My Desk

With all this talk about work schedules and approaches, I thought it would be fun to share some photos of my home office in progress.

(See here for the story on my vintage office chairs.)

Our loft has two long banks of windows. One is in our living area and the other is in our office/guest space (both these rooms are open to each other). I wanted the desk to basically run the length of the windows so an assistant could work there during the day and my husband at night. I wanted a shallow desktop. Also I needed something with legs that were or could be pushed forward so the desk could sort of sit over the top of the radiator vents. Sounds like a custom job, right? No good for me ($$$$$), so I figured I'd have to build something myself (like this).

Then I remembered that IKEA sells interchangable table tops and legs at really reasonable prices. I was hoping for something on the more modern/streamlined side anyway. I was able to buy two of the VIKA pine wooden tops and three of these metal legs for about $90 total (the pricing is/was a little less in-store -- I bought the legs for $10 each and the tops for $30 each).



The legs attached very easily with the use of a drill and the provided screws. Just make sure to measure where you want the legs to sit, so that the legs line up together.

We were a little nervous that putting a single leg under the seam of the table tops (in the middle) was a bad idea, but it has been really fine - no problems here. I really just didn't want the added bulk of a fourth leg. Then it would just look like two desks pushed together. I'm so glad it worked to just use three legs. The result was exactly what I wanted.



I love the modern shape of the legs.



Once I had everything put together, I whipped up a quick pickling paint concoction with a little bit of white paint, some gray primer (because that's what I had around in the dark gray department) and water. I would say I ended up with four parts water to one part paint. I wanted it on the watery side.



I wanted to be able to see the knots and some of the grain in the wood through the paint job.



Pickling the tabletop was about the easiest paint project I've ever done. It took about 10 minutes to brush on all 100" of table length!



I wanted a brass look on the legs, so I broke out my quart of Ralph Lauren Regency Metallic Parlor Gold and brushed it on the legs with a foam brush (no primer first, because I was feeling a little lazy - it was after bedtime. See me in my jimjams?). I did two or three coats and then sealed the gold painted with Polycrylic.



I made this desk a couple months ago and it has held up beautifully. No chipping on the legs and the tabletop has withstood it's fair share of rogue crayon/marker scribbles.



I'm happy with the look of mixing the pickled wood with the modern brassy legs. And I really love how much surface space we have in that room now. It's great for a second work station, but I also use it a lot for laying out fabrics and samples. Two thumbs up for this great IKEA product.



More on my office next week. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!! xx

55 comments:

Karilynn said...

Jenny, I'm freaking out!!!! You've done it yet AGAIN!! Gorgeous, gorgeous room. I won't be able to sleep all this weekend, thinking of all the amazing things I'm sure you'll share about your office next week.

Your biggest fan - Kari

Anonymous said...

You should sleep more. Seriously, it's really bad for your health. Good for all of us stalkers, but not great for you. Take care of yourself!! We love you too much to see you burn out early.

Your office is LOVELY.

Fran said...

Jenny, your office is killer!! Seriously, I could give you two sticks and you could make it beautiful! You're always inspiring us!! Thanks so much!

susannah of style temple said...

Just unbelievable, Jenny! Can't wait to see more - you just open up so many possibilities for us readers with your ideas. Love it!!

A.S. said...

It is fantastic what you do with simple things. You deserve all the great success you are getting! Thanks for the inspiration.

Christy said...

That is one of the most inviting desk areas I've ever seen. I absolutely love it. Also, your post on Cup of Jo was so fun to read - one of my favorite guest post series ever. Hope you have a great weekend Jenny!

FlirtyGems said...

Totally in awe of you! Great Job!

Allison Egan said...

The whole office is fantastic! amazing idea about the Ikea tops and legs - and the brass legs!!! wow!
xo allison

www.spicerandbank.blogspot.com

Cathy lee said...

What a gorgeous space. I'm inspired... while reading your post... the desk and the room just kept getting better and better. Seriously, I'm ready to tackle my office now. :)

laxsupermom said...

