I know many of you have been waiting for this, with all of my teasing about it! And I have been dying to show you (show off…whatever) my custom-built farmhouse home office desk, that that my husband made for me! For this first post, I am simply sharing with you the build itself, and some of the story behind it. In upcoming posts, I will show you my work-space all set up and pretty. (When I get that far.)
So first, to put my appreciation and excitement in context here, you should know how I have been working.
In this large amoire in the photos below, is our TV, which we rarely use at all. But behind it was my work cubby. It was always amusing when someone who had been to our house a few times before, before they realized there was a work space behind there. They’d always react with such surprise and intrigue. So come around the amoire (following the numbered photos), and see my little space I have had . . . . .
It certainly was a workable idea for the past few years, in that it gave me a little privacy for editing client portrait work. It is rather organized and cleaned up here, but that is not how it has always appeared or felt. (I had already started cleaning out here, to empty this whole cubby.) To start, I hated the desk. The photo is deceiving I think, because this desk was mammoth, and yet not efficient at all; with shelves I couldn’t easily get to (dusting nightmare), and virtually no storage or room to work. With a modern design, fake wood laminate and black accents-ugh! I wanted it GONE. And what a dust magnet this cubby has been!
Anyway, imagine on the desk-top, on either side, a tall pile of papers, notebooks and dozens of folders. And not just here. When I worked on my laptop for school and blogging, I’d sit on the couch, where beside the couch was small table with another 2 piles of papers, notebooks and folders. Then there is the school room, where I’ve kept all of my teacher books. I can’t stand clutter or disorganization, so having everything everywhere has tended to make me cranky, and yelling when I couldn’t find something!
Between homeschooling my 4 kids, their work needing correcting or keeping, educational planning stuff, their activity schedules, forms needing to be filled out, home and life maintenance with mail, bills and records and the like that needs to be kept up with, and my work paraphernalia for the blog and it’s website, it has felt like unorganized madness to me! Like….losing my mind. I can’t manage and work my best like that.
What I needed and wanted was one organized management center to work from, with a style that said me, and reflected our farmhouse home decor. A Pottery Barn home office knock-off, of sorts. Yes please, Honey!
Whenever a new school year is about to turn over in the next 2-3 months, I always get into this nesting mode frenzy, wanting to get super organized and ready for the next year. So my chatter about my dream custom-built farmer’s table home office desk had picked up speed as of late! I completely cleaned out that cubby, moved the amoire, and just gave away that huge desk to a very grateful girl, who really needed it. It was going to be an all new space, that I could manage everything from. Open, bright, stylish and cheery.
As always, Michael and I first got some initial drawings down on paper, which Michael threw out by accident! ; ( , and a few revisions later, Michael got to making it a reality for me.
My design idea was simple; the base of a plain old farmer’s table, with cubbies and shelving for storage. But it needed to be BIG. The full length of the wall opposite the large window, to accommodate and organize all areas of my life and family I need to manage, as well the larger equipment I need to do it, such as my 2 computers, hard-drives, copier, etc.
So if you haven’t scrolled down and peeked already (uh-huh), the reveal is next. But I have to say, this was SO HARD to photograph with the lenses I have, as this desk is 7 feet long! But every inch was custom designed with a purpose for it’s space. Take a look . . . . . .
Is it not GORGEOUS?!
I can answer that.
While there were no initial plans for drawers at all, the craziest things happen to us, and we ended up with some beautiful ones! I’ll get to that story-bit in a minute, but as you can see, the general structure of the desk is very much a farmer’s table design.
Let’s talk about some of the details:
Simple table legs support the desk.
Now let me tell you about the drawers, which really have added such beauty to the piece as a whole. In the beginning, I had just planned on using lots of cubbies and little containers, for all of the little things, all built upon a farmers table, much like the one we eat at in our sunroom. But the craziest blessings happen to us all of the time, and this amazing happenstance is no different:
About the time the table was pretty much built, and yet still bare wood and unfinished (as seen above, minus the drawers), Michael had a job to go re-letter the back of one of his client account’s large moving trailer. While he was there on the job site, he went to throw some things in the dumpster. There, in the container, were 3 of these beautiful drawers and some big desk all broken apart! I can only imagine how beautiful the desk must have been, because the drawers are to me, breath-taking. Crazier, the slim design and depth of the drawers would fit and work perfectly within the table side of the desk he was building for me. So he grabbed the drawers, and all of the attachment trackings for them, and brought them home. I was astonished. I immediately fell in love with them, and he installed them.
Just look at the hardware!
Even the keyhole makes me gasp and smile inside.
They silently and smoothly just roll out, like butt-ah!
And the inside of the large drawer had me flipping out with joy . . . . . .
