Friday, January 4, 2013

A DIY Desk!

When we moved into our current house we gained much more square footage over our old home. However, once you fill it with seven people and all of their stuff I found that I still had to get creative when it came to certain things. I needed to figure out how to maximize space...like finding a location for my home office for instance. A home office that I didn't really have before but definitely needed. I had to keep track of all of that paperwork amongst the other normal day to day paperwork that comes through la casa.

When it came to having a workspace I really wanted to be on the main floor so that I could access my desk easily. I didn't want to be in a remote place of the house that left me distant from the kids and never able to go to my work space unless the kids were napping or in bed. So what better hub to be in than a corner in the dining room, right off of the kitchen? Ok, so maybe not the first place that you think of when picking out your office space but it has worked wonders for me and has been the perfect spot! I tried to keep it simple in its contents so that it wouldn't be an eye sore in the dining room. A big plus was that because of the central location it is also like I have a built in music system since I can turn music on my laptop and have the sound hooked up to some tiny speakers that I can hear throughout the main level.

I had the spot nailed down but now I needed a custom desk that would fit the space. Hmmm. I looked at different stores for desks but wasn't impressed with the drawers and filing space or should I say lack of filing space. I really needed more than just work space and paying for a desk with one simple filing drawer...that just wasn't going to cut it. I am a recovering couponer (if I still had the time, I would keep doing it) and so I use to file all of my newspaper inserts. I tried using plastic stack-able file totes that were portable but found that I really needed a desk where I could access the files easily and make it as simple as possible to use.

My Dad had made desks out of file cabinets and doors before so the idea got our brains turning. Why not create my own desk with the things that I needed most...files? I purchased two file cabinets. Originally Sam was going to custom cut a piece of wood to go over the two file cabinets but in a stroke of genius he discovered that our kitchen table leaves that we weren't using fit the area perfectly. And they were just collecting dust in the closet so why not put them to use!

DIY Desk

This is really such a simple desk to create and because it is custom you can make it fit in any space by determining your table top size and adhering it to the file cabinets. In our case we just used some double stick foam tape to give the wood less of a wiggle, but didn't want to permanently glue the wood down in case we ever wanted to use those table leaves again.

using file cabinets for desk

I'm able to maximize space even more because I don't keep an office chair at my desk. I just pivot the dining room table chair when I want to sit down and work and presto I have a place to sit!

dining room chair for desk

One of my favorite things about this space is seeing the wall art that hangs above the lamp on a daily basis. The fact that the words are in a perfect box and yet say what they say rings loud and clear in my heart. I tend to like things in their place but I also think that you have to let your hair down and "color outside the lines" in order to experience life to the fullest!

color outside the lines

I love these vases from Ikea and the many things that you can put in them. Anything green that I don't have to be responsible to water is a plus!

ikea vase and plant

I recently picked up these note cards at Walmart. They have been great to have on hand when I need to write a note to someone. I have also loved the splash of color that it added.

teal notecards

Everything fits nicely behind the desk so that I am able to have my power cord for the laptop as well as a phone charger available. I love being able to plug in and sit down at a desk as well as have the option of grabbing my computer and heading to any other place in the house if needed. The other thing that I love about this desk is that since everything could easily be removed off of the top I could always have additional serving space if needed for the dining room. So maybe create an appetizer bar or a place to serve drinks...the possibilities are endless!

home is where the heart is MN

I love the fact that we have been able to utilize space, I am still centrally located to the hub of our house, I can play music throughout the main level, the desk fits my needs for having all of my files in one easy to access place and the space is versatile! Who would have thought that two file cabinets and some table leaves would be so functional?

By utilizing this extra nook in my dining room for my desk now I am just feet away from this goodness! I can grab whatever hot drink sounds the yummiest that day and then get right back to work! And it all comes packed in ONE single room. This is why I love mixing function & fun...it creates one beautiful environment to live and create in!



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I Heart OrganizingEmily A. ClarkThrifty Decor Chick

29 comments:

  1. You are one amazing lady, Sarah!

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    1. Aww, thanks Alvina! I give all of the credit to that smart master mind that I married who has such great ideas and then I go to work making those ideas pretty. :-)

      ~Sarah

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  2. Oh I never knee that was a home made desk. U guys are amazingly creative

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    1. Chantal, anyone could do it...that is what makes it so great. Thanks!

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  3. Love the simple functionality of this. And really it looks great! One question though is where did you get the mail sorter on the wall? I desperatly need somewhere to stash important papers out of little ones reach and yours is so pretty as well as functional. Thanks for the tips! -becca

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    1. Becca,

      The sorter on the wall is from Target. It is actually two separate pieces. So each one comes with two pockets but you can stack more than one on top of each other like I did and it all looks like one unit.

      ~Sarah

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  4. I've seen that desk a hundred times and never realized it was made out of 2 file cabinets and a board.

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  5. Stopping by from the iheart link party. Your desk looks great! Such a great DIY project.

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  6. Looks fantastic!! We're an adoptive family too...will have to come back and read more! =)

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  7. Your desk is amazing, but what I love most is that you made it out of a table leaf. I never would have guessed it, but such a resourceful choice!!

    xo,
    Jen

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    1. Jen,

      The fact that you think my desk is amazing, is AMAZING...you are the queen of incredible desk spaces! I'm going to bed happy tonight! Thanks for stopping by! :-)

      ~Sarah

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  8. Love this solution! So smart. Thanks for linking up :)

    Also love reading how another family of seven makes their space work for them...

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    1. Emily,

      I was drawn to your site by our similarity of a family of seven and then I stayed because of how beautiful your decor was. :-) Thanks for hosting!

      ~Sarah

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  9. I love your office! Great desk, so creative! 1 question, where did you get the Color outside the lines art?? I love it! Thanks :)

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    1. Louann,

      I bought it from a HOM furniture store. I was browsing their store one day and saw it on display. :-)

      ~Sarah

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  10. Thank you for your great explanation of how you put your desk together (double sided foam tape). We are building this same desk and I wasn't sure how to get the top to stay without wiggling. This idea is perfect!

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    1. I'm so glad it helped. Good luck with the new desk!

      ~Sarah

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  11. I wanted to make a 1-cabinet version of this, but couldn't sell it to the wife. Maybe in my next life. Regardless, I love yours. Great job!

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  12. Are those file cabinets from Walmart? I think they have similar ones, if not. I've been trying to find a new desk as our is way too deep for the space we have it in and I've been looking at making one out of filing cabinets. We need a lot of filing space too with personal files, blog stuff, and the file my husband needs to keep at home for the restaurant. Do you find that the two small drawers are enough space for all the office-y stuff? Also have you found any good drawer organizers that fit that size or do you have a creative solution for making your own?

    Thanks :)

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    Replies
    1. Allyson,

      Yep, the file cabinets are from Walmart. The two drawers have been great for office stuff and storing the essentials. I have a plastic organizer (standard store bought one) in one drawer. It doesn't fit the drawer entirely so I use the perimeter to store things like my stapler, tape, etc. and the other drawer I just keep open for bigger things. Since I was like you and wanted to maximize file space I didn't mind only having two small drawers on top. Honestly it has helped me keeps things simple and clean because there is less room to put little stuff. I hope that helps!

      ~Sarah

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    2. Okay, one last question...these file cabinets are about three inches taller than standard two drawer ones, do you find that you need a taller chair?

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    3. We just use a regular dining room chair and I haven't noticed it being uncomfortable or the desk too high.

      ~Sarah

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