Love this! It turned out so beautiful! I love that you went with the brassy legs - it's so unexpected and looks fabulous! Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer said...

What a nice, big workspace! Great solution. I really like the openness underneath the desk.

Denise Briant said...

Jenny,

This is amazing and I am inspired! I am trying to figure out where I can a put a desk like this in our place. Thanks for the great tips and keep your creative ideas coming to all of us readers! Thanks!

modernchemistry said...

WOW. wow wow wow. you have such style - and amazing DIY skill. for real. your DIY projects look so high end. lovely!

Lilly from Lilly's Notebook said...

You're amazing, Jenny! I'm so inspired by you!

Lilly from Lilly's Notebook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aesthetic Oiseau said...

I was tasked with designing the office space for my team at our company, and went with those exact desks for all 12 of us. They have been wonderful and just the look I wanted! I'm considering one for my house too :)

Heather said...

That looks great! I love having a large surface area, so for my desk, (I needed a bit more storage), I purchased 2 file cabinets, and used a door (from Home Depot) for the top. I stained, and painted it, and it's perfect! It fits all my computer things (monitor, keyboard, printer/scanner), and even extra file storage on top!

Thurgood17 said...

You are so brilliant!!! Love your aesthetic!!

shannon said...

This is beautiful! I can't get over the vision you have for every project you do. Such talent!

Staci said...

I love this idea! You are genius! The paint colors look awesome!

allie said...

love! can we see a more detailed shot of the desktop space? I'd love to know how you organized with so much on that desk- it looks great, and my desk needs inspiration...

Caroline said...

Jenny, you have outdone yourself with this project. I thought it looked great without any paint or personalizing, but then BAM! Your custom paint & touches are incredible. Thanks for sharing.
xxoo

Pink Wallpaper said...

love, love, love!!

blue chickadee said...

Love, love, love what you did with that Ikea table!!!! Ikea always comes to the rescue, doesn't it?!!! Love the look of your office all set up too-great style you have!

Melissa@Julia's Bookbag said...

This is too fabulous! Do you think a whole apartment tour might be in the works soon? (pretty please?)

denese said...

your decorating skillz (no misspelling her!) are so on point. I love this desk.

yours is the second recent post I've seen with art leaned in on a sill. I'm totally stealing this trend!

as always thanks for inspiring and delighting!

best - d.

post script: your girlies (in your 'mamma juggling' post are adorable.

post post script: don't forget, navy + black = =chic.

:)

Collins said...

Just found your blog and I have to say...AMAZING post. I have been struggling with my office space big time and this would be perfect. Just wish Charleston, SC had an IKEA! So pickling is just watering down the paint? I like it...
Following you now!

Naomi@DesignManifest said...

fabulous idea!! I've been wanting a longer desk and this could be the perfect solution.

Heidi said...

thanks Jenica. I have been on the lookout of a table for my laundry room, one that i can slide my dirty clothes sorter under. Now I am off to look at ikea -next time i'm in the valley i hope to come back with a folding station for the laundry.

Zoua said...

totally loving your desk! before it's painted and decorated with lovely things it doesn't look like much. love how you transformed it with just a bit of paint and love. <3

Collections said...

So great! Love the white and yellow. You really make some amazing things.

Fashionable Collections

Louise@ButtercupDays said...

Wow what a beautiful office - it must be a pleasure to go to work. You've fired me all up to do an office makeover myself. My husband & I run our own interior and design PR business and we have a small studio outside of the home. However, I've been on extended maternity leave for just over 2 yrs and lets just say my husbands idea of a tidy and inspiring office isn't quite the same as mine. I'm back in the studio part time as of sept, so may have to mark my return with a spruce up!
Early this year I started up my own blog on stuff that makes me tick www.buttercupdaysuk.blogspot.com - take a peep if you can. I find blogs like yours a huge inspiration - so thanks. x

amber wallace said...

You are seriously amazing. I wish I had ideas like you! I've been staring at those ikea pieces wanting 2 for my office and feeling totally uninspired. Thank you for being so inspiring! You're a rockstar!