Talk about great quality. HOW, could anyone throw these drawers away? And what a blessing just meant to be, that Michael was there at that site on this particular day, and looked in that waste container, right when we were building this project! The waste removal company was coming to empty that container the very next morning! The drawers would have been gone forever.
These two smaller drawers were installed side by side, on the opposite end of the large one. Take note of the bare wood before finishing. Aside from the drawers, the table-top is made of cabinet grade plywood, while the rest is plain pine and bead board. A very light color wood.
Now, how I was going to finish this desk, was such a torn-dilemma! I even did various techniques experiments on several scraps of wood, trying to decide: Did I want to just paint it white and then sand it down to worn in various places? Crackle it? Use some dark wax or antiqued glaze?
Honestly, it feels like such a big an important decision, that it kind of paralyzed me. So I kept it simple for now, and will likely continue to alter the finish more when I decide on one, or all of the ways I am contemplating. But at least then it will be a thought-out decision. For now here’s all I did:
I sanded it to a worn state in specific places, such as corners, edges, and raised areas.
But because the wood underneath was so light, I went a step further using a possibly odd technique and medium, to bring the distress work out more . . . . . .
I mixed clear glaze and straight burnt umber watercolor paint. I painted just over the areas where it was sanded to wood, let it sit a minute, and wiped off with a clean dry rag. It stained the exposed under-wood just enough, to have a more distinct worn look. As I said, I still may do some crackle work in areas, and/or antique it more with wax or glaze. But I also expect it will get wear and age naturally, simply from me using it a lot, and owning it for a very long time to come. But for now, I am loving it as it is. It may stay like this forever.
I am still ‘moving in’ to this large piece of furniture that is quickly organizing my whole world, and there will be a follow up post to show you how I arranged everything I needed in this space. But as I said, parts of the desk were very specifically designed for certain things. To give you one example today; that top left cubby you see, will hold my 4 external hard-drives, most of which are about to dumped of all client work. They are already mostly free space even still, so I will be using them for a good many years to come, for external storage space for all of my other personal photo storage and designs.
As I am sure many of you know and will agree, it’s the accessorizing that is the most fun! It’s the pretty little things, that really make a space yours, and I have always felt it’s important to surround yourself in your home and work space, with the things that make you feel those little leaps of joy inside. (Or that’s what happens to me, anyway. ; ) So I hope to share with you all just how I’ll be utilizing the space of my new custom-built workspace, the ways in which it’s organizing my life, and all of the little things I love that make me smile, and maybe will make you smile too. Or give you some ideas of your own.
Another crazy blessing story-bit: I had told Michael I would probably just use one of our regular white farm chairs at the desk, rather than a black computer chair. But that some day, I would love to find a nice white office chair on wheels, much like the Pottery Barn chairs, that we could never afford.
Well guess what he found and brought home with the drawers? . . . . . .
Again, for free. When Michael was chatting one of the moving company employees at the job site where he pulled the drawers out of the waste container, and told him all about this desk he built, the guy said, “I have a chair inside that went with the desk we got rid of, if you want to see it.” And this is what he brings out! Oh, you know I’ll distress this some too, and get some pretty shabby-chic cushions for it. But what a high-quality chair! It not only is on wheels and swivels, but it rocks! I’m a rocker, still. Between my first baby-girl that loved to nurse forever, and then my triplets, Mama-rocking is a just part of my natural movement now. This is a big chair though. It definitely needs the cushions. I feel like a kid in it right now. Michael was more excited about getting the chair for me, than the drawers. But the drawers were actually the biggest pleasant surprise for me. Honestly, the chair is massive! Like, too wide and heavy for me. I may just keep using my computer chair for now.
So there it is! I know I am ridiculously blessed to have a husband whose skilled hands can create these things for me. This desk would cost thousands of dollars, bought. And it wouldn’t be custom-built, for me and my specific needs. Or made with love! He’s built so many things for me, big and small. This one is certainly very special to me, as it will really help me manage the most important aspects of my life; primarily teaching my children, and managing our family details, and lastly, doing what I can to help my husband provide for us, through blogging, which I love to do anyway.
I do apologize for the length of this post and number of photos, but there was a lot to share with you, and I’ve been SO excited to!
Wouldn’t you be?
Tell me what you think of it! Do you have a special space in your home, that helps keep you organized and everything managed? Please tell us about it, and leave any ideas you may have for us as well. Thanks so much for coming by and looking!
I had to click through to this and comment, what a great story. Love your desk, compliments to hubby. Definitely pinning. Many blessings to you, cheers!
Thanks so much, Kristina! I’m so gad you clicked through, to say hello.
