We moved into our place about 1.5 years ago and have done a woeful job of utilizing our space. We spend the majority of our time in one room and have a lovely, unused loft space which would make a perfect home office for the two of us (well, three of us; Esther snoozes on my lap during work hours).
After we bought this place, I quickly discovered that I have no interest in home decor. I know when other people’s homes look nice and I would love my space to look like that but furniture stores give me migraines and paint swatches make my eyes bleed. Thank goodness for the Internet and a handy boyfriend.
We initially thought we’d set up two separate desks on opposite walls, allowing us to have a seating area in front of the loft’s fireplace. Dave liked the idea of one super-long desk along the entire back wall of the loft — the only problem is the back wall is 14.5 feet long and most desks cap out at about 8 or 9 feet. Pinterest led me to this awesome desk which these two clever people created. With this well-laid-out game plan in hand and inspired by our predecessor’s success, I was ready to tell Dave to execute this idea.
We followed Young House Love’s guide to a T, and we mean to a T. After three trips to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, we couldn’t find $1 cabinets. Come on, Young House Love, what’s up with your wonky how-to?!
Dave ended up getting 4 of these nightstands from Ikea; they were the right height and on sale for $50 each. Even with that great sale, we were still already $200 deep whereas Young House Love was only $6 deep at this point — damn them and their perfect, insanely frugal home improvement projects!
Dave planned for the desk to be 28″ wide and 14.5′ long, with 3 “rows” — 9.25″ each — of wood planks from the front of the desk to the back. He bought wood planks that are about 1.5″ deep.
He did make the mistake of leaving the planks outside in the sun one balmy afternoon, resulting in some cracks in 2 of the planks. We figured it would add character that didn’t cost us $1,800 at Restoration Hardware.
Dave then sanded the wood.
And stained it. He did 3 coats of stain. He stained the top of all the planks and the sides of the planks that would be in front.
In retrospect, it might be a good idea to stain the ends of the planks. Once he assembled the top, there were 1 or 2 spots he had to touch up.
The assembly process was the interesting part. Dave bought a Kreg jig which allowed him to essentially drill at an angle when needed and affix the planks to each other. He also used Young House Love’s approach, using a camera tripod to keep the boards level as he drilled. When the serious muscle was required, I stepped in and pressed down (or pulled up) on the boards while he drilled to keep things as level as possible.
The assembly process took a couple hours and a lot of maneuvering on Dave’s part. Once he was finished, he then did 3 coats of polyurethane sealant.
And here it is after we put our stuff on it.
Here’s a closer shot of my section of the desk.
And finally, here’s a shot of it from the other end of the loft. You can see how it takes up the entire wall.
Please note that our work space is always this clean. We are just supremely organized, together people.