Design Candy said...

What a super smart idea! We are creating a new office/craft room and I need as much surface space as possible without spending a ton on a big old desk. This is great!

Rose said...

The office looks really great. I can only dream of having that much space to myself. Someday...

Barbie said...

You did it again! How do you do it so consistently? This has my wheels turning...love the end product and the overall office area. Really sophisticated. Looking forward to seeing more photos of your place! Makes me want to hold off on home projects b/c I'm sure your's will be better and I'll wish I'd have copied you instead. :) You're the bomb.

Kristy @ I Design Love said...

I love that desk! That was cleaver idea.

Kristy
www.idesignlove.com

melissa said...

Your blog is one of the only I read anymore. Every Friday night it's my little treat to get on the computer and see what your making. Always some fun and beautiful project...

Amber Interiors said...

Amazing as always...you are one for the books my love!

Anonymous said...

That last picture is so beautiful. I wasn't convinced when I read the post about about your new blue office chairs, but they look great.

rachel @ Just a Touch of Gray said...

AMAZING! You desk and office space looks awesome! You know what you want and you figure out how to do it on an Ikea budget -- and make it look oh so good! Can't beat that!

I whitewashed our 1960 wood paneling in our living room and dining room (one long room). Hubs and I love the outcome. Like you, we really wanted to be able to see the wood grain and knots but we needed lighten the room. Would *LOVE* for you to check it out....

http://justatouchofgray.blogspot.com/2011/07/living-room-reveal.html

Have a great weekend!

saigon said...

love how you are persistent with such a work.
some women are not that into painting and getting their rooms messed up for it

Em said...

Dang you're good lady. Your own-home posts are always like Christmas morning. Tons of love in my corner.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful!

I so wish you would have left the legs silver though. They looked so pretty with the gray top . . .

barbara@hodge:podge said...

Beautiful and creative. Love the set-up. You have it beautifully style. Love the drawers underneath, is that new? vintage?

I am just jealous that you live in New York City! Le sigh....

Anonymous said...

Again I'm in love with your creativity!
You've inspired me to do something about the topless coffee table in my living room - do you think the Ikea table tops could be cut down to size? Just off one end?

Megan Lee said...

Thank you, thank you , thank you for posting this! I have been on the prowl for items to make a custom desk in a recessed space in our basement. I haven't had much luck finding something that wasn't going to break the bank. This looks perfect for what I'm going for!!!

Hooper Patterson and Ann White Schutte said...

Genius. I love it!!! Great job and thanks for the inspiration!
xox
hooper

Life On Planet Mum said...

Jenny, I love the modern look of your desk and like how you have separate drawers to file away your other things. However, how does one hide messy wiring when the desk is so exposed like that? I don't see any wires in your pictures but at my home, it is a bit of an eyesore. Would appreciate your ideas on this.

Houndstooth and Nail said...

Totally beautiful! I love what you did with the legs, you took it from a pedestrian IKEA piece to something totally glam.
Thanks for the inspiration, love it!
:) Ingrid

Andi said...

Oh that turned out fantastic! Once it's all zhushed up it looks way more expensive than it was. And I put my lambskin on my office chair too! Beautiful, as always!

Brandi said...

Perfect time to post this Jenny! I was telling a friend to do this in his recording studio so now he can get a visual of what I meant. This looks great!

aed said...

I have a question about the center leg. Did you straddle the top bracket so that it attaches to both tops? And did you seal to seam at all to secure it?

Libby Bates (miss lib) said...

What a great idea! As a recent grad, I'm loving this budget idea!

Ann Liebler said...

I am making a home office for myself and 5 children. I love what you have done with the Ikea desk. I have the room painted a light oatmeal and the wall that the desks will be against an organge/red, the room has medium dark wood floors and white trim. What color would you suggest I paint the desk top. Also should I finish it with a sealer to protect it from the wear and tear of the family. You have really inspired me.
Thanks,
Ann

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