdle with marking the workspace area off our checklist.

After we built and assembled the big desk, we discovered it had some wobble to it. Possibly because it was so heavy, resting on skinny-ish legs, and not bolted or secured to anything.

The two Ikea desks on either side were also easily moveable—not ideal.
To remedy this situation, I purchased some decent sized L brackets and Brad secured them underneath the large center desk into the wall where the studs were (sorry, no photos of this process, but there’s not much to it). We were relieved to find that it worked! The desk won’t budge now.
We then attached the two side desks to the large desk with regular flat brackets, and now those won’t move either when you pull or push on them. Success!
Then it was time to address a storage issue I’d been trying to resolve for a long time now. See those large pieces of cardboard in the photo above? There’s posters/extra large paper inside that had nowhere to go. I had no extra desk space to keep them, and I didn’t like to store them vertically (didn’t even have space for that). So what’s a girl to do?
Brad was wearing his thinking cap and suggested shallow drawer underneath the desk. Um, genius! Now I just had to figure out how to DIY it.
I decided on a piece of 1/4″ plywood and some 1×2″s for the sides, mounted with center mount drawer slides.
Here’s how the placement would be: 
The largest size Lowe’s had was 22″, and the length of my drawer needed to be 41″ to accompany my biggest posters, so I crossed my fingers it would work.
I hauled everything into the garage and got to work on my setup. I lined up the 1×2’s with the edge of the plywood base and made my cuts:
Looks like a pretty straightforward plan, right?
But then we realized we had a big problem. The drawer glides were one piece and couldn’t be taken apart, which meant that once we attached it to the drawer, we couldn’t attach it to the desk because the wood pieces would be in the way. DANGIT.
Plan B was to chop the wood off right where the screw holes were to attach it to the desk. This meant that the back side of the drawer would be free hanging but we hoped it was light enough that it didn’t matter.
We started by securing the front side of the rail to our wood (with two 1″ wood screws):
Here’s a side view to get a better idea:
Then we brought them inside, lined them to the correct spacing, and attached the back part of the slides to the desk from underneath.
Once the placement was right, we attached our plywood base to the bottom:
And with bated breath, I slowly pulled on the drawer…
and it worked!
What a sense of relief to be able to FINALLY get rid of that old cardboard that has been driving me crazy for over a year and have my posters nicely tucked away out of sight. 
We celebrated by rolling out the new rug.
And yes, we totally should have done this before securing the desks in place… it was a total pain to get situated underneath everything! But it made such a difference in the overall feel of the room. 
It instantly transformed it from an uninspired, white, institutional feel to a creative and happy environment—as it should be.
I just hope it lasts, because this little one has made it her mission in life to destroy anything that starts with an R and ends with a UG…
Yeah, I’m lookin at you, Miss Susie. Claw caps won’t stop her!
Next it w
as time to get rid of the eyesore in the room…
These horrible unfinished desk edges.
They do make white edging tape for melamine boards, but it’s only for the width of one board and I wanted it to look like one seamless thick desk.
I figured my best/only option was trim, and found some in the perfect width (1.75″).
I cut the edges at a 45′ miter so they would sit up nicely against each other.
Then I used a nail gun to secure everything.
All it took was some spackle, sanding and touch up paint. 
This was the easiest part of the day, and really makes the room look finished!
Next, we focused the bare space in the center of the back wall. 
Remember these letters from the old office?
They got a makeover, via leftover brushed nickel spray paint from my Ikea shelves:
I also relocated this Ikea rail that used to hang in the old closet space…
I like how the light is positioned directly above it to illuminate the letters.
Ok, back to the desk.
After a day or two, I noticed the plywood was sagging a bit in the back.
Oh and FYI, the bench in the back was originally going to go underneath my map wall by the printer, but it ended up being too cramped in that corner so it was relocated to this otherwise wasted space under the desk.
Another angle to showcase the plywood saggage…
So I chopped another 1×2″ to line up with the edge, used some wood glue and brackets to attach it to the front piece, then screwed the plywood in to the bottom. 
Problem solved.
I then decided I wasn’t in love with the au naturale wood tone of the drawer. Even though it’s mostly hidden, you can see a bit of the edge and the front and I wanted to minimize its visibility by blending it in with its surroundings.
Out came the white paint.
Much better…
Now it just looks like an extension of the desk. 
Can you spot the jumping cat?
That just about covers it for now. I was going to squeeze in a couple more projects but figured they were special enough to save for their own post next week.
But I do want to share this awesome custom engraved sign I purchased on Etsy
This will be attached to the door. Love it!

Up next I’ll be sharing my final two projects before the big reveal (hint: they involve words!)

13 thoughts on “Studio progress: The desk is done!

  1. The office is looking great! Awesome transformation.

    Your drawer for the larger poster paper is genius! I used to run a film studio and that would have been a much better way to store our posters than vertically, where they can get damaged over time.

  2. Gorgeous work! It's fun to see the room come newly together.

    Have you tried learning to clip your kitty's claws like fingernails? I have volunteered with organizations that save/rehome cats, and they clip the kitties' claws if the kitties don't like indoor scratching posts. As long as you learn well how to do it and don't clip too low and hit the nerve, it's just like clipping fingernails. So much better for saving furniture and rugs 🙂

  3. Oh yeah, Brad clips her nails but she still manages to claw everything up. She uses her scratching post but she thinks everything is a scratching post! The claw caps work when she wears them but she ends up losing some every day so it's hard to keep up. Sigh… cats!

  4. I love it too! But there's really no other place for it in the house. I'm keeping extra shipping supplies in there so it works out, I need all the storage I can get!

  5. It's not a rectangle shape, but the back (long) wall is around 17 feet, and it's 13 feet wide overall. The angled wall cuts off part of the length so the back/printer wall is around 10 feet long.

  6. Perhaps that desk consumed a lot of time in your office renovation project, but the result came out that your efforts paid off. And the illuminated letters JS looked really nice. Looking forward to your final projects.

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