My living room was a blank canvas.
I had many ideas running through my head about how I wanted to style this space. For one, I needed an office. My guest room was too small to have a desk in there, so I recognized that I would have to fit the office into my living room somehow. Additionally, I wanted to have some seating for my guests, because this is the first room that you see when you walk into my home. Naturally, I wanted it to be visually appealing. As I’m sure you can imagine, this was quite the task, so I knew I had to be creative with my design solution. This is what sparked my idea for the wall-to-wall desk…
My thinking behind the desk was that it would not overwhelm the limited space I had, but would still appeal to the visual senses. That being said, I wanted a rustic, live-edge desk, to add some character and style to the room; I realized it would have to be quite a long piece of live-edge wood to accommodate the length of the wall, which I knew would cost a pretty penny.
I inquired with several carpenters to see how much a desk like this would cost me, I came back with estimates upwards of $3000!!! Needless to say, that was a lot for me to invest in, and a bit of a risk as well, considering this wasn’t something I’ve seen done before, and I wasn’t certain that I would love it. That is when I decided that I would DIY this desk for a fraction of the cost. If I liked the look, only then would I invest live-edge desk later down the road when I was ready to pay up!
DIY solutions can last you a lifetime, you invest your time, energy, and money to design a real masterpiece, and it can become a staple in your home forever. I covered this in one of my previous posts, where I couldn’t find an affordable nightstand to fit my design style or budget, so I decided to make it myself (Don’t Break the Budget, DIY Instead!)
If you have a very specific vision in your mind but are having trouble finding the right piece to fit that vision or your budget, that’s where the true beauty of, what I call, ‘stop-gap’ DIY-ing comes into play. The theory behind stop-gap DIY-ing is that ‘you can try before you buy’ basically.
Now that you’re all up to speed on the method behind the madness, let’s hop right into it, and let me show you how I made my desk!
First thing’s first, I began by measuring the distance between the two walls, I wanted the wood to be sleek and fit flush into the space without leaving any gaps. Then, I hit up my local Home Depot to find a piece of wood that would be long enough to fit. Just as I thought, I wouldn’t actually find a piece that was the length that I needed, so I bought two pieces of wood and had the Home Depot staff cut it down for me. I purchased the staining material and supplies, and then I headed straight home to get started on this bad boy!
I started by sanding down the wood completely to make sure there were no sharp edges or roughness to the wood. Once it was ready to stain, I brushed on a generous amount of walnut paint and wiped it off with a rag. The look I was going for was a rustic style, so consistency and perfection at this stage was not a priority to me. In between each coat of the stain, I let the paint dry completely so I could get a good idea of the colour; I didn’t want my wood to come out too dark or light. I followed the same technique with the top coat, however, I sanded it down in between each coat. This is very important because, as this is being used as a desk, you don’t want it to be rough to touch or uncomfortable on your elbows when you are sitting at your desk for long periods of time. You want to make sure that there were no bubbles or rough patches, and you have added as many coats as you feel are appropriate; I applied four coats to my wood because I wanted the glossy look.
The overall cost of this desk added up to about $200.00, this included the filing cabinet, legs, wood, paint, and supplies (chairs and desktop materials not included).
It took me two days to fully complete this project, from purchase to installation. Not too bad, if I do say so myself! Like I mentioned before, I was nervous going into it because I wasn’t sure if I would like the style of the desk, but it came out beautifully. I am still eyeing the live-edge tabletop, but this desk should hold me over until I’m ready to invest, PLUS it looks fabulous! I get many compliments on how this makes my front living area POP! One thing is for sure, you can never go wrong with a phenomenal, and easy DIY.
GUEST POST AUTHOR BIO: RDIMEN is the publisher of the Dimen Diaries blog. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband. She enjoys sharing any updates she makes to her new home, and any tips/tricks she’s learned along the way when it comes to designing on a budget. In addition to designing her new home, she adores sharing her lifestyle favourites and delicious recipes!