There is not a day that goes by, that I don’t think about how much I appreciate this desk. I don’t know how I got along with out it before. And to know it was built with love and his hands, makes it that much more special. I really need to take a pic of it in USE-with it loaded with all of my stuff. lol
Thanks so much for coming by. And pinning! Blessings and cheers to you too!
I realize I am late coming to this post however I just discovered it today! What a great idea for a desk. I am in the cutest little rent house ever and have no space for anything real size – this would be to big for the space I have in mind for my desk but it surely has inspired me to think outside the box. A table and some cubby holes – how cool is that! Already the wheels are spinning in my head – I am off to find my tape measure and pencil for some more sketching! Thank you for the inspiration!!
How wonderful to hear our farmer’s desk has got your own wheels turning, Wanda! No doubt you could make something on a smaller scale, and even with different pieces put all together. Hope you figure out something just perfect for your space! Come back and give us a link to photos, if you share it on the web at all.
Thanks for coming by, and chatting!
That looks fantastic! We’d love for you link this up at our party! http://housewivesofriverton.blogspot.com/2012/09/riverton-housewives-round-up-31.html
Great desk – good work hubby! And the story makes it even better! I love stories about found treasures that get rebuilt or reused or repurposed. Adds depth to the whole experience.
I’m the same way, Kate! I just love to know the story or history behind everything. I am collecting more and more in this house, that has meaningful history, some from family. Some is not all that pretty! But they are treasured for the backstory or prior owner.
Thanks so much for coming by to see my desk, and sharing your thoughts too. : )
Stopping over from the TT&J link party. Amazing desk! Thanks for sharing! You did an awesome job!
Thanks so much, Jen!
Absolutely amazing. I love everything about it. What a gorgeous desk!!
I shared it on my TT&J Facebook page and linked to you 🙂
(((Jen!))) Thank you so much! I have to tell you, I’m tickled you shared our desk on your Facebook page. I enjoyed visiting (& commenting) for many other linkups at your party too. So many awesome project shares there! Think I might have to make your place my regular Friday night fun!
This is AMAZING!! Gorgeous!!
Happy you stopped by to check it out. : )
Oh wow – I love it. I so need something like this!
Thanks for coming by, and checking it out, Summer.
Maybe someday, you can have one, too. : )
Oh. My. Stars.
That is over the top, fabulously, amazingly, perfectly, gorgeous!!!!!
Lady you are going to be honey-mooning for months 🙂
He did good. REAL good 🙂
It’s a stunner!! I showed my hubby too. WOW!
Do you like it, Shannon? I can’t tell. LOL
Yup, I may be honey-mooning *forever*. I can’t tell you the other areas of my house I have made look neater too, just having this desk now. Getting rid of a little kitchen counter bill cabinet, another basket of those little things like thank-you cards, etc. It’s a dream, to have this space to keep so organized. I’m loving it!
We sure picked good guys. I want to show mine, what YOURS did! : )
Absolutely beyond stunning!! Love, love, love it!!
Thank you Michelle. : ) I think so too!
I am lovin’ every minute I am sittin’ here! SO NICE!
Love love love it! Especially all the cubbies and compartments. Lucky girl, you! Enjoy…
Me too, me too, me too!!
What a gorgeous desk! How wonderful to have this custom made just for you! I love the story of the little blessing that came along that were just perfect for you!
Thank you, Karen. : ) So happy to see you here!
I still really cannot get over how we came upon the drawers. Or the chair, for that matter. Not where, or how, or when! God is good. Things like this happen to us all-of-the-time. There is no doubt to us, they are true blessings, on purpose.
Thanks for coming over and checking it out!
It IS gorgeous!! Love a custom desk. 🙂 sharing
Thank you, Karah! Me too, come to find out! lol
I appreciate you coming by, and sharing. : )
I have desk envy. I love it. You are very lucky to have a partner in this who has vision to see what can be.
Yes, I think I am too, Lori. We’ve collaborated on many projects, big and small, making our house a home. We actually met in art school, although different areas of study. Who knew the projects we’d work on together, someday? I don’t take it for granted.
Thanks so much for coming by, and leaving us your thoughts. : )
Oh. WOW! You are a great designing/creating team! The drawers are amazing as well. Enjoy your lovely new desk!
We really ARE a great team, Steph. The brainstorming together, is half the fun, to me.
I’m enjoying it immensely, already!
I cannot believe your husband made that! Gorgeous 🙂 and the drawers are a lovely surprise.
Thanks so much, Megan! I agree, the drawers were a lovely surprise. I can hardly imagine it without them now, as it was first planned. So happy to have them.
Thanks for coming by. )
It’s a phenomenal table. How it all came together so beautifully is just a great story! Enjoy dear!
Thank you! It was (too long of) a long story! But a good one for sure!
I am thoroughly enjoying it!
Thanks for coming to see it. : )