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Ok. This project is way overdue. But in my defense, its a biggie. It literally spans the whole length of our studio space and Im breaking it down into 2 posts! So Im cutting myself a bit of slack. Ha! When we moved into the loft we almost immediately decided the space downstairs “designated” as the bedroom just wasn’t going to work. After checking out the floorplan a bit more we decided it would actually be a great place for a workspace. That also meant finding a new desk solution since the space wasn’t going to look great with our old desks. And being our difficult selves we decided a DIY desk would be most ideal!
When we unpacked we threw together this makeshift workspace(yes, posting this makes me cringe! #reallife) to get a few things done while we were still scheming. But I think feeling out a space and living in it before committing has saved us a lot of time shuffling furniture. We’ve used these desktops in one variation or another for over 8 years.
I love the flexibility of most ikea pieces and obviously the price tag! These tops included. But after moving into the loft we wanted to bring in a bit more of that industrial feel. These tops do NOT read that way. After searching a few online vendors it was pretty clear we favored the modern farmhouse styles as well. A few hours of Pinterest later we figured we could replicate the look with a few tricks and still use our ikea tops.
We already had 2 white tops and snagged this faux pine one out of the as-is pile. $7 for a table top? Yes please! Knowing we were going to change the look I didn’t care what the finish was. It just needed to be the right size and still in good condition. Check!
Once we collected our tops we hit Lowes for some peel & stick vinyl planks. They are much lighter than covering the tops in actual wood, come in a crazy amount of colors, and are easy to cut to size(no power tools needed!). The boxes of planks repeat the same 3-4 prints so we laid them out in the isle to make sure we got a good mix. When it came time to stick these down we made sure to stager the planks and kept the patterns as random as possible. No repeats!
As for the legs, we just made simple rectangle “frames”. We planned on making these desks a bit taller(more on that in part 2!) so custom legs were the only way to go. The frames are made from 2×2 pine and we had them cut right in the store. Again, we were trying to keep the power tool usage in the loft to a minimum. Once we got the frames together I slapped on a coat of black chalk paint and a coat of clear wax. After it dried for 24 hours I very lightly buffed them. I basically just ran a cloth over the frames once. I wasn’t concerned with trying to buff them into a high shine. The finish on these is actually more of a semi-matte. When people have seen the finished desks they assume the frames are actually powder coated metal.
Being that we are renting this place Im completely obsessed with protecting the floors. I’ve heard too many horror stories about loosing deposits over a couple scratches… uhmmm no thanks! So we pulled out the felt pads and added them to the corners of the frames.
When we added the frames to the tops we made sure they were completely flush to the edges. This was for both esthetic and functional reasons. A while ago we tore one of these tops apart(cant for the life of me remember why!) and the innards were unexpected. The border is wood and the middle is actually just full of cardboard! Obviously this isnt a sturdy place to attach anything. So keeping that in mind we made sure all our screws stayed within a couple inches of the edge. Using the predrilled holes(where you could attach ikea legs) you can visualize the “safe zone”.
These desks are super light and you can customize them to fit any space. We actually customized our own design to use stacking drawers(again, more on that in part 2!). Essentially we made 3 of these desks and when connected they make a huge L shape that spans the the entire studio space. Its giant but we spend a crazy amount of time in here and its so nice having room to spread out mid project!
So what DIYs have you used in your workspace? Have you tackled any furniture upcycles? You know I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!