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A New Space for the New Year

BY: Laura

January 14, 2020

3 min read

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January is the start of something new and the perfect time to reorganize, declutter, and create a better function in your spaces.  So today I’m excited to share with you how I claimed an empty wall in our living room to create a laptop station for our LUOA students.  Until now, our two high school students have been moving around to different areas of the house, laptop in hand, to get their school work completed, so this makeover is going to be a game-changer for them.  If you are like us and haven’t yet claimed a space for online schooling or studying at home, I hope this encourages you to give it a try, maybe with a little DIY or a piece you have on hand that could use some reimagining.

 



For this project, I made a simple, DIY desk and repurposed an old cabinet from another room in our home.  I used two, ten-foot 2×10 pine boards to give lots of desktop space for several kids to sit and work.  The boards were clamped together with a bead of wood glue, and on the underneath side, I attached 1×3 bracing pieces every two feet with 1 1/2 inch wood screws.

In order to give the desk a more finished appearance, I attached 1×3 boards around all four sides with a bead of wood glue and some finishing nails.  The legs, shown assembled above, are steel pipes and flanges which can be purchased at your local hardware store.  I chose to use steel pieces that are specifically made for furniture because they are easier to assemble and are not threaded.

 



The desktop was clamped overnight while the glue dried and I gave it a light sanding the following day.  I like to keep some saw marks and texture for a rustic look.  After this, I stained our new desk with a mix of three parts Minwax Weathered Oak to one part Minwax Early American then used some leftover water-based floor polyurethane that I had on hand.  But Polycrylic or oil-modified Minwax polyurethane are both a good choice for a topcoat.

 


     

With the desk completed, I then looked to find some storage options.  The cabinet I chose was an older piece that had been hidden in another room and just needed a fresh coat of paint to give it new life and purpose.  I used Valspar furniture paint tinted a Sherwin Williams color, Iron Ore.  I’m still thinking of adding wallpaper to the back interior for a little pattern and color in the room, and there’s a little more cutting in to do around the glass on the doors, but it’s going to be the perfect place for storing all of our tech gear when it’s done.  A few small storage bins inside the cabinet will keep our wires and small items organized.  It’s also a great spot for keeping a few cozy throws within reach for winter.

 


    

All of the décor, except for the cabinet storage bins and the basket on top of the cabinet, were pieces I pulled from other spaces or reworked in this room.  When spring comes we’ll hang some window coverings, but for now, the extra light during our gray, northern winters is much needed.  We love that this corner of our home now has a function that we can use nearly every day!

 

If you would like to make a similar DIY desk, here are the supplies I used:

  • Two 2x10x10 pine boards (these can be cut in the store if necessary)
  • Three 10 foot 1×3 boards (for the sides and bracing under desktop)
  • Small can of Minwax Weathered Oak
  • Small can of Minwax Early American
  • Polyurethane or similar finish
  • Wood screws
  • Finishing nails
  • Clamps (before I owned clamps I was building without them, though it’s better to use them)
  • Steel legs and flanges to be assembled to your preferred height
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • (gold spray paint, optional for steel connectors and flanges)

 

You can follow along on my Pinterest for more fun! And, if you would like to see a video of this makeover, head to my YouTube page!

 

Till next time!

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Laura

Laura is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom of five, and avid DIY-er. She created the Instagram account “The Simple Farmhouse” and uses it to share her heart for home decor and family. She also blogs on her website thesimplefarmhouse.com.

 

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